30 July 2021
The National Science Centre (NCN) and the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) herby announce the ARTIQ call. The objective of the call is to fund projects that may increase Poland’s scientific and R&D potential in the area of artificial intelligence (AI). To this end, three AI Centres of Excellence (AI CE) will be created, i.e. highly specialised teams working at Polish Host Institutions and headed by high-class scientists, known as Leaders, with international reputation and outstanding research, implementation and organization record.
The call will provide funding for basic research (funded by the NCN) and industrial research, development, and preliminary work, as well as support the formation of special purpose vehicles (funded by the NCBR).
The call total budget is 60 million PLN.
Proposals must be submitted electronically via the LSI submission system, available at https://lsi.ncbr.gov.pl.
The proposal submission deadline in the LSI submission system is from 20 September to 20 December 2021, 4 p.m.
The results of the call will be announced within 12 months of the proposal submission deadline.
Please read the full call announcement available on the website of the NCBR and the call documents provided in this announcement.
Please note: At the proposal submission stage, Applicants do not need to submit any documents to the NCN.
The call is open to proposals for research and R&D work in the area of artificial intelligence. The projects must include basic research, industrial research, development and/or preliminary work; the grant may also cover the formation of special purposes vehicles. A complementary contribution of individual types of research (basic, industrial, development, preliminary work) must be ensured so that the research forms a single, coherent, joint project.
The following may take on the role of Applicant (Host Institution) under the call:
- federation of science and higher education entities,
- research institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences, operating pursuant to the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1183, as amended),
- research institutes operating pursuant to the Act on Research Institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1350, as amended),
- international research institutes established pursuant to separate Acts, operating in the Republic of Poland,
- Łukasiewicz Centre operating pursuant to the Act on the Łukasiewicz Research Network of 21 February 2019 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 534),
- institutes operating within the Łukasiewicz Research Network,
- Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences,
- other entities involved in independent research on a continuous basis, and
- research centres of the Polish Academy of Sciences within the meaning of the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1183, as amended).
Before announcing the call, we opened the application process for potential Host Institutions. Below, you will find a list of Host Institutions that have expressed an interest in creating AI CEs within their organizational structure.
- The Łukasiewicz Research Network – EMAG Institute for Innovative Technologies (download info)
- Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (download info)
- University of Wrocław(download info)
- National Centre for Nuclear Research (download info)
- Jagiellonian University in Kraków (download info)
- Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences (download info)
- Institute of Computer Science, Polish Academy of Sciences (download info)
- Scientific and Academic Computer Network – National Research Institute (download info)
- Łódź University of Technology (download info)
- Łukasiewicz Research Network – Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements (download info)
- Silesian University of Technology (download info)
- Ludwik Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences (download info)
- Kraków University of Science and Technology (download info)
- Wrocław University of Science and Technology (download info)
- Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences (download info)
- University of Warsaw (download info)
- Poznań University of Technology (download info)
- Institute of Fundamental Technological Research, Polish Academy of Sciences (download info)
- Medical University of Białystok (download info)
- Warsaw University of Technology (download info)
The list should make it easier for future Leaders to find an entity within which to create an AI Centre of Excellence. The Leader may establish a cooperation with one of the listed entities or file an application in collaboration with an institution not featured on the list, as long as it meets all the requirements specified in the call documents.
In their proposal, Applicants must declare:
- an average annual financial contribution of at least 100,000 PLN for every year of project duration, to go exclusively toward the costs of relocation and other eligible costs, in accordance with the terms and conditions outlined in documents “ARTIQ – AI Centres of Excellence costs of funding basic research by the NCN” and the NCBR’s “Cost eligibility guide”,
- administrative and financial support for the implementation of the project, including support for the relocation and daily life of the Leader in Poland (which may include childcare, if applicable),
- their readiness to hire full-time administrative coordinators assigned to the AI CE for the entire duration of the project, who should also be fluent in Polish and English (the costs of their employment are not included in the Applicant’s contribution).
In order to qualify as a Leader, a researcher must:
- have an outstanding research track record and international experience in the area of artificial intelligence, including successful commercialization and business cooperation ventures,
- hold a PhD degree, earned up to 8 years before the proposal submission start date (i.e. no earlier than 20 September 2013). This period may be extended by a time of long-term (in excess of 90 days) documented sick leaves or rehabilitation leaves granted on account of being unfit to work, which occurred after 20 September 2013. In addition, the period may be extended by the number of months of a childcare leave granted pursuant to the Labour Code and in the case of women, by 18 months for every child born or adopted, whichever manner of accounting for career breaks is preferable,
- not have lived (i.e. stayed in Poland with an aim of permanent residence), worked or studied in Poland or coordinated a grant implemented in Poland within the last two years prior to the proposal submission deadline.
Please note: The Leader must stay in Poland for 100% of the project duration period. This period includes business trips necessary for the project, in particular involving participation in conferences and/or library and archive research.
