Announcement of the PRELUDIUM BIS 1 call for proposals

16 September 2019

The National Science Centre hereby announces the PRELUDIUM BIS 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 may cover funds for research up to PLN 180,000, doctoral scholarships and indirect costs up to 20%. Under the call, research projects carried out over a period of 36 or 48 months will be funded.

PRELUDIUM BIS 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 PLN 160,000,000.

Proposals may be submitted solely electronically via ZSUN/OSF, available at, in compliance with the proposal submission procedure.

The proposal submission deadline is 16 December 2019. The call results will be announced by June 2020.

Please read the call documents provided in this announcement.

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Principal investigator

A research supervisor of the PhD student operating the project may act as the principal investigator. One cannot be a principal investigator of more than two research projects funded under PRELUDIUM BIS.


Proposals may be submitted by institutions operating doctoral schools referred to 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 foregoing Act, for which project funding will not constitute state aid.

Restrictions on submitting proposals for research projects under NCN calls

Thematic scope of the project

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.

Proposals are reviewed within the panels (e.g. HS1, ST1, NZ1). The principal investigator selects the panel. If an incorrect panel is selected, proposals may be rejected.

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

Project duration

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

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 appointed 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 project under PRELUDIUM BIS must be awarded a PhD degree within 12 months of project completion.

Project budget

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

    PhD students receiving PRELUDIUM BIS doctoral scholarships cannot receive any scholarship or other remuneration granted under the heading of direct costs in other research projects funded by the NCN, with the exception of remuneration for the principal investigator in the PRELUDIUM call;

  2. funding for the principal investigator: up to PLN 40,000 for the entire duration of the project (this amount may be designated for remuneration of the principal investigator and other costs of the project);
  3. purchase of materials and small equipment
  4. outsourced services;
  5. business trips, visits and consultations;
  6. compensation for collective investigators and
  7. 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 PLN 180,000 (including PLN 40,000 for the principal investigator). Furthermore, the project budget includes the cost of scholarships for PhD students and indirect costs of up to 20%. During the project implementation, the host institution shall 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 cannot be planned in the project.

The mandatory foreign fellowships shall be funded by the NAWA. PhD students funded under PRELUDIUM BIS shall submit foreign fellowship funding proposals no later than 6 months before the fellowship. More information on the terms of foreign fellowship funding can be found in the Annex to the Cooperation Agreement between the NCN and the NAWA.


The costs of publication of monographs resulting from research projects (as defined in §10 of the Regulation on 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 only be incurred following a positive review by the NCN.

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

Detailed information on costs in NCN-funded research projects.

Proposal form

Information to 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;
  4. information on the required qualifications of a PhD student carrying out a research project;
  5. description of research planned under the project carried out as part of doctoral dissertation, including the scientific goal of the project, 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);
  6. information on the foreign fellowship of the PhD student, including place and date thereof as well as justification for choosing the research centre;
  7. work plan (also in Polish);
  8. abstract for the general public (also in Polish);
  9. information on ethical issues in the research planned;
  10. data management plan (DMP) concerning data generated or used in the course of a research project; and
  11. project budget.


State aid

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

Proposal evaluation procedure

Proposals approved in the eligibility check shall be subject to merit-based evaluation performed in two stages.

  1. qualification check performed by the expert team appointed by the NCN.

    Each proposal is evaluated by two members of the expert team acting independently. Then, based on the discussion at the first meeting, the expert team compiles a list of proposals recommended for the second stage of evaluation.

  2. specialist evaluation of proposals recommended for the second stage of evaluation. Proposals are addressed to at least two external experts.

Based on the individual reviews drafted by the external experts, a ranking list of proposals recommended for funding is drafted by the expert team at the second meeting.

Additional information on the proposal evaluation procedure can be found in the Detailed procedure according to which proposals are evaluated by the expert teams.

Proposal evaluation criteria

The evaluation of proposals shall focus in particular on:

  1. compliance with the criterion of basic research laid down in Article 2 (1) of the NCN Act;
  2. quality of the research planned;
  3. publication track record of the principal investigator;
  4. feasibility of the project;
  5. description of ethical issues in the proposal; and
  6. relevance of the costs planned.

