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The National Science Centre (the “NCN”) hereby launches the PRELUDIUM BIS 4 call for research projects addressed at institutions operating doctoral schools. The objective of the call is to support PhD student education in doctoral schools and fund research projects carried out by PhD students as part of their doctoral dissertations. The project budget under PRELUDIUM BIS 4 may cover funds for research up to 300,000 PLN, doctoral scholarships and indirect costs. Under the call, research projects carried out over a period of 36 or 48 months will be funded.

PRELUDIUM BIS 4 supports international mobility of PhD students through foreign fellowships carried out over a period of 3 to 6 months and funded by the National Agency for Academic Exchange (the “NAWA”).

The call budget is 30,000,000 PLN.

Proposals may be submitted solely electronically via OSF, available at https://osf.opi.org.pl, in compliance with the proposal submission procedure.

The call for proposals in OSF is open until 15 December 2022, 4 p.m..

The call results will be announced by the end of May 2023.

Please read the call documents provided in this announcement.

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The most important changes to PRELUDIUM BIS

  1. A single stage merit-based evaluation.
  2. Call results announced within 5 months of the end date of the call for proposals.  
  3. Change of the project funding amount up to 300,000 PLN for the entire project performance period, with an exception of the doctoral scholarship costs.
  4. A PhD student carrying out the project may only be changed once.

Who may apply for funding?

Proposals in the call may be submitted by institutions operating doctoral schools laid down in Article 198 (3) and 198 (4) of the Act on Higher Education and Science of 20 July 2018 as well as institutions jointly operating doctoral schools pursuant to Article 198 (5) of the same Act, for which project funding will NOT constitute state aid. An entity that is under receivership, in liquidation or subject to bankruptcy proceedings cannot be an applicant.

Who may act as the principal investigator?

A person who meets the requirements of a research supervisor laid down in Article 190 of the Act on Higher Education and Science on the end date of the call for proposals and is the research supervisor of the PhD student operating the project may act as the principal investigator in a project submitted to the call.

One cannot be a principal investigator of more than two research projects funded under PRELUDIUM BIS at the same time.

Are there any restrictions on submitting proposals for research projects under NCN calls?

Restrictions on submitting proposals are detailed in Chapter III of the Regulations on awarding funding for the implementation of research tasks funded by the National Science Centre as regards research projects.

In a given edition of the calls, the same person may be named as the principal investigator in one proposal only, i.e. in this edition of NCN calls, the same person may be named as the principal investigator only in an OPUS proposal, OPUS LAP proposal, PRELUDIUM BIS proposal or SONATA proposal.

Please note: A proposals covering research tasks overlapping tasks specified in another proposal submitted earlier may only be submitted after the funding decision has become final.

What are the topics covered by the call?

Proposals may be submitted to the call covering basic research in any of 25 NCN panels comprising three groups:

  • HS – Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences;
  • ST – Physical Sciences and Engineering; and
  • NZ – Life Sciences.

Please note: Proposals are reviewed within panels to which they have been submitted (e.g. HS1, ST1, NZ1). The principal investigator selects the panel. The panel cannot be changed once the proposal has been submitted. If an incorrect panel is selected, the proposal may be rejected.

What is the project duration period?

Under the call, funding may be requested for research projects to be carried out over the period of 36 months or 48 months.

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

The research team includes the principal investigator (PhD student’s research supervisor) and the PhD student. Research projects under the PRELUDIUM BIS call will be carried out by PhD students selected in a call conducted by a committee formed by the head of the host institution for the project acting as the applicant. The call is open to all those who are not PhD holders and are not doctoral school students. PhD students participating in a PRELUDIUM BIS project must be awarded a PhD degree within 12 months of project completion.

A PRELUDIUM BIS 4 project must be carried out by PhD students as part of their doctoral dissertations.

Please note: A one-off change of a PhD student in the PRELUDIUM BIS project is allowed, provided that:

  1. he/she be elected in a call conducted by the end of the first year of project performance according to the above terms,
  1. the host institution ensure payment of the PRELUDIUM BIS doctoral scholarship for the entire period of PhD student’s education, in the amount and on terms and conditions laid down in the Regulations.

How should the project budget be planned?

The project budget must be justified as regards the subject and scope of research and must be based on reasonable calculations.

The project budget includes direct costs and indirect costs.

