The Polish Young Academy (PYA) was constituted under the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) Parliamentary Act of April 30, 2010. It is a part of the PAS corporation and was established thanks to the effort of the PAS authorities inspired by the activity of similar bodies in other countries.One of the PYA’s tasks is to promote the activation of the young scientific community, in particular:
• participating in the formation of science policy
• promoting scientific excellence
• disseminating scientific results.
Selection procedure of the PYA members is based on the election procedures for the PAS members, main criterion being the candidate’s outstanding scientific achievements. PYA members are nominated for 5 years, without a possibility of re-election. Each PYA member can contribute to the work of the PAS by participating in the work of divisions, branches, scientific committees and task force committees.
PYA is formed by leaders in respective scientific domains – scientists that have typically already been honoured with other prestigious awards and distinctions, including recipients of the European Research Council grants, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education Scholarships or the Foundation for Polish Science programmes. Despite their young age, many of them have already been appointed or awarded a professor title.
PYA is actively involved in consultations regarding science and higher education policy, including “Law 2.0”. PYA was represented in the Council of the National Congress of Science (NCS) and participated in the NCS conferences. Members of PYA were also involved in consultations conducted by the Policy Support Facility, a group assigned by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education with a peer review of Poland’s higher education and science system, and in consultations regarding programmes supporting internationalization of Polish science, proposed by the newly founded National Agency for Academic Exchange.
In an effort to promote scientific excellence, PYA supports the mobility of Polish scientists. This activity is illustrated e.g. by the report on national and foreign mobility of scientists, published in 2015 in cooperation with “Nauka Ludzka Rzecz” Initiative. Cooperation and mobility of scientists was also the main topic of the 1st edition of Polish Scientific Networks conference (PSN, Warsaw, June 16 -18 2015), organized, as well as the next editions, in cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education and the Association of the Foundation for Polish Science Scholars. Intersectorial mobility was, in turn, the topic of the PSN: Science and Business, meeting held in Wrocław a year later (June 30 – July 1, 2016). PYA also cares about building competence of young scientists. For that purpose, PYA organizes annually summer schools Forge of Young Talents (Kuźnia Młodych Talentów) addressed to PhD students specializing in life and exact sciences and developing so called soft skills.
In order to encourage new generations to practice science, PYA actively supports its popularization. For many years, PYA members have been taking part in Science Festivals in different Polish cities, in Warsaw Science Picnic, in European Researchers’ Night in Olsztyn, etc. PYA has also initiated Flying Scientific Cafes (Latające Kawiarenki Naukowe), popular science meetings that are mainly addressed to children and school youth.
Since May 2017, PYA counts only 15 members. This situation is, however, only temporary: in 2019, new members will join. The call for applications will be open since autumn of 2018.More information: http://www.amu.pan.pl/
ASSOCIATION OF THE FOUNDATION FOR POLISH SCIENCE (FPS) SCHOLARS unifies laureates of postdoctoral scholarship programmes of the Foundation for Polish Science. Among the Association’s aims are the interdisciplinary and intergenerational integration of FPS Scholars, actions aimed at supporting science and popularizing the ethos of a scientist and teacher, promoting of good scientific practice and improving qualifications, as well as supporting scholars in critical situations.
The Association, initially named Association of the Foundation for Polish Science Foreign Scholars, was founded in 2000, during a meeting organized by the Foundation for Polish Science attended by laureates of the Foundation postdoctoral scholarship programme KOLUMB. Initially, the Association was established as an informal group of young scientists, whose postdoctoral training in foreign research centres was financed by the Foundation. In April 2003, the Association was officially registered as an association. In December 2009 the Association, following the establishment of different postdoctoral scholarship programmes of FPS, was joined by laureates of several other Foundation programmes, such as Homing (later replaced by Homing-Plus), Focus, Ideas, Team, Master, Welcome, and – in May 2014 – by the laureates of the programme Bridge, who have completed at least 6 months long fellowship in a foreign research centre. Since May 2016, laureates of all types of TEAM programmes are also welcomed among FPS scholars. At the same time, in 2009, the association was renamed as the Association of FPS scholars.
