Poland National Experiences

Published: 08/03/2011 | Modified: 08/04/2014, 2:20 pm

Contact details of the institution hosting the BHO

 

National Contact Point for Research Programs of the EU (KPK)

Institute of Fundamental Technological Research
Polish Academy of Sciences (IPPT PAN)
UL. Żwiriki i Wigury 81, 02-091 Warszawa
Phone: +48 22 828 74 72
Email: mobility@kpk.gov.pl
URL website: http://en.kpk.gov.pl/
URL national EURAXESS portal: www.euraxess.pl

Bridgehead Organisation

The BHO is part of the independent unit of the National Contact Point for Research Programmes of the EU (KPK), hosted by one of the research institutes (IPPT PAN), and is responsible for promoting the European Union framework programmes at the national level.

EURAXESS Services Centres

There are a total of 10 ESCs. One of them is hosted by the National Contact Point for Research Programmes of the EU (KPK). The remaining nine ESCs are located in universities, institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Technology Transfer Centres. All Polish centres are within the institutions that belong to the network of contact points dealing with the European research framework programmes such as FP7 and CIP.

Local Contact Point

There are no LoCPs in Poland.

Structure of the national network

Due to various tasks given to institutions involved in the national EURAXESS network, time devoted to EURAXESS activities by each ESC is limited to around 30%. One person is appointed to EURAXESS services in each regional centre; although in many cases more people are involved. A similar situation occurs in the BHO, where four persons work on EURAXESS tasks, but the amount of time devoted to them varies.

  • Full-time equivalent staff:
  • Number of persons:
  • BHO: 2
  • BHO: 4
  • ESC: 3
  • ESC: 9
  • LoCP: 0
  • LoCP: 0

Declaration of Commitment (DoC)

All members of the Polish EURAXESS network have signed the DoC.

National funding of the EURAXESS Services Network

The Polish EURAXESS network is co-financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Each centre, according to the agreement with the Ministry, receives funds for EURAXESS-related activities. However, tasks are broadening as various fellowships and grants have been offered to the research society as part of FP6 and FP7.

Target groups of the Bridgehead Organisation

  • European Commission
  • Ministry of Science and Higher Education
  • national and regional authorities
  • research organisations and bodies
  • incoming and outgoing researchers
  • administrative staff at the research institutions

Target groups of the EURAXESS Services Centres

  • regional authorities
  • research organisations and bodies
  • incoming and outgoing researchers
  • administrative staff at the research institutions

Target groups of the Local Contact Points

Not applicable.

Relationship and communication between the BHO, the Steering Group for Human Resources and Mobility for Researchers (SG HRM), the National Contact Points (NCPs) and the Programme Committee

Currently, the national EURAXESS coordinator has been nominated by the Ministry as an expert for the People Programme Committee and the SG HRM, and also acts as the People NCP.

1. Striving for the best organisation

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:45 pm

The main task of the BHO is general network management, coordinating the activities of the ten ESCs in our network. Another important task of the BHO is outlining and appointing joint network-BHO strategic targets, like the number and scheduling of events. A variety of topics are discussed at our network meetings, including the European and national policy towards transnational mobility and career development of researchers. The purpose of these efforts is to make all the ESCs aware of the overall strategy developed in the areas they are involved in.

The Polish BHO also provides advice on legal issues to regional ESCs as well as to all our target groups, including public authorities.

Another important task of the BHO is supervising and checking the quality of national network cooperation standards, thus ensuring efficient and well-organised work.

The BHO is also instrumental in initiating activities and cooperation with public authorities (i.e. the Ministry of Science and Education) and other institutions (i.e. the Social Insurance Institution – ZUS) at a national level.

Nevertheless, we cannot forget about many challenges BHO workers have to overcome. Little time, focus on many assignments at the same time and the work overload makes some service areas very difficult to manage. But there are of course great rewards for BHO work, in particular the standardised services in all of the network partner organisations. Wherever you come, whoever you ask, you are sure to get the best possible answer or help we are able to deliver.