The Leader must be a person employed by the Host Institution for the entire project duration period pursuant to a full-time employment contract.
The basic terms and conditions for submitting proposals are as follows:
- the proposal must include basic research, funded by the NCN, as well as industrial research, development and/or preliminary work. It is also possible to plan costs for the formation of special purpose vehicles funded by the NCBR. A complementary contribution of the individual types of research/work should be ensured so that they form a single, coherent, joint project,
- the tasks covered by the proposal must not have been funded by the NCN, the NCBR, or from any other sources,
- the Applicant may submit any number of proposals for different projects, i.e. covering different tasks and objectives, headed by different Leaders,
- a person may be designated as a Leader under one proposal only,
- the proposal cannot be submitted if it is:
- subject to a review under another call funded from public funds,
- involved in an appeals procedure at the NCBR or the NCN,
- involved in court or administrative proceedings.
Please note: Basic research, industrial research, development, preliminary work and/or commercialization activities must not be combined under the same task.
When a Leader needs to move to the place where the AI CE is located, their relocation costs are covered as a single lump-sum payment from the Applicant’s own contribution. The lump sum (expressed in PLN) depends on the current place of residence and the number of family members that will accompany the Leader for the duration of the project:
- for Leaders resident in Poland who need to relocate between cities: 8,000 PLN; spouse or domestic partner: + 2,000 PLN; for each child: + 1,000 PLN,
- for Leaders resident in another European country: 16,000 PLN; spouse or domestic partner: + 4,000 PLN; for each child: + 2,000 PLN,
- for Leaders resident outside Europe: 32,000 PLN; spouse or domestic partner: + 8,000 PLN; for each child: + 4,000 PLN.
Under the call, projects may be planned for a period of 60 months.
The terms of the call do not specify the maximum number of team members although they require that the proposal should list the names of the Leader and 1 to 3 team members that will form the core R&D personnel. The Leaders are free to build the team according to their needs (R&D staff to be involved in the project).
The proposal should specify the skills and tasks assigned to all individual team members. Their role in the project will be subject to expert review. More information about budgeting team member salaries can be found in “ARTIQ – AI Centres of Excellence costs of funding basic research by the NCN” and the NCBR’s “Cost eligibility guide”.
The project budget must be well-justified as regards the subject and scope of research/work and must be based on reasonable calculations. Before you plan your project budget, read the following documents:
- “ARTIQ – AI Centres of Excellence costs of funding basic research by the NCN”, and the
- NCBR’s “Cost eligibility guide”.
The maximum amount of eligible costs funded by the NCN and the NCBR under a single project is up to 20 million PLN, including:
- the eligible costs of basic research funded by the NCN cannot exceed 5,000,000 PLN,
- the eligible costs of industrial research, development and/or preliminary work funded by the NCBR cannot exceed 14,000,000 PLN,
- the eligible costs of founding special purpose vehicles, funded by the NCBR, cannot exceed 1,000,000 PLN.
In addition, the Applicant shall contribute an annual average of at least 100,000 PLN per each year of the project duration, to be used under eligible costs in accordance with the terms laid down in “ARTIQ – AI Centres of Excellence costs of funding basic research by the NCN”, and the NCBR’s “Cost eligibility guide”.
The costs planned in the project must be covered proportionally to the scope of tasks in the project, concerning (respectively): basic research (funded by the NCN) or industrial research, development and/or preliminary work (funded by the NCBR). For instance: the research equipment that will be used under basic research and industrial research should be funded by the NCN and the NCBR in proportion to its use in the implementation of individual tasks.
Indirect costs cannot be planned in the project.
FOR BASIC RESEARCH TASKS:
Eligible costs of basic research in the project include:
- costs of salaries,
- outsourcing costs,
- other direct costs.
The costs of salaries must include salary of the Leader. The Leader must be a person employed by the Host Institution for the entire project duration period pursuant to a full-time employment contract. The total salary of the Leader is up to 600,000 PLN per annum.
The team’s salary and form of employment is determined by the Leader at his/her own discretion, however co-investigators employed by the Host Institution may be paid their salary in any form other than under a civil law contract (e.g. an appendix to an agreement). Co-investigators employed pursuant to an employment contract are not subject to additional rules and regulations applicable to NCN’s domestic calls, including rules and regulations applicable to post-docs (e.g. provision upon which a PhD degree must be received within 7 years before joining the project). If students/PhD students are employed, the Leader may decide on the form of their employment (e.g. employment contract, civil-law contract or doctoral scholarship).
Doctoral scholarships are allowed as long as PhD students comply with the Act on Higher Education and Science of 20 July 2018 according to which doctoral scholarships are offered for entire project duration period.
Please note: Doctoral scholarships may only be planned for basic research funded by the NCN.
The salaries planned in the project are subject to merit-based evaluation.
