On 9 and 10 September 2021, the National Science Centre was celebrating an important anniversary. This independent granting agency, which funds the very best basic research projects, was established ten years ago. It was officially opened on 4 March 2011 and the first calls were announced a little over ten days later. Over the past decade, we have created a modern, competitive grant system based on a transparent proposal review process, in which the main role is played by foreign experts. We have developed a portfolio of calls targeted at various researcher groups, with a special emphasis on those who are starting out in their research careers. We fund projects by leading Polish researchers in the belief that supporting scientists is more important for the growth of science than any investment in infrastructure, which is what the research policy of the state has focused on up to now. We are committed to high quality and do our utmost to make sure that our grants go to the best researchers and the most important projects, regardless of other factors, such as geography. One of our priorities is to develop international cooperation to effectively support research conducted by Polish teams together with foreign partners and contribute to strengthening the importance of Polish research in the world. To level the playing field, we have introduced special regulations to support gender equality in research. We also take an active interest in promoting and introducing open access to science in Europe.

Our tenth anniversary was a feast of Polish science.

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9 September 2021

Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Kraków
Plac Św. Ducha 1
6 pm–7 pm


  • Prof. Zbigniew Błocki, Director of the NCN
  • Wojciech Murdzek, Secretary of the State at the Ministry of Education and Science (online)
  • Prof. Jacek Kuźnicki, President of the NCN Council
  • Prof. Marc Schiltz, President of Science Europe, Secretary General of the Luxembourg National Research Fund
  • Prof. Katja Becker, President of the German Research Foundation, Governing Board of the Global Research Council (online)
  • 10 years of the NCN – promotional video
7pm–7.30 pm

Speech by Prof. Åsa Wikforss from the Stockholm University

Science Denial in the Post-Truth Era

7.30 pm–8 pm

Concert of Sinfonietta Cracovia

Conducted by Edmon Levon

  • Rodion Szczedrin – Suite Carmen based on Bizet Opera
  • Krzysztof Penderecki – Three Pieces in Old Style

10 September 2021

International Cultural Centre in Kraków
Rynek Główny 25
10 am–10.10 am


10.10 am–11.20 am

Discussion panel on Science in Pandemic Times

Hosted by Prof. Małgorzata Kossowska, Jagiellonian University in Kraków


  • Prof. Jacek Jemielity, University of Warsaw
  • Prof. Peter Strohschneider, Munich University
  • RNDr Alice Valkárová, DrSc., European Research Council, Czech Science Foundation (GACR)
  • Prof. Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Bristol
11.20 am–11.40 am


11.40 am–12.30 pm

Presentations by winners of NCN calls

  • Prof. Grzegorz Pietrzyński, Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Centre at the Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Dr Katarzyna Cantarero, SWPS University, Faculty of Psychology in Wrocław
  • Dr Sebastian Glatt, Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków
12.30 pm–1.45 pm

Discussion panel on Open Science

Hosted by Prof. Marta Miączyńska, International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw


  • Prof. Andrzej Jajszczyk, AGH University of Science and Technology, European Research Council
  • Dr Kostas Glinos, European Commission (online)
  • Sarah Jones, European Open Science Cloud, GÉANT
  • Hans de Jonge, Dutch Research Council (NWO)
1.45 pm–2.00 pm

Summary of the anniversary celebrations


For the last 10 years, we have supported Polish science by providing assistance to researchers working in Poland. Our celebration included a gala event that was followed by discussions on science in times of pandemic and open science to research.

First day of celebrations – 9 September

“Since the beginning, our main goal has been to focus on the quality of research based on the best standards in world science. We consistently strive to increase the importance of Polish science in the world”, stated Professor Zbigniew Błocki, Director of the National Science Centre, summarising its activities at a gala event at the Julius Słowacki Theatre in Krakow.

In our 10 years of operation, we have announced over 200 calls and awarded over 23,000 grants. We created a fair and transparent system for evaluating proposals from scratch, with foreign experts playing a central role. We finance research for leading Polish scientists, based on the assumption that the most important factor in the development of Polish science is support for highly qualified research staff.

