Mon, 05/11/2015 - 00:00

The National Science Centre has announced the results of the OPUS 8, PRELUDIUM 8 and SONATA 8 calls. Researchers from Polish research units will receive more than € 86.5 million for their projects in basic research.

There were 5,200 proposals describing projects in all fields of research. The average funding requested by a single proposal totalled € 92,783. Thus another record has been set: both the number of submissions and the average budget have steadily increased.

The proposals were reviewed by panels of Experts, supported by evaluation reports written by independent External Reviewers. Funding was awarded to 861 projects.

The largest aggregate financing was secured by researchers who submitted their proposals in response to the OPUS 8 call: over € 66 million. The money can be used to finance diverse research activities, from the creation of a research team to the purchase of specialist equipment, to covering travel expenses. The OPUS call is open to all categories of researchers, regardless of their experience or degrees held. In the eighth edition of OPUS, 444 projects qualified for funding in all three research domains (Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering).

In Poland in recent years there has been enormous spending on scientific infrastructure, while for us the priority is to directly reach the individuals who carry out the research. We want to provide the best Polish researchers with optimal conditions, conducive to the most innovative endeavours, as well as to support really high-quality research teams. The best ones are selected by our Experts who are representatives of Polish and global scientific communities, said professor Zbigniew Błocki, director of the NCN.

PRELUDIUM, another of the recently concluded calls, is addressed to researchers at the beginning of their career path. Individuals submitting projects under this scheme do not have to be holders of a doctoral degree. In the PRELUDIUM 8 call, the NCN’s Expert Reviewers approved funding for 287 projects, worth over € 7 million.

The resources earmarked for SONATA 8 will be distributed among 130 researchers with a doctoral degree obtained within 5 years of submission of the proposal. The National Science Centre will transfer over € 13 million to them, to be used, among others, for  the purchase of state-of-the-art research equipment, which will enable them to carry out innovative research, using advanced equipment and facilities and/or an original methodology.

We are at the point of receiving submissions for a new edition of the OPUS, PRELUDIUM and SONATA calls; we have introduced significant changes to them, in particular to the component of eligible costs. We want to support the growth of new jobs in research and stimulate the development of basic research in Poland, said professor Michał Karoński, chair of the Council of the NCN.

The researchers active in the domain of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will be granted ca. € 11.5 million, those representing Life Sciences – over € 37 million, and those working in Physical Sciences and Engineering – almost € 38 million.

The largest funding in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will be given to the project titled Control deprivation, (inter)group relations, and political cognition, led by professor Mirosław Kofta from the University of Warsaw. Supported with nearly € 308,000, the project  will be carried out under the OPUS 8 call.

Among the projects funded in the domain of Life Sciences, the research by dr hab. Joanna Kargul, concerned with the structural and functional characterisation of the photosynthetic apparatus of an extremophilic red microalga Cyanidoschyzon merolae (OPUS 8) stands out for the grant of ca. € 402,000 it was awarded. The project will be carried out at the University of Warsaw.

In Physical Sciences and Engineering a record funding in excess of € 426,000 was awarded to the project New methods for precise control of a robotic astronomical 0,5-m telescope mount. The Principal Investigator of the project is professor Krzysztof Kozłowski from the Poznań University of Technology.