Direct costs include:

  1. scholarships for PhD students: 5,000 PLN per month (up to the month of the mid-term evaluation of PhD students at the doctoral school), 6,000 PLN (after the month of the mid-term evaluation of PhD students at the doctoral school);

PhD students receiving PRELUDIUM BIS doctoral scholarships must not receive scholarship support or other remuneration granted under the heading of direct costs from other NCN-funded research projects, with an exception of principal investigator’s salary under PRELUDIUM.

  1. funding for the principal investigator: up to 40,000 PLN for the project performance period (this amount may be designated for principal investigator’s salary and other project costs);
  2. purchase of materials and small equipment;
  3. outsourced services;
  4. business trips, visits and consultations;
  5. compensation for collective investigators and
  6. other costs crucial to the project which comply with the Types of costs in research projects funded by the NCN.

Funding for research under PRELUDIUM BIS shall not exceed 300,000 PLN (including 40,000 PLN for the principal investigator). Furthermore, the project budget includes the cost of scholarships for PhD students and indirect costs.

Indirect costs include:

  • indirect cost of Open Access (up to 2% of direct costs) that may be designated only for the cost of open access to publications or research data;
  • other indirect costs (up to 20% of direct costs) that may be spent on costs that are related indirectly to the research project, including the cost of open access to publications and research data.

During the project implementation, the host institution will agree with the principal investigator the coverage of a minimum of 25% of the indirect costs.

Funds for the purchase or construction of research equipment, devices and software must not be planned in the project.

The mandatory foreign fellowships will be funded by the NAWA. PhD students funded under PRELUDIUM BIS 4  will have to submit foreign fellowship funding proposals to the NAWA no later than 6 months before the fellowship. For more information on the terms of foreign fellowship funding, go to Annex to the Cooperation Agreement between the NCN and the NAWA.

Please note: The costs of publication of monographs resulting from research projects (as defined in §10 of the Regulation on the Evaluation of the Quality of Research Activity issued by the Minister of Science and Higher Education on 22 February 2019 (Journal of Laws of 2019, item 392) may be incurred following a positive review by the NCN.

When drafting the budget, one must comply with the rules concerning project costs, including costs of salaries and scholarships laid down in the Types of costs in research projects funded by the NCN.

If unjustified costs are planned, a proposal may be rejected.

Open access publication of research results

Together with other European research-funding institutions, the National Science Centre is a member of cOAlition S. Therefore, the NCN has adopted an “Open access policy” pursuant to which all research results stemming from NCN-funded research projects must be made available in immediate open access.

In accordance with the principles of Plan S, the National Science Centre recognizes the following publication routes as compliant with its open access policy:

  1. publication in open access journals and on open access platforms registered, or with pending registration, in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ);
  2. publication in subscription journals (hybrid journals), as long as the Version of Record (VoR) or the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) is published, by the author or publisher, in an open repository immediately upon the article’s online publication;
  3. publication in journals covered by an open access licence within the framework of so-called transformative agreements, inscribed in the Efficiency and Standards for Article Charges registry (ESAC-registry).

For more on open access publication, go here

Proposal form

Information that must be provided in the proposal:

PLEASE NOTE: The following information must be provided in English!

  1. basic information on the proposal and host institution for the project (also in Polish)
  2. project description (up to 4,500 characters);
  3. details of the principal investigator, including information on his/her academic and research career and research experience as well as 1-10 papers published in the proposal submission year and over the period of 10 years prior to the proposal submission year; for research in art, 1-10 most important papers published or artistic achievements and achievements in research in art in the proposal submission year and over the period of 10 years prior to the proposal submission year. This period may be extended in specific cases;
  4. description of research planned under the project carried out as part of doctoral dissertation, including the scientific goal, significance of the project, general concept and work plan, research methodology and project literature applicable to the subject of the project (no more than 5 pages, A4);
  5. information on the foreign fellowship of the PhD student, including place and date thereof as well as justification for choosing the research centre;
  6. work plan (also in Polish);
  7. abstract for the general public (also in Polish);
  8. information on the ethical aspects of the project, including any consents, opinions, permits and/or approvals necessary to carry out the project pursuant to generally applicable laws and best practices adopted for a specific academic discipline;
  9. data management plan concerning data generated or used in the course of a research project; and
  10. project budget.


Can proposals in this call include an application for state aid?

Institutions for which funding would constitute state aid cannot participate in the PRELUDIUM BIS 4 call.

What is the proposal evaluation procedure?

Proposals are subject to an eligibility check and merit-based evaluation. Eligibility check is carried out by the scientific coordinators. Only complete proposals that meet all requirements of the call announcement are recommended for merit-based evaluation.