“It is worth emphasising the fact that the NCN’s activities for scientists are organised and run by scientists and have measurable effects”, said Prof. Jacek Kuźnicki, President of the NCN Council during the gala. “In the opinion of many people from Poland and abroad, the quality of grant proposals has significantly improved over the 10 years of the NCN's operations. The projects implemented are at an increasingly high level, which can be seen, among other things, in the increasing number of publications in the world’s best journals”, he added.

The National Science Centre’s budget for funding projects has grown over the years from less than PLN 300 million in 2011 to PLN 1.3 billion in 2021.

“I believe that the way a country treats such far-reaching investments as research funding is one of the markers of modern patriotism, and future generations will hold us accountable for such investments. In this context, I would like to note with great satisfaction the recent information that, after three years of stagnation in financing NCN, the Ministry of Education and Science decided to significantly increase the National Science Centre’s targeted subsidy by PLN 150 million, i.e. by over 12% in the budget for 2022”, the NCN Director emphasised during his speech.

The number of projects financed by foreign funds, including those of the European Commission, is also increasing. The NCN is one of the largest Polish recipients of funds from the Framework Programmes and these funds are allocated to scientists working in Poland.

During the gala ceremony, congratulations and words of appreciation were given by Przemysław Czarnek, Minister of Education and Science, Wojciech Murdzek, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Education and Science, Marc Schiltz, President of Science Europe, and Katja Becker, Chairwoman of the Governing Board of the Global Research Council (GRC). The assembled guests also had the opportunity to listen to a lecture by the philosopher and member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Åsa Wikforss, on “Science Denial in the Post-Truth Era”. The ceremony ended with a concert by the Sinfonietta Cracovia Orchestra of the Royal Capital City of Krakow under the baton of Edmon Levon.

Second day of celebrations – 10 September

On the second day of the 10th anniversary of the NCN, representatives of Polish and European research funding institutions and scientists representing various fields of science gathered at the International Cultural Centre to discuss science in times of pandemic and open access.

Invited guests reflected on the impact of the pandemic on the conduct of scientific research, the challenges it poses to scientists and how science can support countries and societies in functioning in a pandemic reality. The second panel discussion focused on open access to scientific content, primarily in the context of the cOAllition S initiative, whereby European research funding agencies have adopted Plan S to strive for full and immediate (no time embargo) access to publications containing research results resulting from publicly funded or co-funded research projects.

An important element of the conference was the presentations by three winners of National Science Centre competitions who, thanks to funding from the NCN, were able to build internationalised scientific teams, conduct ground-breaking research and achieve world-class results. Their research was presented by Prof. Grzegorz Pietrzyński (Astronomical Centre im. Mikołaj Kopernik PAN), Dr Katarzyna Cantarero (SWPS University of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology in Wrocław) and Dr Sebastian Glatt (Małopolska Center of Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University).

