17 June 2019
Scientific coordinators announce the SONATA BIS 9 call for research projects in which the principal investigator must be a researcher with a PhD degree conferred within 5 to 12 years before the proposal submission year. The aim of the research project is to create a new research team to conduct basic research. Funds may be obtained in the call to cover remuneration for the new research team, including scholarships for students and PhD students, purchase or manufacturing of research equipment and for other costs relevant to the research project.
The Council of the National Science Centre decides to allocate PLN 120,000,000 for research projects to be carried out under the SONATA BIS 9 call.
Proposals may only be filed electronically via ZSUN/OSF, available at https://osf.opi.org.pl, in compliance with the proposal submission procedure.
The proposal submission deadline is 17 September 2019.
Please read the call documents provided in this announcement.
The proposal form in ZSUN/OSF will be made available at a later date.
Proposals in the call may be submitted by the following entities specified in the Act on the National Science Centre (NCN):
- Higher Education entity,
- federation 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 2018, item 1475),
- research institute operating pursuant to the Act on Research Institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 736);
- international research institute established pursuant to other acts and acting in the Republic of Poland,
- Łukasiewicz Centre operating pursuant to the Act on the Łukasiewicz Research Network of 21 February 2019 (Journal of Laws, item 534);
- institute operating within the Łukasiewicz Research Network,
- Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences,
- other entity involved in research independently on a continuous basis,
- group of entities (at least two entities mentioned in sections 1-7 or at least one institution as such together with at least one company),
- scientific and industrial centre laid down in the Act on Research Institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 736),
- research centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences laid down in the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010,
- scientific library,
- company operating as R&D centre within the meaning of the Act on Certain Forms of Support for Innovative Activity of 30 May 2008 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 141);
- legal entity with registered office in Poland,
- natural persons and
- company conducting research in another organisational form than laid down in sections 1-13.
The principal investigator must be a researcher with a PhD degree conferred within 5 to 12 years before the proposal submission year (between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2014). This period may be extended in specific cases (§6 (3) of the Resolution on the terms of the SONATA BIS call).
The researcher must have at least one paper published or accepted for publication. In the case of research in the arts, the principal investigator should have at least one paper published or accepted for publication or at least one artistic achievement or achievement in research in art completed.
Scientific achievements should cover the period of the last 10 years prior to the proposal submission year (as of 2009). In specific cases, the period can be extended (§ 7 (6) (a) of the Resolution on the terms of the SONATA BIS call).
Yes. Restrictions to submitting proposals are detailed in Chapter III of the Regulations on awarding funding for the implementation of research tasks funded by the National Science Centre as regards research projects.
A person may act as a principal investigator of a research project under the SONATA BIS call only once.
Proposals may be submitted to the call covering basic research in any of 25 NCN panels within the core areas: HS – Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; ST – Physical Sciences and Engineering; NZ – Life Sciences.
Please note that new amended NCN panels applicable to the calls have been in place since 14 December 2018.
In the call, research projects may be planned for a period of 36 months, 48 months or 60 months.
Creating a project budget is one of the most important aspects in the project planning which aims at identifying the required resources and estimating the costs. The project budget must be justified as regards the subject and scope of research, based on realistic calculations and must specify the expenditures to be covered by the NCN (eligible costs).
The terms of the call do not specify the total minimum or maximum amount of funding to be applied for.
Costs in the project include direct and indirect costs.
Direct costs include:
- full time remuneration: funds for full-time employment of the principal investigator or post-doc(s),
- additional remuneration for members of the research team,
- salaries and scholarships for students and PhD students,
- purchase or manufacturing of research equipment, devices and software,
- purchase of material and small equipment,
- outsourced services,
- business trips, visits and consultations,
- compensation for collective investigators, and
- other costs crucial to the research project which comply with the Types of costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre.
