Frequently Asked Questions

General issues

Hopefully not. We assume that the first PASIFIC fellows will arrive in Poland in January 2022. We hope that the pandemic will already be over by then. If not, we will consider other possibilities to enable PASIFIC fellows to carry out their projects.

The PASIFIC Programme does not favor either. It is open to projects from all scientific disciplines, dealing with both fundamental and applied sciences.

English is the communication language within the PASIFIC Programme. It is spoken by researchers and most of the administrative staff based at institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Also, many Poles speak at least basic English, so you should not have problems dealing with everyday life issues in Poland. However, should you encounter any difficulties, PASIFIC Navigators and research buddies based at institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences are there to assist you.

There are no restrictions regarding applying to different funding bodies with the same project, including the POLONEZ Programme coordinated by the National Science Centre. Please note, however, that granted the PASIFIC Postdoctoral Fellowship, you must not receive financing from other sources.

PASIFIC Fellows are not provided with housing. You need to find and pay off your accommodation independently. Should you encounter any difficulties with finding an apartment for rent, you can ask for help from the PASIFIC Navigator [https://pasific.pan.pl/people/pasific-navigators/] or your research buddy assigned to you by the Host Institute.

There is, however, one exception. If your research requires the secondment at the institution implementing research results (i.e., private enterprises, hospitals, Marshall offices, NGOs, etc.), and its headquarters are in a different city than the Host Institute, you can include accommodation and travel costs in the project budget.

No. All these expenses need to be covered by the PASIFIC Fellow and his family independently. However, if the Host Institute agrees, there is a possibility to cover relocation and visa expenses from financial resources other than project costs.

Eligibility

Yes. The PASIFIC Programme is open to researchers from all over the world, who have a PhD or at least four years of equivalent research experience. However, they must comply with the MSCA Mobility Rule, meaning that they have not resided or worked in Poland for more than 12 months during the three years prior to the call’s deadline. See more: https://pasific.pan.pl/for-applicants/who-can-apply

Yes. The PASIFIC Programme is open to researchers at all stages of their academic careers. They must hold a PhD or have at least 4 years of full-time equivalent research experience. PASIFIC candidates will be evaluated accordingly to their academic experience.

Yes. The PASIFIC Programme is open to researchers of any nationality, representing all scientific disciplines. They must comply with the MSCA Mobility Rule, meaning that they have not resided or worked in Poland for more than 12 months during the three years prior to the call’s deadline. See more: https://pasific.pan.pl/for-applicants/who-can-apply/

The PASIFIC candidates must comply with the MSCA Mobility Rule, meaning that they must not have resided, worked or studied in Poland for more than 12 months during the three years prior to the call’s deadline. Both deadlines are in 2021, and so if you left Poland in 2017, for instance, and worked, lived, and studied in other countries in the meantime, you are eligible to apply for the PASIFIC Programme.

No. There are no quotas for young and senior researchers. Based on an independent evaluation, the PASIFIC Fellowship will be awarded to candidates with the highest points number awarded on the basis of the following evaluation criteria: Excellence, Impact, and Feasibility. For more information, see: Evaluation criteria – PASIFIC (pan.pl)

It depends on the system in the country where a document entitling to embark on a doctoral programme was obtained. If a lower degree (i.e., BA) qualifies to start doctoral studies, and the Master’s studies are research studies, then yes, they are counted towards the equivalent experience.

According to the MSCA mobility rule, PASIFIC candidates must not have worked or lived in Poland for more than 12 months during 3 years before the call’s deadline. If, within this period, PASIFIC candidates have been affiliated with the Polish institution for longer than 12 months during the three years before the call’s deadline, they are not eligible to apply.

Application and evaluation

The list of potential supervisors published on the website provides contact information for researchers who have agreed to potentially supervise PASIFIC fellows. Nevertheless, the PASIFIC supervisor may be any individual in possession of a PhD, employed at one of the institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Thus, should you not find the right person listed, please identify your potential supervisor directly on the institutes’ websites  

Please note that during the evaluation process, both candidate’s achievements and the supervisor’s scientific profile will be assessed. 

No. Within the PASIFIC Programme, we accept only individual research projects. 

The evaluators for the PASIFIC Programme will be selected from the outstanding and recognized researchers from all disciplines. We will identify them in two ways. Firstly, by using the network of researchers related to the Polish Academy of Sciences. Secondly, an open call for the PASIFIC evaluators will be announced. 

