Stipends for young, talented researchers – employees or doctoral students at an institution of higher learning in Poland or other Polish institution whose chartered purposes include conducting scientific research – at the outset of their career, who have already achieved some success in their field.


The programme is directed to young researchers, at the outset of their career, who have already achieved some success in their field. The stipends serve as recognition of the scientific attainments so far by these young scholars and as an incentive for further growth by enabling them to devote themselves fully to their research.


Applications may be filed in the programme by scientists with original research accomplishments who will not be over age 30 during the year of filing the application. Applicants over age 30 may also apply if they meet the additional conditions provided in the competition documentation. Young scholars are eligible to apply for stipends if they:

  • are doctoral students in Poland or are performing R&D work in Poland at an entity with conducting scientific research and development as one of its statutory purposes,
  • can demonstrate documented scientific accomplishments.



In the next edition the Foundation will grant circa 100 annual stipends.

Selected START stipendees are eligible to gain additional financial support covering travel expenditures to one or two research centers abroad.

Starting from 2010 edition, the stipends for the competition winners who obtained the top marks in each of three fields—the humanities and social sciences, the natural sciences and medicine, and the exact and technical sciences—will be increased by funds obtained by the Foundation from contributions to public charities (assignments of 1% of personal income tax).

The Foundation may also award the special Prof. Barbara Skarga Stipend, worth PLN 36,000, to the winner of the START programme whose research proves boldest in breaking down barriers between academic disciplines.

The Prof. Adam Sobiczewski Fund has also been established as part of the START programme. The purpose of the fund is to provide supplemental financing for selected stipends awarded to the highest rated winners in the START programme pursuing research in fields close to the interests of the founder: theoretical physics, mathematics, and astronomy.


Registration of candidates applying for a stipend is conducted via Internet. Only after completing the online form will it be possible to print it out and send it by post to the FNP office (I. Krasickiego 20/22, 02-611 Warszawa), without any notation on the envelope.

Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of their scientific achievements. Applications for stipends may be filed by the institutions employing or educating the candidates, or by the candidates directly. Applications must be signed by the president or vice-president of the university, or in the case of institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences or other research units, by the director or deputy director of the institution.


Call for proposals in the START 2018 competition has been completed, results will be announced in May 2018.
The call for the START 2019 competition will begin in September 2018.


Additional info

Thanks to an agreement between the FNP and the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings (Nobelpreisträgertagungen in Lindau), the Foundation – as the only organization in Poland – can propose candidates for participation in these meetings. The candidates are selected from recipients of scholarships from the START programme, targeted at the best young Polish scientists. The costs of their participation in the Lindau meeting are covered by the Foundation and the organisers.


Files to download

Archived files for download