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I.3.4. Creation of three research teams that will initiate development of scientific networks conducting studies in the area of civilization diseases, emerging pollutants and circular economy

Competition rulesSelection committee

Competition rules for the leader of an interdisciplinary scientific team; research area “The circular economy – energy storage”

The objective of the competition

As part of the implementation of the Excellence Initiative (IDUB) programme and Action I.3.4 – “Creation of three research teams that will initiate development of scientific networks conducting studies in the area of civilization diseases, emerging pollutants and circular economy”, the University of Warsaw hereby announces a competition to employ a researcher, whose task will be to create a new, interdisciplinary research team. This team leader will act as Project Leader, in accordance with Ordinance No. 115 of the Rector of the University of Warsaw, from 1 June 2020, on the implementation of the “Excellence Initiative – Research University” (IDUB) programme at the University of Warsaw (cf. Monitor UW, item 246).

The team, under the direction of the winner of this competition, will be obliged to carry out a project – proposed by the winner of the competition and accepted by the University of Warsaw – with breakthrough research in the area of “The circular economy – energy storage”.

Detailed research objectives:

  • designing and prototyping electrochemical energy storage solutions;
  • studying biological aspects of producing and storing energy;
  • studying physical bases of processes occurring in modern electrode materials.

Addressees of the competition

A leader of the research project should have at least a PhD degree, and be willing to create a new research team and carry out work in the area of “The circular economy – energy storage”.

Candidates cannot be employed at the University of Warsaw, excepting persons employed at the University of Warsaw for no longer than 1 year after returning to Poland from a long-term scientific internship abroad (lasting a minimum of 12 months), or persons carrying out return grants at the University of Warsaw (e.g., Polish Returns NAWA or Homing Plus FNP).

For the duration of the project, the project leader will be employed as a full-time academic teacher at a research post.

Scientific disciplines: chemical, physical and biological sciences

Function: Assistant Professor

Number of posts: 1

Post affiliation: Faculty of Chemistry UW or Centre of New Technologies UW

Responsibilities:

  • Conducting scientific research, in accordance with the research area of the competition and the application submitted.
  • Taking active measures to raise external funding, in order to finance the team’s activities after the completion of the funding period from the “Excellence Initiative – Research University” (IDUB) programme.
  • Taking initiative to establish cooperation with other leading research groups in the topics represented by the research team.
  • Organising the work of the research team, supervision of the team members – in particular students and doctoral candidates who are participating in the team research.
  • Active participation in functioning of the University of Warsaw, including the organisational unit hosting the research team, and taking active measures aimed at establishing cooperation with other research groups within the University of Warsaw.

Candidate’s profile, requirements, qualifications:

  • A doctorate in chemical, physical, biological, or related sciences, and at least two years of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Distinguished academic achievements, related to the research area defined in the competition, and confirmed by publications (in the case of applied research, by patents and/or implementations).
  • Original research idea for the new team, in accordance with the research area defined in the competition.
  • Experience in team management, student supervision, and the ability to establish cooperation.
  • International experience.

Starting date: in the first half of 2021

Minimum period of employment: 1.5 years, with an extension to 3 years following a successful evaluation.

Expected results

The planned research project aims to form a research team to carry out ground-breaking work in the area “The circular economy – energy storage”, and will obtain external funding for conducted research and establish cooperation with leading scientific centres, which are conducting studies in similar areas, including the development of activities initiated within a consortium of leading national units in this area – PolStorEn. The winner of the competition is also expected to cooperate with research teams operating within the University of Warsaw.

Application deadline

The deadline for the submission of applications is at least 7 weeks from the competition opening date.

Available funding

The planned funding amounts to max. 3,180,000 PLN. The start-up funds also include the remuneration for the team leader.

Financing period

3 years (with an evaluation after 18 months)

Application

The candidate for the leader of the research team should enclose an application describing, among other things, professional experience and a proposed research project to be carried out at the University of Warsaw, for which the candidate will form a new research team to conduct ground-breaking and interdisciplinary research in the research area “The circular economy – energy storage”.

The application form is available at: https://inicjatywadoskonalosci.uw.edu.pl and constitutes Annex 1 to these rules.

The proposal also includes a short description of the costs planned as part of the start-up package. The expenses must comply with the cost regulations which constitute Annex 6 to these rules.

Applications should be submitted in English. A detailed research plan and cost estimate will be specified after the evaluation of the competition has been completed.

The application, including the required attachments, should be emailed in .pdf format to: recruitment_I.3.4@uw.edu.pl

The applicant has the right to withdraw his/her application at any stage of the competition.

