MINIATURA 4 – FAQ


PREPARING A NEW PROPOSAL

  1. When can I submit my proposal for the MINIATURA 4 call?

The call for proposals will be open between 1 June and 30 September 2020.

The call for proposals can be suspended if the total amount of requested funds exceeds twice the value of funds allocated by the NCN Council for the research activities to be carried out under the call.

  1. How to submit a proposal?

The proposals under the MINIATURA 4 call are filed exclusively electronically via the ZSUN/OSF (Integrated System of Services for Sciences/ Funding Streams Service) system available on the website www.osf.opi.org.pl in compliance with the proposal submission procedure.

  1. What is the duration time for a research activity?

The duration time for a research activity shall be a maximum of 12 months. The ZSUN/OSF submission system provides information about research activity duration: 12 months. This box is non-editable.

  1. Can the research activity duration time be shorter than indicated in the proposal?

YES. The submission of the final report on the implementation of the research activity is equivalent to the completion of its implementation.

  1. How long does it take to process the proposal?

The funding decision will be issued within 4 months of the proposal submission date.

  1. Who receives the decision, person carrying out a research activity or the applicant?

The funding decision shall be delivered to the applicant at the address of the Electronic Mailbox indicated in the proposal. In addition, a justification for proposal evaluation is provided in the ZSUN/OSF submission system.

  1. I have received information about the eligibility of my proposal for funding, but I have not yet received a decision – can I already bear the first costs in connection with the granting of funding?

NO. The costs for the research activity must be incurred during the period of implementation of the activity, i.e. from the date when the award decision has become final and binding until the end of the research activity.

In the event that the applicant has the results of the proposal evaluation available in ZSUN/OSF submission system, but has not yet received a decision, the correctness of the electronic address (ESP) provided in the proposal must be verified. If you provide an incorrect address, please contact the proposal manager specified in the ZSUN/OSF submission system.


FORMAL QUESTIONS

  1. I am the winning applicant of the MINIATURA 3 call. May I apply for funding for a research activity under the MINIATURA 4 call?

NO. Carrying out a research activity under the MINIATURA call may be performed by a person only once.

  1. Is it possible to re-submit a proposal in the MINIATURA 4 call that has been rejected in the merit-based evaluation?

NO. A proposal in which a person is to act as the person to carry out a research activity and which has been rejected at the stage of the merit-based evaluation, may not be re-submitted under the same edition of the MINIATURA call.

  1. Can a proposal that has been rejected on formal grounds be re-submitted under the MINIATURA 4 call?

YES. A proposal in which a person is to carry out a research activity may be re-submitted only if it was rejected as ineligible at the stage of eligibility check. This proposal can only be re-submitted once the decision of the NCN Director to refuse funding has become final and binding.

  1. Is it possible to submit a proposal under the MINIATURA 4 call where the person to carry out a research activity is the winning applicant of the ETIUDA call?

NO. Under the MINIATURA 4 call, proposals may be submitted where a person to carry out a research activity has not acted as the principal investigator in any of the projects funded by the NCN, nor is this person a winning applicant of an ETIUDA call for doctoral scholarships or a call for fellowships (including FUGA and UWERTURA) funded by the NCN.

  1. Is it possible to file a proposal under the MINIATURA 4 call where the person to carry out a research activity is the winning applicant of the FUGA call?

NO. Under the MINIATURA 4 call, proposals may be filed where a person to carry out a research activity has not acted as the principal investigator in any of the projects funded by the NCN, nor is this person a winning applicant of an ETIUDA call for doctoral scholarships or a call for fellowships (including FUGA and UWERTURA) funded by the NCN.

  1. I am designated as a principal investigator in the proposal submitted under the call announced by the NCN. Can I be designated as a person to carry out a research activity under the MINIATURA 4 call?

NO. Under the MINIATURA 4 call, one may not submit proposals where the person to carry out the research activity is an applicant, principal investigator or fellowship candidate under a proposal that has been submitted or qualified for funding under another NCN call.

  1. I am the principal investigator of a research project funded by the NCN. May I carry out a research activity under the MINIATURA 4 call?

NO. Under the MINIATURA 4 call, one cannot submit proposals where the person to carry out the research activity has acted as the principal investigator in any of the projects funded by the NCN.

  1. I am implementing a grant awarded under the GRIEG call - may I be designated as a person to carry out a research activity under the MINIATURA 4 call?

NO. A person carrying out a research activity may not be the person who acts as the principal investigator in any of the projects funded by the NCN.

  1. I am the principal investigator of a research project which is not funded by the NCN. May I carry out a research activity under the MINIATURA 4 call?

