Polish Returns Programme – Open Call! - NAWA

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The Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) opens the call for proposals under the Polish Returns programme. The programme enables Polish scholars to return to their home country and become employed at universities and research institutes. From this year on, it is possible also to obtain a starting grant for fundamental research, financed by the National Science Centre (NCN).

‘Thanks to the Polish Returns programme, I had the opportunity to establish my own international research team and to carry out independent studies,’ says Dr. Jan Stanek. As a participant of the Polish Returns programme, he has been employed at the University of Warsaw Biological and Chemical Research Centre. He returned from a French research institution last year.

This year, the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange is launching the third edition of the programme. Its aim is to enable outstanding Polish scholars to return to their home country and take up employment in Polish higher education institutions, scientific units or research institutes. The programme offers the returning scholars optimal conditions to carry out world-class research or developmental work in Poland. The funds obtained under the Polish Returns programme cover the salary of the returning scholar and the costs of establishing a project group (research team).

What Is New in the Polish Returns Programme

This year it is possible to obtain funding for fundamental research, as well. Grants for fundamental research (the so called research component) constitute additional funding for the best projects selected in this year’s edition of the Polish Returns programme. They can be spent by the returning scholar and their project group within the first 18 months of the project’s lifetime. These funds are available thanks to the cooperation agreement that was signed by two agencies of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in September 2019. On 2 January 2020, NAWA and NCN executed an annex to the agreement, which provides for their cooperation in carrying out the Polish Returns programme. The agreement and the annex were signed by Director Łukasz Wojdyga on behalf of NAWA and by Director Prof. Zbigniew Błocki on behalf of the NCN.

Back Home from Singapore

42 scholars from among others American, British, French, Danish, Spanish, German, Austrian, Swiss, Japanese, Singaporean and South Korean academic and research institutions have returned to Poland to work at universities and research centres under the Polish Returns programme so far. They do research among others in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Krakow, Poznań, Wrocław and Szczecin.

The call for proposals in the third edition of the Polish Returns programme closes on 23 April 2020.

Who is eligible to apply for the scholarship?

The following categories of institutions that wish to employ returning scholars are eligible to apply for funding under the programme:

  • higher education institutions;
  • Polish Academy of Sciences institutes;
  • research institutes;
  • international science units active on the territory of the Republic of Poland and established under separate legislation;
  • the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences;
  • institutes associated in ŁUKASIEWICZ Research Network;
  • other entities whose core activity is independent and permanent research and who hold a scientific category.

What costs are eligible under the programme?

Activities related to the return of Polish scholars to Poland and the establishment of their own project groups will be funded under the programme, in particular:

  • remuneration for the returning scholar;
  • remuneration for the members of the project group;
  • resettlement of the returning scholar and persons who share the same household.

Optional funding is available for:

  • adaptation and organisation of the workplace and preparation of research facilities for the returning scholar and the members of the project group;
  • fundamental research (the so called research component) financed by the NCN.

What amount of funding may be applied for?

Applicants may apply for a grant up to PLN 2,270,000 if the project does not comprise a research component. If the project involves funding scientific research, the maximum amount of the grant is PLN 2,220,000 from NAWA’s resources and PLN 200,000 from NCN’s resources.

How long should the project last?

Projects under the Programme may last between 36 and 48 months. The Applicant determines the start and the end date of the project. The project may start not earlier than on 1 October 2020 and not later than on 30 September 2021.

The regulations and detailed information and documents (Polish language)

Applications are submitted electronically


We are waiting for your applications!

Why is it worth applying? Read the opinion of a Polish Returns programme winner!

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