Nearly 54.5 million PLN awarded to young researchers for scholarships, research projects and fellowships within the framework of the ETIUDA 7, SONATINA 3 and UWERTURA 3 calls

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

The National Science Centre will fund 159 doctoral scholarships, 50 projects conducted by researchers up to three years after being awarded a PhD degree, and 5 fellowships in foreign research teams for those applying for ERC grants.

The ETIUDA call is targeted at researchers at the outset of their academic career, who are in the process of preparing their PhD dissertation. The seventh edition of the call attracted 381 proposals, 159 of which were selected for funding, giving a success rate of more than 41%. In total, young researchers will receive almost 18.4 million PLN worth of grant money. The winners will be paid academic scholarships of 4.5 thousand PLN per month and get a chance to complete a fellowship at a foreign research centre of their choice. To cover their expenses abroad, they will be awarded a scholarship of c. 6 to 18 thousand PLN per month, depending on the host country. The fellowship may be completed during the scholarship period or up to a year after its end. The winners are also obliged to earn their PhD degree no earlier than 6 months from the beginning of the scholarship and no later than one year after its end.

Open to researchers who earned their PhD degree up to three years ago, this year saw the third SONATINA call. Applicants had to present up to 10 published research works, the most important of which had to be attached to their proposal. In total, the National Science Centre received 190 proposals; out of these, expert teams recommended 50 for a total funding of more than 35.6 million PLN, giving a success rate of 26%. The grant covers the full-time employment of the winner at a Polish research entity, the costs of the research project and a 3- to 6-month fellowship at a foreign research institution. Projects may last either 24 or 36 months. The call does not cover the purchase of research equipment, devices or software.

These researchers, young both in terms of age and career level, are the most active group when it comes to the number of submitted and qualified proposals. This is why it is important to make sure that the grant offer takes their needs and expectations into account”, says Professor Zbigniew Błocki, Director of the National Science Centre, “An important component of calls targeted at the group is the chance to complete a fellowship at a foreign research centre, which gives young researchers an opportunity to work in an international research team and gain experience that can then be transplanted to the home country”.

Under the UWERTURA call, slightly more experienced researchers may apply for fellowships in foreign research teams that carry out grants awarded by the European Research Council (ERC). The call aims to support Polish researchers in a successful application for European funds. Thanks to their cooperation with eminent scientists, Polish researchers boost their chances of making the cut in ERC calls. The call was open to PhD degree holders (minimum) who acted or act as principal investigators in a research project funded from NCN resources. In the third edition of UWERTURA, the NCN received 21 proposals, five of which were awarded funding to a total amount of 402,315 PLN. Once they have returned from their fellowships, the researchers will have 18 months to prepare and submit their own grant proposal to the ERC.

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