15 March 2022
The National Science Centre hereby announces the PRELUDIUM 21 call for proposals for research projects addressed at researchers who are not PhD holders. Maximum funds available in the call amount to PLN 70,000, PLN 140,000 or PLN 210,000 to finance projects of 12 months, 24 months or 36 months respectively. Under the PRELUDIUM call for proposals, a research team must include the principal investigator and mentor, and the number of research team members must not exceed three.
The call budget is PLN 30,000,000.
The call for proposals in ZSUN/ OSF closes on 15 June 2022, at 4 p.m..
Please read the call documents included in this call text.
Instructions for preparing proposals are available here.
Proposals in the call may be submitted by any entity defined in the Act on the National Science Centre (NCN), namely:
- federations of science and HE entities;
- research institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences, operating pursuant to the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1796, as amended);
- research institutes operating pursuant to the Act on Research Institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1383, as amended);
- international research institutes established pursuant to separate Acts, operating in the Republic of Poland;
- Łukasiewicz Centre operating pursuant to the Act on the Łukasiewicz Research Network of 21 February 2019 (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 2098);
- institutes operating within the Łukasiewicz Research Network;/li>
- Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences;
- other entities involved in research independently on a continuous basis;
- groups of entities (at least two entities mentioned in sections 1-9 or at least one institution as such together with at least one company);
- scientific and industrial centres within the meaning of the Act on Research Institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1383, as amended);
- research centres of the Polish Academy of Sciences within the meaning of the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2020, item 1796);
- scientific libraries;
- companies operating as R&D centres within the meaning of the Act on Certain Forms of Support for Innovative Activity of 30 May 2008 (Journal of Laws of 2021, item 706);
- legal entities with their registered office in Poland;
- natural persons; and
- companies conducting research in another organisational form than laid down in sections 1-15.
A person who is not a PhD holder on the proposal submission date may act as the principal investigator in a project submitted under the PRELUDIUM call for proposals. One can act as a principal investigator under the PRELUDIUM call for proposals only once.
Please note: The principal investigator must reside in Poland for at least 50% of the project duration period and be available to the host institution. The foregoing obligation does not apply to evidenced project-related business trips or holiday, time off work and other excused absence at work governed by the applicable laws.
Restrictions on submitting proposals are described in detail Chapter III of the Regulations on awarding funding for research tasks funded by the National Science Centre as regards research projects.
In a specific edition of calls, the same person may be named as the principal investigator in one proposal only, i.e. in this edition of NCN calls, the same person may be named as the principal investigator in either an OPUS proposal or PRELUDIUM proposal.
Please note: Proposals covering research tasks overlapping tasks specified in another proposal submitted earlier may only be submitted after the funding decision has become final. Proposals comprising overlapping research tasks must not be submitted in the same edition of the call.
Basic research proposals may be submitted to the call in any of 25 NCN panels comprising three groups:
- HS – Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences;
- NZ – Life Sciences; and
- ST – Physical Sciences and Engineering
Please note: Proposals are reviewed within the panels to which they have been submitted (e.g. HS1, ST1, NZ1). The principal investigator selects the panel. The panel cannot be changed once the proposal has been submitted. If an incorrect panel is selected, proposals may be rejected.
The subject of the project may, but does not have to, be connected with the subject of a PhD dissertation.
Under the call, funding may be requested for projects carried out over the period of:
- 12 months,
- 24 months or
- 36 months.
The research team includes:
- principal investigator, person who is not a PhD holder,
- mentor, and
- (optionally) co-investigator who is at most a PhD holder.
Please note: The number of research team members must not exceed three. The competencies and task of research team members must be described in the proposal. The rational of their involvement in the project are evaluated by the expert team. More information on the budget for salaries can be found in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the NCN.
The project budget must be justified as regards the subject and scope of research and must be based on reasonable calculations.
The maximum funding must not exceed:
- PLN 70,000 for projects lasting 12 months;
- PLN 140,000 for projects lasting 24 months; and
- PLN 210,000 for projects lasting 36 months.
The project budget includes direct costs and indirect costs.
Direct costs include funds for:
- remuneration of up to PLN 1,500 per month for the research team, i.e. principal investigator and (optionally) co-investigator;
- purchase or construction of research equipment, devices and software: the costs of research equipment, devices and software to be purchased or constructed cannot exceed 30% of the funds applied for in the research project;
- purchase of materials and small equipment;
- outsourced services;
- business trips, visits and consultations;
- compensation for collective investigators; and
- other costs crucial to the project which comply with the Types of costs in research projects funded by the NCN.
The mentor must not be a beneficiary of funding for the project submitted under the PRELUDIUM call for proposal in any form whatsoever.
