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    Concerns Mount Over Possible Changes to Poland’s National Science Center

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    Polish laureates express concerns over proposed changes to the National Science Center, highlighting the importance of independence in research funding decisions.

    A group of 49 laureates of the prestigious Polish Science Foundation (FNP) awards has expressed their apprehension regarding the announced plans by the Minister of Science concerning potential “changes or even the elimination” of the National Science Center (NCN). In a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, they emphasized the vital role played by the NCN in supporting scientific research in Poland and its alignment with international grant-giving standards

    The NCN was established in 2010 after extensive consultation with the Polish scientific community. It was designed to provide funding for scientific research based on criteria similar to leading international grant institutions.

    The letter underlines the importance of the NCN’s political independence in awarding grants, ensuring that decisions are made solely based on expert evaluations. The alternative, the laureates argue, would risk funding being allocated based on political, ideological, regional, or personal preferences, which could be detrimental to the scientific community.

    The laureates also note that the mere announcements of potential changes have already prompted many young researchers to consider relocating to countries with independent expert panels for research funding. They caution that such unexplained and unconsulted changes could harm both Polish science and the country’s international reputation.

    Minister Przemysław Czarnek has long been critical of the NCN’s grant allocation process, advocating for reform to ensure transparency and direct funding toward genuine scientific research.

    The fate of Poland’s National Science Center remains uncertain as discussions continue, with concerns growing over its potential overhaul.


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