Dioscuri Centres of Scientific Excellence – second call invitation

Invitation for Polish research institutions to submit proposals for establishing Dioscuri Centres of Scientific Excellence

This announcement has been published with a view to receiving submissions from research institutions willing to establish, host and accommodate Dioscuri Centres. Submissions meeting the formal requirements will be published in the Dioscuri call announcement, thus helping researchers find the right research institution in Poland. Researchers will be able to choose a research institution from beyond the published list, provided that the institution meets the formal requirements and commits to satisfying the basic conditions specified below.

Programme description

Dioscuri is an initiative by the Max Planck Society (MPG), intended to establish Centres of Scientific Excellence (hereinafter referred to as Dioscuri Centres) in Central and Eastern Europe. The Centres will enable outstanding researchers to carry out top level research at research institutions in this part of Europe.

With the participation of the National Science Centre (NCN), the programme shall start with establishing up to ten Dioscuri Centres in Poland, in all research domains. Each newly established Centre will cooperate with a German Partner (scientist working at German research institution), to reinforce Polish-German cooperation in research. Funding will be provided by the NCN from the resources contributed by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The Centres will be set up by researchers selected in international Dioscuri calls. The second call for proposals for the establishing next Dioscuri Centres in Poland will be announced in December 2018 and concluded in 2019.

The call shall accept proposals from outstanding researchers with a PhD degree obtained within a period not exceeding fifteen years prior to the submission of their application to Dioscuri. Researchers shall submit proposals jointly with a Polish research institution, provided that they were not employed at the institution over 2 years preceding the date of submitting the proposal. Every call awardee shall establish and head a Dioscuri Centre, in which he or she will conduct innovative research at the world’s top level.

By submitting a joint proposal to the Dioscuri call, the Applicant (researcher) shall enter the call together with the Polish research institution. If successful, the research institution acting as Host Institution to the Dioscuri Centre, shall receive annually the equivalent of up to € 300,000, to be spent exclusively on the Dioscuri Centre’s operations, provided that the institution satisfies the basic conditions specified below. The funding period for each Dioscuri Centre comprises five years and may be extended by another five years (subject to mid-term evaluation and availability of funds).

The funding may be used to finance:

  1. remuneration for the head of the Dioscuri Centre (awardee of the Dioscuri call) to the sum of € 100,000 per year;
  2. salaries for members of the Dioscuri Centre’s research team and scholarships (scholarships may be granted solely in accordance with the NCN regulations);
  3. costs of research activities of the Dioscuri Centre (costs of materials, travel, publications and other research activities, etc.);
  4. costs of cooperation with the German Partner;
  5. funding does not provide for overheads of the research institution, administrative and financial costs, and research equipment and infrastructure.

The full name of a Dioscuri Centre shall read:

Dioscuri Centre of Scientific Excellence
A programme initiated by the Max Planck Society, jointly managed by the National Science Centre in Poland, and mutually funded by MNiSW and BMBF

Logos of Dioscuri partners

Addressees of the call

Research institutions specified in article 2 section 9 a-f and section 16a [1] of the act of 30th April 2010 on the principles of funding science (consolidated text: Journal of Laws of 2018 no 87) hereinafter referred to as "research institution".

Terms of submitting proposals

The research institution hereby commits to fulfil basic conditions:

  1. sign a contract of full-time employment with the PI for the entire funding period;
  2. sign contracts with Dioscuri Centre personnel: the form of employment is to be agreed upon by all parties (contract of employment, contract of specific task, contract of mandate; stipend);
  3. provide from its own budget additional funding for the DC in the amount of at least € 25 000 on average per year for the entire funding period;
  4. provide the Dioscuri Centre with optimal conditions for carrying out its research, including office/laboratory space and research equipment necessary for the completion of the research;
  5. provide administrative and financial services and support to the Dioscuri Centre, including support related to the successful applicant’s relocation (if applicable) and stay in Poland;
  6. provide at its own expense a full-time English-speaking administrative employee exclusively for the Dioscuri Centre for the entire funding period;
  7. offer a long-term perspective to the principal investigator beyond the Dioscuri funding period. This includes a commitment to create a permanent position at the end of the funding period for which the principal investigator will be eligible to apply.

The research institution may also offer additional benefits (other than listed above) to facilitate the Dioscuri Centre, among others:

  1. additional financial contribution for the Dioscuri Centre, allotted for research, personnel costs related to employing a member/members of the Dioscuri Centre’s research team, etc.;
  2. general support or other incentives to encourage the establishment of a Dioscuri Centre at the institution;
  3. others.

The National Science Centre reserves the right to verify whether an institution fulfils the conditions declared at any stage of the procedure through visits to the institution which aims to establish a Dioscuri Centre. Should a research institution fail to meet the declared conditions, the Dioscuri Centre may be established in another research institution.

Proposal submission

Information required in the proposal submission has been specified in the registration form to the this call announcement. All information must be provided in English.

  1. Submissions will be accepted only as electronic proposals, i.e.:
    1. a single PDF file with a qualified electronic signature in PAdES format by an authorised representative of the research institution
    2. a file in an editable format (e.g. doc), containing identical information; this file need not bear a qualified signature
    Submissions must be sent by 5th November 2018 to the address of the Electronic Correspondence Register ESP (ePUAP) of the National Science Centre: /ncn/SkrytkaESP. In the subject line of the message please enter: "Dioscuri Proposal".
  2. The submission will undergo an eligibility check by personnel from the NCN, and should it fulfil all requirements, it shall be published in the Dioscuri call announcement, listed among the research institutions capable of acting as a Host Institution to a Dioscuri Centre.
  3. Research institutions may submit more than one proposal, provided that each proposal be submitted under a different research discipline, as listed in section 5 of the registration form.


  1. Marcin Liana, phone: +48 12 341 9161, email: marcin.liana@ncn.gov.pl
  2. Małgorzata Jacobs, phone: +48 12 341 9173, email: malgorzata.jacobs@ncn.gov.pl

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