16th March 2020

The Scientific Coordinators of the National Science Centre announce the POLS call for research projects led by incoming researchers of any nationality, including Polish nationals who wish to pursue their projects in affiliation with and based at a Polish research organisation or company in any academic field. The POLS call is financed from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014 – 2021. The POLS call is part of the Basic Research Programme operated by the National Science Centre under the EEA and Norway Grants and is prepared in cooperation with the Research Council of Norway. The programme has allocated €7,000,000 for POLS projects.

Proposals shall be filed electronically in English via the online submission system ZSUN/OSF, available at https://osf.opi.org.pl, in compliance with the proposal submission procedure. The deadline for submission is June 16, 2020, 16.00 CEST.

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Who is invited to apply?

You are invited to apply if you:

  • have an idea for a research project,
  • have a PhD degree,
  • have been working and resident outside Poland for at least 24 months prior to the call deadline (June 16, 2020),
  • are interested in pursuing your research project at a host institution based in Poland.

Expected results of the POLS call

The POLS call will be implemented through research projects undertaken by excellent incoming researchers at host institutions based in Poland. The host institutions will be expected to provide an enabling administrative and inspiring intellectual environment in which the work on the project will be conducted.

Project proposals are invited in all areas of basic research specified in point 2.4 of the Guide for Applicants. Basic research should be understood as ‘experimental or theoretical endeavours undertaken to gain new knowledge of the foundations of phenomena and observable facts, without any direct commercial use’. Based on the provisions of the MoU between Poland and Norway, projects within polar research and social science research are particularly encouraged.

Expected results of the POLS call are:

  • Peer reviewed scientific publications with international outreach in line with the programme’s open access policy,
  • Knowledge transfer, sharing experience and best practices,
  • Increasing the internationalisation of the research arena in Poland,
  • Increasing the potential of the PI and host institutions to successfully apply for international funding including the ERC grants,
  • Development of the capacity of Polish research institutions to host incoming researchers.

Addressees of the call (Principal Investigator)

The Principal Investigator (PI) should be a researcher holding a PhD degree. The PI must not have resided or carried out his or her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Poland for at least 24 months prior to the call deadline, except as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention. For specific information please consult point 3.1 of the Guide for Applicants – POLS call.

Eligible Applicant

The eligible Applicant, referred to also as the Project Promoter or host institution, is a research organisation or company, specified in point 3.2 of the Guide for Applicants - POLS call. The host institution has to employ the PI under a full employment contract and provide him/her with a high-quality research environment to implement the project for its entire duration.

State aid

If funding for a research project by the National Science Centre constitutes State aid for the applicant, State aid will be granted under conditions regulated by the Regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 9 September 2015 on the terms and mode of granting State aid via the National Science Centre (Journal of Laws of 2015, item 1381).

The Regulation is in accordance with the Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty.

Please consult the rules governing application for State aid.

Budget and duration of projects

The total budget for the POLS call is €7 million.

The minimum amount of grant assistance applied for is €100,000; the maximum amount is €200,000 (including overhead costs).

The exchange rate of the Polish National Bank on the day of the call announcement must be used to calculate whether the project budget in PLN is within the eligible limits.

The duration of the project is either 12 months or 24 months, with the possibility of up to 12 months extension, without additional funds. Expenditures incurred after 30 April 2024 shall not be eligible.

Eligible costs

The eligible project costs are direct expenditures and indirect costs (overheads).

The category of direct expenditures includes:

  • cost of staff assigned to the project;
  • cost of equipment;
  • travel and subsistence allowances (for staff taking part in the project);
  • cost of consumables and supplies;
  • costs entailed by other contracts;
  • costs arising directly from requirements imposed by the project contract for each project.

Indirect costs (overheads) shall be determined by applying a flat rate of 25% of the total direct eligible costs, excluding direct eligible costs of subcontracting and the costs of resources made available by third parties which are not used on the premises of the project promoter, as well as financial support to third parties. The indirect costs should be used to provide the PI with an appropriate working space and can include salaries for administrative staff providing support for the PI which are not part of staff costs.

The description of the categories of costs listed above can be found in chapter 4 of the Guide for Applicants – POLS call. Costs are eligible if they are justified, necessary and appropriate, and directly related to the project.