2. A positive response from your host institution

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:45 pm

Our host institution—the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research PAS (IPPT PAN)—is a partner of many international research projects. IPPT PAN hosts the NCPs for all FP7 specific programmes, and by virtue of that fact ESCs may get their message across to all researchers and scientific institutions performing research projects, including those related to mobility issues.

As the BHO, we use the opportunity of being in close contact with all Polish NCPs to communicate all the types of services offered by the European and the Polish EURAXESS network. Apart from information given to the NCPs, we have prepared a short presentation about EURAXESS activities and asked our colleagues to include it in their presentations. Moreover, the BHO staff is invited to give presentations during various workshops, conferences and meeting organised by the NCPs.

Visibility of the network activities is ensured through information on EURAXESS services posted on the portal and included in folders and other materials published by the FP7 NCPs. A key example is the information compiled on career development possibilities available within FP7 (Marie Curie Actions, IDEAS JRC, Infrastructures) accompanied by legal issues, details and links to EURAXESS. The information is presented in three formats: in a dedicated website, a brochure and a presentation.

3. Involvement and satisfaction

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:45 pm

Meetings and trainings concerning the legal and financial issues related to researcher mobility for the whole network are held twice a year. These sessions offer guidelines that can then be applied in the regions where the network delivers its services. The meetings also allow for better communication in the daily networking process. In addition, the network is provided with training materials. There are also several daily communication channels (i.e. mailing lists) available to consult and provide the network with current and up-to-date information on specific topics and solutions to problems. The BHO takes part in the trainings conducted by the network, supporting and checking their content and quality.

The BHO gives a unified version of the specific issues that arise, which is finally delivered by the network to its users.

One of the challenges faced by the BHO is to react as fast as possible to changes in laws or other relevant subjects and provide the appropriate information to the ESCs in the network.

In terms of success criteria, the training programme delivered by the EURAXESS Services Centres is unified, and so are the interpretations and consultations delivered to users in the whole network.

4. Venturing abroad

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

The BHO cooperates actively with many public bodies and national and local authorities, e.g. the Social Insurance Institution, National Health Fund, Ministry of Finance, voivodship offices and Polish embassies abroad, within the scope of their respective competence areas, to provide the best possible service and relevant information for researches seeking assistance.

One of the results of the joint cooperation with the central Social Insurance Institution was the delivery of the legal regulations concerning social security issues in Marie Curie fellowships, which facilitated an increase in direct payments for researchers. Cooperation with the Ministry of Finance granted the EU funds beneficiaries—mainly researchers—with a broader and favourable tax exemption regulation interpretation, which had a direct economic effect. Another aspect is building a good relationship with the voivodship offices and Polish embassies abroad.

That helped to unify the procedures for employment and simplify the rules for granting Scientific Visas. The BHO also cooperates with the Ministry of Science and Higher Education to deliver legal advice and expertise concerning science in Poland.

5. The mobility of information

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

Since our main goal is to convince as many people as possible that the international period in a scientific career is well recognised and often required in the scientific environment, we organise an annual Information Day. It usually takes place in October, after the summer holidays; that is when people are relaxed, eager to get back to work and open to new horizons. This all-day meeting consists of a variety of presentations and discussions about different subjects concerning scholarship programmes on both national and international levels, Framework Programme opportunities, and other issues regarding mobility in general.

We have also come to the conclusion that we have to invite a number of speakers from different organisations in order to truly capture the audience’s interest, provide different points of view and showcase a broad range of opportunities. Such meetings are highly considered among scientists-to-be as well as the scientists themselves, and the level of their participation and interest is strikingly high. We have also experienced a number of follow-ups; if the people do not find the right programme for them immediately, they eventually come back to take advantage of our services.

6. Be Visible!

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

The role of the ESC is to give precise answers to questions posed by researchers, their families and the institutions responsible for different aspects (visas, entry conditions, social security, schooling system, housing, banking, etc.).As the Regional ESC in Olsztyn, most of the questions we receive are from Polish researchers wishing to apply for scholarships and jobs abroad. Therefore we prepared a guide aimed at three different groups—students, PhD students and researchers—where they can find a wide range of scholarships offered by different national and international associations, foundations and institutions. The guide is very useful for researchers, and therefore other ESCs in our country reprint it.

