Winners will receive a total of nearly 520 million PLN for basic research projects at the Polish research institutions. OPUS 24 and SONATA 18 calls concluded today attracted 3015 proposals, out of which 363 were recommended for funding.
OPUS is the most popular call in our call portfolio. It is targeted at a wide audience, placing no restrictions as to the career level, degree / title or research experience of the principal investigator.
OPUS is open to proposals for domestic research projects, projects conducted with foreign partners or with the use of large-scale international research equipment. This time OPUS was also open to funding proposals for research projects carried out in international collaboration pursuant to the Lead Agency Procedure within the framework of the Weave Programme. This track made it possible for research projects to be carried out in collaboration with the foreign research teams from Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg or Belgium-Flanders that submitted funding proposals to their respective research-funding agencies participating in the Weave Programme.
1921 proposals were submitted to the OPUS 24 call with a total budget of nearly 2.7 billion PLN. Funding was awarded to 224 projects, worth nearly 364.4 million. The success rate was 11.66%. 176 of the proposals submitted and 48 proposals recommended for funding involved international projects under the LAP Lead Agency Procedure.
SONATA 18 is addressed at researchers who hold a PhD degree conferred 2 to 7 years before the proposal submission year; its objective is to support those at the outset of their careers in innovative research. This round of the call attracted 1094 proposals with a total budget of more than 1.2 billion PLN. In the end, funding was awarded to 139 projects worth more than 155.5 million PLN. The success rate was 12.79 %.
Important and Innovative Projects
The winning proposals in OPUS 24 included many important and innovative projects. Wioleta Kucharska (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) will research agile learning culture’s key determinants and effects comparing Polish and Finnish systems. The project outcome may contribute to the maintenance of the organisation's innovation, competitiveness and resilience to the turbulent environment (e.g. COVID-19). Michał Jan Kawulok (Physical Sciences and Engineering) will pursue research to develop new super-resolution reconstruction methods that can be used in medical imaging or remote sensing, text recognition, detecting small objects, or segmenting some specific image regions (e.g. forests in satellite images or human skin in colour images), etc. Katarzyna Donskow-Łysoniewska (Life Sciences) with her research team will identify biomarkers which determine the response to the therapy in multiple sclerosis treatment with the use of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) technology. The project results will allow the development of an algorithm to model the response to currently used immunomodulatory drugs.
The winners of SONATA 18 included Jacek Kwieciński (Physical Sciences and Engineering). The aim of his studies is to better understand the processes underlying valve degeneration, which would enable early identification of patients at risk. The aim of his project is to define an optimal target population that could derive the greatest benefit from the 18F-NaF-PET scan and to optimise 18FNaF-PET protocol. Karolina Kwaczyńska’s 3D-Dual-Sens project (Life Sciences) involves the development of a modern device for the detection and/or determination of narcotic substances such as fentanyl, codeine, amphetamine or methamphetamine. Karolina Kwaczyńska believes that there is a significant gap between primitive colorimetric tests, which suffer from a lack of selectivity, and advanced techniques such as mass spectrometry or chromatography implemented in specialized laboratory centres that will change colour upon contact with the analyte, and hence, will provide immediate information about the presence or absence of the selected chemical species which can be used, for example, to drug test drivers. Karolina Majewska-Guede (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) will research an alternative transnational cultural history of the People's Republic of Poland centred on the gendered labour history in the “Fajans” factory in Wrocław. She will develop, inter alia, the concepts of artistic work, collaboration and artistic knowledge (also by using artistic strategies such as painting, performance, and installation).
All projects recommended for funding under OPUS 24 and SONATA 18 as well as project descriptions for the general public are available on the website with the ranking lists.
Evaluation of Proposals
Proposals submitted in response to the NCN calls are evaluated by the experts selected among outstanding Polish and foreign researchers who are at least PhD holders. The evaluation procedure consists of two stages. Each stage consists of at least two individual reviews of each proposal and an expert team meeting during which the reviews are discussed, and ranking lists of proposals recommended for funding compiled. A funding decision is taken by the NCN Director.
OPUS LAP proposals have been evaluated alongside other OPUS proposals by the same expert teams, with an additional evaluation of the research track record of principal investigators of the foreign research teams, performance of other research projects and evaluation whether the input of all research teams in the project was balanced and complementary.
The OPUS ranking lists do not include OPUS LAP proposals recommended for funding by the expert teams of the National Science Centre pending approval by the partner agencies. The projects will be added to the lists once we are notified by the partner agencies of their approvals.
Service of Decision
Today, the funding decisions will be served concerning proposals recommended or not recommended for funding under OPUS 24 and SONATA 18. NCN decisions are served to the applicants in an electronic format to the e-mail address specified in the proposal.
If the applicant is an entity described in Article 27 (1) – (7) and (9) of the NCN Act of 30 April 2010, the funding decision will be served to their Electronic Delivery Box (ePUAP) specified in the proposal. If an applicant who is a natural person indicates an ePUAP address in the proposal, the decision will be sent to that address. If an applicant who is a natural person fail to indicate the ePUAP address, the service of decisions will be carried out by means of sending – to their email address – information containing an electronic address from which the NCN Director’s decision may be downloaded.
The funding decisions of the NCN Director are additionally communicated to the principal investigator and if an applicant is a natural person, to the host institution for the project.
In the absence of the decision, make sure that your electronic (ESP, ePUAP, e-mail) address specified in the proposal is correct and if incorrect address has been provided, contact the Program Officer in charge of the proposal specified in the OSF submission system.