Announcement of the PRELUDIUM 17 call for proposals


15 March 2019

Scientific coordinators announce the PRELUDIUM 17 call for research projects in which a researcher without a doctoral degree may act as the principal investigator. Maximum funds available in the call amount to PLN 70,000, PLN 140,000 or PLN 210,000 to finance projects of 12 months, 24 months or 36 months respectively. Project budgets may provide for purchases of research equipment with related costs up to a maximum of 30% of the project value. The research team may consist of a maximum of three persons, including the principal investigator and mentor.

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

The proposal submission deadline is 17 June 2019.

Please read the call documents provided in this announcement. The Council of the National Science Centre decides to allocate PLN 30,000,000 for research projects to be carried out under the PRELUDIUM 17 call for proposals.

The proposal form in ZSUN/OSF and guidelines for drafting proposals will be made available at a later date.

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Eligible applicants

Proposals in the call may be submitted by any entity specified in the Act on the National Science Centre (NCN), namely:

1. universities;

2. federation of science and HE entities;

3. research institute 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 2018, item 1475);

4. research institutes operating pursuant to the Act on Research Institutes of 30 April 2010 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 736);

5. international research institutes established pursuant to separate Acts, operating in the Republic of Poland;

5a. Łukasiewicz Centre;

5b. Institute operating within the Łukasiewicz Research Network;

6. Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences;

7. other institutions involved in research independently on a continuous basis;

8. group of entities comprising at least two entities mentioned in sections 1-7 or at least one institution as such together with at least one company;

9. scientific and industrial centres within the meaning of the Act on Research Institutes (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 736);

10. research centres of the Polish Academy of Sciences within the meaning of the Act of 30 April 2010 on the Polish Academy of Sciences;

11. scientific libraries;

12. companies operating as R&D centres within the meaning of the Act on Certain Forms of Support for Innovative Activity of 30 May 2008 (Journal of Laws of 2018, item 141);

13. legal entity established with registered office in Poland;

14. natural persons and

15. company conducting research in another organisational form than laid down in sections 1-13.

Who may act as the principal investigator?

A person who does not hold a doctoral degree may act as the principal investigator. The condition has to be complied with by the proposal submission deadline in the call.

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

Yes. Restrictions to 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.

What is the thematic scope of the call?

Proposals may be submitted to the call covering basic research in any of 25 NCN panels within the core areas: HS – Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; ST – Physical Sciences and Engineering; NZ – Life Sciences. Proposals shall be reviewed within the panels (e.g. HS1, ST1, NZ1). The principal investigator shall select the panel. If an incorrect panel is selected, proposals may be rejected. Please note that new amended NCN panels applicable to the calls have been in place since 14 December 2018.

What is the project’s duration?

In the call, research projects may be planned for a period of 12 months, 24 months or 36 months. The planned performance period of the project may affect the maximum funds to be applied for.

How should the project’s budget be planned?

Preparation of a breakdown of costs for a research project is one of the major stages in project planning. Focus should be aimed at identifying the required resources and exact estimation of costs. A breakdown of costs must be justified versus the subject-matter and scope of research, based on realistic calculations and specifying the expenditures to be covered by the NCN (eligible expenses).

The terms of the call do not specify any minimum amount of funds to be applied for. The maximum funding may be:

  1. PLN 70,000 for projects that will last 12 months;
  2. PLN 140,000 for projects that will last 24 months;
  3. PLN 210,000 for projects that will last 36 months.

Costs in the project will include direct costs and indirect costs.

Direct costs shall include:

  1. additional remuneration that can be used to finance the remuneration for members of the research team (except the mentor);
  2. purchase or manufacturing of research equipment, instruments and software;
  3. purchase of materials and small instruments;
  4. outsourcing;
  5. business trips, visits and consultations;
  6. compensation for collective investigators and
  7. other costs crucial to the project that are compliant with the catalogue of costs for research projects funded by the NCN.

The costs of purchase or manufacturing of research equipment may not exceed 30% of the funds applied for in the research project.

Indirect costs may be a maximum of 40% of direct costs with the exception of the amount for the purchase or manufacturing of research equipment, instruments and software. During the project implementation, the host institution shall agree with the principal investigator the coverage of a minimum of 25% of the indirect costs.

When developing the breakdown of costs, it is necessary to comply with the regulations relating to the costs planned for the project, including the budget for additional remuneration specified in the catalogue of costs for research projects funded by the NCN.

If unjustified costs are planned, proposals may be rejected.

