Wed, 04/06/2016 - 10:16

The National Science Centre has launched its calls for proposals in basic research: OPUS 11, PRELUDIUM 11, SONATA 11, and POLONEZ 2. The aggregate sum of funding to be distributed will exceed EUR 70 million.

Three of the funding opportunities, i.e. OPUS, PRELUDIUM, and SONATA, are the most popular funding schemes in the Centre’s portfolio.

OPUS has the largest scope of addressees, with no specific preliminary conditions with regard to experience, degree held, or the composition of the research team. The call’s budget has been set at nearly EUR 50 million.

PRELUDIUM is directed at researchers whose career in research has only begun and who have not yet held a doctoral degree. The sum allocated for this call totals EUR 7.19 million.

The SONATA call is another opportunity intended for beginner researchers: proposals will be accepted from applicants who have held a doctoral degree for up to 7 years. The programme is meant to support the project’s principal investigator in pursuing research that employs innovative methodologies and facilities. The sum of funding in the call equals nearly EUR 12 million.

Inasmuch as teaching is a vital responsibility in an academic teacher’s work, we need to ensure that our grantees have the optimum conditions that enable them to focus on their research projects. It is to that end that we have introduced the possibility of cutting the sum of obligatory teaching hours by half. This is particularly important for younger researchers, therefore the Council have been considering a similar solution in future SONATA BIS calls, said professor Michał Karoński, chair of the Council of the NCN.

In addition to the three regular funding opportunities, the second edition of the POLONEZ call has been launched; this is an action within the framework of the EU “Horizon 2020” programme for funding research and innovations. Its offer is extended to incoming researchers willing to carry out research in Polish host institutions. Eligible candidates are researchers with a doctoral degree or at least 4 years of experience in research, who in the past 3 years have not worked or studied in Poland for more than 12 months. The call’s budget totals approx. EUR 4.79 million.

Polish science cannot develop in a void, therefore many of the Centre’s initiatives seek to facilitate the development of international contacts and their continued nurturing. POLONEZ offers a chance for securing employment in Poland for foreign researchers as well as for Polish nationals working in the world’s largest centres. We hope that the programme may also prove instrumental in bringing scholars to Polish research units who will be able to compete with success for prestigious European grants, added professor Zbigniew Błocki, director of the National Science Centre.