30 March 2020
The National Science Centre hereby announces the Express call to fund research into COVID-19. The objective of the call is to expand the knowledge needed to understand the mechanisms of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, diagnostic procedures, treatment, prevention and the psychological and social effects of the pandemic.
The call is addressed at researchers who are at least PhD holders and have a documented research track record in the areas related to the objective of the call. The principal investigator must be a person who has acted or acts as principal investigator in at least one research project funded under the NCN calls for proposals (OPUS, SONATINA, SONATA, SONATA BIS, HARMONIA, MAESTRO, SYMFONIA, POLONEZ or international bilateral or multilateral calls for proposals) or who has been a winner of other prestigious national or international calls for proposals for research projects.
Research projects can be planned for a period of up to 18 months and the results must be made available to the public as soon as they are available. Under the call, funds may be awarded to cover the salary for the research team and other costs necessary to complete the research.
Call budget: PLN 10,000,000
Proposals must be submitted electronically via ePUAP to the address of the electronic delivery box of the National Science Centre (/ncn/SkrytkaESP) according to the proposal submission procedure.
PLEASE NOTE: The proposal submission deadline is 14 April 2020.
PLEASE NOTE: The call results will be announced in the first half of May 2020.
Due to significant differences and simplified procedure in comparison to our usual calls, please read the information and the call documents below.
Under the call, proposals may be submitted by the following entities:
- federations of science and HE 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 2018, item 1475);
- research institutes operating pursuant to the Act on Research Institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 736);
- institutes operating within the Łukasiewicz Research Network;
- international research institutes established pursuant to separate Acts, operating in the Republic of Poland;
- research centres of the Polish Academy of Sciences within the meaning of the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010; and
- other entities involved in research independently on a continuous basis.
The principal investigator must:
- be at least a PhD holder;
- be employed pursuant to an employment contract by the host institution acting as the applicant;
- have acted or acts as principal investigator in at least one research project funded under the NCN calls for proposals (OPUS, SONATINA, SONATA, SONATA BIS, HARMONIA, MAESTRO, SYMFONIA, POLONEZ or international bilateral or multilateral calls for proposals) or be a winner of at least one other prestigious national or international call for proposals for research projects; and
- be named as the principal investigator in only one proposal submitted under the EXPRESS CALL TO FUND RESEARCH ON COVID-19.
The above terms must be met on 14 April 2020 which is the proposal submission deadline.
PLEASE NOTE: The principal investigator must reside in Poland for at least 50% of the research duration period. This period includes business trips necessary for the project.
PLEASE NOTE: Proposals submitted under the call will not count towards the limit of research projects in connection with restrictions to apply in other NCN calls.
The following restrictions apply to the call:
- an applicant cannot be an entity that is under forced administration or in the course of winding up or bankruptcy proceedings;
- an applicant cannot be an entity for whom funding will constitute state aid;
- a person named as the principal investigator in the proposal must not be named as the authorised representative of the applicant;
- a proposal can be submitted under the call to carry out research that is not and has not been funded by the NCN or from any other sources; and
- only proposals which comprise basic research may be submitted under the call.
PLEASE NOTE: Restrictions applicable to the principal investigator in other NCN calls, concerning the total number of proposals allowed in the evaluation procedure or proposals recommended for funding or number of research projects, do not apply to this call.
Proposals may be submitted to the call covering basic research related to:
- pathophysiology of the disease, including research that can contribute to the development of future therapeutic strategies or diagnostic methods for COVID-19;
- infection mechanisms, including ways of protecting healthcare workers; and
- the psychological and social effects of the pandemic and ways of reducing them (including health policy and organisation of medical care, ethics in research and patient care, social behaviour in the face of pandemics).
Proposals may be submitted under the call which cover the research planned for a period of up to 18 months.
When planning your research, please remember that the funding decision will be issued within 1 month of the proposal submission deadline.
When drawing up the budget, emphasis should be put on determining the required resources and exact estimation of expenses. The budget must be well justified with regard to the subject and scope of the research, based on real calculations and itemize expenses to be covered from the NCN resources (so-called eligible costs).
The terms of the call do not specify the minimum or maximum amount of the funds that can be applied for.
PLEASE NOTE: The budget may be modified by the Expert Team.
Costs are subdivided into direct and indirect costs.
Direct costs include:
- salaries for members of the research team;
PLEASE NOTE: Salaries for the principal investigator and co-investigators can be planned in the proposal. In the proposal form, it may be specified whether one acts as the principal investigator or co-investigator. Co-investigators are selected by the principal investigator on the basis of their qualifications and research experience necessary to complete the research. Under the call, there are no restrictions on who can act as the co-investigator. The terms of the call do not specify the forms of employment of co-investigators. The principal investigator and co-investigators can be employed pursuant to an employment contract or otherwise. If a co-investigator is employed pursuant to an employment contract, requirements applicable to post-docs (the PhD degree must have been awarded within 7 years before joining the project) do not apply.
PLEASE NOTE: The minimum or maximum salary is not specified under the call. The principal investigator may determine the salary and form of employment at his/her discretion. The research team will review whether the salary is justified.
