International Research Agendas in Poland

There are no future calls planned as part of this program.

The International Research Agendas programme provides support for specialised, independent research units in Poland which will pursue international research agendas in strategic cooperation with renowned scientific institutions from other countries. The scope of the proposed research as well as the project lead’s international standing are key for the research centre’s success and its international scientific visibility. The challenge itself as well as the proposed means of solving it must be important enough so that the results of the research will be likely to be published in top scientific/scholarly journals and presented at prestigious scientific meetings.

The grant should lead to the creation of highly specialized, world-class research centres which apply the best international practices with regards to:

  • HR policy
  • R&D management
  • Commercialisation of R&D results.

The applicant

Applications should be submitted by distinguished researchers with significant scientific/scholarly achievements complemented by considerable managerial experience. The applicant can be a citizen of Poland or any other country, including from outside the European Union.

Where required, e.g. if the application covers interdisciplinary research, the application may be submitted by two researchers. However, it should be clearly indicated in the application form which of the researchers is the principal applicant. The application can also be submitted by two researchers if the secondary applicant will be applying to take on the role of Scientific Affairs Director.

The applicant applies to be the director of the new institution. Therefore, all the applicants have to be fully committed to implementing the IRAP and therefore be based at the institution for at least 0.5 FTE.

The research agenda

The International Research Agenda is a research plan that defines a challenge (problem) of a scientific or socio-economic nature (contained within the National Smart Specialisations framework) as well as the working method and approach to dealing with the challenge, and that provides a substantial basis for the establishment of a research centre.

In addition to the precisely defined research problem, the research agenda should be characterised by an innovative and competitive approach to solving it, which should guarantee the IRAP centre the position of a global leader.

International Scientific Committee

The International Scientific Committee (ISC) is an international body composed of distinguished representatives of science or the humanities. Where necessary for the attainment of the project objective, it can also include entrepreneurs who have experience in cooperating with scientists in R&D work, or entrepreneurs experienced in the implementation of new technologies. Representatives of science/humanities must account for at least one half of the ISC members and be globally recognized experts in the field represented by the IRAP. The main responsibility of the ISC will consist of supervising the new unit’s research agenda. The ISC will also participate in key decisions concerning the selection of research group leaders.

Strategic partner institution

The strategic foreign partner of the project is a foreign research centre (public or private), which conducts scientific/scholarly research at a world-class level and meets top professional and organizational standards.

The partnership primarily involves the following:

  • joint implementation of good practice on work organization, commercialization of research work results and conduct of research
  • delegating representatives to the IRAP International Scientific Committee
  • research cooperation is a complementary, but not the primary, role of the partner.

Note: Any institution in which the applicant was formerly employed at or is currently employed at can be a partner if it fulfils the criteria.

Local host institution

IRAP does not provide funding for building new infrastructure and significant equipment purchases therefore, for many scientists and in many fields, a partnership with a local, Polish institution which will provide the space and equipment, is necessary. The partnership can also involve joint actions relating to doctoral or other research cooperation projects.

The Foundation is happy to provide any assistance applicants may require in finding and contacting appropriate partners in Poland.

Industrial connectivity

During the first 3 years from the launch of the project at least 2 of the research groups operating at the unit will establish cooperation with entrepreneurs.

The ultimate goal, to be achieved before the end of project implementation, is for at least half of the research groups operating at the IRAP implementing unit to cooperate with entrepreneurs. The cooperation may involve, for instance, joint implementation of research tasks in the project, consultations on the commercial application of research results, educational or publishing projects, or joint education for young R&D sector staff.

The partnership must be based on an agreement or memorandum of understanding signed between the entrepreneur and the IRA implementing unit, to specify the terms of cooperation and rules for its funding, contributions of the respective partners and division, if any, of intellectual property rights (if the entrepreneur makes a contribution to the project it must be estimated).

Subject scope

Applications in the following broad subject categories will be accepted:

  • Healthy society
  • Innovative technologies, processes and products of the agri-food and forestry –wood sectors
  • Biotechnological and chemical processes, bioproducts, specialised chemical products and environmental engineering products
  • High efficiency, low-emission and integrated manufacturing, storage, transmission and distribution of energy systems
  • Smart and energy efficient construction
  • Environmentally friendly transport solutions
  • Modern technologies of sourcing, processing and use of natural resources and the production of substitutes
  • Minimizing waste, including waste unfit for processing, and use of materials and energy waste (recycling and other recovery methods)
  • Innovative solutions and technologies in water and waste management
  • Multifunctional materials and composites with advanced properties, including nano-processes and nano-products
  • Sensors (including biosensors) and smart sensor networks
  • Smart networks, information-communication and geoinformation networks
  • Printed, organic and flexible electronics
  • Automation and robotics in technological processes
  • Photonics
  • Smart creative technologies
  • Innovative maritime technologies pertaining to specialist vessels, maritime and offshore structures and logistics based on maritime and inland waterway transport

This list encompasses all the Polish National Smart Specializations (NSS). Please note that till the present day the competent central government body responsible for the NSS has not published NSS descriptions in English.

Application date
5 years
Social sciences : Management and Public administration, Information and Communication Sciences, Demography, Economy, Environmental Sciences, Gender studies, Identities, gender and sexuality, Geography, International Relations, Law, Pedagogic & Education Research, Political science, Sociology
Humanities : Anthropology & Ethnology