START 2020 recruitment launched

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From today, 17 September 2019, through the end of October, young researchers can file applications for stipends in the START programme (2020 competition).

The START stipend is a distinction for the most talented young researchers awarded in recognition of their scientific accomplishments. Researchers from all disciplines who are not over age 30 in the year of application are eligible. This year that means persons born in 1989 or later, regardless of the month and day of birth. An age extension may also be available as set forth in the programme rules.

The principal criteria in the competition are the quality and originality of the candidate’s scientific accomplishments to date, as well as his or her single most important research achievement. In recent years the amount of the one-year stipend has been PLN 28,000. The stipend may be used by the laureate for any purpose.

Distinctions will also be awarded in the START programme to outstanding candidates whose scientific achievements are rated the most highly by the competition reviewers. Those laureates will receive an increased stipend.

Applications filed in the START competition will also be considered in the competition for the Prof. Barbara Skarga stipend. The stipend winner in this competition will be a person whose research boldly crosses boundaries between various fields of inquiry, opening up new research perspectives, and creating new values in science. The winner’s stipend will also be increased.

We invite all candidates to apply for a travel stipend to a foreign research centre of the candidate’s choosing. Travel stipends are awarded to laureates after the START competition is decided, under the rules set forth in the Application Instructions.

The application evaluation process includes several stages and is conducted under a peer-review system by scientists who are recognized authorities in the given field. Applications are first assessed by at least two experts and then by an expert panel, which forwards the best applications for review. Each application qualifying for this phase is evaluated by three more reviewers. The final decision on award of the stipend is made by the Executive Board of the Foundation and approved by the Foundation Council.

We encourage young researchers interested in taking part in the competition to examine the START Programme Rules and the Application Instructions, available on the programme site. These documents include detailed information about the phases of the competition procedure, the evaluation criteria, and the method for filing applications.

Stipends in the 2020 competition will be financed from the Foundation’s own budget and from funds provided by programme partners the National Bank of Poland (as part of its economic education programme) and the PZU Foundation, as well as firms of START programme laureates: Dawid Nidzworski’s SensDX and Institute of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine, and Paweł Soluch’s Neurodevice. In addition, stipends will also be financed through funds provided by donors and by taxpayers assigning 1% of their personal income tax to the Foundation.

Applications in the 2020 START competition may be filed from 17 September through 31 October 2019. The results will be announced in May 2020.

Note! According to the rules, a laureate may receive a START stipend only once.

Good luck to all the candidates!

More about the START programme