Science after a break – recruitment begins for the POWROTY/REINTEGRATION programme

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Over PLN 4 million awaits PhDs who want to return to conducting research after a break connected with work in another sector or parenting. On 1 March 2016, the Foundation for Polish Science is launching the first competition in the POWROTY/REINTEGRATION programme, financed from the Smart Growth Operational Programme. Applications may be filed through 15 April 2016.

“The growing need for researchers and increased spending on science, primarily thanks to EU funds, make a scientific career in Poland an attractive path for professional development,” said Dr Tomasz Poprawka, Deputy Director of the Programme Division at FNP. “The POWROTY/REINTEGRATION programme should encourage people to return to research after interrupting their R&D work at an early stage in their professional career.”

Time to return

The POWROTY/REINTEGRATION programme is designed for persons holding a doctorate (up to 5 years after obtaining their doctorate, with the possibility of extending this period to as long as 9 years under certain conditions) who are returning to conducting scientific research after an interruption of no less than 9 months. This break could be caused by work in another sector of the economy, or parenthood. According to Dr Poprawka, “The programme is also open to people who following their doctorate began work in the R&D sector but did not conduct scientific research, for example administrative staff or those working as science and technology brokers.”

At companies and universities

In the POWROTY/REINTEGRATION programme, projects may be pursued either in a scientific institution or at a firm, but in either case cooperation with a scientific partner is required. “The possibility of implementing projects in both of these places is essential for stimulating mobility and cooperation across sectors,” explained Dr Tomasz Poprawka. “Scientific institutions have an opportunity to gain people with experience in the commercial sector, and companies can increase their R&D teams, which there is a shortage of in Polish enterprises.”

PLN 800,000 per project

Projects eligible for funding in the POWROTY/REINTEGRATION programme will be those involving R&D work falling within the area of National Smart Specializations, particularly those involving development of technology, design of products or production processes, as well as projects with great potential for application or for solving an important scientific or socioeconomic problem. PLN 800,000 can be received for a two-year project. The funds may be used for such purposes as salaries, subcontracting, stipends, training and internships for HR development, and to cover a number of other costs connected with conducting R&D work. Businesses operating in Poland may also receive support covering up to 80% of financing for projects, based on rules for award of state aid.