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Research and development activities are performed in Poland by public and private sector institutions. However, most of such activities are carried out in the public sector. Key actors are universities, research institutes, as well as commercial and non-profit companies of different size. Find  out more in the Research in Poland website. Funding for research comes mainly from the state budget in the form of statutory funding and grants. The former is mainly allocated to the institutions by the Ministry of Education and Science, depending on the results of the national evaluation carried out every 4 years. Grants are offered through open calls by agencies subordinate to the Minister of Science and by other non-governmental institutions and private sector. R&D units are also largely supported by the European Structural Funds and Framework Programmes such as Horizon 2020 (2014-2020) or Horizon Europe (2021-2027).

The structure and basis of operation within the research system in Poland are defined in the Higher Education and Science Act, known as the Constitution for Science, in short Act 2.0 (introduced in October 2018). The Act enforces significant changes to the science system, among others it creates better conditions for scientific and didactic excellence, ensures sustainable development of academic centres across the country, introduces doctoral schools and gives universities appropriate tools necessary for effective management. Data on Polish science and higher education is collected by an integrated POL-on System created in 2011 with an objective to exert genuine influence on the effectiveness of public spending on science and education.

Key research infrastructure in Poland

Top laboratories and other state-of-the-art research infrastructure is presented in the "Polish Roadmap for Research Infrastructures" prepared by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education based on highest international standards. Published in January 2020 the brochure includes 70 strategic research infrastructures, divided into six scientific areas (following the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures classification):

  • Physical sciences & engineering (23 projects);
  • Social sciences & humanities (6 projects);
  • Technical sciences & energy (14 projects);
  • Earth & environmental sciences (5 projects);
  • Medical, biological & agricultural sciences (16 projects);
  • Digital infrastructures (6 projects).

40 of 70 infrastructures included in the Roadmap are nationally-based, while 30 have an international dimension.

Polish scientific achievements

Polish Science Day is celebrated on February 19th (the birthday of Nicolas Copernicus) in recognition of the achievements of Polish scientists.

Read more at Science in Poland website.

Supporting bodies

​Several institutions located in Poland and abroad support research and development activities and help the government and its agencies to create a research and innovation strategy. Apart from the national bodies, there are organisations that represent interests of their members to the state and local government authorities and to the other organisations operating in research and development sector.



In Poland there are various public and private organisations performing research and development activities. The most active among them are universities, institutes of Polish Academy of Sciences, the Łukasiewicz Research Network and other research institutes.

89 of these research institutions have received the European HR Excellence in Research award from the European Commission. This “logo” is granted to European R&D and funding organisations which implement the European Human Resources Strategy for Researchers in order to create more attractive research conditions and open and transparent recruitment processes for their scientific employees.

List of awarded institutions

A complex evaluation of government-funded research organisations is performed by the Committee for the Research Organisations Evaluation (KEJN), an advisory body for the Minister of Science and Higher Education. The evaluation takes place every 4 years according to the following criteria:

  • scientific achievements,
  • research potential,
  • socio-economic impact of research and artistic activity,
  • other impact of research and artistic activity.

As a result of the evaluation, research organisations are classified into one of the categories:

  • A+ (leading)
  • A (very good)
  • B (satisfactory)
  • C (not satisfactory)

This classification has a direct impact on the level of funding granted by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education for further development of research potential, young research staff and education activities of the organisations.



There are ca. 400 higher education institutions: about 100 public (state-funded) and 300 private institutions. The majority of the universities are supervised by the Minister of Science and Higher Education but some of them are governed by other relevant ministries (i.e. the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of National Defence). Many universities establish special units called technology transfer centres whose mission is supporting research staff and students in exploitation of their research results and other entrepreneurial and innovation activities. Commercial activities and IPR issues are also supported as the centres act as a link between the university and external organisations.

See the list by categories

It is worth underlying that the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education nominated 10 universities most active in research – Research Universities evaluated by a panel of international experts:

University of Warsaw, Gdansk University of Technology, Adam Mickiewicz University, AGH University of Science and Technology, Jagiellonian University, Warsaw University of Technology, Medical University of Gdansk, Silesian University of Technology, Nicolaus Copernicus University and University of Wroclaw.