YES. Persons who manage the implementation of research projects funded from other sources than the NCN may be designated as persons carrying out a research activity under the MINIATURA 4 call.

  1. Under the MINIATURA 3 call, I filed a proposal which, following merit-based evaluation, was not qualified for funding. May I resubmit that proposal under the MINIATURA 4 call?

YES. Please note that the MINIATURA 4 call has amended terms and regulations that have to be met by a person designated to carry out a research activity. Please read all call documents included in the call announcement.

  1. Is it allowed to submit more than one proposal under the MINIATURA 4 call where the same person is planned to act as the person to carry out a research activity?

NO. Only one proposal may be submitted in a given edition of the MINIATURA 4 call. Under such call a person shall act as the person to carry out a research activity.

  1. Is it allowed to submit more than one proposal under the MINIATURA 4 call where the same institution is acting as the applicant?

YES. There is no limit to the number of proposals submitted by one institution.

  1. May an applicant under the MINIATURA 4 call be a natural person?

NO. The proposal for funding of a research activity may be submitted by institutions with registered office in Poland and having the following status:

  1. Higher Education institutions;
  2. federations of science and HE institutions;
  3. research institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences operating pursuant to the Act on the Polish Academy of Sciences of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2019, items 1183, 1655 and 2227);
  4. research institute operating pursuant to the Act on Research Institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2019, items 1183, 1655 and 2227);
  5. international research institute established pursuant to other acts and acting in the Republic of Poland;
  6. scientific libraries;
  7. Łukasiewicz Centre operating pursuant to the Act on the Łukasiewicz Research Network of 21 February 2019 (Journal of Laws of 2019, items 534 and 2227) and
  8. institute operating within the Łukasiewicz Research Network.

BASIC INFORMATION

  1. What can the subject-matter of proposals cover?

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; NZ – Life Sciences. Please note that the topic of the proposal must concern a single research activity carried out in one of the following forms: preliminary/pilot studies, library and archive searches, fellowships, research visits, and/ or consultations.

  1. What language should be used for the title of the research activity?

The title of the research activity should be provided in Polish and in English. Both language versions have to be identical.

  1. What language should be used for the keywords?

The keywords should be provided in Polish and in English. Both language versions have to be identical.

  1. Which research activity may be funded under MINIATURA 4 call?

It is permitted to submit proposals that involve the implementation of one of the research activities listed below:

  1. preliminary/pilot studies,
  2. library and archive searches,
  3. fellowships
  4. research visits
  5. consultations
  6. Do you have definitions of the research activities that may be applied for under the Miniature 4 call?

NO. The terms and regulations of the call do not define the research activities that can be funded under MINIATURA 4. Therefore, applicants shall themselves choose the type of activity that they wish to be founded.

  1. Is it permitted to apply for funding for two research activities under a single proposal?

NO. The applicant must specify a single research activity that she/he wishes to carry out under the MINIATURA 4 call.


DATA OF THE HOST INSTITUTION

  1. May an applicant be an institution that does not receive any operating support for research activity?

YES. In such a case, the proposal should be accompanied by information on research carried out over the last 2 years, together with a list of publications and information on research equipment and other instruments crucial to research. The document has to be signed, by the authorised representative of the applicant, by means of an electronic signature or by hand. The proposal must be accompanied by a document in PDF format, depending on the form of signature in place: Scanned document (scanned handwritten document) or File signed electronically (a document signed with a qualified electronic signature).


STATE AID

  1. May the applicant be an institution for which funding will represent state aid?

NO. No state aid will be granted under the call. In order to determine if project funding does not represent state aid, it is necessary to review the Principles of instances of public aid, available in the ZSUN/OSF submission system and in the call announcement.


DESCRIPTION OF A RESEARCH ACTIVITY

  1. How to prepare a description of the research activity to be carried out?

A brief description of research activity to be carried out shall be provided only in the Polish language. To the proposal, in the Description tab, please attach a PDF file (max. 10 MB). Maximum word count: 1 page in A4 format. Recommended text formatting: top and bottom margins min. 1,5 cm, left and right margins min. 2 cm, font: Times New Roman or equivalent, min. font size 11 points, single interline.

  1. Should the link between research activity to be carried out and research project to be submitted under future NCN calls as well as other national or international calls be justified?

YES. Under the MINIATURA 4 call, justification of the link between research activity to be carried out and research project to be submitted under future NCN calls as well as other national or international calls should be prepared as a separate document.

The document must be prepared in Polish. To the proposal, in the Description tab, please attach a PDF file (max. 10 MB). Maximum word count: 1 page in A4 format. Recommended text formatting: top and bottom margins min. 1,5 cm, left and right margins min. 2 cm, font: Times New Roman or equivalent, min. font size 11 points, single interline.


