In interviews with Prawo.pl and the Polish Press Agency, the Director of the National Science Centre talks about the budget situation, the new Council and the NCN’s plans for 2023.
– Financing is key for research and science. Expenditure on research should grow by 15% per year for us to start dreaming of reaching the European average. And in the case of NCN, which has proven itself as an institution, such expenditure should go up at an even faster pace – says Prof. Zbigniew Błocki in an interview with Prawo.pl's Monika Sewastianowicz.
The Director added that “in the world of science and academics, the NCN is considered a very respectable organisation, especially when it comes to the standards applied.” – Of course, being respected doesn’t mean that we would win any popularity contests. That would be difficult considering that only 15 percent of submitted projects receive grants. We think this is not enough, as the success rate should be at 25-30% but currently it can’t get any higher due to the restricted budget of the NCN.
The NCN Director was also asked about the assessment of applications at the NCN, international cooperation and his organisation's plans for 2023. Mr Błocki also discussed more general matters, including researcher mobility, evaluation of academic disciplines and investment financing by the State.
The interview was published on 23 December.
A day before, in a commentary for the Polish Press Agency, the NCN Director referred to the appointment of 12 new members of the NCN Council. – We are concerned to see that the appointment (…) was done in such a non-standard way. For the first time in our history the proposals of the candidate-nominating team have been completely disregarded. It is also extraordinary that none of the current members of the Council (a few persons who could serve on the Council in the next few years) have not been appointed – said Prof. Błocki.
– The Director pointed out that “there will be no balance between the representatives of different disciplines in the Council.” – One of the problems that will make functioning of this body much more difficult is that it will have no physicists onboard. And there is only one astrophysicist.
Moreover, the Council will have no specialists in electronics, telecommunications, engineering sciences and Earth sciences.