Prof. Anna Matysiak from the University of Warsaw (UW) will establish a Centre for Labour Market and Family Research at the Faculty of Economic Sciences UW under the Polish Returns programme. This is where the researcher will carry out her ERC Consolidator Grant 2019.
The ERC grant winner, Prof. Anna Matysiak from the University of Warsaw’s Faculty of Economic Sciences, is an economist. Her research focuses on demography. Under her ERC grant, she will carry out the project titled ‘Globalization- and Technology-Driven Labour Market Change and Fertility’ (LABFER). The purpose of the project is to study how the evolution of the labour market driven by globalisation and technology affects people’s decisions to have children. The research will be carried out in the Centre for Labour Market and Family Research at the Faculty of Economic Sciences UW. The Centre will be established under the Polish Returns programme’s grant for Prof. Anna Matysiak.
The Polish Returns programme carried out by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) enables Polish scientists to return to their home country and become employed at universities and research institutes. In addition, it is possible to obtain a starting grant for fundamental research, financed by the National Science Centre (NCN).
40 scientists from among others American, British, French, Danish, Spanish, German, Austrian, Swiss, Japanese, Singaporean and South Korean academic and research institutions have started or will start their scientific work at Polish universities and research centres under the Polish Returns programme in the period 2018-2020. They do research among others in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Krakow, Poznań, Wrocław and Szczecin.
The call for proposals in the third edition of the programme is currently open. Applications may be submitted until 23 April 2020.
'The Polish Returns programme enables scientists to come back on their own terms and to create something of their own, to use their ideas and knowledge', says Prof. Anna Matysiak. We invite you to read the interview with her.
What was the foreign institution from which you returned to the University of Warsaw?
Prof. Anna Matysiak, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw: I worked at the Vienna Institute of Demography within the Austrian Academy of Sciences for six years. It is one of the best demographic research centres in Europe. I learned there a great deal. Nevertheless, I decided to come back and profit from the experience I had gained by establishing my own research team, on my own terms. There are numerous fantastic young people, potentially very good scientists in Poland – all they need is to be offered good conditions. I hope to work with them and to create here a strong team that will study the family and the labour market. The Polish Returns programme is a great aid in this undertaking. It enables scientists to return on their own terms and to do research in exchange for a fair pay.
You have decided to return to your home country, but also to move your ERC (European Research Council) grant to the University of Warsaw. Was the decision to move the grant affected by your obtaining a scholarship under the Polish Returns programme?
Yes, it was. I returned to Poland in October 2019 and began to work at the University of Warsaw under the Polish Returns programme in November of the same year. I didn’t know what would happen with the ERC grant application at that time. I found out that I received the ERC grant mid-November 2019. Since I had obtained funding to establish a research team under the Polish Returns programme, I decided it would be better to stay than to move back with the grant. The combination of the two sources of funding enables me to establish a larger team that will work on complementary matters. As a result, I can achieve more within one project.
In what other ways will the Polish Returns programme help you carry out the ERC grant?
I declared to establish a Centre for Labour Market and Family Research under Polish Returns. Now, I will carry out the (thematically related) ERC grant at the Centre. The Polish Returns programme will fund my pay. Thanks to that, I can save resources under the ERC grant to employ another person. Moreover, I will employ two persons under the Polish Returns programme. The research they will carry out will be complementary to the ERC study. Consequently, I can carry out more extensive research than I would without NAWA’s support.
How do you use your experience from abroad?
During my stay abroad, I established contacts with a wide variety of researchers. That happened not only during my time in Vienna, but also in the course of a scholarship stay at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany. Now, I’m working with many of the people I met there on research articles. I’m also going to work with many of them under the ERC grant: they will support me in carrying out analyses based on the data available in their respective countries and in interpreting the results. Such contacts turn out to be extremely useful when you’re planning to run studies in several EU countries, as in my case. Furthermore, a discussion involving researchers from various countries will certainly engender new ideas, because that’s how it happens usually.
If you were asked to encourage another scientist to participate in the Polish Returns programme, what would you say to them based on your own experience?
I would say that the programme enables scientists to come back on their own terms and to create something of their own, to use their ideas and knowledge. I would say also that it offers the possibility to work against a fair pay. And I would say that the conditions in which researchers work in Poland are growing ever better. They have improved a great deal: there are numerous possibilities to apply for funding (the National Science Centre, NAWA, the National Centre for Research and Development). Another thing that has become considerably better is the access to subject literature. In addition, you can meet ever more fantastically educated young people with whom you can work. The universities are evolving, too. I can see that at the University of Warsaw. It has taken up a number of activities to support research and the persons who want to do it.
The ERC grant winner, Prof. Anna Matysiak from the University of Warsaw’s Faculty of Economic Sciences, is an economist. Her research focuses on demography.