The application must include the following:

  1. A maximum of five publications from the last 10 years which document the candidate’s most important achievements.
  2. A reference letter from the last direct supervisor (compulsory for Candidates who will be creating their first research team after completing postdoctoral training), and contact details (with e-mail addresses) of three academic researchers who can provide information about the Candidate (compulsory for all Candidates).
  3. A statement in which the candidate confirms having read and accepted the regulations for conducting competitions, as set out in Ordinance No 106 of the Rector of the University of Warsaw, from 27 September 2019, defining procedures for conducting a competition for the post of an academic teacher at the University of Warsaw (Monitor UW item 282, English translation; Annex 4 to these rules).
  4. A signed consent form, concerning the processing of personal data (Annex 5 to these rules).

The competition procedure

The competition consists of two stages.

Stage I: formal and substantive assessment

The first stage of the procedure for hiring an academic teacher (including research posts) is specified in the Statute of the University of Warsaw, and a positive decision is a basis for further proceedings.

At this stage of the competition, the Selection Committee will assess the completeness of applications submitted by candidates, and decide that candidates who meet the formal requirements will proceed to the next part of the selection procedure.

This is followed by an assessment of the project proposal merits and the candidate’s scientific record.

Only candidates who have obtained at least 51% of the maximum number of points during the first stage of the competition may be qualified for the second stage. If none of the candidates obtain at least 51% of the maximum number of points, the competition is closed without selecting a winner.

Stage II: interview

In Stage II, an interview in English will be conducted to assess a candidate’s suitability for conducting research under Action I.3.4 and leading a research team, as well as the candidate’s research and grant plans for the next 3 years.

Evaluation criteria

The criteria for evaluating applications in the competition are attached as Annex 2 to these rules.

Selection Committee

The composition and appointment procedure for the Selection Committee and the regulations for its activities are specified in Annex 3 to these rules.

Resolution of the competition

After the Stage II of the competition, a short list of selected candidates will be prepared by the Selection Committee. The Committee reserves the right not to recommend any Candidate for employment.

The decisions of the Selection Committee regarding its competencies are final.

The results of the contest will be published on the website of the Action I.3.4 within 30 days from the date of the contest settlement.

Conclusions

  • Concerning issues which are not addressed by the document above, the provisions of Ordinance No. 106 of the Rector of the University of Warsaw from 27 September 2019, on the definition of detailed regulations and procedures for conducting a competition for the position of an academic teacher at the University of Warsaw (Monitor UW, item 282) are binding.
  • The Director of the Excellence Initiative – Research University (IDUB) Programme reserves the right to cancel the competition without notice or stating the reason.
  • The results of the research project should not be intended for direct commercial application (taxable sales).

Annexes

  1. The Selection Committee and its chairperson are chosen by the Dean of the Faculty of Biology (as the leading unit of the Action I.3.4.) at the request of the Programme Director and with the Rector’s approval.
  2. The Selection Committee assesses the research projects and documents submitted by applicants.
  3. The Selection Committee is composed of at least 5 members, including
    1. the Coordinator of Action I.3.4;
    2. at least 2 persons who are employed in different foreign research institutions, with internationally recognised scientific achievements in the scientific field established in the competition;
    3. at least 20% of the Committee members are people from outside the organisational unit where the winner of the competition is to be employed;
    4. at least 20% of the Committee members are people chosen by the Scientific Council of the discipline, appropriate to the scientific discipline as referred to in §1, section 4, item 6 of Ordinance No. 106 by the Rector of the University of Warsaw, from 27 September 2019, regarding the definition of detailed regulations and procedures for conducting a competition for the post of an academic teacher at the University of Warsaw¹, hereafter referred to as “the Ordinance”. If more than one discipline is specified, the relevant Scientific Council of that discipline shall designate one person for each of them.
  4. The composition of the Selection Committee will be publicly announced immediately after its appointment, on the website of the Excellence Initiative (IDUB) at https://inicjatywadoskonalosci.uw.edu.pl
  5. Meetings of the Committee will be convened by the Chairman of Selection Committee.
  6. Each meeting of the Selection Committee must be attended by at least half of its members, though not fewer than five people, including at least one person from outside the organisational unit where the winner of the competition is to be employed, at least one person designated by the Scientific Council of the discipline, and at least one person from abroad.
  7. In the event of the resignation or removal of a Selection Committee member, the vacancy will be filled. In the event of conflict of interest of a Selection Committee member in relation to an applicant, the Committee will deliberate as a whole, less the member that the previously-mentioned circumstances concern.
  8. The Chairman of Selection Committee excludes a member with a conflict of interest from the Selection Committee for the period when the respective application will be discussed. The conflict of interest includes the following situations:
    1. the committee member is a spouse, in-law or relative to the second degree of the applicant;
    2. the committee member is related to an applicant through adoption, custody, or guardianship;
    3. the committee member has an existing legal or factual relationship with an applicant which may give rise to justifiable doubts as to the committee member’s impartiality;
    4. the committee member has co-authored publications and/or patents with the applicant, within the period of five years before the year of the application.
  9. A committee member will inform the Selection Committee of any special circumstances such as those referred to in the above point, before beginning the evaluation process of the applications.
  10. A Selection Committee member who has been excluded from the evaluation process of a given applicant will not take part in scoring that person’s application and will not be present during the Committee’s deliberations. The exclusion of a member of the Selection Committee during the scoring of a particular application will be noted in the minutes from the meeting, along with a statement of the reason for that committee member’s exclusion.
  11. It is allowed for members of the Selection Committee to take part in the committee meetings using electronic means of communication.
  12. The Dean of the Faculty of Biology will appoint a Committee Secretary from the Faculty employees. The Committee Secretary will prepare a report on the Selection Committee meetings (Appendix no. 2 to the Ordinance) and provide administrative and technical support for the Selection Committee.
  13. The Committee Secretary may be appointed from outside the Selection Committee. If the Secretary has been chosen from outside the Committee, he/she will participate in the meetings of the Selection Committee without the right to vote.
  14. The report from the Selection Committee meetings can be signed in a circulation mode as well as with electronic signatures.
  15. A copy of the report, signed by the Chairperson and the Secretary, together with appendixes required by the Ordinance, will be forwarded to the Coordinating Office of IDUB for archiving, within 14 days of the closing date of the competition.

