Foundation for Polish Science - INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH AGENDAS programme (IRAP)

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    Foundation for Polish Science
    Mobility Incoming
    Formal sciences
    Natural sciences
    Professions and applied sciences
    Social sciences
    Established Researcher (R3) (Researchers who have developed a level of independence)
    Leading Researcher (R4) (Researchers leading their research area or field)


This programme gives top scientists, irrespective of their nationality, the opportunity to create a research unit (innovative center of excellence) in Poland, which will conduct world-class R&D activities focused on a specific and timely scientific challenge.

What is funded

The International Research Agendas programme is aimed at enabling the creation of research organizations (scientific units), which will be lead by scientists with considerable experience in science management as well as their own area of expertise, which will have international teams of renowned scientists from different fields who will conduct research in order to solve a specific global scientific challenge.

The grant should lead to the creation of highly specialized, world-class research centers which apply the best international practices with regards to:

  • HR policy
  • R&D management
  • Commercialisation of R&D results.

Research centres implementing the International Research Agendas programme will conduct their R&D work in line with a pre-approved research agenda. According to the progamme documentation the agenda has to highlight a specific scientific issue – a challenge and a means of addressing it. The challenge itself as well as the proposed means of solving it must be important enough so that the results of the research will be likely to be published in top scientific journals and presented at prestigious scientific meetings. The intellectual property developed over the course of the research should have the potential for legal protection and the developed solutions should be applicable. The suggested challenge must be contained within the National Smart Specialization framework.

The scope of the proposed research as well as the project lead’s international standing are key for the research center’s success and it’s international scientific visibility.


The IRAP is co-financed within the framework of Axis IV of the Smart Growth Operational Programme  2014 - 2020. The total budget of the programme is about EUR 126 million. This money will finance the creation of up 10 units pursuing international research agendas, selected in four competitions, in 2015 (completed), 2016 (now underway), 2017 and 2018.

Each project will receive the funding required to implement the research agenda. The suggested funding amount for five years is approximately EUR 8 million and may be increased.


The IRAP is addressed to prominent researchers from Poland and other countries who would like to lead a project and manage an entire unit during the first stage of its existence. In order to submit an application and implement an IRA project, researchers must cooperate with a renowned research centre based in another country.


The IRAP is co-financed within the framework of Axis IV of the Smart Growth Operational Programme 2014 - 2020.




IRAP_leaflet.pdf (930.06 KB)