They are equally important. Both the PASIFIC candidate’s CV and the research project will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • The scientific excellence of the research project and the researcher.The PASIFIC Programme aims to promote innovative and bold ideas. Thus, the proposed research projects should tackle a clearly defined, engaging, and timely research problem. To prove their excellence, researchers should demonstrate an outstanding record of research achievements, including publications in leading journals, reviewed monographs, and presentations at international conferences. Experience in conducting research projects will also be an asset. For this criterion, each project can receive up to 50 points.
  • Impact on the respective field of study, researchers career and host institute.The PASIFIC candidate should demonstrate how their project will change the respective discipline, to what extent the results of their project will be relevant to other fields of research as well as whether their idea has groundbreaking potential. Also, they should discuss the impact of the project on their careers and the host institutes. For this criterion, each project can receive up to 35 points.
  • Feasibility of the project and adequate choice of supervisor.The candidate should prove that even though their project is bold and innovative, it is also feasible. Hence, they should demonstrate that the scope of their project is realizable within the timeframes and resources offered by the PASIFIC fellowship. Another important aspect is the role of the supervisor. For this reason, their CV will also be evaluated. For this criterion, each project can receive up to 15 points.

To find out more about the evaluation process, please watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqAnLkFyF38&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=PolskaAkademiaNauk

The PASIFIC Programme is looking for groundbreaking, innovative, and bold research projects. However, the criterion of feasibility will also be taken into consideration.

There are no constraints for reapplication. Hence, PASIFIC candidates who were not successful in the first call are encouraged to apply again, with a more polished project or a completely new research idea.

Yes. In the case of interdisciplinary projects, PASIFIC Fellows are encouraged to establish cooperation with two Supervisors. Both should have at least a PhD degree and be employed at the Polish Academy of Sciences institutes.

Should both Supervisors be based at the same Host Institute, the PASIFIC candidate needs to obtain one Letter of Support, including two Supervisor’s declarations. If the Supporting Supervisor is from another Polish Academy of Sciences institutes, the PASIFIC candidate must obtain two Letters of Support – one from the Host Institute containing the declaration of the Supervisor and another one from the Institute Supporting the Host Institute with the declaration of the Supporting Supervisor. Please find more information in the Guide for Applicants and PASIFIC Call 1 Terms and Conditions available at https://pasific.pan.pl/call-1/

No. Interdisciplinary projects are approached in the same way as projects pursued within one scientific discipline.

Should your project be interdisciplinary, while filling out an application in the SEA System, please tick the box “My project is interdisciplinary” and select “Additional Evaluation Panel”, “Additional discipline”, and “Keywords” from the list. In the “Free keywords” field, you can enter additional keywords related to the project. Should your project be evaluated within one Evaluation Panel but different disciplines, you can choose the same panel as “Additional Evaluation Panel”. You can find the list of Evaluation Panels and disciplines they cover here: https://pasific.pan.pl/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Appendix-2-List-of-Research-Areas.pdf

Please note that the assessment will always be led by the Chair of a Leading Panel, who will decide whether experts representing the Additional Panel will be involved or whether the expertise of the panel’s experts is sufficient to evaluate the proposal.

The supervisor can be each person who holds at least a PhD degree and is employed on the permanent contract at one of the Polish Academy of Sciences institutes. Please find more information in PASIFIC Call 1 Terms and Conditions available at https://pasific.pan.pl/call-1/.

No. Each PASIFIC candidate may apply only with one application in one PASIFIC call.

Yes. The potential supervisors have the freedom to decide how many PASIFIC candidates will they support in the application process.

No. Due to the possibility of a conflict of interest, the supervisor must not be a member of the PASIFIC Evaluation Committee. The PASIFIC Evaluation Committee will consist of independent experts not employed at the Polish Academy of Sciences.

No. The supporting supervisor must be employed at one of the Polish Academy of Sciences institutes. Such a person must have at least a PhD degree and be employed based on the permanent contract. However, scientific cooperation with other scholars while pursuing the project at the PAS is encouraged.

The selected PASIFIC candidates will be informed about the evaluation results up to six months after the call’s deadline. Please find the timelines here: https://pasific.pan.pl/for-applicants/about-the-fellowship/

For each PASIFIC Call, there will be a separate reserve list. It will consist of 15 researchers per each call.

