Thu, 05/20/2021 - 12:15

We have just resolved the results of the next editions of OPUS + LAP, SONATA and PRELUDIUM BIS calls. The ranking lists included 638 projects with a total value of nearly PLN 668 million.

- This is perhaps the best invested money in Polish science, for research at the highest level, awarded in the most competitive system that exists in our country. A very large part of these funds goes to young people who, thanks to the funding, have the opportunity to work in an attractive way in science – says prof. Zbigniew Błocki, Director of the National Science Centre,

The OPUS + LAP call is open to researchers at all stages of their career. NCN received as many as 2122 proposals for the total amount of over PLN 2.3 billion. This time, researchers could apply for funding of their research projects carried out without foreign partners, projects carried out in international bilateral or trilateral cooperation (including LAP cooperation) as well as projects implemented with the use of large international research equipment. After the eligibility check and merit-based evaluation, the experts recommended 342 projects worth over PLN 449 million for funding, including 79 OPUS LAP projects that must be approved by the partner institutions. The funding decisions on OPUS LAP proposals are made within 11 months of the proposal submission date. The ranking lists related to proposals submitted pursuant to the Lead Agency Procedure will be successively complemented.

Timeline for funding decisions on OPUS-LAP proposals:

  • Decisions on OPUS LAP proposals involving foreign research teams from Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Switzerland: expected date: end of July 2021, 
  • Decisions on the OPIS LAP proposals involving foreign research teams from Germany: expected date: end of October 2021.

The SONATA programme is aimed at supporting persons beginning their scientific career in conducting innovative basic research with the use of modern apparatus or original methodological solutions. The call is addressed to researchers with a doctoral degree awarded between 2 and 7 years before the year of proposal. In the sixteenth edition of the programme, researchers submitted 1123 proposals, the total amount of which was over PLN 891 million. Ultimately, 180 projects received funding worth almost PLN 161 million.

Entities running doctoral schools can apply for funding under the PRELUDIUM BIS call. The programme aims to support doctoral training by funding research projects carried out by early stage researchers as part of their doctoral dissertations. The winners of the call are also required to complete a 3 to 6 month foreign research internship funded by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA). Within the second edition of PRELUDIUM BIS, 282 researchers at the beginning of their careers applied for funding amounting to nearly PLN 139 million. According to the experts' decision, grants worth almost PLN 58 million will be awarded to 116 applicants.  

Success rate

Over 3.5 thousand proposals for the total amount of almost PLN 3.4 billion were submitted in the just concluded NCN calls. Funding was awarded to 638 projects with a total value of nearly PLN 668 million.

The success rate in this edition of the call was therefore over 18%. According to the director, it should be around 25%. In calls organised by NCN, it was at this level two years ago. – More and more often we have to reject projects that in our opinion, and above all in the opinion of our experts, mainly international, deserve funding – says prof. Zbigniew Błocki.

The biggest problem in the functioning of NCN is the agency's insufficient budget. – For the last three years it has been fixed for grant funding, and because there are a bit more proposals and the expectations of applicants are rising – we are funding new elements like post-doc jobs, PhD scholarships, hence the success rate.

- We have some announcements from the Ministry that to a small extent our budget may increase this year, but the most important thing for us is the decision to increase it systematically in the coming years. Funding very good projects is the best investment for the country - the director adds.

Universities and science groups

In the calls adjudicated today, the largest number of proposals, as many as 1299, were submitted in the group of sciences and technical sciences. Financial support totalling almost PLN 252 million was awarded to 246 projects. In the life sciences group, 1210 proposals were submitted, of which 232, worth almost PLN 319 million, were qualified for funding. In the humanities, social sciences and arts, NCN received 1018 proposals, of which 160 received funding of over PLN 97 million.

Most grants will be implemented at universities: Warsaw University (64), Jagiellonian University (62), Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (43), University of Wrocław (25) and Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (21). 

The ranking lists of the winning projects have been published on the NCN website.

We would also like to inform you that the decisions for the proposals selected and not selected for funding in the calls will be sent out today. We would like to remind you that the decisions of the NCN Director are delivered to the applicant in the form of an electronic document to the electronic address indicated in the proposal. In the event that the applicant is an entity referred to in art. 27 par. 1 – 7 and 9 of the NCN Act, the NCN Director’s decision will be delivered only to the Electronic Delivery Box address indicated in the proposal. If the natural person who is the applicant indicates an Electronic Delivery Box address in the proposal, the decision will be sent to this address. If an applicant being a natural person does not indicate an Electronic Delivery Box address, delivery of the decision will be realized by sending to e-mail address given in the proposal information with electronic address from which the decision of the NCN Director can be downloaded. The NCN Director’s decisions on the allocation of financial resources are additionally transmitted to the principal investigator for information, and if the applicant is a natural person, also to the entity indicated in the proposal as the executing entity.  In the absence of a decision, check the correctness of the electronic address given in the proposal (Electronic Delivery Box address, e-mail). If an incorrect address is given, please contact the proposal supervisor listed on the ZSUN/OSF system.