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

The research team to perform the research project may consist of a maximum of three persons; a person holding a post-doctoral degree (doctor habilitowany) or academic title of professor may be designated in the proposal solely as a mentor who is not named as a beneficiary of the funds under the project.

The proposal shall detail the competencies and tasks to be performed by each member of the research team. The rationale for their involvement in the project shall be assessed by the expert team. Detailed information on the remuneration budget is provided in the catalogue of costs for research projects funded by the NCN.

Can proposals in this call include application for state aid?

Yes, except where a natural person applies for funding. Detailed information can be found on the State aid page.

PLEASE NOTE!

All documents concerning proposals for state aid shall be signed with a qualified electronic signature in the PAdES format.

What is the proposal evaluation procedure?

Proposals shall be subject to an eligibility check and merit based-evaluation.

Eligibility check shall be carried out by the coordinators. Only complete proposals that comply with all the requirements set out in the call announcement shall be accepted for merit-based evaluation.

Merit-based evaluations shall be performed in two stages.

At the first stage, proposals shall undergo a qualification check based on the data included in the proposal and attachments thereto, with the exception of the full project description. The qualification check shall consist in:

  • individual reviews drafted by two members of the expert team and
  • expert team’s verdict at the first meeting consisting in discussing the individual reviews.

After the discussion on all proposals, a ranking long list of proposal approved for the second stage of evaluation shall be drafted.

At the second stage, proposals shall undergo specialist evaluation based on the data included in the proposal and attachments thereto, with the exception of the short project description. The specialist evaluation shall consist in:

  • individual reviews drafted by at least two external experts and
  • team’s verdict delivered consisting in discussing the individual reviews. 

After the discussion on all proposals, a ranking short list of proposal recommended for funding shall be drafted.

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

PLEASE NOTE! The short and full project descriptions shall only be drawn up in English.

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 as specified in Article 2 (1) of the NCN Act;
  2. quality of the research or project tasks to be performed;
  3. innovative nature of the research problem addressed;
  4. project’s impact on the development of the scientific discipline;
  5. research track record of the principal investigator and mentor, including publications in reputable academic journals;
  6. evaluation of the results of research projects conducted by the principal investigator, funded by the NCN or from other sources;
  7. evaluation of feasibility of the project’s completion;
  8. relevance of the planned costs to the subject and scope of research and
  9. preparation of the proposal and compliance with other requirements set forth in the call announcement.

Who performs the merit-based evaluation of proposals?

Merit-based evaluation shall be performed by the expert team. Experts are selected by the NCN Council from among outstanding Polish and foreign scientists, holding a minimum of a doctoral degree. Expert teams are established for each call edition. The composition of the expert team shall be subject to the number and subjects of proposals submitted to each panel.

Proposals shall be evaluated pursuant to the Criteria for evaluating proposals submitted under the PRELUDIUM call for proposals.

When and how will the results be announced?

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 deadline for submission of proposals, by December 2019 at the latest.

Where can additional information be found?

Read the Information for applicants available on the NCN's website.

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

Call schedule

Useful information

If you plan to submit a proposal in the PRELUDIUM 17 call:

  1. read all call documents included in the call announcement, in particular:
    1. the Resolution on the terms of the PRELUDIUM call for proposals;
    2. specimen proposal form, 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 the implementation of research tasks funded by the National Science Centre as regards research projects;
  2. read the proposal submission procedure;
  3. decide how long the project is to be: 12, 24 or 36 months;
  4. obtain data from the applicant 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) or authorised representative(s) of the institution to confirm submission of the proposal);
  5. draw up:
    • a summary of the research project as well as short and full project descriptions (in English);
    • projects’ abstract for the general public (in Polish and in English);
  6. when the proposal is submitted by a group of entities, draw up an Agreement on collaboration for the purposes of completion of the requested research project;
  7. prepare acceptance letters from publishers confirming that the work has been accepted for publication (when the scientific achievements section includes papers accepted for publication that have not been published yet);
  8. have the mentor sign the declaration confirming that he/she has read the description of the research project and consent supervise the research project.

Before the proposal is submitted to the NCN:

  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 entity and
  4. attach the confirmation of submitting the proposal with a signature.

Once the proposal is completed and required annexes attached, the proposal shall be electronically submitted to the NCN via the ZSUN/OSF platform using the Wyślij do NCN [Send to NCN] button.

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 announced;
  3. if the proposal is qualified for funding, a Funding Agreement shall be entered into;
  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 shall be lodged within 14 days of the effective delivery of the decision.