Detailed proposal evaluation criteria

Merit-based evaluation of proposals

Merit-based evaluation of proposals is performed by the expert team. 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. At the stage of specialist evaluation, proposals recommended for the second stage are evaluated by external reviewers selected by the coordinators from among the candidates recommended by the expert team.

Call results

The call results shall be announced on the NCN’s website and communicated to the applicants by way of a decision by the NCN Director within 6 months of the proposal submission deadline, by June 2020 at the latest.

Useful information

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

  1. all call documents included in the call announcement, in particular:
    1. terms of the PRELUDIUM BIS call;
    2. proposal form template, where you can find out about information and annexes needed to complete the electronic proposal form in ZSUN/OSF;
    3. Regulations on awarding funding for research tasks funded by the National Science Centre; and
    4. proposal submission procedure.

Before the proposal is submitted to the NCN:

Once you have filled out the form and attached all the required files, the proposal should be electronically submitted to the National Science Centre via the Wyślij do NCN [Send to NCN] button.

  1. 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
  2. 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).
  1. check if all information in and annexes to the proposal are correct. The verification of the proposal for completeness in ZSUN/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. disable the final version of the proposal to NCN;
  3. download and sign the confirmation of submitting the proposal in the call – the principal investigator and authorised representative(s) of the institution; and
  4. attach the confirmation of submitting the proposal with a signature.

Once the call for proposals has been closed:

  1. evaluation of proposals shall 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 (in Polish only) shall 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.

Detailed information

The objective of the PRELUDIUM BIS call is to support education of PhD students in doctoral schools and funding research projects carried out by PhD students under supervision of their research supervisors in their capacity of principal investigators.

A principal investigator must meet the requirements for the role of research supervisor pursuant to Article 190 (4) – (6) of the Act on Higher Education and Science of 20 July 2018 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 1668, as amended) on the start date of a project at the latest. In the proposal submitted to PRELUDIUM BIS, the principal investigator lays down the subject of a research project to be carried out by a PhD student as part of his/her doctoral dissertation. Following a positive review by the NCN and once the project has been recommended for funding, a PhD student to carry out a research project shall be selected in a call subject to the terms and conditions laid down in section 2 (1) (3) (Salaries and scholarships for students and PhD students – doctoral scholarships under PRELUDIUM BIS) of Annex 2 to the Regulations on awarding funding for research tasks funded by the National Science Centre as regards research projects, laid down in NCN Council Resolution No 90/2019 of 12 September 2019 (hereinafter: „Regulations”).  

The call is open to all those who are not PhD holders and are not doctoral school students. Hence, the call for PhD students under PRELUDIUM BIS 1 is not open to PhD students who have enrolled in a doctoral school for 2019/2020 academic year. The call is open to PhD students who have participated in doctoral programs under the old system in so far as they intend to continue their education in doctoral schools. The call for PhD students under the PRELUDIUM BIS 1 call is addressed at all those who intend to pursue education at doctoral schools in 2020/2021 academic year. PRELUDIUM BIS is an elite track of funding PhD students beyond the limits of doctoral schools.

The terms of PRELUDIUM BIS provide, inter alia, that doctoral scholarships will be funded for the entire period of PhD student’s education at a doctoral school.

Under PRELUDIUM BIS, doctoral scholarships amounting to:

  • PLN 5,000 per month, up to the month of mid-term evaluation of a PhD students at the doctoral school,
  • PLN 6,000 per month, after the month of mid-term evaluation of a PhD students at the doctoral school

shall be paid, on terms and conditions laid down in the Act on Higher Education and Science of 20 July 2018, provided that the PhD student is selected in a call described above.  

Projects shall be carried out pursuant to an agreement, the template of which is available in the call announcement.

The Act on Higher Education and Science of 20 July 2018 and Regulations of doctoral schools hosting research projects under PRELUDIUM BIS shall apply to all matters that have not been regulated in the above-mentioned documents.

Furthermore, please note that PhD students who already pursue education in doctoral schools or participate in doctoral programmes may apply for funding of research projects under PRELUDIUM. They may also participate in research projects operated under other NCN schemes, such as OPUS, SONATA, SONATA BIS and MAESTRO and receive funding in the form of scholarships or salaries on terms and conditions laid down in the Regulations.

Should you have any questions, please contact us by e-mail: or by phone: +48 12 341 90 00.