Logo of The National Science Centre

The National Science Centre (NCN) is a government executive agency established in the follow-up to the research funding reform of 2010. The Centre supports basic research, i.e. empirical or theoretical studies that seek to gain new knowledge of the fundamentals behind phenomena and observable facts, undertaken without the goal of direct commercial application. The mission of the NCN is to promote the growing importance of Polish research on the international arena and to boost its quality and efficiency thanks to a competitive grant system. The Centre thus announces regular calls for research projects, doctoral scholarships, postdoctoral fellowships and research activities. In 2019, it has a budget of over PLN 1.3 billion slated to fund basic research.

The Act of 30 April 2010 on the National Science Centre came into force on 1 October 2010. The NCN officially started its activities on 4 March 2011 and the first calls for research proposals were announced less than three weeks later. The NCN is supervised by the Minister of Science and Higher Education and the calls are designed by a Council of twenty-four distinguished researchers. The Office of the NCN is managed by a Director.

The National Science Centre funds basic research also in cooperation with foreign institutions funding scientific research. In collaboration with the Max Planck Society (MPG) from Germany, the NCN implements the DIOSCURI programme aimed at establishing Centres of Scientific Excellence in Poland. Furthermore, the National Science Centre coordinates the QuantERA programme engaging 32 agencies that support research in the field of quantum technologies with the co-funding from the European Union awarded under the Horizon 2020 programme.

The Centre also operates the basic research part of the “Research” programme within the framework of the EEA and Norway Grants. In February 2020, the National Science Centre launched the CEUS-UNISONO call for proposals within the Central European Science Initiative (CEUS) associating the research agencies from Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovenia along with the National Science Centre. Under the CEUS-UNISONO scheme, research projects will be carried out jointly by research teams from these countries. In February 2020, the National Science Centre received a Marie Skłodowska-Curie COFUND grant for the POLONEZ BIS scheme targeting researchers coming to Poland from other countries.

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