Doctoral candidates are an important part of the University of Warsaw community. In order to develop their scientific potential and innovative research ideas, the University offers a range of material and social support solutions.
The University of Warsaw, as a unit of the public finance sector, has a specific budget each financial year derived from sources which include subsidy funds provided by the Minister of Science and Higher Education, project funds obtained for the conduct of scientific research and income generated by the University’s organisational units. The University of Warsaw is actively using reserves and savings from the budget, which could increase spending on social and developmental purposes aimed at members of the academic community. Simultaneously, the University authorities are constantly searching for non-budgetary sources of funding for initiatives aimed at University employees, doctoral candidates and students, with particular emphasis on those with low and very low incomes. The University of Warsaw offers a scholarship system, financed both from the University budget, the Rector’s Fund and the “Initiative for Excellence – Research University” (IDUB) programme. It also provides sources of funding for research and scholarly activities, and takes care of the infrastructural facilities for doctoral candidates.
All initiatives aimed at doctoral candidates are developed in consultation with the University of Warsaw PhD Students’ Union. The University is open to further dialogue on possible forms of support for this part of the academic community.
Currently, doctoral candidates at UW doctoral schools receive a doctoral scholarship of PLN2,667.70 gross per month. In the third year, after the mid-term evaluation, the scholarship increases to PLN4,109.70 gross per month. The doctoral scholarship is paid for a total of forty-eight months of training at the doctoral school. A doctoral candidate with a disability certificate receives a doctoral scholarship increased by 30% of the basic amount.
From the 2022/2023 academic year, the University of Warsaw offers “Scholarships to Start” within the Rector’s Scholarship Fund. They are awarded to the most talented newly admitted UW students and doctoral candidates. In the previous academic year, the scholarship was a one-off payment of PLN18,000 net. The amount of this year’s benefit will be published after the application stage is closed (applications can be submitted until 31st January 2024). More information is available at: https://en.uw.edu.pl/second-edition-of-the-scholarship-to-start/. First-year doctoral candidates with sporting achievements can apply for the “Scholarship to Start for Athletes”, which amounted to PLN12,000 net last year.
Doctoral candidates are entitled to numerous benefits, which can be divided into the following categories:
- support for those in a difficult life or material situation (social scholarship, scholarship for people with disabilities, or assistance grant);
- support for those achieving outstanding academic results (Rector’s scholarship, increased doctoral scholarship, doctoral scholarship).
In October 2023, the UW Rector, at the request of and in agreement with the University of Warsaw PhD Students’ Union, introduced the possibility of applying for an increased scholarship for academic achievement of doctoral candidates who have completed their first year of training. At the request of the University of Warsaw PhD Students’ Union, broad criteria were adopted for the award of this benefit, enabling 750 doctoral candidates to receive it. The scholarship was paid in a one-off amount of PLN2,300 gross. In total, including the cost of social security contributions, the University provided almost PLN2 million for this purpose.
A new initiative for recognising the academic achievements of doctoral candidates is currently being developed. It will be discussed with the University of Warsaw PhD Students’ Union.
Support from the IDUB programme
Another source of financial support for doctoral candidates is scholarship paid from the funds of the “Initiative for Excellence – Research University” (IDUB) programme. Doctoral candidates in their first to fourth year of training are eligible to apply. The scholarship is PLN2,000 net and is paid for six months.
The IDUB Programme also organises competitions for doctoral micro-grants, which allow to finance, for instance, participation in scientific conferences, queries and research trips. Active participation in national conferences is also funded by departmental and university funds.
The construction of the Hall of Residence No. 7 within the Służewiec Campus is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2024. Members of the UW academic community will move into the hall with over 380 places in the second half of the year. The building and its immediate surroundings will be fully accessible to people with mobility, hearing and visual disabilities.
As part of the “Intelligent Green University’” investment programme, the “Hera” building located at Belwederska Street will be renovated. The planned 200 rooms will be intended for the accommodation of UW doctoral candidates. The facility will also include conference rooms, meeting space and gastronomy facilities.
The University of Warsaw has applied to the Prime Minister for financial support for the University to improve, among other things, the infrastructure and living conditions for students in student halls of residence and for research and teaching staff in the Faculty Residence Hall.
In October 2023, the University received information about the Prime Minister’s instructions to transfer treasury revenue bonds with a nominal value of PLN190 million from the Minister of Finance to increase the University’s general fund for the requested activities. The transfer of these funds is still awaited.
Doctoral candidates up to the age of 35 may apply for financial support in the form of allowances (non-repayable financial aid, e.g. for the birth of a child), loans (for residents of the Faculty Residence Hall), as well as subsidies for their own and their children’s holidays (holidays at UW centres, summer camps, stays at health resorts).
Another type of support available to doctoral candidates is the possibility of living in the Faculty Residence Hall or in one of the student halls of residence. Children of doctoral candidates can be admitted to the “University Toddlers” (PL: Uniwersyteckie Maluchy) nursery. It is also possible to purchase a subsidised lunch subscription at the UW Canteen.
Apart from the above-mentioned activities, doctoral candidates are supported by the University in the preparation of grant and scholarship applications. Due to the large number of research projects and grants won each year by UW academics, doctoral candidates are given the opportunity to actively participate in research, which is also an additional source of income.
At the same time, it is worth emphasising that the problem of inadequate salaries in higher education does not only concern the doctoral community. The University hopes for a swift implementation of the increases promised by the government, including an increase in the minimum salary of a professor, which directly translates into the amount of the doctoral scholarship and the salaries of University employees.