JPI Urban Europe 2021 call announcement


29 January 2021

The National Science Centre (hereinafter: “NCN”), in cooperation with JPI Urban Europe, announces a call for international research projects under the ERA-NET Co-fund Urban Transformation Capacities (ENUTC) initiative, in the field of development of modern cities and urban areas. The topics covered by the call are described in detail in the call announcement.

Funding proposals may be submitted by international consortia composed of at least 3 research teams from at least 3 countries participating in the call. The principal investigator of the Polish research team must hold at least a PhD degree.

Countries participating in the call: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Sweden.

The application procedure:

  • First stage:
    • International level: a joint pre-proposal drafted by the Polish research teams in cooperation with the foreign partners (in English) and submitted to the electronic submission system UDiManager (www.uefiscdi-direct.ro) of the Romanian research funding agency UEFISCDI.

      PLEASE NOTE: At this stage, Polish applicants submit no documents to the NCN.

  • Second stage:
    • International level: a joint full proposal drafted by the Polish research teams in cooperation with the foreign partners (in English) and submitted to the electronic submission system UDiManager (www.uefiscdi-direct.ro) of the Romanian research funding agency UEFISCDI.
    • National level: an NCN proposal concerning the Polish part of the project drafted by the Polish research team and submitted to the NCN electronically via the ZSUN/OSF electronic submission system within 7 days of the joint full proposal submission date (international level). Please read the NCN proposal submission procedure.

Call Timeline:

  • Submission deadline for joint pre-proposals: 15 April 2021, 2 p.m. CET
  • Call for joint full proposals: June 2021
  • Submission deadline for joint full proposals: 23 September 2021, 2 p.m. CET
  • Submission deadline for NCN proposals in ZSUN/OSF: 30 September 2021
  • Call results: December 2021

Under the EN-UTC call, funds can be applied to cover salaries for members of the research team, salaries and scholarships for students and PhD students, purchase or construction of research equipment and other costs crucial to the research project.

The total funding allocated by the NCN for research tasks to be performed by the Polish research teams under the call is 500 000 EUR.

The EUR budget of the Polish part of the project in the joint proposal must be calculated according to the following exchange rate: 1 EUR = 4.2344 PLN.

Please read:

  • call documents available at the JPI Urban Europe network (applicable to all applicants in the call);
  • detailed information for applicants below and annexes hereto (applicable to applicants applying  for NCN funding).

Rozwiń wszystkie pytania»

Zwiń wszystkie pytania«

Who may apply for NCN funding?

NCN proposals may be submitted by the following entities specified in Article 27 (1) of the NCN Act (hereinafter: the “applicants”):

  1. universities,
  2. federations of science and HE entities,
  3. 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),
  4. research institutes operating pursuant to the Act on Research Institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 736);
  5. international research institutes established pursuant to other acts and acting in the Republic of Poland,

5a. Łukasiewicz Centre operating pursuant to the Act on the Łukasiewicz Research Network of 21 February 2019 (Journal of Laws, item 534);

5b. institutes operating within the Łukasiewicz Research Network,

  1. Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences,
  2. other entities involved in research independently on a continuous basis,
  3. groups of entities (at least two entities mentioned in sections 1-7 or at least one institution as such together with at least one company),
  4. scientific and industrial centres laid down in the Act on Research Centres (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 736),
  5. research centres of the Polish Academy of Sciences laid down in the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010,
  6. scientific libraries,
  7. companies operating as R&D centres laid down in the Act on certain forms of support for innovation activities of 30 May 2008 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 141),
  8. legal entities with registered office in Poland,
  9. natural persons and
  10. companies conducting research in other organisational form than set forth in sections 1-13.

If research projects are to be carried out by two or more Polish partners applying for NCN funding, they must set up a group of entities (see item 8 above) and as such submit NCN proposals. An NCN proposal is submitted by a leader specified in the research project cooperation agreement concluded by the group of entities. An entity employing the principal investigator acts as the leader of the group of entities.

If, pursuant to Article 27 (1) (2) of the NCN Act, Polish entities cannot set up groups of entities, they are not eligible to apply for NCN funding of a joint research project.

PLEASE NOTE: A template research project cooperation agreement was amended on 10 March 2021.
Agreements drafted according to the previous template will also be accepted

Who may act as a principal investigator?

The principal investigator of the Polish research team must hold at least a PhD degree when submitting a proposal. Additional restrictions are described in detail in Chapter IV of the terms and regulations on awarding funding for research tasks funded or co-funded under international calls launched by the National Science Centre and carried out as multilateral collaboration UNISONO, annexed to NCN Council Resolution No 137/2020 of 11 December 2020.

What are the topics covered by the call ?

The call covers the following topics related to the development of cities and urban areas in the area of urban transformation capacities:

  • Topic 1: Urban circular economies
  • Topic 2: Community-based developments and urban innovation ecosystems
  • Topic 3: Robust and resilient urban infrastructure and built environment

More information on the subject of the call can be found in the EN-UTC call announcement.

What is the project duration period?

Research projects may be planned in the call for a period of either 24 or 36 months.

How should the Polish budget be planned?

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 required to perform the research tasks. The project budget must be based on realistic calculations and must comply with the guidelines provided in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre within the multilateral collaboration UNISONO.

The maximum budget of the Polish research team is not pre-determined; however, the justification of the expenses versus the scope of tasks is assessed by an international expert team.

The budget in the NCN proposal should be quoted in PLN, while the budget in the joint proposal, in EUR.