The Association’s activity manifests mainly in the organization of meetings and conferences, both informal and formal, that support scientific cooperation – interdisciplinar, international and intersectorial, including the series of Polish Interdisciplinary Symposia Inter-Mix and the Polish Scientific Networks conference, that addresses scholars interested in applying research in practice. Every year, in May members of the Association meet during the Annual Alumni Congress, organized in different academic centres in Poland. The Congresses are an excellent occasion for the presentation of most recent research results, scientific discussions, as well as to maintain contacts and friendships. Additionally, members of the Association have been engaged in the debate about the reorganization of science in Poland for many years, as part of advisory bodies or as experts in panels and conferences dedicated to this issue.
The history of the Association has been marked with a painful event – a tragic death of dr Artur Rojszczak, founder and animator of the Association. In his memory, the Association has established an award named after dr Rojszczak. The award is granted to young doctors who stand out not only with prominent scientific achievements, but also with a humanistic attitude towards the world, broad horizons and the ability to break down barriers and to surpass the framework of narrow scientific specializations. The awarding ceremony of Artur Rojszczak Award takes place every year during the Annual Congress of the Association.
The Ministry of Science and Higher Education supports the development of Polish universities, research institutes and the Polish Academy of Sciences science institutes. Pursuing policy in the area of science and higher education, the Ministry prepares strategic solutions and oversees the implementation of EU programs and the use of European funds.
At present, over 400 public and private universities operate in Poland. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education supervises most of them. The Ministry handles the affairs of students, universities and scientists. The scope of cooperation between the Ministry and the universities is regulated by the Law on Higher Education act, and the relations between the Ministry and research institutes are regulated by the Law on Research Institutes act.
The Ministry of Science and Higher Education also has at its disposal the budget allocated to science and higher education, established annually by the Council of Ministers. The rules for financing higher schools and research institutes are regulated by the act on Principles of Financing Science. The ministerial funds are used to finance, among others, statutory activities, science scholarships and material aid.Priorities of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education
Ministry’s priority is to improve the functioning of Polish universities and scientific units and, ultimately, to make Polish science and higher education modern and competitive on international level.
Despite the Ministry’s surveillance and broadly defined cooperation, Polish universities are granted extensive autonomy. To further improve their functioning, and to take action to resolve existing problems of higher education and science, the Ministry, in close cooperation with academic community, created the Constitution for Science – project aimed at radical, but gradual reform of Polish higher education system. The new law introduces changes designed to strengthen the position of Poland in the global race, to improve the quality of Polish academic and vocational studies, to stop the exodus of Polish scientists and students, to allow for a balanced development of universities in Poland, and to improve the working conditions of university employees and deliver innovations and research necessary for the implementation of Strategy for Responsible Development. The law will enter into force on October 1, 2018.
The Constitution for Science introduces new, consistent and clear regulations concerning the entire existing science and higher education system. It offers, for instance, a new model of obtaining a doctoral degree for PhD students, who soon will constitute Polish intellectual elite. The model is based on two possible modes of procedures – PhD studies in doctoral schools or an external mode. The law introduces a universal scholarship system for PhD students. Optimal conditions for scientific research for PhD students are also created by the “introductory doctorate” programme, which aids the development of PhD theses that improve the operation of the companies hiring participants of doctoral studies. Additionally, the graduate will receive double salary: one – for the work in the company, and the other – as a scholarship funded by the Ministry.A key objective of the Ministry is an increase in the innovativeness of the Polish economy by enabling a more efficient cooperation between the sectors of science and business. The efforts are, at one hand, made to encourage scientists to participate in the industrial processes, and, on the other, to facilitate scientific research for the companies – by, among others, favourable fiscal policies, offered by two laws on innovativeness already implemented by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
Aside from the deregulation and innovativeness, the Ministry concentrates on supporting development of the liberal arts in Poland. Polish scientists may apply for funding for research in two new modules: National Heritage and Universals. This way, scholars have the opportunity to focus on problems important for Polish culture, on popularizing achievements of Polish liberal arts outside of the country, and on gaining access to yet untranslated foreign works. In the process of supporting human sciences, the role of National Science Centre has been enhanced, and its actions gained integrity and complementarity with actions of the Ministry. National Programme for the Developments of Humanities is a grant programme unique on European scale, addressed solely to humanists. Grants are awarded for traditional research and translatory works.