This category includes the costs of services rendered by third parties (institutions and individuals with business activity), including:
- costs of purchasing research services (laboratory analyses, statistical reports, surveys, etc.),
- costs of purchasing other specialist services necessary for due completion of the research (proofreading, editing, graphics, consulting, monitoring, etc.),
- costs of postal, courier and transport services directly related to the completion of a given research task,
- costs of manuscript translation and editing,
- costs of premises rental, catering, etc., as necessary for the completion of the research tasks that include subjects/respondents,
OTHER DIRECT COSTS
This category covers the following expenses:
- purchase or construction of research equipment, other devices and software,
- purchase of materials and small equipment,
- business trips, visits and consultations,
- compensation for collective investigators, and
- other costs crucial to the project, as specified in “ARTIQ – AI Centres of Excellence costs of funding basic research by the NCN”.
Please note: Article Processing Charges of scientific articles, with the exception of Article Processing Charges in hybrid journals and costs of publication of research results in open access in compliance with the Open Access Policy at the NCN should be planned under the heading of “Other direct costs”.
Please note: The eligible costs of industrial research, development and/or preliminary work, as well as costs of supporting the formation of special purpose vehicles, should be planned in accordance with the NCBR’s “Cost eligibility guide” and the call documents available on the website of the NCBR.
Together with other European research-funding institutions, the National Science Centre is a member of cOAlition S. Therefore, it has adopted an “Open access policy” pursuant to which all research results stemming from NCN-funded research projects must be made available in immediate open access.
In accordance with the principles of Plan S, the National Science Centre recognizes the following publication routes as compliant with its open access policy:
- publication in open access journals and on open access platforms registered, or with pending registration, in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ),
- publication in subscription journals (hybrid journals), as long as the Version of Record (VoR) or the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is published, by the author or publisher, in an open repository immediately upon the article’s online publication,
- publication in journals covered by an open access licence within the framework of so-called transformative agreements, inscribed in the Efficiency and Standards for Article Charges registry (ESAC-registry).
More information on Open Access publishing can be found here.
“Proposal form template” and “Instructions for filling out project funding proposals” can be found on the website of the NCBR.
Please note: Proposals must be submitted to the NCBR via the online LSI submission system only.
Proposals in the call must not include application for state aid. For more information, go to the State aid section.
Proposals are subject to an eligibility check and merit-based evaluation.
The eligibility check is carried out by the NCN and the NCBR.
Only complete proposals that meet all requirements of the call announcement are approved for merit-based evaluation
The merit-based evaluation consists of the following stages:
- individual reviews and questions to the Leader/Applicant are prepared by two members of the Expert Team,
- additional individual review and questions to the Leader/ Applicant are prepared by two reviewers who are not members of the Expert Team,
- a list of questions to the Leader/ Applicant is compiled by the leading expert assigned to the proposal based on the opinions and questions submitted by the experts and reviewers,
- the list of questions is sent to the Leader and the Applicant at least 5 days prior to their meeting with the Expert Team,
- an online meeting is held by the Expert Team with the Leader and the Applicant, during which they can answer the questions and clear any doubts concerning the proposal,
- any missing information are added, or the proposal is amended by the Applicant,
- a merit-based evaluation of the supplemented/amended proposal is performed by the Expert Team.
Merit-based evaluation of proposals is performed by the Expert Team, including the additional individual reviews submitted by reviewers who are not members of the Expert Team. The composition of the team is subject to the number and subject of proposals submitted to the call. Experts are appointed by the NCN Council and the NCBR Director. Reviewers are chosen by the experts.
The call results will be announced within 12 months of the proposal submission deadline on the websites of the NCN and the NCBR, and will be communicated to the Applicant by way of a decisions by the NCN Director and the NCBR Director, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the call.
The full call documents, including important information, can be found on the website of the NCBR
For more information on the terms and conditions of the call, including the proposal submission procedure, contact us by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call +48 22 39 07 170 or +48 22 39 07 191.
Should you have any more questions or queries regarding basic research funding under the project, please contact us by e-mail:
Dr inż. Ewelina Szymańska-Skolimowska, email@example.com (phone contact by prior e-mail appointment)
Dr inż. Tomasz Szumełda, firstname.lastname@example.org (phone contact by prior e-mail appointment)
The full call documents, including important information, can be found on the website of the NCBR.
The call documents for basic research only:
- ARTIQ – AI Centres of Excellence costs of funding basic research by the NCN
- Budget table
- Data management plan template
- Guidelines for applicants to complete the data management plan form in the proposal
- Open Access Policy at the NCN
- The Code of the National Science Centre on Research Integrity and Applying for Research Financing
- Service of decisions of the NCN Director
- NCN funding agreement template
- Order establishing a procedure for conducting audits on Host Institution’s premises
- Guidelines for entities auditing the implementation of research projects funded by the National Science Centre