¹ Original document in Polish: https://monitor.uw.edu.pl/Lists/Uchway/Uchwała.aspx?ID=5034

Catalogue of authorised expenses in the project. The catalogue is open-ended

An eligible expense in a project is one which may be funded, provided that it meets the following cumulative conditions:

  • it is essential to the project;
  • it is purposeful and economical;
  • it is identifiable and verifiable;
  • it complies with applicable rules, including those specified in this document.

Remuneration expenses – this category includes salary costs, along with non-wage labour costs, provided exclusively to members of the research team, i.e., the Project leader and other persons employed in the project.

The remuneration (on the basis of an employment contract) includes the total remuneration costs along with other, non-wage labour costs. One who works full-time on the project may be eligible for the following wages:

  • the project leader – up to 20,000 PLN gross/month (approx. 26,287.38 PLN total cost of employment/month);
  • an early career researcher with a significant scientific record (postdoc) – up to 15 000 PLN gross/month (approx. 19,715.54 PLN total cost of employment/month);
  • a junior researcher with a significant scientific record – up to 10,000 PLN gross/month (approx. 13,143.69 PLN total cost of employment/month);
  • a member of supporting staff – up to 10,000 PLN gross/month (approx. 13,143.69 PLN total cost of employment/month).

NOTE: The rates given above are approximations; applicable labour laws will be used to calculate the final salary.

Equipment expenses – this category includes purchases or the manufacturing costs of research equipment, other equipment, and software necessary to conduct scientific work.

Other expenses – this category includes costs which do not fall under “Remuneration expenses” or “Equipment expenses”, e.g.:

Materials and small equipment – the purchase of materials and non-durable assets which are intended for direct use during project implementation, including but not limited to raw materials, semi-finished products, reagents, office supplies and stationery, small laboratory devices, IT/office equipment.

External services – this category includes expenses concerning services from external entities (institutions and persons conducting business activity), such as purchasing research services (laboratory analyses, statistical studies, surveys, etc.), costs of purchasing other specialised services necessary for proper project implementation (corrections of foreign language texts, editing, graphic design, consultation, monitoring services, etc.), the costs of postal, courier or transport services directly related to the implementation of a specific research task, and translation and manuscript editing costs.

Business trips – the costs of business trips taken by research team members, among others the costs of participating in seminars/conferences related to the subject matter of the project, the costs of travel (trips) necessary for the project implementation, e.g., queries, field research, etc.

The costs of business trips may include subsistence allowances, conference fees, other justified and necessary costs such as visas, vaccinations, etc.

Visits, consultations – the costs of individual visits of external collaborators and/or consultants closely related to the subject of the project. In this category, only personnel costs in the form of allowances, travel and accommodation expenses are eligible.

Other – other expenses not falling under the above categories, including (but not limited to) the costs of purchasing or accessing data/databases, specialised scientific and professional publications and/or aids.

Selection committee

  1. Dr Anna Ajduk – Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Action I.3.4 leader – chair
  2. Prof. Beata Krasnodębska-Ostręga – Faculty of Chemistry, University of Warsaw
  3. Prof. Paweł Kulesza – Faculty of Chemistry, University of Warsaw
  4. Prof. Joanna Kargul – Centre of New Technologies, University of Warsaw
  5. Prof. Wojciech Grochala – Centre of New Technologies, University of Warsaw
  6. Dr Barbara Piętka – Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw
  7. Prof. Łukasz Figiel – University of Warwick, UK
  8. Prof. Huub de Groot – Leiden University, The Netherlands