EARMA Conference Oslo


How to support researchers in aberrant, unstable situations? Experience of a research funding institution (RFI)

Urgent support of urgent activities in response to urgent situations – experience of a research and mobility financing institution


EARMA Conference Oslo

Format: Pecha Kucha

Topic: Organising Support Services & Team Building

Session: B6: Organising Support Services & Team Building: 4 separate Pecha Kuchas

Friday 6 May 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (UTC)


1. Explanation
Learning about reality, that is acquiring "know-how" and "know-why" knowledge, should confront – especially now – with the sudden challenges. For research funders it should be an impulse to rethink the programme portfolio so that it takes into account urgent grant schemes enabling quick and effective response to these sudden phenomena. This is related to the social responsibility of science, which includes informing, explaining, convincing and sharing information.

The Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (hereinafter: NAWA), established in 2017, works for the internationalization of Polish science by supporting and stimulating international research cooperation and academic exchange. NAWA’s aims to strengthen scientific excellence, internationalize Polish universities and scientific institutions, as well as to promote Poland as a country offering interesting educational and research opportunities. These goals are realized through the wide funding offer of the Agency. NAWA, in the fourth year of its operation, has already developed a portfolio of grant programmes, successfully established in the scientific community.

The RFIs in 2020 have been confronted with new challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, generating new research ventures. Therefore we established the “NAWA Urgency Grants” programme to support the international cooperation of research teams & the international mobility of researchers in response to important events with global or regional implications. The implementation of projects under the programme will enable researchers to collect data, acquire new knowledge, investigate the effects and significance of an extreme event as soon as possible after its occurrence.

Social responsibility of science is not only about specific structural support in the form of conceptual development of new grant programmes in response to the need of urgency schemes. This is also supporting researchers at risk. The latest support programme, addressed to Ukrainian students and PhD candidates who flee Ukraine due to Russian military aggression, is the "Solidarity with Ukraine". At the very beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Polish academic and scientific community clearly defined their position and willingness to provide assistance and support to the Ukrainian people. As a result of consultations, a support system was developed that will allow Ukrainian refugee students and doctoral candidates to continue their education. Due to the tense political situation in Belarus, NAWA organized the “Solidarity with Belarus” programme to enable researchers from Belarusian universities and scientific institutions, who hold at least their PhD, to visit Polish HEIs. The measure is an expression of solidarity with the Belarusian academic community. Aside from the didactic/scientific purposes, it is intended to support researchers from Belarus by enabling them to conduct high-level research in Poland and to work without restrictions.

2. Format choice
During a Pecha Kucha presentation, the experience of NAWA from the last period in the field of creating urgency schemes in response to sudden civilization challenges in the natural and social dimension will be introduced to the audience. After the presentation we would like to participate in a Q&A session. As a result we are ready to prepare an article for the EARMA newsletter or for any kind of dedicated publication, as well as repeat presentation in another location.

3. Participants will learn about:
NAWA’s activity profile;
the need to effectively and efficiently respond to the emergency civilization challenges – from the perspective of RFI;
NAWA’s experience in confronting recent urgent and sudden events that require efficient, quick and thoughtful action;
NAWA’s experiences from the implementation of the “NAWA Urgency Grants” programme, “Solidarity with Ukraine” and the “Solidarity with Belarus”.