The PASIFIC Programme seeks bold and innovative research ideas. It does not matter whether they are the continuation of PASIFIC candidate’s research or not.

Yes. If your research requires short research stays at an institution other than Host Institute, you can include them in your proposal. Please note that altogether research trips cannot exceed 28 days, and they must be justified in your application.

There are no formal reasons why this would not be acceptable. This is a matter of evaluators judgment whether the plan of research is reasonable, justified and whether it is going to bring a novelty in your research field. It is important to remember that your PASIFIC project cannot last longer nor shorter than two years.

The most important evaluation criterion is Excellence. The PASIFIC Programme is looking for bold and innovative research projects that do not have to consider the Polish context. Other evaluation criteria are Impact and Feasibility. The impact on the Host Institute is the only part of the Polish perspective we expect in your proposal. Your project does not have to tackle issues related to Poland - you do not have to explain your project’s impact on the Polish economy nor Poland as such.

Please remember that in your application, you will have to explain three types of impact:

1) Impact of your project on the research discipline. You will have to describe how your project will change the scientific niche and explain why it is worth funding.

2) Impact on your own career.

3) Impact on the Host Institute.

Find out more in the Guide for Applicants https://pasific.pan.pl/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/PASIFIC-Call-1-Guide-for-Applicants.pdf

The expected outcome of the research project should be indicated in the proposal. It will be evaluated as your research progress. However, there are no specific requirements regarding the number of papers, conference presentations, patents, etc. Please note that the quality of the research outcome is far more important than the quantity.

You will be asked to provide the final report within two months after the PASIFIC fellowship is finished.

The Polish Academy Institutes cover practically all research disciplines; hence we believe that each PASIFIC candidate will find a suitable Host Institute. Please find the list of PAS institutes here: https://institution.pan.pl/index.php/institution/institutes

Documents

Your application is submitted entirely online via the SEA System. To submit your application, apart from filling out the online form, you will need to prepare and upload the following documents:

  • Scan of Letter(s) of support.

Before applying for the PASIFIC Programme, you should identify a suitable PAS institute and a potential supervisor who will commit to supporting your research. Once they agree, you will need to obtain a letter of support signed by both the Director of the selected Host Institute and the prospective supervisor(s). If you also plan to have a Supporting Supervisor from another Institute (Supportive Institutet), you will need an analogical letter of support from them.

  • Part B1 composed of a Description of the Impact of the Fellowship on the career of the Applicant and the description of the research project (max. 10 pages + references at the end of the document)
  • Part B2 composed of your CV and a track record of early achievements; your Supervisor’s CV and track record, information on the Supporting Supervisor (if applicable), and a short description of the impact of a PASIFIC Fellow’s project on the scientific environment offered by the institute (to be prepared together with representatives of the institute) max. 8 pages.
  • Ethics self-assessment (if necessary)
  • Scan of your Ph.D. diploma or documents confirming the equivalent of the 4-year full-time research experience.
  • Scan of a certified translation of your Ph.D. diploma or documents confirming the equivalent of the 4-year full-time research experience. All documents need to be translated into English or Polish if they are in different languages.

See more in the Guide for Applicants https://pasific.pan.pl/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/PASIFIC-Call-1-Guide-for-Applicants.pdf

Yes. In the CV, there is no time restrains regarding your scientific achievements. However, the track record should be limited to the description of your achievements from the last five years. This period can be extended in case of career breaks.

If during the last 5 years, you have had breaks in your scientific career longer than 90 days, you may submit your scientific track record from the period extended by the total time of all breaks:

  • You may describe your achievement from the period extended by the documented period of absence from work.
  • For maternity leave, the 5-year period is extended by 18 months for each child born, even if your absence was shorter.

In the case of extension, please complete the “career breaks” section in your CV and attach supporting documents in the “Other attachments” section.

No, a juridical notary signature is not required. However, if your diploma is not in English or Polish, you need an official translation of it to one of these languages.

No. An English language proficiency certificate is not demanded. However, your knowledge of English must be sufficient to write a clear and understandable proposal. Also, please note that English is the communication language within the PASIFIC Programme.

Yes, before the end of the Call1, the model fellowship agreement will be published on our website. The PAS is currently working on the preparation of this document.

