Five calls for proposals with the budget of PLN 530 mln open


Friday, 14 September 2018

This is the sixteenth time that the National Science Centre (NCN) has opened a new call for proposals within the OPUS and PRELUDIUM funding schemes, and the fourteenth time within the SONATA scheme. A total of PLN 480 million is available in all national calls. In addition, BEETHOVEN CLASSIC 3 and a new program, BEETHOVEN LIFE 1, are launched in cooperation with the German Research Foundation. International schemes offer grants up to a total amount of PLN 50 million. Altogether, applicants in the recently announced calls will vie for a record total of PLN 530 million.

Following the success of the previous two editions of the BEETHOVEN call, a new edition is launched this year under a new name, but with the same conditions. BEETHOVEN CLASSIC 3 is targeted at Polish-German research projects in arts, humanities and social sciences, as well as the selected disciplines in physical sciences and engineering. The call’s budget, organised in cooperation with the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG), amounts to PLN 30 million.

A new addition to the call portfolio, BEETHOVEN LIFE is designed as a supplement to BEETHOVEN CLASSIC, and is aimed at scholars involved in life sciences. For the Centre, it will be the first call conducted on the basis of the Lead Agency Procedure, and the DFG will play the role of the lead agency in the first edition. The German agency will have the sole responsibility for scientific assessment, while the National Science Centre will accept national proposals for the funding of the Polish part of research projects in question. A total of PLN 20 million is available within the BEETHOVEN LIFE call.

“We are happy that our cooperation with the German Research Foundation has now been expanded to include a call in the life sciences. This rounds out our offer for researchers cooperating with the German side”, says Professor Zbigniew Błocki, Director of the National Science Centre, “Our office will have a chance to test the Lead Agency Procedure in practice and see whether it facilitates and expedites the assessment of submissions in calls organised in cooperation with foreign partners. In the future, we would like to implement the same system in all such calls.”

Apart from international funding opportunities, the National Science Centre also announced its flagship national calls: OPUS, PRELUDIUM and SONATA. The budgets of all three calls have been substantially increased in this edition with PLN 350 million to be distributed in OPUS 16, 40 million in PRELUDIUM 16, and PLN 90 million in SONATA 14.

OPUS, PRELUDIUM and SONATA are the most popular calls in the National Science Centre offer. The quality of submitted proposals gets better and better every year and it is not unusual for good projects to be rejected because of insufficient financial resources, which is why it has been so important for us to increase the budget and thus give many more valuable projects an opportunity to get off the ground”, says Professor Janusz Janeczek, Chairman of the Council of the National Science Centre.

The OPUS 16 funding scheme is open to all researchers, irrespective of their academic level. Within the framework of the project, they may receive funds to hire a research team to work on a given subject matter, as well as purchase or construct the research equipment necessary for the project. Young researchers are also eligible for special fellowships.

PRELUDIUM 16 is dedicated to researchers at the outset of their academic career, who do not yet have the title of doctor. Doctoral students may conduct an independent research project for one, two or three years, not necessarily connected to the subject of their doctoral thesis. The maximum funding for a single project equals, respectively, PLN 70,000, 140,000, or 210,000.

Last, but not least, SONATA 14 is addressed to scholars who earned their doctoral degree between 2011 and 2016 and aims to support them in conducting innovative research with the use of state-of-the-art equipment and original methodology. This edition has done away with the obligatory interviews with principal investigators at the second stage of the assessment process.

Effective as of the new calls announced in September, the Council of the National Science Centre has introduced important changes into the job funding requirements within NCN’s calls. An additional condition has been formulated for post-doc applicants. They must not have had an employment contract with the entity where the research project is to be conducted within 2 years prior to their post-doc.

“The change is designed to create the conditions for increased researcher mobility, both on the national and international scale. The opportunity to cooperate with scholars representing other experiences and work cultures benefits the entire research team and improves the quality of the research project”, says Professor Janeczek.

Proposals should be submitted by means of the ZSUN/OSF system (https://osf.opi.org.pl) until 17 December 2018. Proposal submission forms, as well as detailed call documentation in English for BEETHOVEN CLASSIC 3 and BEETHOVEN LIFE 1 will be available in due course.

  • OPUS 16 call for proposals for research projects, including purchase or construction of research equipment necessary for their completion
  • PRELUDIUM 16 call for proposals for research projects conducted by researchers at the beginning of their career in research, who do not hold a doctorate degree.
  • SONATA 14 call for proposals for research projects carried out by researchers who have been awarded a doctorate within 2 to 7 years before submitting the proposal
  • BEETHOVEN CLASSIC 3 for Polish-German research projects within humanities, social sciences, chemistry, physics, mathematics and material sciences. 
  • BEETHOVEN LIFE 1 for Polish-German research projects within life sciences.