Fri, 08/01/2014 - 15:35

It is with nearly € 8.2 M that the National Science Centre is awarding six laureates of its just-concluded SYMFONIA 2 call for proposals.

59 principal investigators competed for funding of their projects under the SYMFONIA 2 scheme, which welcomes research projects carried out by collaborating research teams that combine theories, approaches, techniques and tools from two or more research domains. Funding was awarded to six eminent researchers, whose research stands out for its quality and boldly transcends borders between different research fields.

Cross-domain research is crucial to the advancement of science. Thanks to the combined efforts of researchers representing different disciplines and the use of various methods and research tools, we get a whole new scientific quality and a fresh outlook on research problems, said professor Andrzej Jajszczyk, director of the National Science Centre.

The largest share of funding (over € 1.6 M) has been granted to researchers from the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology. The team, led by dr Marcin Nowotny, will conduct comprehensive interdisciplinary studies of Mitochondrial RNA decay and surveillance.

More than € 1.5 M in financing is the sum given to the project titled The role of antimicrobial protein-chemerin in skin pathophysiology, led by dr hab. Joanna Cichy from the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University. Only slightly less  funding is to provide prof. Tadeusz Holak and his team from Jagiellonian University’s Faculty of Chemistry with the means to study transient protein states in designing small-molecule inhibitors of protein-protein interactions.

For ca. € 1.4 M prof. Marek Figlerowicz and his team from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, will carry out the project Dynasty and population of the Piast State in view of integrated historical, anthropological and genomic studies.

Dr Bartosz Grzybowski will study the development of “Computational Chemical Linguistics” and its applications to the efficient planning of multistep chemical syntheses. The NCN will contribute € 1.3 M. The project will be carried out at the Institute of Organic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences. The same academic unit is represented by another SYMFONIA 2 laureate: dr hab. Dorota Gryko, with over € 700,000 in funding, she will examine the behaviour of vitamin B12 as a delivery vehicle for antibacterial oligonucleotide analogues.

We are happy that among the laureates of SYMFONIA 2 are young yet very experienced researchers who themselves are Principal Investigators to large research teams. It is proof of the great potential of Polish researchers, said prof. Michał Karoński, chair of the NCN Council.

The call was open to projects which provided new full-time employment for at least two researchers with a PhD and employment for at least four doctoral candidates. Under the SYMFONIA 2 call, applicants could also seek funding for research equipment worth up to PLN 500,000 (ca. € 118,000) for projects in the fields of Life Sciences and Physical Sciences and Engineering, and up to PLN 150,000 (ca. € 36,000) in the field of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.