Indirect costs may not exceed 40 per cent of direct costs excluding costs of purchase or manufacturing of research equipment, devices and software. During the project, the host institution shall arrange with the principal investigator for the distribution of at least 25 per cent of the indirect costs’ value.
The budget must be compliant with the regulations applicable to the costs planned for the project, including the costs for the budget for remuneration and scholarships, specified in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre.
If an unjustified budget is planned, the proposal may be rejected.
The costs of publication of monographs (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) relying on research projects shall not be deemed qualified costs until positively reviewed in the NCN review process.
The terms of the call do not specify the minimum or maximum number of the research team members. Investigators involved in project other than the principal investigator cannot include:
- persons holding an academic title, title of professor, habilitation degree or equivalent degree or title. This condition must be met on the end of the call for proposals and does not apply to persons involved in the project who acquire their academic title, title of professor, habilitation degree or equivalent degree or title during the course of the project and
- persons who have cooperated in the implementation of a research project funded following a call for proposals.
In order to perform the tasks under the project, PhD student(s) should be employed for the total period of at least 36 months pursuant to the Types of costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre.
Under the SONATA BIS call, research teams may include persons employed at the specialist supporting position. Specialist supporting positions are full-time employment positions planned by the principal investigator for a person involved in solving research problems related to the project, with specialist knowledge and experience, such as lab-manager, senior technician, etc..
However, the rationale of involvement of individual members of the expert team in the project shall be evaluated by the expert team. The project must include the description of competencies and tasks to be performed by individual members of the expert team. The detailed information on the budget for remuneration and scholarships can be found in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre.
Please note that NCN scholarship recipients or persons employed as post-docs in the project must be selected in an open call.
Yes, unless funds are applied for by a natural person. Detailed information can be found in the State aid section.
If a project is carried out in an entity, for which funding constitutes state aid, funds for students and PhD students may be only be planned as remuneration for students and PhD students specified in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre.
PLEASE NOTE! All documents concerning proposals for state aid shall be signed with a qualified electronic signature in the PAdES format.
Proposals are subject to an eligibility check and merit based-evaluation.
Eligibility check is carried out by the coordinators. Only complete proposals that comply with all the requirements of the call announcement shall be accepted for merit-based evaluation.
Merit-based evaluations shall be performed in two stages.
At the first stage, proposals shall undergo a preliminary evaluation based on the data included in the proposal and attachments thereto, with the exception of the full project description. The preliminary evaluation shall consist in:
- individual reviews drafted by two members of the expert team and
- expert team’s verdict at the first meeting consisting in discussing the individual reviews.
After the discussion on all proposals, a ranking long list of proposals approved for the second stage of evaluation shall be drafted.
At the second stage, proposals shall undergo specialist evaluation based on the data included in the proposal and attachments thereto, with the exception of the short project description. The specialist evaluation shall consist in:
- individual reviews drafted by at least two experts,
- expert team’s verdict consisting in discussing the individual reviews and
- results of an interview with the principal investigator by the experts.
After the discussion on all proposals, a ranking short list of proposals recommended for funding shall be drafted.
An interview with the principal investigator shall be held at the second stage of merit-based evaluation in Polish or in English, at the registered office of the NCN and shall be held in January/ February 2020.
Additional information on the proposal evaluation procedure can be found in the Detailed procedure of evaluating proposals by expert teams.
PLEASE NOTE! The short and full project descriptions must be drawn up in English only.
In the evaluation of proposals, the following criteria shall be reviewed in particular:
- whether or not the criterion of basic research has been met,
- quality of research or tasks to be carried out,
- innovative nature of the research problem addressed,
- project’s impact on the advancement of the scientific discipline,
- scientific achievements of the principal investigator, including publications in renowned academic press/ journals,
- evaluation of other projects carried out by the principal investigator and funded by the NCN or from other sources,
- evaluation of feasibility of the project’s completion,
- rationale and creation of a new research team,
- relevance of the planned costs to the subject and scope of the research and
- additionally, development of the proposal and fulfilment of other requirements of the call announcement.