In the following years the 10 Research Universities will receive increased funding (by 10%) to further develop excellence of their research, education and strengthen their international competitiveness.

Another 10 universities were also awarded for their scientific achievements and will receive an increased budget - by 2%: Lodz University of Technology, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, University of Lodz, University of Gdansk, Medical University of Bialystok, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Medical University of Lodz, Pedagogical University of Krakow, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences and University of Silesia.

More information

University of Bialystok, Physics Department, author: A. Mnich

Warsaw University of Technology, Northern Campus, author: BirdEye

Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences

Main seat of the Institute of History PAS, Old Market Square, Warsaw


There are 69 public research institutes forming the network of PAS together with supporting research establishments such as research stations, botanical gardens archives, libraries, museums, including foreign PAS stations in Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Vienna, Moscow and Kiev. Most PAS institutes rank as leading institutions in their scientific or R&D activity with 14 of them granted the A+ category. Their mission is to pursue high quality research in key areas, dissemination and exploitation of scientific results, with the biggest share of the budget covering fundamental research. The institutes also run postgraduate programmes and doctoral schools.

More information



There are 102 research institutes and laboratories which focus their activities on conducting applied research and development activities in 4 main areas: technical (1), medical (2), environmental and agricultural (3) as well as economics and humanities (4). They are state-funded institutions operating as separate entities in terms of their legal basis, organisational arrangements and funding mechanisms. They are supervised by various sector ministries and conduct R&D activity in line with the national economy and social needs.
Research institutes listed by category


Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, author: Peter Grešner

In 2019, 35 research institutes were transformed intothe Łukasiewicz Research Network to strengthen the Polish commercial potential. The network has become Europe's 3rd largest research network which aims at promoting business and supporting the development of Polish companies. With 8,000 staff and 35 research institutes located in 11 cities across Poland the Network is an integrated market player providing attractive, comprehensive and competitive business solutions in the fields of automation, chemicals, biomedicine, ICT, materials, and advanced manufacturing. The Network collaborates with such business partners as: IKEA, Airbus, Boeing, Siemens, ABB.



In Poland, the number of institutions active in research and development is still growing. Among them you may find not only big companies, but also small and medium enterprises (SME), which are more and more competitive within Europe and worldwide, as well as an increasing number of start-ups. Moreover, there are almost 100 technology parks and 30 technology platforms located across the country.

Start-ups are young innovative companies looking for a business model that would ensure profitable growth. The Polish startup ecosystem is developing very dynamically and is increasingly more visible at the international arena. Most Polish startups deal with analytics, the Internet of Things and big data analysis. Every second Polish start-up decides to sell services or products abroad.




Almost half of Polish start-ups hire researchers or cooperate with R&D sector. That’s why start-ups are often present in technology parks.



Another research and innovation supporting organisation is a hub. Hubs help enterprises, especially start-ups, to increase their market competitiveness through the use of innovative solutions. Hubs usually offer companies in their region comprehensive access to the latest data, knowledge and technology, enabling testing and implementation of innovative solutions relevant to their products, processes and business model. The Startup Hub Poland – a non-profit foundation runs a hub where international and Polish startups can meet together in order to become world class players on the R+D+I market.





In Poland in 2019 according to the Polish Central Statistical Office, there were ca 120 000 researchers, including 35% women and 1.5% foreigners.

In the academic year 2018/19 there were 39 300 doctoral students, of whom 54.8% were females. Vast majority (94%) were enrolled at public institutions and 88.4% at full-time PhD programmes. The number of foreign doctoral students amounted to 1 849 (139 more than in the previous year).

Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences

Warsaw University of Life Sciences - SGGW


Career Path in Poland


Scientific positions at public research institutions (universities, Polish Academy of Sciences and research institutes):

  • Assistant, minimum requirements: Master’s title or its equivalent,
  • Adjunkt, minimum requirement: PhD degree,
  • University/institute's professor, minimum requirements: PhD degree;
  • Professor, minimum requirements: professor title (a person holding this title has to be employed at this position).