7. Up-to-date information

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

We run a website where researchers can find a comprehensive database of information on scholarship and research programs, both national and foreign. The database includes many different organisations that award scholarships, grants and prizes to scientists. These offers include information about the type of support offered to researchers, application deadlines, and academic areas in which scientists can apply for support.

The database contains a number of search engines and portals to help mobile researchers find specific information. The database is continuously updated, thus ensuring that users will find the latest available information.We distribute promotional materials during the training sessions and workshops; we also prepare our own materials for each one of these events.

Furthermore, we involve representatives from organisations that award funding and fellowships for researchers and scientific institutions to present their offer during trainings and workshops organized by the ESC.

8. Regional teamwork

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

We are in touch with all international relations offices operating at universities in our region, such as Jagiellonian University, AGH University of Science, Cracow University of Economics, University of Agriculture in Cracow and Rzeszow University of Technology.

Once a year, we organise a meeting for all network partners in our region. During this event we teach partners how to prepare projects for FP7 and how to manage and implement them properly. We discuss different problems that can arise during project implementation, including difficulties with receiving foreign scientists at host institutions. We present services offered by the regional, national and European EURAXESS network; we also try to solve problems and develop plans that can be helpful in the future.

9. Regional workshops for administrative officers

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

Once a year, the regional ESC in Poznan organises workshops for the administrative officers of all research institutes in the regions of Wielkopolska and Lubuskie. We invite employees from human resources, accounting and international cooperation departments. We provide them with current information about Polish law concerning all necessary formalities, i.e. entry conditions, taxes, social security, health insurance, etc.

We invite speakers such as the lawyer of the national ESC or the officers of local institutions dealing with incoming foreigners and outgoing polish researchers.

Thanks to these workshops we are in touch with the employees of the research institutions in the region and can expect that their knowledge in these subjects is complete and up to date. They have the opportunity to ask questions directly to the speakers and to learn from case studies. They can also exchange opinions and best practices and discuss their concerns about mobility.

10. A newsletter tailored to scientists’ needs

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

For the last few years, people who are seriously interested in developing and continuing their scientific career have the possibility of receiving a weekly newsletter from the Regional Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer (RCIiTT). The newsletter contains the most recent information concerning current open calls, job vacancies and other events related to the Framework Programme as well as other issues about mobility. The content of the newsletter is the data selected from a variety of both national and international institutions and organisations providing opportunities for scientists’ career development.

The advantage of this service is that the data have already been selected and the reader receives condensed news containing the essential information.The subscriber database was recently updated and we found that there are 717 subscriptions so far, but the number of addresses is constantly increasing. Many of the scientists follow up with emails and phone calls, which often results in their active participation in the announced events.

This confirms that the existence of the newsletter is necessary and useful for the targeted recipients and potential participants of different research projects. It also shows that given the time constraints of our current lifestyles, information has to reach out to people, and not the other way round.

11. Informing by promoting success stories

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

When trainings, workshops and conferences are organised we invite scholars from different research institutions in the region to take part in our events as lecturers. Fellows present their wealthy experience in applying for grants as well as the difficulties and needs encountered when moving to another country.

For example, we recently organized a very interesting conference about the achievements of Polish women scientists, with active participation from scholars. We believe that a lecturer’s personal experience in applying for scholarships can convince and encourage other scientists to be more effective in the application process.

Furthermore, we promote success among our region’s researchers by conducting interviews and preparing articles with laureates from various fellowship programmes.

12. More than information

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

Employees of the ESC assist foreign researchers and their families with their applications for the necessary permits and documents for staying and working in Poland, such as residence permits, registrations of stay (in a community), tax identification numbers, social security and health insurance. Some of the procedures, especially those involving researchers from non-EU member states, are quite complicated and proceed in a number of stages, requiring our personal assistance in almost every step. That is why our staff has always made an effort to go along with the researchers to public bodies and authorities, help them understand the legislation and requirements, and file the appropriate documents in order to complete the process successfully. It is important to note that each one of the processes we assisted in took from two to six months, and all that time we were in contact with the researcher. Moreover, not only did we help to ensure their legal status and stay in Poland, but were also there to help them when problems arose.

