The Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) has granted START stipends for the 26th time to the most talented young scientists from all over Poland. This year the money will go to 100 young researchers. The annual stipend amount per person is PLN 28,000.
START is Poland’s biggest stipend programme for leading young researchers aged under 30 representing all fields of learning. It is the longest-running FNP programme. So far, including this year’s call for applications, the programme has had more than 2,900 beneficiaries. The stipends, which beneficiaries are free to spend as they wish, are aimed at providing financial support to young scientists during the difficult time of launching their careers and enabling them to dedicate themselves wholly to research.
In this year’s call for applications, beneficiaries were chosen by way of a competition from among 890 candidates. The average age of the beneficiaries is 28, and 48% of them have a doctoral degree (in Poland the average age for obtaining a PhD is ca. 35).
Since 2009 the Foundation has also been giving special recognition to candidates whose research achievements receive the highest marks from the competition reviewers. The main criterion to receive special recognition is the exceptional quality of the candidate’s research, recognised as being outstanding. This year two beneficiaries received special recognition and their stipends were raised to PLN 36,000, to be fully financed from money the FNP has received from donations of 1% of personal income tax to public benefit organizations. In 2018 these stipends went to:
Przemysław Mróz, MSc, from the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Warsaw
Michał Winiarski, PhD Eng., from the Faculty of Applied Physics and Mathematics of the Gdańsk University of Technology
The START programme also includes the Barbara Skarga Scholarship. It can be awarded to someone whose research boldly overcomes interdisciplinary boundaries, opens up new research perspectives and creates new values in science. This year the Barbara Skarga Scholarship went to Karolina Finc, MSc, from the Centre for Modern Interdisciplinary Technologies of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. She will receive a stipend raised to PLN 36,000.
The grant award ceremony will be held on 26 May 2018 at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. The next call for applications will be this autumn.
Congratulations to all the beneficiaries!