In addition, universitiesin Poland enable three career modes with academics employed at the abovementioned positions belonging to one of the following groups of employees:

  • Didactic positions – only with teaching duties.
  • Research & didactic positions – with research obligations and teaching duties. The detailed division between research and didactic obligations is decided by the university.
  • Research positions with an obligation to perform research and involvement in education of doctoral candidates.

Depending on the above positions, the numbers of teaching hours (45 minutes) per annum range from: 180 (for the research-didactic Professor position), 240 (other research-didactic positions), 360 for didactic positions to 540 teaching hours in case of lectors and instructors.

Additional requirements can be defined by individual employers. Each university may also determine its own positions, in addition to the ones listed above.

Recruitment to scientific positions should be carried out based on an open competition (there are specific exceptions e.g. in relation to grants and project employment). The job vacancies for a period exceeding 3 months have to be published on the website of the employer, in the Academic Vacancies Database (in Polish), ministry in charge of the institution and the EURAXESS portal of the European Commission (in English).

Each employee should undergo a periodic assessment, at least every 4 years, depending on internal rules of the university or institute.




Research financing in Poland comes in major part from the state budget (statutory funding, grants etc.) as well as from the European programmes (such as Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe and EU structural funds) and private sector. The country's expenditure on R&D is still growing and in 2020 it amounted to 1.39% of GDP.

The statutory funding is provided by the Ministry of Education and Science based on the evaluation of Polish research institutions performance during a 4-year period. The level of funding depends on the category awarded to the institution, i.e. from A+ (highest funds) to C category, which results from the assessment of four evaluation criteria by an independent body.

The research units and individual scientists can apply for additional funding through open calls. The calls have different objectives and rules and are announced by funding organisations, including three national agencies supervised by the Ministry of Education and Science, non-government Foundation for Polish Science as well as by different local authorities, private organisations and companies and international programmes.

Information on the latest grants and fellowships are collected by the Polish EURAXESS network and published at the beginning of every month at the JOBS & FUNDING.

The budget for the above calls consists of national, regional and European Union funding. Poland is the largest beneficiary of the EU’s financial support provided within the cohesion policy. Research, development and innovation activities are funded within different operational programmes. However, the largest amount was allocated to the Smart Growth programme. Another one, Knowledge Education Development programme, aims at supporting higher education, international mobility and cross-border cooperation, among many others. Poland also uses the Union funds to ensure the development of the so-called smart specialisations by individual regions focused on selected priorities of the innovation policy.

Lodz University of Technology, Solar Team, author: Jacek Szabela
Poznan Science and Technology Park, Biotechnology Centre


The following bodies provide funds based on regular programmes and calls:

The Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) is a research funding agency operating since October 2017. The Agency supports academic exchange and international collaboration leading to increased internationalization of Polish scientific community. NAWA finances study scholarships and research fellowships for individual students and scientists from Poland and abroad, as well as return programmes for Polish academics and Polish language courses for those who wish to study in Poland. The Agency also offers several institutional programmes: for doctoral fellowships, academic exchange, science promotion or establishing mechanisms to increase institutional capacity to welcome foreign students and researchers.

As of January 2022 NAWA has been the coordinating organisation for EURAXESS Poland activities.



See also:

JOBS & FUNDING for latest grant and fellowship offers



International cooperation is an essential part of research activity in Poland. It plays an important role in the evaluation process of scientific institutions – participation in international projects as well as international recognition of scientific publications is highly rated in this evaluation. According to the Minister of Science and Higher Education internationalisation of Polish science is a key challenge to be faced in the following years. Many universities and research institutes consider international collaboration as a priority in their internal strategies.

The Ministry of Science and Higher Education supports Polish participation in international and bilateral programmes by signing special agreements. Up to date 96 agreements are in force.

International collaboration can be financed from the national budget, international programmes or within international cooperation schemes with national funding. Horizon 2020, the European research and development programme run by the European Commission is the biggest source of research and innovation funding in Europe. However, several other programmes are open to scientists conducting their research in Poland.



See also:

  • more information on research funding in Poland can be found in the RESEARCH FUNDING tab
  • latest grant and fellowship offers for early-stage and experienced scientists