In October 2017, National Agency for Academic Exchange initiated its activity for internationalization of Polish science by supporting international scientific cooperation and academic exchange. Students, PhD students, young scientists, science institutions and non-governmental organizations can benefit from scholarships and grant programmes. Another pillar of the Agency’s activity is the popularization of Polish language abroad and the enforcement of its position as a foreign language.Executive agencies of the Ministry
As a public administration authority, the Ministry holds only a fraction of funds allocated to Polish science. Some funds are also governed by two executive agencies. Polish grant system favours interdisciplinary cooperation and undertaking novel and innovative activities. Competitions allow for the selection of projects and research with the greatest scientific and implementation potential.
The National Centre for Research and Development implements actions regarding scientific, technical and innovative national policy. Competitions announced by the Centre focus mainly on applied research, research and development studies and implementation actions. The competitions are very often highly specialized, pertaining to specific domains (Innochem, Innomed), and force the participants to cooperate with corporations and business (Lider).
The National Science Centre is a government executive agency set up to fund basic research. Among a wide variety of competitions, propositions can be found both for PhD students (Etiuda programme) and for young scientists and experienced researchers (Maestro programme). With Polonez programme, the Centre encourages also foreign researchers to carry out research in Poland.
Both agencies cooperate, implementing projects that fully utilize both basic and applied research (Tango programme).Ministerial advisory bodies and institution
One of the fundamental rules of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education is maintaining constant connection with academic environment and using the rich experience of scholars and administrative employees of specific units. Therefore, numerous advisory bodies exist alongside the Ministry, supporting the creation of development strategies and the day to day business.
The General Council for Science and Higher Education is an elective body representative of the environment of science and higher education. The Council delivers opinions on matters of higher education, science, culture and education; it also evaluates laws proposed by the Ministry.
The major task of the Scientific Policy Committee is to assist the minister in the preparation of documents pertaining to the development of science, science policy and innovation policy, state budget drafts and financial plans that establish financial resources for science, national and foreign investment priorities, and to give advisory opinions on draft laws regarding science development and innovation, National Science Centre and National Centre for Research and Development establishment plans, and to prepare the assessment of their activity reports.
Evaluation of the quality of research conducted in Poland is performed by the Committee for Evaluation of Scientific Units. The parametric assessment performed by the Committee allows to assign units to appropriate categories in order to determine, among others, the level of financial support granted by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
The Polish Accreditation Committee is watching over the quality of education at the universities. Members of the Committee are elected from the employees of universities and employers’ organizations. PAC is independent from the Ministry and, apart from the evaluation, it issues decisions on the establishment of new courses of studies.The Ministry improves the quality of Polish science and higher education by creating ministerial programmes and competitions. We reward the best, support good practices and create good standards. We help promising students accelerate their scientific career and support research teams.
For instance: every year, 100 best students can be awarded the Diamond Grant. Award-winning students receive up to PLN 220 000 for their scientific research projects. Laureates can also cut short their career path and undertake doctoral study programmes even though they do not yet have a master title. The EU operational programme Knowledge-Education-Development, disposed of by the Ministry, allowed, among others, for the organization of competitions preparing students to enter the job market. In the Studiujesz? Praktykuj! Programme, universities can prearrange high quality, paid internships for students. As a result of the competition of September 2017, 196 projects for a total of PLN 268 000 000 were accepted for implementation. Competence Development Programme allows universities to implement specific courses that will aid the development of soft skills, useful in the professional career. In 2017, universities were implementing 207 projects selected in two editions of the competition (total amount PLN 230 700 000). Expanding professional and soft skills of the students will also be part of the implementation of Integrated University Programmes (in May 2017 competition, 138 projects were selected, for a total of PLN 1 300 000 000). In the Dual studies competition, announced in December 2017 with allocated PLN 100 000 000, the students will also receive financial resources for internships in the companies. The Ministry also carries out, outside of the competition, a vocational practice programme in Higher Vocational Schools. Students are given opportunity to participate in extended, 6-month long vocational practice (targeted number of students in the programme is 7000). Another non-competitive project, in the framework of POWER – Best of the best!, is a continuation of Generation of the Future programme. From the obtained funds, the students may cover the costs of participation in international championships, competitions and conferences. In the second, 2017 edition of the programme, the maximum funds was PLN 290 000 for a team and PLN 79 000 for an individual participant.More information at: nauka.gov.pl
Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), as the leading scientific institution in Poland, carries out comprehensive research activity aimed at the development, promotion, integration and popularization of science and the development of education, and also the enrichment of national culture. The Academy achieves these goals by carrying out advanced research of strategic importance for the development of science and economy, by organizing interdisciplinary research teams involved in the concentration of modern research apparatus, integrating Polish scientific community, educating academic staff, and by innovatively utilizing the results of scientific research, also in cooperation with economic entities, and by organizing scientific conferences and participating in science popularization events.
