The University of Warsaw received a grant in the first competition in the framework of the “Excellence initiative – research university” programme. Experts evaluating the UW application gave it the highest evaluation score.
The possibility of receiving the research university status was introduced by the new Law on Higher Education and Science. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education opened the call in March. Higher Education Institutions could submit their application from 15th May to 24th July. Out of 20 applications submitted in response to the call, the Ministry has selected 10 HEIs. The selected HEIs, including the University of Warsaw, will receive a state subsidy increased by 10% annually for 6 years (2020-2026).
The main objective of the programme is to identify HEIs in Poland that have the highest potential to improve their quality of research and teaching, strengthen international collaboration and develop management practices promoting scientific excellence.
“The excellence initiative complements other existing UW strategic activities that have been taking place at the university for a few years,” says Prof. Marcin Pałys, UW rector. “We develop our infrastructure within the multi-annual development plan ‘The University of Warsaw 2016-2025’, and modern education thanks to the University’s Integrated Development Programme (2018-2022). As a university, we participate in the 4EU+ Alliance that was selected as a European university. We are planning to create a federation with the Medical University of Warsaw. We are involved in developing projects that were awarded European Research Council grants and other international initiatives, e.g. Knowledge and Innovation Community,” he adds.
The UW application, selected by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, was widely consulted.
“We asked our scientists to indicate fields in which our university should develop and carry out research. They pointed out strategic areas on which we want to focus in the foreseen future. They represent both exact and natural sciences, as well as humanities and social sciences,” stresses Prof. Maciej Duszczyk, UW vice-rector.
Approximately 150 employees were working together on this proposal.
Thanks to the “Excellence initiative – research university” grant, UW will develop five priority research areas addressing main contemporary societal challenges.
Thanks to the grant, it will be possible to:
- set a scholarship programme for scientists that includes funds to create a research team after returning to the University of Warsaw;
- co-fund the costs of traveling to conferences and schools for employees, doctoral candidates, and students;
- develop the existing internal grant programme at the university;
- provide soft skills training (e.g. writing articles, presenting scientific results, project management);
- set a programme for visiting professors;
- open new study programmes related to priority research areas;
- finance the scholarship system and research camps for the best candidates;
- open a kindergarten in Ochota and childcare centers in the city center.
The University of Warsaw was highly evaluated among other HEIs taking part in the competition. Evaluators stressed the fact that UW has already been carrying out world-class research in areas considered as priority research areas. What is more, they tackle global challenges. Evaluators indicated strengths of the University of Warsaw, e.g. good research performance, international collaboration, promising potential, modern research infrastructure, and excellent location.The project that UW is planing will certainly have a positive impact.