RESEARCH TEAM

  1. Under the research activity of the MINIATURA 4 call, may I designate investigators for the research team?

NO. Under the MINIATURA 4 call the research team may consist only of a principal investigator. The number of team members is entered automatically into the system: 1.

The exception is the so-called collective investigator, i.e. in the case of the MINIATURA 4 call, at least two persons with one type of responsibility, e.g. interviewers or research participants. The category does not cover technicians and laboratory staff. The collective investigator is not involved on subject matter grounds in the activity’s implementation. They must not be employees of the host institution for the research activity.

  1. Is it possible to employ a collective investigator who is hired by an institution that is an applicant under a contract of mandate/contract for a specific task?

In the proposal, the collective investigator may be granted a remuneration shared by the persons who are not employees (in the light of universally binding legislation) of the host institution for the research activity. 


RESEARCHER TO CARRY OUT RESEACH ACTIVITIES

  1. What requirements must be met by the person to carry out the research activity?

A research activity must be carried out by a researcher:

  • who has been employed by the applicant pursuant to an employment contract on the proposal submission date;
  • whose scientific achievements include at least one paper published or, in the case of research activities in arts, at least one artistic achievement or achievement in the research in art;
  • who has been conferred their PhD degree after 1 January 2008.

This period may be extended by a time of long-term (in excess of 90 days) documented sick leaves or rehabilitation leaves granted on account of being unfit to work. In addition, this period may be extended by the number of months of a child care leave granted pursuant to the Labour Code and in the case of women, by 18 months for every child born or adopted, whichever manner of accounting for career breaks is preferable

  1. May the person to carry out a research activity have a degree of doctor habilitatus/professor title?

YES. Obtaining further degrees and scientific titles does not affect the option of carrying out a research activity under the MINIATURA 4 call. The only relevant date is the date of obtaining the Ph.D. degree, which is necessary to be able to participate in this call.

  1. I am employed by the applicant under a civil-law contract. May I file my proposal under the MINIATURA 4 call?

NO. Under the terms and regulations of the call, the person carrying out the research activity must be employed by the applicant under an employment contract as of the proposal filing date.

  1. I am employed by the applicant under a part-time employment contract. May I be pinpointed in the proposal as the person to carry out the research activity?

YES. The terms and regulations of the call do not prescribe the working time of a person to carry out a research activity, employed by the institution acting as the applicant.

  1. I am employed by the applicant under an employment contract in a non-research position. May I be pinpointed in the proposal as the person to carry out the research activity?

YES. The terms and regulations of the call do not specify the post for which the person to carry out the research activity must be recruited.


SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENTS SURVEY

  1.  What information should be provided in the scientific achievements survey?

All tabs in the scientific achievements survey should be completed (all information should be provided in Polish):

  • Research career development – please provide information on scientific career development, including scientific experience gained at home and abroad, scholarships and awards granted.
  • Selected scholarly publication – here please attach one selected publication (in a PDF format file, max. 10 MB), please provide background information about the publication. Additionally, please complete the box with justification for publication selection (justification may not exceed 1500 characters).

Note: For creative and artistic research activities, do not complete this tab. Selected scholarly publication

  • Artistic achievement – please complete only for creative and artistic research activities. A description of one of the most important artistic or artistic/scientific achievements of international or national importance should be added here, e.g. authorship of a work of art and its publication (e.g. score, recording), directing of a film, theatre or opera performance, leading role, authorship of an individual exhibition, participation in a foreign or national festival of international renown, artistic management of an international artistic event. Additionally, please complete the box with justification for scientific achievement selection (justification may not exceed 1500 characters).

Note: The Artistic Achievement tab should be completed only in the case of creative and artistic research activities.

  1. Is the publication attached to the proposal (one of key importance) to be the most important publication in my scientific achievements or does it have to be connected with the research activity planned for implementation?

According to the terms and regulations of the call, the proposal has to be accompanied by one of the most important publications – and please provide justification for choosing it. Justification may indicate why this publication is important in the context of the research activity to be carried out.

  1. May a proposal be accompanied by a paper that is not yet published?

NO. Please attach a PDF file and information about the publication that is published.

  1. When giving the number of citations without auto-citations, should one also give the source of the number of citations?

NO. It is not required to provide the name of the source from which the number of quotes was obtained.


OTHER COSTS

  1. How to plan a budget under the MINIATURA 4 call?

The budget should be calculated realistically, while following the principle of cost-effectiveness, i.e. obtaining the best results from a given outlay.

Please note that all costs should be justified and consistent with the planned research activity.

