PLN 280 million for scientific research

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The National Science Centre opened its tenth call for proposals within the OPUS, PRELUDIUM and SONATA funding schemes with a financing pool totaling PLN 240 million. The NCN also launched its first call for proposals within the POLONEZ funding scheme targeted at researchers from abroad who want to carry out research in Polish institutions. This funding scheme was allocated as much as PLN 40 million.

POLONEZ 1 is the latest funding scheme administered by the NCN, offering a research fellowship of one or two years to researchers from abroad who wish to come to Poland. However, to be eligible for funding, the applicant must meet two conditions: hold a PhD degree or have 4 years of full-time research experience as well as neither having lived nor worked/studied in Poland for longer than 12 months in the period from 15 September 2012 to 14 September 2015.

“POLONEZ is the first funding scheme targeted at scientists from other countries which, thanks to co-financing obtained from the European Horizon 2020 programme, offers truly attractive financial conditions. I hope it will enable us to attract talented and ambitious researchers to Poland, who will serve as an influx of fresh blood energising and motivating Polish research", emphasised Prof. Zbigniew Błocki, the National Science Centre director.

The awardees will be granted guaranteed funds for employment in host institutions of EUR 31,500 per year and a research grant of up to PLN 160,000 per year. Additionally, they may obtain more than EUR 20,000 annually to cover the costs related to temporary relocation, family benefits (if the researcher’s family is also coming to Poland) and a training package offered by the NCN. The host institution will be reimbursed 20% of all overheads. The POLONEZ 1 funding scheme is co-financed by the Horizon 2020 programme within the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Actions (COFUND).

What is more, the National Science Centre has announced calls for proposals within three funding schemes that enjoy great popularity among Polish scientists: OPUS 10, PRELUDIUM 10 and SONATA 10.

PRELUDIUM 10 offers funds to researchers at the beginning of their career who have not been awarded their PhD degree yet. The funding scheme has been allocated PLN 30 million for this purpose. PRELUDIUM is unique worldwide: very few countries around the world offer PhD candidates a principal investigators. As shown by statistics, most applications in previous calls for applications were submitted by PhD candidates.

“We do our best to support young scientists with good ideas for research. At the same time, we are aware of the very difficult position PhD Candidates in Polish science are in. The system of financing graduate programmes is not working well - only a small percentage of students receive scholarships, especially in the field of Humanities, Social Sciences and the Arts. As a result, very few of them actually complete their doctoral dissertation. The NCN Council called the Ministry of Science and Higher Education to take urgent steps aimed at the expeditious implementation of necessary, comprehensive changes in this respect" said Prof. Michał Karoński, chair of the NCN Council.

The OPUS 10 funding scheme offers grants for the performance of basic research to all scientists, irrespective of their age and experience. The funds obtained in this funding scheme are sufficient to build a large research team consisting of both researchers in post-doc positions and PhD candidates receiving scholarships. The resources from the scheme can also be used to purchase equipment necessary to conduct research.

SONATA 10 is dedicated to researchers at the early stages of their career who have already been awarded a PhD degree. Previously, the call for proposals was open to people who were awarded their PhD degree in the period of 5 years prior to the date of submitting the application. As a result of a recent amendment to the Act on the financing of science, SONATA 10 is now open to anybody who has defended their doctoral dissertation in the period of 7 years before the year of submitting the application, i.e. in the period from 2008-2015 in this case.  The funds allocated to the scheme amount to PLN 30 million.

The calls for proposals announced by the National Science Centre will enable it once again to offer public funds for the purpose of financing basic research in the form of research projects and to grant de minimis aid to finance internships in enterprises for PhDs who are at the onset of their scientific career.

Applications may be submitted via the OSF system ( until 15 December 2015. The results will be announced by mid June 2016.