Announcement of BiodivRestore call


The National Science Centre (hereinafter: “NCN”) in cooperation with the BiodivERsA and Water JPI networks announce the BiodivRestore call for international research projects in the area of conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems and their biodiversity, including a focus on aquatic systems. Funding proposals may be submitted by international consortia composed of at least 3 research teams from at least 3 countries participating in the call. The principal investigator of the Polish research team must hold at least a PhD degree.

Countries participating in the call : Austria, Belgium, Brazil*, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Morocco, Moldova, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tunisia and Turkey.

Call timeline:

  • International level (two-step procedure)

Both in the first and second step of the call, a joint proposal is prepared in English by the Polish research team in cooperation with the foreign partners and submitted electronically via the international EPSS submission system;

  • First step: Submission deadline for joint pre-proposals: 7 December 2020 (4 p.m. CET) (PLEASE NOTE: At this stage, Polish applicants are not required to submit any documents to the NCN!);
  • Second step: Submission deadline for joint full proposals: 15 March 2021 (4 p.m. CET).
  • National level (single-step procedure): 

An NCN proposal covering the Polish part of the project is prepared by the Polish research team and submitted to the NCN electronically via the ZSUN/OSF submission system. Instructions for submitting NCN proposals in the ZSUN/OSF submission system are available here.

  • Submission deadline for NCN proposals in ZSUN/OSF (7 days following submission of full proposals at the international level): 22 March 2021 (4 p.m. CET).
  • Call results
  • Publication of a list of projects recommended for funding: September 2021.

Start of funded projects: December 2021 – March 2022.

In the BiodivRestore call funds may be awarded to cover remuneration for the research team, remuneration and scholarships for students and PhD students, purchase or construction of research equipment and for other costs crucial to the research project.

The total amount of funds allocated by the NCN for all Polish research teams in the call is EUR 500,000.

The budget for the Polish part of the research project in the joint proposal will be calculated according to the following exchange rate: EUR 1 = PLN 4.2344.

Please read: 

  • call documents available at the websites of BiodivERsA and Water JPI networks (applies to all applicants in the call);
  • detailed information for applicants below and annexes hereto.

Show all»

Hide all«

Who may apply for NCN funding?

Proposals in the call may be submitted by the following entities specified in the Act on the National Science Centre (NCN)(NCN):

  1. universities;
  2. federations of science and HE entities;
  3. 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);
  4. research institutes operating pursuant to the Act on research institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1350);
  5. international research institutes established pursuant to separate Acts, operating in the Republic of Poland;

5a. Łukasiewicz Centre operating pursuant to the Act on the Łukasiewicz Research Network of 21 February 2019 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 534);

5b. Institute operating within the Łukasiewicz Research Network,

  1.  Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  2. other entities involved in research independently on a continuous basis;
  3. groups of entities (at least two entities mentioned in sections 1-7 or at least one institution as such together with at least one company);
  4. scientific and industrial centres within the meaning of the Act on research institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1350);
  5. research centres of the Polish Academy of Sciences as defined in the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010;
  6. scientific libraries;
  7. companies established as research and development centres as defined in the Act on certain forms of support for innovative activities of 30 May 2008 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 1402);
  8. legal entities with registered office in Poland; 
  9. natural persons, and
  10. companies conducting research in other organisational forms than set forth in sections 1-13.

If research projects are to be carried out by two or more Polish partners applying for NCN funding, they must set up a group of entities (see item 8 above) and as such submit NCN proposals. An NCN proposal is submitted by a leader specified in the research project cooperation agreement concluded by the group of entities. An entity employing the principal investigator acts as the leader of the group of entities.

If, pursuant to Article 27 (1) (2) of the NCN Act, Polish partners cannot set up groups of entities, they are not eligible to apply for NCN funding of a joint research project.

Who may act as the Principal Investigator?

The principal investigator of the Polish research team must hold at least a PhD degree when submitting an NCN proposal. Additional restrictions are laid down in Chapter IV, §13-18 of the Terms and regulations on awarding funding for research tasks funded or co-funded under international calls launched by the National Science Centre and carried out as multilateral collaboration UNISONO, annexed to NCN Council Resolution No 102/2020 of 28.09.2020.

What is the thematic scope of the call?

The call covers the following subjects in the area of biodiversity and conservation and restoration of degraded ecosystems:

  1. Studying the biological and biophysical processes at stake for conservation/restoration, and their interactions;.
  2. Assessing trade-offs and synergies between targets, benefits and policies for conservation and restoration;
  3. Knowledge for improving the effectiveness and upscaling of conservation and restoration actions.

NCN proposals in which research tasks overlap with research tasks planned in other proposals submitted earlier in any other NCN call may be submitted only after the assessment process or appeal proceedings concerning such earlier proposal has been completed and no funds were granted.

