Laureates of the UWERTURA 2 call named

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Today we learned the results of the second edition of the UWERTURA call proposals, in which entrants competed for fellowships in international research teams carrying out ERC grants. The National Science Centre has received proposals from 21 researchers, of whom 8 will be awarded the total sum of €156,000.

UWERTURA’s aim is to help Polish researchers successfully apply for European resources, and to increase their share among the recipients of ERC (European Research Council) grants. Those eligible were scholars with a doctorate or higher level of academic qualification, who have carried out an NCN-funded research project as principal investigator. The laureates, awarded the status of fellows, will join research teams abroad in their work on ERC-funded projects and within 18 months of returning to Poland, the visiting researchers will prepare and submit a research proposal to ERC themselves.

The essence of UWERTURA is the opportunity it offers to work alongside excellent researchers, winners of ERC grants. The applicants themselves choose the teams they want to join should their fellowship application prove successful. We are positive that working with international research teams will be for them a springboard to success later on, when they seek to secure grants from the European Research Council, said Professor Zbigniew Błocki, director of the NCN. As a matter of fact, we have already had our first success in this regard, as the laureate of the UWERTURA 1 call, Dr Tomasz Żuradzki of Jagiellonian University was among those awarded with ERC Starting Grants. Dr Żuradzki works on a new interpretation of the ethical disputes over contemporary advances in medicine.

In UWERTURA’s second edition, 21 researchers applied for fellowships, while 8 of them will go abroad to carry out research. For 3 to 6 months they will collaborate with eminent European scholars from the best centres. Dr Michał Tomza of the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw will be a fellow at the University of Innsbruck, working with Professor Francesca Ferlaino. He will investigate new dimensions in ultracold complex quantum molecular systems. Dr Błażej Nikiel-Wroczyński, of the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science, Jagiellonian University (UJ) will conduct low frequency studies of atypical, poor galaxy systems. To that end, he will use the International LOFAR Telescope and the LoTSS Survey. The fellowship will be hosted by the University of Leiden, under the supervision of Professor Hubertus Röttgerin. Dr Piotr Micek of the Faculty of Mathematics and Information Technologies, UJ, focuses his research interests on the structure theory for posets. To study the subject he will go on a fellowship to Berlin’s Technical University, to work in the research team led by Professor Stephan Kreutzer. Dr inż. Błażej Scheibe of the NanoBioMedical Centre, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (UAM) will also go to Berlin. At the Humboldt University he will investigate Van der Waals heterostructures and nanocomposites based on MXenes and hexagonal layered 2D nanomaterials. The principal investigator of the fellow’s host team is Dr. rer. nat. Michael J. Bojdys. Another laureate in the same field of physical sciences and engineering is Dr Łukasz Pawlik of the Faculty of Earth Sciences, the University of Silesia in Katowice. In his project WINDIMPACT, Dr Pawlik will carry out research into extreme windstorms affecting European forests under climate change and their long-term impacts on bio-geomorphic and paedogenic systems. His fellowship will take him to the University of Reading in the UK. He will join a research team led by Professor Sandy P. Harrison.

The only laureate of the UWERTURA 2 representing life sciences is Dr Michał Bogdziewicz of the Faculty of Biology, UAM. His hosts will be the team of Professor Josep Peñuelas at the Global Ecology Unit CREAF-CSIC-UAB in Spain. His project entitled EXPMAST envisages experimental tests of mechanisms driving variability in the reproduction of trees. In the field of arts, humanities and social sciences, fellowships have been awarded to Dr Michał Marciak and Professor Dariusz Jemielniak. The former works at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Technology, University of Rzeszów, and he carries out interdisciplinary research on the cultural, economic, military and political aspects of the presence of the Imperium Romanum in Mesopotamia. He will continue his work with Professor Caroline Warzeggers at the University of Leiden. Professor Jemielniak of Kozminski University will be a fellow at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, where in the team of Professor Samer Hassan he will examine online communities and knowledge-legitimation systems such as alterscience, citizen science and open collaboration.

To see the list of the projects approved for funding, click here.