The EUR budget for the Polish part of the research project in the joint proposal must be calculated according to the following exchange rate: 1 EUR = 4.2344 PLN.

Eligible costs in the project include direct and indirect costs.

Direct costs include:

  1. remuneration:
    • full-time employment: funds for full-time employment of the principal investigator or post-doc(s);
    • additional salaries for members of the research team;
    • remuneration and scholarships for students and PhD students;
  2. purchase or construction of research equipment, devices and software;
  3. purchase of materials and small equipment;
  4. outsourcing;
  5. business trips, visits and consultations;
  6. compensation for collective investigators;
  7. other costs crucial to the project.

Indirect costs may not exceed 20% of direct costs. Additionally, indirect costs of up to 2% of direct costs may be spent on open access to publications and research data.

Remuneration of administrative staff and costs of conference organisation (rental of rooms, catering) may be financed solely as indirect expenses.

We recommend that Polish applicants should consult the budget table of the Polish part of the project with the NCN. The budget table in .xlsx format should be sent to alicja.dylag@ncn.gov.pl by 7 April 2021.

Are there any restrictions on the size of the Polish research team?

The terms of the call do not specify the minimum or maximum number of the research team members. Detailed information on the costs of remuneration and scholarships is provided in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the NCN within the multilateral collaboration UNISONO.

Please note that recipients of NCN scholarships or persons employed as post-docs in the project must be recruited in an open call procedure. Please read the Regulations for awarding scholarships in NCN-funded research projects.

Scholarship recipients and post-docs must not be named in either joint or NCN proposals.

Can proposals in this call include application for state aid?

Yes. Detailed information can be found in the State aid rules.

What is the proposal evaluation procedure?

Joint proposals are subject to an eligibility check performed by the NCN, other members of the EN-UTC Programme consortium and the Secretariat of the EN-UTC Call 2021.

Joint proposals successfully evaluated during the eligibility check are subject to merit-based evaluation carried out by an international expert team in line with the principles specified in the call announcement.

NCN proposals are subject solely to an NCN eligibility check carried out by the scientific coordinators.

The eligibility check of NCN proposals involves verification of proposal for completeness, compliance with all terms set forth in the call documents and Resolution No 137/2020 of the NCN Council, including compliance of the budget with the Annex thereto (Costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre in international calls carried out as multilateral collaboration Unisono).

PLEASE NOTE: The information provided in NCN proposals and in joint full proposals must be consistent and joint full proposals annexed to NCN proposals must be consistent with joint full proposals submitted on the international level.

Who performs the merit-based evaluation of proposals?

Only joint proposals are subject to merit-based evaluation. Merit-based evaluation is performed  by an expert team appointed by the EN-UTC network. More information on the evaluation of proposals is available in call announcement available at the website of the JPI Urban Europe network.

Open Access Policy

Together with other European cOAlition S agencies, the National Science Centre has drafted its open access policy. In accordance with its vision of open access to research results and publications, the NCN requires that all research results should be made available in full and 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 (VoR2) or the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM3) is published, by the author or publisher, in an open repository immediately upon the article’s online publication;
  • publication in 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).

When and how will the results be announced?

The EN-UTC Call 2021 will be concluded by the time specified in the call documents (December 2021). Firstly, project coordinators will be informed about the outcome. Polish research teams will be notified by way of decisions of the NCN Director.

Useful information

In the event of a breach of the call procedure or other formal infringements related to actions performed by the NCN, the applicant may lodge an appeal against the decision of the NCN Director with the Committee of Appeals of the NCN Council within 14 days of the date the decision has been served.

Where can additional information be found?

Before submitting an NCN proposal on the national level:

  1. make sure that the information in and annexes to the proposal are correct. Checking the proposal for completeness in ZSUN/OSF with the Sprawdź kompletność [Check completeness] button does not guarantee that all information entered is correct and the required annexes have been attached;
  2. disable the final version of the proposal to the NCN;
  3. download the confirmation of proposal submission which must be signed by the principal investigator and authorised representative(s) of the host institution;
  4. 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.

Useful information

For more information on the call, please go to the website of the JPI Urban Europe network.

For detailed terms and regulations on awarding NCN funding in the call, please refer to the Annex to NCN Council Resolution No 137/2020.

Should you have any questions, please contact us by e-mail or by phone:

Call documents

The JPI Urban Europe – EN UTC network:

The call documents applicable to all applicants are available at the website of the JPI Urban Europe network.

The National Science Centre

  1. Terms and regulations on awarding funding for research tasks funded or co-funded under international calls launched by the National Science Centre and carried out as multilateral collaboration UNISONO
  2. Regulations for awarding scholarships in NCN-funded research projects
  3. Budget table of the Polish research team
  4. Proposal submission procedure (NCN calls)
  5. Agreement on the formation of a group of entities for the purposes of completion of the research project [PLEASE NOTE: A template research project cooperation agreement was amended on 10 March 2021. Agreements drafted according to the previous template will also be accepted. Old templatate]
  6. State aid rules
  7. Guidelines for applicants to complete the data management plan form in the proposal
  8. Guidelines for applicants to complete the ethics issues form in the proposal
  9. Code of the National Science Centre on research integrity and applying for research funding
  10. Open access policy at the NCN
  11. Rules for delivering the NCN Director’s decisions
  12. Guidelines for appealing against the NCN Director’s decisions
  13. Personal data processing at NCN since 25 May 2018 (GDPR)
  14. Agreement template (to be published at a later date)
  15. Order on the implementation of inspection procedure at the registered office of the host institution
  16. Guidelines for entities auditing the implementation of research projects funded by the National Science Centre