Report from the celebration

Photo gallery

anniversary publication



15 December
First group of 24 researchers appointed to the NCN Council and Prof. Michał Karoński elected President of the NCN Council
4 March
NCN officially starts to operate; Prof. Andrzej Jajszczyk appointed first Director of the NCN
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
15 March
First calls launched (OPUS 1, PRELUDIUM 1, SONATA 1 and HARMONIA 1). In the first edition, calls had descriptive names
15 June
First MAESTRO call launched for well-established and outstanding researchers
15 December
New FUGA call launched for post-doctoral fellowships
15 March
SONSATA BIS call launched for research projects aiming to create a new research team
24 May
NCN joins Science Europe, an association of major European Research Funding Organisations and Research Performing Organisations
15 November
SYMFONIA 1 call for cross-domain research projects launched
15 December
ETIUDA 1 call for doctoral scholarships launched
8-9 May
First NCN Days in Silesia
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
9 May
NCN 2013 Award
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
16 December
First TANGO call launched in partnership with the National Centre for Research and Development
19 February
NCN signs cooperation agreement with the German Research Foundation (DFG)
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
8-9 April
NCN Days in Lublin
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
20 May
General Assembly of Science Europe in Krakow
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
12 September
First BEETHOVEN call launched for Polish-German research projects in in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
9 October
NCN 2014 Award
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
4 March
Prof. Zbigniew Błocki appointed NCN Director
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
13-14 May
NCN Days in Szczecin
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
15 September
POLONEZ 1 call for incoming researchers launched
7 October
NCN 2015 Award
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
14 October
10,000,000 EUR awarded by the European Commission for the international QuantERA call coordinated by the NCN to support research in the area of quantum technologies
4 March
Fifth anniversary of the NCN
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
11-12 May
NCN Days in Olsztyn
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
12 October
NCN 2016 Award
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
16 November
NCN signs cooperation agreement with the Research Council of Lithuania (LMT) to launch a call for Polish-Lithuanian research projects
1-2 December
Lisbon meeting to launch QuantERA
15 December
Prof. Janusz Janeczek appointed new President of the NCN Council
15 December
New calls launched (SONATINA 1, UWERTURA 1 and MINIATURA 1); electronic proposal submission system introduced
13 January
First QuantERA call launched for research projects in the area of quantum technologies
10-11 May
NCN Days in Kielce
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
4 July
pNCN signs an agreement with the Max Planck Society (MPG) to establish Centres of Scientific Excellence in Poland
15 September
First DAINA call for Polish-Lithuanian research projects launched
10 October
NCN 2017 Award
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
7 November
First DIOSCURI call designated to establish Centres of Scientific Excellence in Poland
15 December
Representatives of the scientific community meet with the NCN Management and Council at the NCN offices (the so-called “Round Table”)
9 April
NCN signs an agreement with the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) to launch a call for Polish-Austrian research projects
8-9 May
NCN Days in Gdańsk
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
15 June
SHENG 1 call for Polish-Chinese research projects launched
4 September
NCN joins cOAlition S and signs Plan S
10 October
NCN 2018 Award
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
23 October
NCN Director signs the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)
17 December
New offices of the NCN officially opened at ul. Twardowskiego 16; new Council members appointed; Prof. Małgorzata Kossowska appointed new President of the NCN Council
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
4 March
Prof. Zbigniew Błocki re-appointed NCN Director
15 March
MOZART 1 call for Polish-Austrian research projects launched
15-16 May
NCN Days in Łódź
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
7 June
Agreement for the Research Programme under the third edition of the EEA and Norway Grants, with NCN acting as the operator in charge of basic research
17 June
Agreement between agencies associated within the Central European Science Partnership (CEUS) to launch a call for research projects carried out by research teams from Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia
17 June
GRIEG and IdeaLab calls launched
1 July
ALPHORN call for Polish-Swiss research projects launched
12 September
NCN signs Cooperation Agreement with the Polish Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA)
16 September
First PRELUDIUM BIS call launched for research projects carried out by PhD students as part of their doctoral dissertations
9 October
NCN 2019 Award
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
13 December
Representatives of the scientific community meet with the NCN Management and Council for the second time at the NCN offices (the so-called “Round Table”)
24 February
International CEUS-UNISONO call launched for bilateral or trilateral research projects for research teams from Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland
16 March
POLS call launched
30 March
EXPRESS CALL TO FUND RESEARCH ON COVID-19 launched in response to the Covid-19 global pandemic
14 October
NCN 2020 Award winners announced
11 December
CHANSE consortium (coordinated by the NCN) created
4 January
Weave-UNISONO call launched for international research projects in partnership with the foreign research-funding agencies pursuant to the Lead Agency Procedure (LAP)
9 March
CHANSE call launched
17 June
Conference promoting the Basic Research Programme carried out under the EEA and Norway Grants
zdjęcie do wydarzenia
30 July
NCN, in cooperation with the National Centre for Research and Development, announce the ARTIQ call for proposals aimed at creating three Centres of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence


National Science Centre