Your research project description is an element of Part B1 which you must upload to the application SEA system as a separate PDF file. There, drawings can be easily added. The situation is different with an abstract, which is a part of an online form in the SEA System. There is only a text window for an abstract, so the system does not support any graphics or drawings.

No, at the application stage, such documents are not demanded. However, you would need them when signing the fellowship agreement.

Yes. You are entitled to the family allowance if you have dependent children who will live with you in Poland for at least three months during your fellowship.

Secondments

No. At the application stage, no letters from a secondment institution are required. Please note, however, that should it be necessary for your research, you must describe your secondment’s plan in Part B1 of your application.

No. The secondment cannot take place at universities. You can carry out the secondment only at institutions implementing research results, including hospitals, Marshall offices, private enterprises, NGOs and others. They can be situated outside of Poland.

PASIFIC fellows have the possibility of spending up to six months on secondments to the non-academic sector. There are no limitations as to where this may take place, meaning that it can also be outside of Poland. However, secondments should be planned already at the application stage and included in the project description, as this will be assessed by the evaluators.

Budget

As a PASIFIC Call 1 Fellow, you will receive up to EUR 60,000 direct costs for expenses within your project, such as the purchase of necessary equipment, research trips, scientific publications, and more. Out of the direct costs related to the implementation of your project, 20% of indirect costs (up to EUR 33000) will be calculated to be obtained by the Host Institute. In agreement with the representatives of the Host Institute, you will decide upon spending 1/5 of these costs (up to EUR 6600).

Please note that when calculating your research expenses, you should estimate them in PLN. Also, they must be justified and as close to the costs expected during your fellowship implementation as possible.

You can find detailed information in Annex 4 to the PASIFIC Call 1 Terms and Conditions: https://pasific.pan.pl/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Appendix-4-Eligible-costs.pdf and the Guide for Applicants https://pasific.pan.pl/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/PASIFIC-Call-1-Guide-for-Applicants.pdf.

You will need to fill out the Budget Table in your application in the SEA System. Information on the Budget Table, including a detailed description of cost categories, can be found in Section 10.1.6. the Guide for Applicants https://pasific.pan.pl/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/PASIFIC-Call-1-Guide-for-Applicants.pdf.

If Polish is necessary to pursue your research, you can include such a course in your budget.

In general, we allow a certain flexibility in the budget on the stage of the fellowship implementation. However, all changes introduced must be accepted by the Director of the respective Host Institute. Should the changes introduced be significant, also the acceptance of the PASIFIC Team will be needed. In case of large changes, amendments to the Fellowship Agreement will be required.

While preparing your research budget, you can, but do not have to, include the remuneration for your supervisor and other people from the Host Institute you would like to involve in your project. You can also include the remuneration for your Supporting Supervisor, even if they are from a different PAS institute.

At your disposal for personnel costs, you have PLN 60,000 gross. Remember that one person can earn a maximum of PLN 36,000 gross. Please note that in the Budget Table, you must enter the remuneration of the Supervisor(s) and other people employed in your project as separate items.

Please find a detailed description of the Budget Table and cost categories in Section 10.1.6. in the Guide for Applicants https://pasific.pan.pl/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/PASIFIC-Call-1-Guide-for-Applicants.pdf

Yes. If the local workers are employees of the Host Institute based on the civil or employment contract, you can include their remuneration in your research budget under the category of personnel costs (max. PLN 60 000).

Such costs cannot be included in direct research costs. However, they can be financed from indirect costs upon the agreement with Host Institute representatives.

The Budget Table should be filled out in the SEA System by a PASIFIC candidate. However, should you have any difficulties, you can ask your potential supervisor and other PAS representatives (i.e., PASIFIC Navigator) for support.

The PASIFIC Programme has a rich training offer, and PASIFIC Fellows will not only be encouraged but also obliged to participate in at least four workshops and seminars organized by the PASIFIC Team. Please find more information on the training offer in the Guide for Applicants https://pasific.pan.pl/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/PASIFIC-Call-1-Guide-for-Applicants.pdf.

You can also take part in other training related to your research. However, you must not only include its costs in your research budget at the application stage but also shortly describe in your proposal why such training is necessary to carry out your project.

