Over PLN 270 million from FNP for scientists in 2017

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This year the Foundation for Polish Science intends to devote over PLN 270 million to the support of research conducted by scientists in Poland. Over half of that amount will go to the International Research Agendas programme, in which autonomous new centres of excellence will be established in Poland.

The IRA programme, conducted by the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) since 2015, is designed to enable the creation of specialized, world-class science centres. They will conduct top-quality scientific research and development work on current, clearly defined scientific challenges. The IRA programme is aimed at distinguished scientists from Poland and abroad who seek to head up a project and manage the entire unit during the initial period of its existence. A necessary condition for applying and carrying out an IRA project is cooperation with a renowned foreign research institution. Each project can obtain support in the amount necessary to pursue the research agenda. The suggested level of funding over 5 years is about PLN 35 million, with the possibility of an increase.

According to Prof. Maciej Żylicz, president of the Foundation for Polish Science, “The International Research Agendas programme provides an opportunity to set a new standard in Poland for conducting research, support innovation, and create new jobs for the best scientists. The project will be successful only when new institutions are built around scientists with significant research record, in cooperation with a strategic foreign partner.”

The third competition in the IRA programme will be announced in April of this year. Scientists will have until the end of June to file applications. The fourth and final call for applications in the programme will be held in April to June 2018. The total budget of the IRA project is over PLN 526 million. These funds will enable creation of up to 10 institutions pursuing International Research Agendas in Poland, chosen in the four competitions.


Pictured (from left), Prof. Tomasz Wojtowicz and Prof. Tomasz Dietl from the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, winners in the first IRA competition. The researchers received funds to create the International Centre for Interfacing Magnetism and Superconductivity with Topological Matter (MagTop) in Poland. The centre will conduct interdisciplinary research on materials science, nanotechnology, and semiconductor physics. Photo: One HD.

 Apart from the IRA programme, the Foundation offers grants for young and experienced researchers financed out of the EU’s Smart Growth Operational Programme. Funding may be sought by researchers holding at least a doctorate, regardless of nationality. Projects can be realized at a research institution, an enterprise, or in some programmes in a scientific/industrial consortium. Depending on the programme, winners may receive from several hundred thousand to several million zlotys for realization of innovative R&D projects falling within Poland’s National Smart Specializations—defined fields of the economy where Poland has potential to develop and compete on a global level. Firms can also obtain this support. They can receive up to 80% financing for projects based on principles for award of state aid.

The most funds will be earmarked for creation of research teams. Financing is available for experienced scientists seeking to pursue groundbreaking research of international importance (the TEAM programme), and for young PhDs seeking support to establish their first teams (FIRST TEAM programme). A special offer is aimed at scientists with great experience in implementation of research results. The TEAM-TECH and TEAM-TECH Core Facility programmes were created with them in mind. In TEAM-TECH, R&D projects are funded connected with development of technology, products and processes of great importance for the economy. TEAM-TECH Core Facility offers funds for creation or expansion of research services using available apparatus. The Foundation also helps young PhDs return to scientific work after a break for parenthood or work outside of science (POWROTY/REINTEGRATION programme). In the HOMING programme, grants are offered for postdoctoral fellowships for researchers wanting to come to Poland or return here from abroad. Competitions in these programmes will be announced through the end of 2019, on average twice a year. Recruitment is currently underway for FIRST TEAM, HOMING and POWROTY/REINTEGRATION, and applications can be filed until 15 March 2017.

The youngest and most talented researchers representing all fields of inquiry can apply for stipends in the START programme, which is aimed at providing financial support for young scientists during the difficult beginning of their research career, so they can fully devote themselves to scientific work. The competition is open to researchers who have not yet reached age 30 by the application deadline. The main criterion for evaluation of candidates is the quality and originality of their scientific accomplishments and research achievements to date. The call for applications will be conducted in the autumn.


Pictured, Dr Michał Tomza from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Warsaw, a winner in the START programme (physical chemistry), recognized by the reviewers in the competition for the highest-rated scientific achievement. Photo: Magdalena Wiśniewska-Krasińska.

Authors interested in publication of their works in the humanities and social sciences are encouraged to file applications in the MONOGRAPHS programme. Funding will cover the costs of publication of works in the FNP MONOGRAPHS series as well as the author’s honorarium.

We encourage you to learn more about our programme line-up for 2017.


Detailed information about the rules for filing applications is found at the programme sites:

* Pictured (top), Dr Izabela Stefanowicz-Pięta from the Institute of Physical Chemistry at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, a winner in the first competition in the POWROTY/REINTEGRATION programme. Dr Stefanowicz-Pięta received a grant for a project involving the search for alternative fuels from waste. Photo: One HD.