What is the project’s duration?

In the call, research projects may be planned for a period of 36 months.

How to plan the project’s budget?

We recommend that Polish applicants should consult the budget table of the Polish part of the project with the NCN. To receive NCN feedback in time, please send the budget table in .xlsx format to anna.kotarba@ncn.gov.pl by 20 November 2020.

Creating a project budget is one of the most important aspects in project planning, which aims to identify and estimate the resources required to perform the planned research work. The calculations must be realistic and compliant with the guidelines provided in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre within the multilateral collaboration UNISONO. The maximum budget of the Polish research team is not pre-determined; however, the justification for the planned expenses versus the scope of tasks is assessed by an international expert team.

The budget in the NCN proposal should be quoted in PLN, while the budget in the joint proposal, in EUR.

The budget for the Polish part of the research project in the joint proposal will be calculated according to the following exchange rate: EUR 1 = PLN 4.2344.

Eligible costs in the project include direct and indirect costs.

Direct costs include:

  1. remuneration:
  • full-time employment: funds for full-time employment of the principal investigator or post-doc(s);
  • additional salaries for members of the research team;
  • remuneration and scholarships for students and PhD students;
  1. purchase or construction of research equipment, devices and software;
  2. purchase of materials and small equipment;
  3. outsourcing;
  4. business trips, visits and consultations;
  5. compensation for collective investigators;
  6. other costs crucial to the project.

Indirect costs may not exceed 20% of direct costs. Additionally, indirect costs of up to 2% of direct costs may be spent on open access to publications and research data.

Remuneration of administrative staff and costs of conference organisation (rental of rooms, catering) may be financed solely as indirect expenses.

Are there any restrictions on the size of the Polish research team?

The terms of the call do not specify the minimum or maximum number of the research team members. Detailed information on the costs of remuneration and scholarships is provided in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the NCN within the multilateral collaboration UNISONO.

Please note that persons employed as post-doc(s) in the project as well as scholarship grantees must be recruited in an open call procedure. The post-doc employment criteria are described in detail in item 2.1.1 of the Annex to NCN Council Resolution No 102/2020. Furthermore, please read the Regulations for awarding scholarships in NCN-funded research projects.

Persons to be recruited in an open call procedure, including persons to be employed as post-docs, cannot be named in either joint or NCN proposals.

Can proposals in this call include application for state aid?

Yes. Detailed information can be found in the Rules governing application for state aid.

What is the proposal evaluation procedure?

Joint proposals are subject to an eligibility check performed by the NCN, other members of BiodivERsA and Water JPI networks and the Secretariat of the BiodivRestore call.

Joint proposals successfully evaluated during the eligibility check are subject to merit-based evaluation carried out by an international expert team in line with the principles specified in the call procedures.

NCN proposals are subject solely to an eligibility check carried out by the scientific coordinators.

The eligibility check of NCN proposals involves verification of proposal for completeness, compliance with all terms set forth in the call documents and Resolution No 102/2020, including compliance of the planned budget with the Annex “Costs in research projects funded by the National Science Centre in international calls carried out as multilateral collaboration Unisono”. The information provided in NCN proposals and in joint proposals must be consistent.

Who performs the merit-based evaluation of proposals?

Only joint proposals are subject to merit-based evaluation. Merit-based evaluation is performed  by an expert team appointed by the BiodivERsA and Water JPI networks. More information on the evaluation of proposals is available in call documents available at the websites of BiodivERsA and Water JPI networks.

When and how will the results be announced?

The BiodivRestore call will be concluded by the time specified in the call documents (September 2021). Firstly, project coordinators will be informed about the outcome. Polish research teams will be notified by way of decisions of the NCN Director.

In the event of a breach of the call procedure or other formal infringements related to actions performed by the NCN, the applicant may lodge an appeal against the decision of the NCN Director with the Committee of Appeals of the NCN Council.

Where can additional information be found?

For more information on the call please go to the websites of the BiodivERsA and Water JPI networks. For detailed terms and regulations on awarding NCN funding in the call please refer to the NCN Council Resolution (UNISONO).

Should you have any questions, please contact us by e-mail or by phone:

Useful information

  1. Before submitting an NCN proposal in the ZSUN/OSF system:

    1. make sure that all information in and annexes to the proposal are correct. By using the Sprawdź kompletność [Check completeness] button in ZSUN/OSF does not provide any guarantee that all information entered is correct and the required annexes have been attached;
    2. disable the final version of the proposal to the NCN;
    3. download the confirmation of proposal submission which must be signed by the principal investigator and authorised representative(s) of the host institution;
    4. upload the signed confirmation of proposal submission.

    Once the proposal is completed and all the required annexes attached, use the Wyślij do NCN [Send to NCN] button to submit the proposal to the NCN electronically via the ZSUN/OSF system.