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Six research units received leading centre status

25.07.2012 Universities
Warszawa, 12.07.2012. Minister nauki i szkolnictwa wyższego Barbara Kudrycka (3P) i premier Donald Tusk (2P) podczas uroczystości ogłoszenia Krajowych Naukowych Ośrodków Wiodących (KNOW) i najlepszych kierunków studiów w Polsce
 w Warszawie, 12 bm. (rp/kru) PAP/Radek Pietruszka

PAP © 2012 / Radek Pietruszka

Even PLN 50 million for five years may receive each of six centres, which in Warsaw received the National Leading Research Centres (KNOW) status at the hands of Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Minister of Science and Higher Education Barbara Kudrycka.

KNOW status is awarded for five years. During this time, the best centres may receive additional funding of up to PLN 50 million from the state budget. The money can be spent on strengthening the scientific and research potential, scientific staff development, creating attractive conditions for research work, building a strong and recognizable brand, as well as higher salaries for researchers or hiring renowned foreign scientists. Granting of KNOW status to the best research centres is one of the components of the 2011reform of higher education.


"We felt that the time of crisis, when we think twice before spending every penny, is not the time that exempts us from setting priorities. However, it should be done more carefully than in easier times" - said Prime Minister Donald Tusk during the ceremony at the Prime Minister's Office. He noted that the fact of awarding top centres testifies to the fact that Poland invests in quality in different areas of life.


In the first edition of the competition, three National Leading Research Centres (KNOW) specializing in science have been elected, and three specializing in a broad range of medical science. Awarded in the field of mathematical sciences was Warsaw Centre for Mathematical Sciences - a joint project of the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics of the University of Warsaw and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences PAS.


In the field of physical sciences, KNOW status was awarded to Marian Smoluchowski Kraków Research Consortium "Matter - Energy - Future" formed by Kraków units: Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science of AGH University of Science and Technology, Institute of Nuclear Physics PAS, Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry PAS, Faculty of Chemistry and Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science of the Jagiellonian University. Best in the field of chemistry was Warsaw Academic Chemical Consortium formed by the faculties of chemistry of the University of Warsaw and Warsaw University of Technology.


Winnes in medical science was the Research Consortium of the Jagiellonian University Medical College and the Institute of Pharmacology PAS, and best in pharmaceutical sciences was the Faculty of Pharmacy with the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the Medical University of Gdańsk. KNOW status in the field of Health Sciences was also awarded to the Centre for Innovative Research in Białystok, formed by the faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy of the Medical University of Białystok, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre PAS. The centre cooperates with centres in Belgium and Spain.


"Today we reward medicine and science centres, and with good reason: they are strongest in Poland" - the Minister of Science and Higher Education Prof. Barbara Kudrycka told reporters after the ceremony. She explained that already today the winning centres are competing with major institutions in the world. "We offer our support of PLN 50 million" - she noted.


Kudrycka Minister announced that next year KNOW status will be granted to centres operating in other areas of science. "I admit that after this pilot program we have to decide what areas these will be - she said. - In science and medical sciences the evaluation was not particularly difficult, because the scientific assessment is based on extremely strict criteria". She emphasized that optimal criteria should be developed for other sciences.


Units that may apply for the KNOW status include basic organizational units of universities, research centres (both acting within the university and formed in collaboration with other units), and research consortia.


The best courses of study in Poland selected by the Polish Accreditation Committee were also awarded during the ceremony. The minister explained that winning centres would receive PLN 3 million over 3 years. Awards went to over 20 courses in Poland, mostly to schools in Wrocław, Kraków and Poznań.


PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland


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