When filling out the Budget Table, you should remember that:

  1. Materials that will be used during experiments necessary to carry out your projects, such as reagents, disposable plastics, or laboratory mice, should be inserted in the “Consumables” cost category
  2. Small equipment, the price of which does not exceed PLN 10 000 should be included in the “Consumables” cost category
  3. Large equipment, the price of which exceeds PLN 10 000 should be included in the “Equipment” cost category

For example:

When carrying out your research, you need to purchase the following items:

  1. Small microscope for initial research (price: PLN 1200)
  2. Large, specialized microscope with a built-in camera for advanced analyses (price: PLN 20 000)
  3. Set of disposable microscope slides (total price: PLN 11 000)

In the Budget table, these items should be inserted in the following cost categories:

  1. Small microscope: as its price does not exceed PLN 10 000 -> “Consumables”
  2. Large, specialized microscope: as its price exceeds PLN 10 000 -> “Equipment”
  3. Set of disposable microscope slides: regardless of their price -> “Consumables”

The SEA System

You can include in your Applicant Team anyone who is not another Applicant- be it someone from your potential Host Institute, a colleague from your current institution or your friend. This functionality, however, was created with Supervisors and Host Institute administration representatives in mind, so it is highly recommended to primarily invite at least one of them.

Yes. You can add to your Applicant Team anyone you want if this person is not another Applicant.

Ethical issues

Projects will be evaluated on their merit; however, ethical issues will also be assessed. A research project that is not in accordance with the ethical rules in force in Poland and the European Union may be rejected.

The required ethics self-assessment. Each PASIFIC candidate will be asked to fill in a table of issues in order to identify which ethical problems may appear in their projects. Once an ethical issue is identified, a PASIFIC candidate should write an ethic self-assessment in which they describe how it will be handled.

Preparing the ethics self-assessment is obligatory only if an applicant answered “yes” to any question specified in the Ethics issues table. There is a template of the ethics self-assessment available on the PASIFIC website [https://pasific.pan.pl/call-1/] together with the instruction on what it should contain.

In the ethics self-assessment, the applicants should explain the ethical aspect of their research regarding the objectives, methodology and possible implications of their project. They should also explain how the planned research will comply with the fundamental ethical principles, as well as the relevant European and international legislation and regulations. The ethics self-assessment should be uploaded in the SEA System together with other attachments in the .pdf format. Please find more information in the Guide for Applicants https://pasific.pan.pl/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/PASIFIC-Call-1-Guide-for-Applicants.pdf

Financial conditions

If a researcher decides to relocate to Poland with their family, apart from the monthly allowance of approx. €2,500 net, they can receive an additional family allowance of approx. €165 monthly net. 

No. Only the PASIFIC candidates’ family status on the closing date of the call will be taken into account. In other words, only researchers that have families when they apply may be entitled to the family allowance.

Working conditions

PASIFIC fellows will be employed at the respective institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences based on a contract of employment for a period of two years. Therefore, they will be entitled to holiday leave in accordance with the labor law regulations in Poland.

In such cases, PASIFIC fellows will need to apply for an extension of their fellowship. However, it will be possible to extend fellowships only until the end of the PASIFIC Programme, i.e. February 2025.

The PASIFIC fellows should arrive in Poland from one month to three or four months after signing the employment contract with the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Please find the timelines here: https://pasific.pan.pl/for-applicants/about-the-fellowship/

No. All fellowships offered under the PASIFIC Programme should last two years. We want the PASIFIC fellows to integrate with the institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences and provide opportunities for further scientific cooperation. Moreover, we are convinced that shorter projects do not have the same impact on either the researcher’s career or the host institution.

While applying for the PASIFIC Fellowship, you can be within another funding scheme. However, when selected as a PASIFIC fellow, you will be employed at the Host Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences and are not allowed to receive remuneration nor funding from other sources.

The PASIFIC Fellows are not allowed to receive remuneration nor funding from other sources. This means that once you sign the fellowship agreement with the Host Institute at the Polish Academy of Sciences, you should go on unpaid leave from the institution you have been based at or give up the current employment.

Fellows are employed at the Host Institute under the same conditions as other employees of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Therefore, they are entitled to holidays and paid sick leaves. Vacation plans should be approved by their immediate superior.

Non-standard breaks such as a sabbatical, which are treated as a project suspension, should be consulted with the PASIFIC Team.


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