The first and final dates of eligibility of expenditures will be stated in the project contract.

Submission of proposals

Proposals shall be filed electronically in English via the online submission system ZSUN/OSF, available at https://osf.opi.org.pl. Only the Project Promoter is authorised to submit a proposal. The deadline for submission is June 16, 2020, 16.00 CEST. The application form is available on the National Science Centre website.

For more information about the application procedure please consult the document Guide for Applicants – POLS call.

Evaluation and selection of proposals

Preceding the evaluation, proposals are checked by the Programme Operator (National Science Centre) against the eligibility criteria of the POLS call (see Guide for Evaluators for details). Proposals failing any of the eligibility criteria do not qualify for the evaluation process. A decision by the Director may be appealed to the Appeal Committee of the Council of the National Science Centre.

The selection of proposals for funding is based on peer-review evaluation. The proposals are evaluated by panels composed of internationally recognised experts. The experts are invited to evaluate proposals that relate to their field of expertise. They must be resident and working outside Poland and Norway.

The evaluation process consists of the following steps:

  • individual evaluation performed independently by 3 experts, based on the academic and research track record of the PI and the proposed work plan;
  • threshold check performed by the National Science Centre coordinators;
  • individual evaluation of the proposals that pass the threshold, based on all the information included in the proposal, performed independently by 3 experts;
  • consensus assessment;expert panel review and
  • Programme Committee selection meeting.

Detailed information on the evaluation criteria, scoring, threshold and procedure is provided in the document Guide for Evaluators – POLS call. All applicants are encouraged to read this document.

Announcement of call results

The POLS call results shall be announced on the National Science Centre’s website and will be available in the ZSUN/OSF electronic submission system and will also be communicated to the applicants by an electronically delivered decision of the National Science Centre Director. Applicants are given access to the evaluation results with justifications.


The decisions of the National Science Centre Director may be appealed to the Appeal Committee of the Council of the National Science Centre within 14 days from the date of receiving the decision. Grounds for appeals include a breach of the call procedure or other formal infringements.

Timeline of POLS call

Action Date
Launching the call March 16th, 2020
Deadline for submission of applications June 16th, 2020, 16.00 CEST
Evaluation and selection process June 2020 – December 2020
Contracting phase from January 2021


National Science Centre – Programme Operator:

EEA and Norway Grants Team

Barbara Świątkowska

barbara.swiatkowska@ncn.gov.pl, phone: +48 12 341 9150 

Proposal Processing Department

Aneta Adamczyk

aneta.adamczyk@ncn.gov.pl, phone: +48 12 341 9186

Joanna Jamróz

joanna.jamroz@ncn.gov.pl, phone: +48 12 341 9076

Monika Kapka

monika.kapka@ncn.gov.pl, phone: +48 12 341 9085

Frequently asked questions

Answers to the questions sent to the NCN by e-mail will be published here to ensure equal access to information for all applicants.

Call documentation:

The documents listed below have been approved by the Basic Research Programme Committee and must be followed by the applicants to meet the eligibility criteria of the POLS call.

  1. Call announcement
  2. Guide for applicants
  3. Application form
  4. Guide for evaluators

Further documents necessary for the applicants in the POLS call are listed below.

5. Resolution of the NCN Council on the terms of the POLS call for proposals.

6. State aid

7. Guidelines for completing the ethics issues section of the proposal

8. Guidelines for completing the data management plan

9. Proposal submission procedure

10. Council of the National Science Centre’s Recommendations for Studies Involving Human Participation

11. The Code of the National Science Centre on research integrity and applying for research funding

12. Rules for delivering the NCN Director’s decisions

13. Guidelines for lodging appeals against the NCN Director’s decisions

The call documentation has been developed on the basis of the:

14. Regulation on the implementation of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism

15. Annex no 3. Information and Communiacation Requirements EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021

16. Guidelines for Research Programmes – rules for the establishment and implementation of programmes falling under the Programme Area “Research”

17. Programme Agreement between the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Investment and Economic Development of the Republic of Poland for the financing of the Programme “Polish Basic Research Programme”

as well as relevant Polish legal acts and agreements concluded by authorities of Poland and Norway.