Detailed information on budget planning is included in Costs in research activities funded by the National Science Centre under the MINIATURA call.

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

  1. May I plan costs related to, e.g. the arrival of third party consultants?

NO. Under the MINIATURA 4 call, the only principal investigator is the person carrying out the research activity. Consequently, any costs associated with the participation of other persons in its implementation are ineligible.

  1. Is it permitted to plan the payment of remuneration as part of the research activity?

NO. In accordance with the terms and regulations of the call, only collective investigators who are not employees of the host institution for the research activity can be scheduled to receive remuneration. It should be noted that a collective investigator is a minimum of two persons with a unified scope of responsibilities (e.g. interviewers) and survey participants. The category does not cover technicians and laboratory staff.

  1. May I plan the costs associated with the publication?

NO. The costs of producing and publishing papers, costs of fees paid for pre-publishing reviews, including cost of open access, are ineligible under the MINIATURA 4 call.

  1. May I plan the purchase of a laptop?

NO. Purchase costs of IT hardware and office equipment are ineligible under the MINIATURA 4 call.

  1. Can the purchase of scientific and research equipment be included in the costs?

NO. Eligible costs do not include, inter alia, costs of leasing, purchase, construction or manufacturing of research equipment, devices and software.

  1. Does the maximum possible amount of funding equal to PLN 50,000 also include indirect costs (10%)?

YES. Funds of PLN 5,000 to PLN 50,000 can be applied for under the MINIATURA 4 call. The indirect costs must be within the maximum funding pot. Indirect costs shall be calculated on the basis of the direct costs allocated to the research activity.

SIMILAR RESEARCH ACTIVITIES

  1. The proposal should demonstrate a similar research activity. Whether it is only about thematically similar, implemented research activities or generally implemented similar research issues (under a project implemented under the NCN umbrella or outside it).

This tab should indicate whether the applicant/person to carry out a research activity applies/apply for funding for the same purpose from another source (e.g. implementation of a given trip within any given project).

Moreover, please indicate whether the person planned to carry out the research activity carries out/has carried out activities with a similar thematic profile to the research activity covered by this proposal. If YES, please provide a description of the similar activities and justification for the need for funding of the activity under this proposal.

ETHICS ISSUES

  1. How to complete the Ethics issues tab?

The information in this tab should be provided in Polish. Details of how to complete this tab can be found in The Guidelines for Applicants.


DATA MANAGEMENT PLAN

  1. How to complete the Data Management Plan tab?

Details on how to complete this tab can be found in the Guidelines for completing the data management plan for a research project. The Information provided in this tab should be provided in Polish.


ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION

  1. Where can I find confirmation of proposal submission under the call?

Under the MINIATURA 4 call, the proposal is not accompanied by a confirmation of submission. In the Electronic Submission section, a proposal in PDF format should be generated and downloaded from the NCN, signed with a qualified electronic signature by the authorised representative of the institution acting as the applicant. The qualified signature should contain a valid qualified certificate and extension in PAdES format. The signed proposal should be attached in the Electronic Submission section.

  1. May the proposal be signed by a person other than the authorised representative of the institution acting as the applicant?

YES. If the proposal has been signed by a person other than the authorised representative of the institution, then a power of attorney must be sent to the NCN. The authorization to sign the documents may be scanned and attached to the system along with other attachments or sent to the electronic mailbox of the National Science Centre: /ncn/SkrytkaESP.

  1. Can the ZSUN/OSF submission system support a scan of the proposal signed by hand?

NO. Under the MINIATURA 4 call, proposals have to be signed only with a qualified electronic signature in the PAdES standard.

  1.  Can I go back to editing my proposal after editing was disabled?

YES. Please note that once you have disabled editing of your proposal again, the proposal has to be downloaded and submitted for signature. A final version of the proposal signed by the authorised representative of the applicant should be sent to the NCN.

  1. What should be done if there is a message after the signed proposal has been uploaded to the system: signature verification negative?

In the event of a negative verification of the signature, a new PDF format proposal should be downloaded, the generated document should be signed with the current qualified electronic signature with the appropriate extension and reattached to the proposal.

  1. Is a contract signed under the MINIATURA 4 call?

NO. Under the MINIATURA 4 call the contract is not signed. The rules for funding and implementing the research activity shall be governed by the General terms of the funding agreement for a single research activity under the MINIATURA call. By submitting the proposal, the applicant declares that she/he has read and approves the General terms of the funding agreement for a single research activity.

  1. If a proposal is eligible for funding, when is it going to be possible to start the research activity?

If the proposal is qualified for funding, a research activity will start on the date the NCN Director’s decision becomes final.