Structure of PAS unites traditional functions of autonomic scientific corporation with an academia that directly realizes research goals. This combination provides the possibility to create science by personal research involvement of PAS members affiliated in different research facilities. The corporation of scholars of the Academy includes:
• scientific committees, that on the grounds of their composition constitute the most representative scientific circle in the given discipline;
• task force committees, that are appropriately selected groups of experts, established to accomplish certain research tasks
• national committees, established in order to maintain and develop the cooperation with international scientific organizations,
• divisions, participating in the performance of tasks of the Academy within the scientific fields included in its scope, by the involvement of its members in the works of branches of the Academy, scientific committees, task force committees, and the boards of experts of the research institutions,
• territorial branches, established in order to perform the tasks of the Academy in a particular region of Poland, that above all integrate the academic life in the region of Poland in question,
• Scientific institutes, that are the basic organizational units of the corporation.
Gathered around departments, the institutes conduce international and internal research, both basic and applied, organize conferences, symposia and scientific lectures, provide financial services and perform the transfer of technology.
Recently, Polish Young Academy functions in the structure of PAS. Its tasks are centred around the activity for the activation of the young scientific community, by, among others, presentation of opinions and programmes related to the scientific issues, the organization of debates, discussions and scientific conferences, and the dissemination of scientific results.
Polish Academy of Sciences is also engaged in the publishing and expertise, provides access to the library, museum and archival stocks, organizes conferences, exhibitions and popular science lectures.
As the publishing activity, PAS ensures the continuity in the publishing of the scientific publications and journals most important in given specializations, a part of which are available in open access on the Academy’s web page. Science popularization activity involves, above all, open popular science lectures “Wszechnica”, participation in picnics and science festivals, nights of museums or book fairs; concerts and exhibitions are also organized periodically. PAS research units are actively involved in the preservation and restoration of material culture heritage and natural resources in Poland and abroad. The Academy’s institutions possess in their collections, among others, printed literary treasures, dating back to 15th century, that include early editions of Hevelius’ and Copernicus’ works and Marie Skłodowska Curie’s or Albert Einsteins’ letters. Biological collections, comprising unique plants and seed banks, are also not without significance.
For outstanding achievements, the Polish Academy of Sciences grants: Medal of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Nikolas Copernicus Medal, Stefan Banach Medal of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Polish Academy of Sciences Statuette.
More information at: pan.pl
Foundation for Polish Science (FPS) has been in operation since 1991. It is a non-governmental, non-political, non-profit institution and the largest source of science funding in Poland outside of the state budget.
Foundation’s mission is to support outstanding scholars and research groups and to back innovative projects and the commercialization of research results.
The Foundation is offering prizes, scholarships and subsidies for scientists of any age, at all career stages, irrespective of the represented field of science.
Operating rules of FPS:
• to offer support directly to scholars and research groups
• all subventions, prizes and scholarships are awarded on the basis of a competition
• scientific excellence is the most important criterion in awarding of support
• assessment of the achievements of participants in the Foundation’s competitions is made by Polish and foreign scientists recognized in their field (peer-review method)
• the support is awarded according to the “Hard money” principle (strict accounting procedures for funding awarded)
The Foundation actively supports and promotes scientific mobility and international research cooperation, and many FPS laureates achieve international success. FPS collaborates with over 45 foreign scientific institutions and organizations. We are a member of European Foundation Centre (EFC) and Science Europe.
Foundation’s statutory activities are funded from its own resources, including donations of 1% of income taxes, private donations and European funds. In 2008, the Foundation began the realization of programmes founded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Operational Programme Innovative Economy, and in 2011 it started the SKILLS project, financed from the Operational Programme Human Capital funds. At the end of 2015 and at the beginning of 2016, the Foundation launched new projects financed from the Operational Programme Smart Growth: International Research Agendas, TEAM, TEAM-TECH, FIRST TEAM, HOMING and POWROTY.
Detailed information on the programmes can be found on www.fnp.org.pl