The best example was a case last year in which the final legally valid decision, ordering a deportation of a researcher who entered Poland without the required visa, was finally rejected. But it was only after a long appeal, filed and supported by our lawyer, who managed to deal with this difficult issue. The final result of this case enabled the deported researcher to continue working on a scientific project financed with EU funds.

13. Our legal expert: information at hand

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

The regional ESC in Cracow has engaged a legal expert who is responsible for contact with various institutions such as tax administration offices, ministries, other network partners, and organisations. He is acquainted with new developments and changes in legislation, which are immediately passed on to all the regional partners in our network. The legal expert is in charge of advising scientists and administration officers in our region about legal regulations concerning employment of foreigners, temporary stays, visas and IPR.

14. The importance of networking

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

Our ESC staff members try to be as visible as possible at the regional level. With this aim in mind, we organised public open sessions jointly with other networks such as the Enterprise Europe Network and EURES. We presented our offer and tried to learn from their experiences. Our awareness of each others’ efforts enables us to share information and show our users other sources of information.

15. Getting information across

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

Good relations with international cooperation and science departments at universities and research institutes in the region are invaluable for disseminating information about scholarship and funding opportunities as well as portals for mobile researchers. Together with representatives from these departments, we organize trainings and workshops for researchers (PhD students, post-docs and professors).

We participate, giving lectures and trainings, in regional projects in the framework of Polish Operational Programmes, which are financed from EU sources.

We cooperate and give our opinion on scholarship programmes funded by local and regional government with European funding, i.e. Operational Programmes, particularly the Human Capital Programme. We also act as advisers and reviewers of proposals written in response to calls announced on the regional and national levels

16. Cooperation with fellowship organisations

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

The Poznan ESC cooperates with a variety of fellowship organisations. We invite representatives of these organisations to our workshops and ask them to present the fellowships they have to offer. This enables us to receive first-hand information, and participants of our meetings can ask questions directly to the representatives. There is one more advantage to this approach: people applying for different fellowships can stay in touch with the representatives from the organisations during the application process. We have already welcomed DAAD, the Polish–U.S. Fulbright Commission, the British Council, SCIEX, the French Embassy (Campus France), L’Oreal, and the Foundation for Polish Science. We try to meet the needs of researchers in our region with a variety of fellowship possibilities and help them by inviting speakers from different organisations.Moreover, we stay in touch with these organisations, encourage our researchers to apply for different fellowships, and use our contacts to make the application process more personal.

17. Seeking solutions to problems

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:43 pm

Our regional LoCP was directly involved in the case of a scientist from a third country who crossed the Polish border on a tourist visa. According to Polish law, he was not allowed to sign an employment contract, fulfil the residence procedures or rent a flat. As soon as we were informed about the situation, we started the entire process for legalising his residence. We got in touch with every institution and contact person directly responsible for every single stage in the process for obtaining permission of stay in Poland. Numerous phone calls and individual meetings streamlined our progress and prevented the researcher from being deported.

1. Structure and activities of the EURAXESS team

Published: 10/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:39 pm

At our centre we have one portal administrator and an IT department that deals with technical issues. There are three people in the IT department.

The IT department’s duties are:

  • working on the look of the portal: adding banners, pictures, videos, etc.;

  • preparing the broken link system (work in progress);

  • adding the site map, the legal disclaimer, etc.;

  • addressing technical issues related to the layout of articles, menus, etc.

The portal administrator’s duties are:

  • doing research and finding new information for the portal;

  • adding new articles, information and news;

  • updating information on the portal;

  • requesting the IT department to add certain elements (images, banners).

1. A positive response from your host institution

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:45 pm

Our host institution—the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research PAS (IPPT PAN)—is a partner of many international research projects. IPPT PAN hosts the NCPs for all FP7 specific programmes, and by virtue of that fact ESCs may get their message across to all researchers and scientific institutions performing research projects, including those related to mobility issues.