Proposals approved as eligible are subject to a SINGLE-STAGE merit-based evaluation.

The merit-based evaluation is be performed by the Expert Team set up by the NCN, based on the data included in the proposal and annexes thereto. Each proposal is evaluated by THREE members of the Expert Team acting independently. Proposals which are assigned at least one auxiliary review panel indicating disciplines from another NCN panels than the one to which they are submitted may be identified by the Chair of the Expert Team as requiring an additional individual review by a member of another the Expert Team (interdisciplinary proposals).

Then, based on the discussions of individual reviews, a ranking list of proposals identifying proposals recommended for funding is drafted by the Expert Team at the first meeting.

Additional information on the proposal evaluation procedure can be found in the Detailed procedure of evaluating proposals by Expert Teams.

Please note: Proposals are reviewed within panels to which they have been submitted (e.g. HS1, ST1, NZ1). The principal investigator selects the panel. The panel cannot be changed once the proposal has been submitted. Auxiliary review panels support the selection of experts and reviewers for merit-based evaluation of proposals. In the case of interdisciplinary proposals, the Chair of the Expert Team may decide to seek a second review of an expert from another panel.

What is reviewed in the evaluation of proposals?

The evaluation of proposals shall focus in particular on:

  1. compliance with the criterion of basic research;
  2. the quality and innovative nature of the research or tasks to be performed;
  3. the impact of the research project on the advancement of the scientific discipline;
  4. assessment of the feasibility of the proposed project;
  5. the scientific achievements of the principal investigator, including publications in renowned academic press/journals;
  6. assessment of the results of other research projects conducted by the principal investigator, funded by the NCN or from other sources;
  7. the relevance of the costs to be incurred with regards to the subject and scope of the research and
  8. preparation of the proposal and compliance with other requirements set forth in the call announcement.

The proposal evaluation criteria are available HERE.

Please note: Proposals with a zero score or “no” decision agreed by the Expert Team in any reviewed criterion cannot be recommended for funding. The foregoing does not apply to the data management evaluation criterion or ethics issues evaluation criterion.

Who performs the merit-based evaluation of proposals?

Proposals are reviewed within the panels (e.g. HS1, ST1, NZ1). Experts are selected by the NCN Council from among outstanding Polish and foreign researchers, holding at least a PhD degree. Expert Teams are established for each call edition. The composition of the Expert Team is subject to the number and subjects of proposals submitted to each panel.

When and how will the results be announced?

The call results will be published on the NCN’s website and communicated to the applicants by way of a decision by the NCN Director within 5 months of the proposal submission deadline, by May 2023 at the latest.

More information

Should you have any more questions or queries, please contact us by email: informacja@ncn.gov.pl or by phone:

Useful information

If you plan to submit a proposal in the PRELUDIUM BIS 4 call, please read:

  1. the documents included in the call announcement, in particular:
  2. obtain data from the host institution for the project that is required to complete the proposal and find out about the internal procedures that may affect the proposal and project performance (cost planned in the project, procedure for acquiring signature(s) of authorised representative(s) of the institution to confirm submission of the proposal); and
  3. prepare acceptance letters from publishers confirming that the work has been accepted for publication (when the publication track record section includes research papers accepted for publication that have not been published yet).

Before the proposal is submitted to the NCN:

  1. make sure that all information in and annexes to the proposal are correct. The verification of the proposal for completeness in OSF by pressing the Sprawdź kompletność [Check completeness] button does not guarantee that all information has been entered correctly and that the required annexes have been attached;
  2. make sure that all tabs have been completed in the correct language;
  3. disable the final version of the proposal to the NCN;
  4. download and sign the confirmation of submitting the proposal in the call – the principal investigator and authorised representative(s) of the institution; and
  5. attach the confirmation of submitting the proposal with a signature.

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 OSF system.

Once the call for proposals has been closed:

  1. evaluation of proposals will be carried out;
  2. after each stage of evaluation, the funding decision by the NCN Director shall be delivered;
  3. if the proposal is qualified for funding, a funding agreement  will be entered into; and
  4. the project will be carried out pursuant to the funding agreement and Regulations on the implementation of research projects, fellowships and scholarships.

In the event of a breach of the call procedure or other formal infringements, the applicant may appeal against the decision of the NCN Director with the Committee of Appeals of the NCN Council. The appeal must be lodged within 14 days of the effective delivery of the decision