Researchers to receive over € 100 million from the National Science Centre


środa, 22 listopada 2017

For the thirteenth time the National Science Centre (NCN) has named the winners of its flagship calls, OPUS and PRELUDIUM. The researchers will receive over € 100 million for basic research.

OPUS and PRELUDIUM have the longest history amongst the funding opportunities operated by the National Science Centre, repeatedly attracting the largest numbers of participants. The 13th edition of the programmes has benefited the Polish research community with the equivalent of roughly € 102.5 million. The aggregate response to both calls has totalled 3,011 research proposals, of which 803 have been awarded funding, setting the success rate at 27 per cent.

– In our calls, it is both the researcher’s achievements and their project that get evaluated. Indexes, figures and academic titles are but a tiny part of the evaluation process. Our reviewers seek to determine if the project promises an actual contribution to the advancement of a given research discipline. Thanks to this approach, we can fish the very best projects out of thousands of proposals. Today we are putting our trust with another 803 projects; I am looking forward to many priceless results, says professor Zbigniew Błocki, director of the NCN.

The OPUS 13 call did not discriminate between entrants regarding their academic experience or their academic degree. Accordingly, it saw as many as 1,831 submissions. Funding was awarded to 479 projects, worth over € 93 million.

Among the call’s notable contributions is the project by professor Tadeusz Niedźwiedź of the University of Silesia in Katowice, whose project was granted ca € 100 thousand for the study of a key problem plaguing urbanised areas, i.e. air pollution. The project seeks to determine the role of temperature inversion in forming pollution concentrations in the Upper Silesia region of Poland, and their dependence on weather conditions. The project will contribute information on the changes to the structure of the lower troposphere at one of the most urbanised and polluted locations in Poland. The research will also help assess whether pollution occurrence is connected to local or supraregional factors, and its results may be useful for spatial planning and urban climate research.

PRELUDIUM 13 was addressed to those setting out on their first steps on the research path, and who do not hold a doctorate. This time beginner researchers submitted 1,180 proposals, of which 324 will be granted funding of more than € 9.5 million in total.

Among the researchers who will be able to carry out their research ideas under PRELUDIUM 13 is Katarzyna Kała of Collegium Medicum, Jagiellonian University, who is going to verify the general belief that edible mushrooms are poor in medicinal and nutritious properties. Studying the processes of the release of bioelements and biologically active organic compounds into the human body, and their absorption, the researcher will assess selected mushrooms’ health potential and will explain the mechanisms of selected substances’ transfer from the mycelium to the body. The project has received ca € 28.5 thousand in funding.

Ranking lists of projects approved for funding under OPUS 13 and PRELUDIUM 13