START 2019 laureates announced

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The Foundation for Polish Science has for the 27th time awarded START stipends for the most talented young scientists from all over Poland. This year stipends will be received by 100 young researchers. The amount of each one-year stipend is PLN 28,000, and the total amount earmarked by the Foundation for the START stipends in 2019 is about PLN 3 million.

START is the largest stipend programme in Poland for the best researchers under age 30 representing all scientific disciplines. It is the Foundation?s longest-running programme. The group of laureates from all competitions, including this year?s, now totals over 3,000 people. The stipends, which can be used by the laureates for any purpose, are designed to provide financial support for young scientists at the early beginnings of their research careers and to enable them to devote themselves fully to science.

The stipends are awarded through a multi-stage competition assessing the quality of the candidates? accomplishments to date. The winners of the 2019 competition were chosen from among 899 candidates. The average age of the laureates is almost 29, and 60% of the winners hold a doctorate (whereas the average age at which a doctorate is obtained in Poland is about 35).

Since 2009 the Foundation has also awarded distinctions to candidates whose research achievements are found by the reviewers in the competition to be outstanding. The stipends for these persons are increased to PLN 36,000. This year distinctions were awarded to four laureates:

  • Agata Perlińska and Michał Parniak-Niedojadło from the Centre of New Technologies at the University of Warsaw
  • Dr Rafał Szabla from the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw
  • Michał Włodarczyk from the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics at the University of Warsaw.

The Barbara Skarga Stipend is also awarded as part of the START programme, to an individual whose research is distinguished by boldly crossing the boundaries between various fields of inquiry, opening up new research perspectives, and creating new values in science. This year?s winner of the Barbara Skarga Stipend is Dr Joanna Rak from the Faculty of Political Science and Journalism at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. She will receive an augmented stipend of PLN 36,000.

The stipends in this year?s competition are financed with the Foundation?s own funds and with gifts from private donors and firms?the Institute of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine and the company SensDx. Stipends for economists and mathematicians in the 2019 competition are funded by the National Bank of Poland as part of its economic education programme. In addition, the Foundation uses funds from contributions of 1% of individuals? personal income tax for the augmented stipends of laureates receiving distinctions.

The award ceremony for the laureates will be held on 25 May 2019 at the Royal Castle in Warsaw. Recruitment for the next competition will begin this autumn.

Our warm congratulations to all the winners!

2019 START competition in numbers

  • PLN 3,000,000 is the total amount devoted by the Foundation for Polish Science to stipends in the 27th START competition.
  • 899 applications were filed in the competition.
  • 100 laureateswere named (12% of applicants).
  • The laureates include 58 men and 42
  • 60% of the laureates (60 individuals) hold a doctorate, including 27 women and 33 men.
  • The fields most often represented by the laureates are the technical sciences (23 stipends), the humanities and social sciences (15), the biological sciences (14), the chemical sciences (13), the medical sciences (10), and the physical sciences (8).
  • The institutions that are home to the largest number of laureates are the University of Warsaw (9), Jagiellonian University, Kraków (8), Wrocław University of Science and Technology and the University of Wrocław (7 each), the University of Gdańsk, Warsaw University of Technology and Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań (5 each), and AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków (4).
  • The cities from which the most laureates are drawn are Warsaw (30), Kraków (16), Wrocław (15), Poznań (11), and Gdańsk (7).
  • The research institutions with which winners are most often affiliated are universities (80 winners, including 21 from universities of technology) and institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences (19).

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