PLEASE NOTE: Appropriate application of the ethical aspects of research to be carried out and creation of data management plan shall be evaluated at the first and second stage of evaluation.
Proposals shall be evaluated by inter-panel teams (consisting of experts from respective panels, i.e. HZ, ST or NZ).
Experts shall be selected by the NCN Council from among eminent Polish and foreign researchers who are at least PhD holders. Expert teams shall be established for each call edition. The composition of the expert team shall be subject to the number and subjects of proposals submitted to each panel.
Proposals shall be evaluated pursuant to the Criteria for evaluating proposals submitted under the SONATA BIS call.
The call results shall 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 March 2020 at the latest.
For more information on the call, read the Information for applicants on the NCN's website.
Should you have any questions, please contact us by e-mail: email@example.com or by phone: +48 12 341 90 00.
If you are intending to submit a proposal to the SONATA BIS 9 call for research projects for advanced investigators aiming to conduct pioneering research, including interdisciplinary research, which is significant for the development of science, goes beyond the current state of knowledge and may result in ground-breaking scientific discoveries:
- read all call documents included in the call announcement, in particular:
- Resolution on the terms of the SONATA BIS call,
- specimen proposal form, 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 as regards research projects,
- find out about the proposal submission procedure;
- decide how long the project is to be: 36, 48 or 60 months,
- obtain data from the applicant 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),
- draw up:
- in English
- a summary of the research project,
- short and full project descriptions,
- information on the data management plan concerning data generated or used in the course of a research project,
- information on the ethical aspects of the project, including any consents, opinions, permits and/or approvals necessary to carry out the project in compliance with generally applicable laws and best practices adopted for a specific academic discipline,
- in Polish and in English: project’s abstract for the general public,
- in English
- when the proposal is submitted by a group of entities, draw up an Agreement on collaboration for the purposes of completion of the requested research project, and
- acquire and prepare letters of acceptance from publishers confirming that the paper has been accepted for publication (when the scientific achievements section includes papers accepted for publication but not published yet).
Before submitting an NCN proposal in the ZSUN/OSF system:
- make sure that all information in and annexes to the proposal are correct. Please note that the Sprawdź kompletność [Check completeness] in ZSUN/OSF provides information that all sections of the proposal have been completed. It does not, however, guarantee that all information entered is correct and/or required annexes have been attached;
- generate the final version of the NCN proposal;
- 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 in ZSUN/OSF.
Once the proposal is completed and all required annexes are attached, use the Wyślij do NCN [Send to NCN] button to submit the proposal to the NCN electronically via ZSUN/OSF.
Upon the end of the call for proposals:
- evaluation of proposals shall be carried out,
- after each stage of evaluation, the funding decision of the NCN Director shall be announced,
- if the proposal is qualified for funding, a Funding Agreement shall be entered into and
- the project shall 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 shall be lodged within 14 days of the effective delivery of the decision.
- Resolution on the terms of the SONATA BIS call
- Regulations on awarding funding for the implementation of research tasks funded by the National Science Centre as regards research projects
- NCN panels
- Regulations for awarding scholarships in the NCN-funded research projects
- Costs in research projects funded by NCN
- Specimen proposal form
- State aid
- Guidelines for applicants to complete the form in relation to ethical aspects of the project
- The Code of the National Science Centre on research integrity and applying for research funding
- Proposal evaluation criteria
- Expert Teams of the National Science Centre - formation and appointing
- Code of ethics for experts of the National Science Centre
- Detailed procedure of evaluating proposals by expert teams
- Proposal submission procedure
- Rules for delivering the NCN Director’s decisions
- Guidelines for lodging appeals against the NCN Director’s decisions
- Regulation on the implementation of inspection procedure at the registered office of the host institution
- Guidelines for entities auditing the implementation of research projects funded by the National Science Centre
- Guidelines for applicants to complete the project’s data management plan
- NCN Council Recommendations on research involving human participants