Please note: The costs of publication of monographs resulting from research projects (as defined in §10 of the Regulation on evaluation of the quality of research activity issued by the Minister of Science and Higher Education on 22 February 2019 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 392)) may only be incurred following a positive review by the NCN.
Indirect costs include:
- indirect cost of Open Access (up to 2% of direct costs) that may be designated only for the cost of open access to publications or research data;
- other indirect costs (up to 20% of direct costs) that may be spent on costs that are related indirectly to the research project, including the cost of open access to publications and research data. During the project implementation, the host institution must agree with the principal investigator the coverage of at least 25% of the indirect costs.
Please note: In the case of publications governed by the NCN’s Open Access Policy, open access expenses must not be planned as direct costs.
If unjustified costs are planned, a proposal may be rejected.
Together with other European research-funding institutions, the National Science Centre is a member of cOAlition S. Therefore, the NCN has adopted its Open Access Policy pursuant to which all research results stemming from NCN-funded research projects must be made available in immediate open access.
In accordance with the principles of Plan S, the National Science Centre recognizes the following publication routes as compliant with its open access policy:
- publication in open access journals and on open access platforms registered, or with pending registration, in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ);
- publication in subscription journals (hybrid journals), as long as the Version of Record (VoR) or the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is published, by the author or publisher, in an open repository immediately upon the article’s online publication;
- publication in transformative journals covered by an open access licence within the framework of so-called transformative agreements, inscribed in the Efficiency and Standards for Article Charges registry (ESAC-registry).
Manuscripts must be published using the CC-BY licence. In the case of transformative journals, the CC-BY-SA licence can also be used. The CC-BY-ND licence may also be used (regardless of the publication route selected).
Information to be provided in English:
- details of the principal investigator, including information on his/her academic and research career and research experience as well as 1-10 papers published in the proposal submission year and over the period of 10 years prior to the proposal submission year (including applicable breaks); for research in art, 1-10 most important papers published or artistic achievements and achievements in research in art in the proposal submission year and over the period of 10 years prior to the proposal submission year; information on research project management or other research funding under NCN calls in the proposal submission year or over the period of 10 years prior to the proposal submission year; information on research project management funded under other national and international calls in the proposal submission year or over the period of 10 years prior to the proposal submission year (up to 5 projects);
- details of the mentor, including information on his/her academic and research career and research experience as well as 1-10 papers published over the period of 10 years prior to the proposal submission year (including applicable breaks); for research in art, 1-10 most important papers published or accepted for publication or artistic achievements and achievements in research in art in the proposal submission year and over the period of 10 years prior to the proposal submission year; information on research project management or other research funding under NCN calls in the proposal submission year or over the period of 10 years prior to the proposal submission year; information on research project management funded under other national and international calls in the proposal submission year or over the period of 10 years prior to the proposal submission year (up to 5 projects);
- key information on the proposal and host institution for the project (also in Polish);
- work plan (also in Polish);
- information on the scope of work carried out by the co-investigators in the project;
- summary of the project;
- abstract for the general public (also in Polish);
- short project description with bibliography (no more than 5 pages, A4);
- full project description with bibliography (no more than 15 pages, A4);
- information on the ethical aspects of the research;
- data management plan concerning data generated or used in the course of the research project;
- project budget; and
- information on co-investigators.
Proposals in the call may include an application for state aid, except where a natural person applies for funding. More information can be found in the State aid section.
In the case of research projects carried out in institutions for which project funding will constitute state aid, funds for students and PhD students can only be planned in the form described as “salary for students and PhD students” in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the NCN.
Please note: All documents concerning proposals for state aid must be signed with a qualified electronic signature in the PAdES format.
Proposals are subject to an eligibility check and merit based-evaluation.
Eligibility checks are carried out by the coordinators. Only complete proposals that comply with all the requirements set out in the call text can be accepted for merit-based evaluation. A proposal may also be rejected as ineligible at the later stage of evaluation.
Proposals approved as eligible are subject to merit-based evaluation performed in two stages:
At the first stage, an evaluation is performed by the expert team created by the NCN, based on the data included in the proposal and annexes thereto, with the exception of the full project description. Each proposal is evaluated by two members of the expert team acting independently. In the case of a proposal which is assigned an auxiliary NCN review panel specifying disciplines covered by NCN review panels other than the one to which the proposal was submitted, the chair of the expert team may decide to seek an auxiliary review from a member of another expert team (the so-called interdisciplinary proposals).
Then, based on the discussions, a list of proposals recommended for the second stage of evaluation is compiled by the expert team at the first meeting.
At the second stage, proposals are addressed to at least two reviewers who draft individual reviews based on the data included in the proposal and annexes thereto, with the exception of the short project description. Based on the reviews drafted by the reviewers and discussions at the second meeting, a ranking list of proposals recommended for funding is compiled by the expert team.