As the BHO, we use the opportunity of being in close contact with all Polish NCPs to communicate all the types of services offered by the European and the Polish EURAXESS network. Apart from information given to the NCPs, we have prepared a short presentation about EURAXESS activities and asked our colleagues to include it in their presentations. Moreover, the BHO staff is invited to give presentations during various workshops, conferences and meeting organised by the NCPs.

Visibility of the network activities is ensured through information on EURAXESS services posted on the portal and included in folders and other materials published by the FP7 NCPs. A key example is the information compiled on career development possibilities available within FP7 (Marie Curie Actions, IDEAS JRC, Infrastructures) accompanied by legal issues, details and links to EURAXESS. The information is presented in three formats: in a dedicated website, a brochure and a presentation.

2. A newsletter tailored to scientists’ needs

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

For the last few years, people who are seriously interested in developing and continuing their scientific career have the possibility of receiving a weekly newsletter from the Regional Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer (RCIiTT). The newsletter contains the most recent information concerning current open calls, job vacancies and other events related to the Framework Programme as well as other issues about mobility. The content of the newsletter is the data selected from a variety of both national and international institutions and organisations providing opportunities for scientists’ career development.

The advantage of this service is that the data have already been selected and the reader receives condensed news containing the essential information.The subscriber database was recently updated and we found that there are 717 subscriptions so far, but the number of addresses is constantly increasing. Many of the scientists follow up with emails and phone calls, which often results in their active participation in the announced events.

This confirms that the existence of the newsletter is necessary and useful for the targeted recipients and potential participants of different research projects. It also shows that given the time constraints of our current lifestyles, information has to reach out to people, and not the other way round.

3. Informing by promoting success stories

Published: 09/05/2011 | Modified: 06/05/2014, 1:44 pm

When trainings, workshops and conferences are organised we invite scholars from different research institutions in the region to take part in our events as lecturers. Fellows present their wealthy experience in applying for grants as well as the difficulties and needs encountered when moving to another country.

For example, we recently organized a very interesting conference about the achievements of Polish women scientists, with active participation from scholars. We believe that a lecturer’s personal experience in applying for scholarships can convince and encourage other scientists to be more effective in the application process.

Furthermore, we promote success among our region’s researchers by conducting interviews and preparing articles with laureates from various fellowship programmes.

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1. General Information

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 9:48 pm

The Polish social security system is financed within the social insurance framework from the Social Insurance Fund (Fundusz Ubezpieczeń Społecznych), which comprises: retirement insurance, pension insurance, sickness and maternity insurance as well as occupational accident and occupational illness insurance.

2. Foreign employee

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  • Employees enjoy full social security coverage
  • In general, researchers with temporary employment contracts at Polish institutions enjoy the same entitlements as employees with fixed contacts. However, the length of stay in Poland has influence on certain entitlements.

3. Foreign researcher without contract

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In general, the same rules as for employees, apply to this group but the length of stay affects the entitlements.

4. Foreign student

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  • Ph.D. candidates are normally not employed and are registered as students.
  • Students are not entitled to social security and must bring their own insurance. The European Heath Insurance card gives access to emergency.
  • Third country citizens can be covered by insurance if they are staying in Poland under a visa or a residence permit.

5. Comments on benefits

Published: 15/12/2014 | Modified: 15/12/2014, 9:51 pm

All employed citizens

 

Health coverage – Yes, allows using free medical services (internal medicine,

covers what they have paid for a doctor, hospital and medications).

Sickness leave benefit – Yes, for all.

Unemployment benefit – Yes, it’s covered from Labour Fund (2, 45% of the base contribution).

Parental benefit – Yes, researchers receive parental benefits if they have been occupationally active and have had a pensionable income for at least six of the last ten months before the benefit period commences.

Disability pension – Yes. The employer will deduct the contribution in the amount of 8% of the base contribution.

Old-age pension – Yes. The employer will deduct the contribution in the amount of 19, 52% of the base contribution.

Supplementary pension rights – Yes, European public supplementary pension rights may be added to the Polish system to avoid an investing period.

Other – different kinds of allowance such as funeral allowance, nursing allowance or rehabilitation benefit.

6. Eager to learn more?

Published: 19/12/2014 | Modified: 09/01/2015, 1:54 pm

If you would like more information then download the complete table from here