PLEASE NOTE: Members of the research team employed by the host institution acting as the applicant may be paid their salary in any form other than pursuant to a civil law contract (e.g. an appendix to an agreement).
PLEASE NOTE: NCN research scholarships and costs of reduced obligatory teaching load cannot be funded under the call.
- purchase of materials and small equipment;
- outsourced services;
- in exceptional and well justified cases, costs of business trips, visits and consultations can be planned;
- compensation for collective investigators; and
- other costs crucial to the research which comply with the types of costs in research projects funded by the NCN.
PLEASE NOTE: Leasing, purchase or construction of research equipment, other devices and software, cost of publication of monographs resulting from research and participation in conferences are note deemed eligible costs under the call.
The maximum amount of indirect costs is 20% of the direct costs.
When drawing up the budget, the types of costs in research projects funded by the NCN must be complied with.
The terms of the call do not specify the minimum or maximum number of members of the research team. However, the structure of the research team will be reviewed by the Expert Team. The proposal must include the description of competencies and tasks to be carried out by particular members of the research team.
State aid cannot be applied for. Detailed information can be found in the State aid section.
The most important information to be provided in the proposal:
PLEASE NOTE: The following information must be provided in English!
- Information on the principal investigator, including information on the academic and research career and research experience, including 1-10 most important papers published or accepted for publication, with 1-3 most important papers by the principal investigator related to the research in question attached as a PDF file; information on research project management or other funding awarded under NCN calls and on research project management under other NCN or international calls.
PLEASE NOTE: Academic and research track record can be provided for the entire period of research activity. The last 10 year restriction does not apply.
- Information on the proposal and applicant (also in Polish).
- Work plan (also in Polish).
- Information on the scope of work and required qualifications of co-investors.
- Summary (no more than 1 page, A4).
- Project description (no more than 5 pages, A4).
- Research budget – justification for the costs.
- Information on the ethical aspects of the research.
- Information on the data management plan (DMP) concerning data generated or used in the course of research, as required by the proposal.
- In the case of research which includes clinical trials with a medicinal product or a medical device, a justification for the non-commercial nature of the trials.
The information necessary to complete the proposal can be found in the Information required.
PLEASE NOTE: In order to prepare a proposal, please DOWNLOAD and complete the proposal form.
PLEASE NOTE: Only complete proposals can be accepted for merit-based evaluation. Proposals are completed outside of the ZSUN/OSF system, therefore, please make sure that the proposal (including the research budget) is complete before the proposal is submitted. Add the data required (costs of salaries and other direct costs), calculate the indirect costs and specify the total costs applied for.
PLEASE NOTE: The proposal must be signed with a qualified electronic signature in the PAdES format by an authorised representative of the applicant and submitted with the required annexes (publications as a PDF file and, if necessary, authorisation to represent the entity).
Please read the proposal submission procedure.
Proposals are subject to an eligibility check and merit-based evaluation.
The eligibility check is performed by the scientific coordinator. The merit-based evaluation is open only to complete proposals that comply with all eligibility criteria set forth in the call announcement.
The merit-based evaluation is performed in a single stage and comprises:
- individual opinions drafted by at least two members of the Expert Team; and
- the decision taken by the Expert Team at the meeting based on the discussion on the individual opinions.
Following the discussion on all proposals, a ranking list of proposals recommended for funding is drafted.
In the evaluation of proposals, the following criteria are reviewed in particular:
- compliance of the research with the objective of the call and feasibility of research;
- compliance with the basic research criterion laid down in Article 2 (1) of the NCN Act;
- justification of the costs as regards the subject and scope of research;
- merit-based evaluation of the research and compliance of the research with the objective of the call; and
- evaluation of the academic and research track record of the principal investigator.
The NCN Council selects members of the Expert Team responsible for assessing proposals submitted under the call from among its own members. Members of the Expert Team are appointed by the Council on the basis of their experience and research achievements related to the subject and objective of the call, as well as experience in assessment of research projects in Poland and abroad, and experience in performance of research projects funded under calls in Poland and abroad.
Members of the Expert Team are bound by the Code of ethics for experts of the National Science Centre.
Proposals are evaluated pursuant to the Proposal evaluation criteria.
The call results will be announced on the NCN’s website and communicated to the applicants by way of a decision by the NCN Director within 1 month of the proposal submission deadline.
Before contacting the NCN, please read the Frequently Asked Questions section.
Should you have any more queries, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NCN officer in charge of the call:
Dr inż. Tomasz Szumełda, e-mail: email@example.com
- Resolution on the terms and regulations of the call
- Costs of the call
- Information required
- Proposal form to be DOWNLOADED and COMPLETED
- Proposal submission procedure
- State aid
- Guidelines for completing the data management plan for a research project
- Guidelines for applicants to complete the Ethics Issues form in the proposal
- The Code of the National Science Centre on research integrity and applying for research funding
- NCN panels
Documents applicable to the evaluation of proposals:
- Proposal ecaluation criteria
- Code of ethics for experts of the National Science Centre
- Service of decisions of the NCN Director
- Rules for appealing against the NCN Director’s decisions
Documents to be read before commencing NCN projects
- Regulation on the implementation of inspection procedure at the registered office of the host institution
- Guidelines for entities auditing the implementation of research projects funded by the National Science Centre