Additional information on the proposal evaluation procedure can be found in the Detailed procedure for evaluating proposals by the expert teams and in the tutorial video.
The evaluation of proposals focuses in particular on:
- compliance with the basic research criteria;
- the quality and innovative nature of the research or tasks to be performed;
- the impact of the research project on the advancement of the scientific discipline;
- assessment of the feasibility of the research;
- the scientific achievements of the principal investigator and the mentor, including publications in renowned academic press/journals;
- assessment of the results of research projects conducted by the principal investigator, funded by the NCN or from other sources;
- the relevance of the costs to be incurred with regards to the subject and scope of the research; and
- preparation of the proposal and compliance with other requirements set forth in the call text.
The detailed proposal evaluation criteria are now available.
Proposals are evaluated within the review panels (i.e. HS1, NZ1, ST1). Experts are selected by the NCN Council from among outstanding Polish and foreign researchers who are at least PhD holders. Expert teams are established for each call edition. The composition of the expert team is subject to the number and subjects of proposals submitted to each panel.
The call results will be announced on the NCN’s website and communicated to the applicants by way of a decision by the NCN Director within 6 months of the proposal submission date, by December 2022 at the latest.
Read the Information for Applicants available on the NCN's website.
Should you have any more questions or queries, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone:
If you plan to submit a proposal in the PRELUDIUM 21 call:
- read all call documents included in the call text, in particular:
- terms of the PRELUDIUM call;
- PRELUDIUM 21 proposal form template, where you can find out about information and annexes needed to complete the electronic proposal form in ZSUN/OSF;
- Regulations on awarding funding for research tasks funded by the National Science Centre;
- proposal submission procedure.
- obtain data from the host institution for the project that is required to complete the proposal and find out about the internal procedures that may affect the proposal and project performance (cost planned in the project, procedure for acquiring signature(s) of authorised representative(s) of the institution to confirm submission of the proposal);
- if the applicant is a group of Polish entities, an agreement on collaboration for the purposes of completion of the requested research project must be drafted;
- prepare acceptance letters from publishers confirming that the paper has been accepted for publication (when the scientific achievements section includes papers accepted for publication that have not been published yet).
Before the proposal is submitted to the NCN:
- make sure that all information in and annexes to the proposal are correct. Verification of the proposal for completeness in the ZSUN/OSF submission system by pressing the Sprawdź kompletność [Check completeness] button does not guarantee that all information has been entered correctly and that the required annexes have been attached;
- make sure that all tabs have been completed in the correct language;
- disable the final version of the proposal to the NCN;
- download the confirmation of proposal submission – to be signed by the principal investigator and authorised representative(s) of the host institution; and
- upload the signed confirmation of proposal submission.
Once the proposal is completed and all the required annexes attached, use the Wyślij do NCN [Send to NCN] button to submit the proposal to the NCN electronically via the ZSUN/OSF system.
Once the call for proposals has been closed:
- evaluation of proposals will be carried out;
- after each stage of evaluation, the funding decision by the NCN Director will be announced and delivered;
- if the proposal is recommended for funding, a research project funding agreement will be entered into;
- the project will be carried out pursuant to the funding agreement and Regulations on the implementation of research projects, fellowships and scholarships.
In the event of a breach of the call procedure or other formal infringements, the applicant may appeal against the decision of the NCN Director with the Committee of Appeals of the NCN Council. The appeal must be lodged within 14 days of the effective delivery of the decision.
Please read the rules according to which personal data are processed by the NCN.
- Terms of the PRELUDIUM call
- Regulations on awarding funding for research tasks funded by the National Science Centre
- NCN panels
- Regulations for awarding scholarships in the NCN-funded research projects
- Costs in research projects funded by NCN
- PRELUDIUM proposal form template
- Guides for Applicants to complete the proposal in the ZSUN/OSF submission system
- Agreement on collaboration for the purposes of completion of the requested research project
- State aid
- Guidelines for applicants to complete the Data Management Plan form in the proposal
- Guidelines for applicants to complete the Ethics Issues form in the proposal
- NCN’s Open Access Policy S
- Guidelines: NCN’s Open Access Policy
- The Code of the National Science Centre on research integrity and applying for research funding
- Proposal submission procedure
Documents concerning evaluation of proposals:
- Proposal evaluation criteria
- Expert Teams of the National Science Centre - formation and appointing
- Detailed procedure for evaluating proposals by the Expert Teams
- Service of decisions of the NCN Director
- Guidelines for appealing against the NCN Director’s decisions
Documents to be read before commencing NCN projects
- PRELUDIUM agreement template
- Order establishing a procedure for conducting audits on Host Institution’s premises
- Guidelines for entities auditing the implementation of research projects funded by the National Science Centre
- Evaluation of monographs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre