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Incubators of Scientific Excellence – another Q&A!

You ask a lot of questions about Incubators of Scientific Excellence (IDN). There are new questions to which the Research University office gave exhaustive answers. Many questions because a lot of money is in the game – for all the people who have trouble qualifying for external grants. There were many calls and e-mails to the Research University office, and many questions that were repeated, so we collected all of them, and we hope to dispose the doubts you have by the following Q&A set;

Questions about the Incubators of Scientific Excellence

Can research-teaching staff employed at UWr also be employed in Incubators on a part-time basis (for example on a 1/4 time basis, which would simultaneously reduce the size of the teaching time)?

The employees in the Incubators work on a research full-time basis because they need to concentrate on their scientific and research work.  

At which point in the application form can part-time employees be included?

Part-time employees can be included in the description of the Incubator of Scientific Excellence. 

Is the number of characters in the description of e.g. incubator participants (500) counted with or without spaces?

500 characters without spaces. 

The head of the Incubator indicates his/her publications from the last 10 years, from what period should the incubator participants indicate their publications?

Participants indicate their most important publications from a range of 10 years.

Please note that the rate of salary for a person employed in the Incubator to manage administrative and office work is PLN 25.00 gross plus derivatives, based on the UWr Rector’s Order No. 134/2020 of 14 October 2020. 

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Can the team include people who do not receive remuneration and do not change to an academic position?

Yes, the team can include people without remuneration.

Can the person holding the function of the director or the assistant director of the institute be the member of the Incubator at the same time?

Yes, of course.

If a person is a young doctor at the time of employment, will they remain as a member of the Incubator even after a year or two they formally lose the status of a young scientist?

This person must meet the conditions that are mentioned in the regulations when submitting the application.

Can there be rotation in the employees in the Incubator?

The manager of the Incubator decides if there are any possible changes in the personnel.

Can an employee of the University of Wrocław who is on a sabbatical leave at the time of submitting the application be employed in the Incubator?

That person can be in the application, but when Incubator starts its work, the employee must return to work from the sabbatical leave.

Can an employee of the University of Wrocław, who is retiring this October, become the leader of the Incubator?

Yes, this person will be employed at IDN upon retirement.

If the Incubator is, according to the regulations, a separate unit, can a person lead it, at the same time being the member of the Chair, in which they have been employed so far? Or does this person have to leave the Chair for 5 years, so they can be formally assigned to the Incubator?

The Incubator is an additional unit in which people can work.

Can we provide short-term mandate contracts to perform specific activities within the Incubator as employment costs (point 1b), costs of external services (point 2k), or other costs (point 2m)? For example remuneration for a specific number of hours for a student as research assistant in order to collect case law on a given topic.

Yes, it is possible – all salaries should be included in point 1 in the cost estimate. The costs estimate is assessed.

Is it possible to assign the publications produced under NCN (National Science Center) grants to the Incubator project? In other words, regardless of the type of grant implemented by employees of the Incubator, will the publications remaining within the scope of the Incubator be eligible for Incubator activities?

There are no obstacles, as long as the agreement with NCN or other executive company allows such activities.

How can we calculate salaries in the Incubator for its members, assuming that two of the employees are young scientists and one is a Ph.D. who may become a university professor this year?

The maximum rate of remuneration is: 120 thousand per year for a member of the Incubator, and 190 thousand for the manager (including derivatives and the so-called “13”).

The manager decides on the amount of remuneration within these rates, taking into account the minimum wage requirements which results from the Remuneration Regulations for employees of the University of Wrocław.

Can an employee, who is not a teacher but who has a PhD degree and conducts scientific researches as a part of his duties, become an Incubator’s member?

Only if this person meets the requirements for employment as an assistant professor.

Will the change of the position of a researcher employed by IDUB (Excellence initiative – research university) require the agreement from the Discipline Council and the Faculty Council?

In the case of an employee from the University of Wrocław, who is transferred to another research position, the decision is made by the Dean responsible for teaching at the Faculty. In the case of applicant from outside the University of Wrocław, the person enters the competition.

What does it mean that employment in the Incubator will only be possible on a research position?

The idea behind it is that employees focus only on scientific research.

Is it possible to work as an employee in the Incubator on a research and teaching position with a reduced salary?

No – for justification see the answer above.

Can people (employees of the University of Wrocław) that cooperate with the Incubator receive funds, for queries (because, for example, a specific work contract is concluded, an order to perform work, like conducting field research or traveling abroad for a query)? Should employees be delegated or is this delegation financed? Can they do something for the Incubator, like writing a part of a monograph or a scientific article and still receive remuneration?

The IDN manager decides about the costs and spending. The management of funds will be assessed annually.

Can there be two leaders?

There is only one leader, however other people can cooperate.

Is it possible to provide for a fixed remuneration (as part of the order) for the person who runs the Incubator’s secretariat, and is responsible for correspondence, website, contacts, and settlement of expenses? Can this person be a PhD student from the University of Wrocław?

Yes, you can hire a person to run the Incubator’s affairs under a mandate contract. Rate for 1 hour will be announced soon. The doctoral student is a person from outside the University of Wrocław.

However, be careful!

When employing for IDN, one should take into account paragraph 8 of the Work Regulations of the University of Wrocław, regarding the relationship of direct reporting.

Who can be an applicant in the IDN competition?

Both a scientist from the University of Wrocław and from the outside of University of Wrocław; from Poland or abroad, but with significant scientific achievements.

Who cannot be an Applicant in the IDN competition?

The applicant cannot be the POB (Priority Research Area) leader indicated in the IDUB application. In each POB, there is the need to choose 5 outstanding researchers and 5 young scientists (7 years after their doctorate). However, the POB leader may cooperate with the Incubator, for example as a member.

What is the form of employment of the applicant at IDN?

Employees of the University of Wrocław who work under IDN will be transferred to research positions for the duration of the project. People employed as their replacement will take over their teaching duties.

Scientists from outside the University of Wrocław will be employed through a competition for employment contracts for research positions.

There must be a competition for the position of the manager and members of the Incubator team who are from outside the University of Wrocław due to statutory requirements. The terms of the competition for the IDN manager will include the necessity to win the competition for the IDN project.

The employment of the IDN manager, who is an employee of the University of Wrocław, takes place by transferring him/her to a research position. They do not change the current position, they only take the functions of the manager of the Incubator.

Can the manager or other members from outside the University of Wrocław be employed part-time?

It is possible to work only full-time. In the case of an IDN manager, who is not an employee of University of Wrocław, double employment is possible.

How many people does the Incubator consist of?

IDN assumes the employment of a manager and a maximum of 3 people (they can be from the University of Wrocław or from outside the university), including 2 young scientists with a doctoral degree obtained no later than 7 years ago. This period does not include sickness, maternity, paternity, etc.

People seen as members of the Incubator and employees of the UWr are listed in point C1.

People scheduled for employment who are from outside the University of Wrocław are shown in point C2. (if three people from outside the University of Wrocław are employed, the third line should be taken into account in point C2.).

Definition of a “young scientist” according to the Incubator

A young scientist is a person who conducts scientific activity, who has a doctoral degree, which has been obtained no later than 7 years ago. This period does not include sickness, maternity, paternity, etc.

Should the total amount of PLN 800,000 per year be used in creating the cost estimate? Or PLN 800,000 should also be planned for 2021?

When creating the cost estimate for particular years, including 2021, the amount is PLN 800,000 per year. According to the opinion of the Chief Accountant of the University of Wrocław, the amount above does not have to be used in a given year, and the funds are transferred to the next calendar year. The amount should be planned for the years 2021-2025, which is in total PLN 4,000,000 (5 x PLN 800,000).

Is the requested amount for the Incubator charged with indirect costs?

No, the Incubator has the entire amount for its use.

Can an employee of a foreign university, who carries out a project under another grant and is employed under another project, be employed also at IDN? Or is such person obliged to resign from that project?

In the case of an IDN manager who is not an employee of University of Wrocław, double employment is possible.

A team member is obliged to work only at the University of Wrocław.

Can you be a member of two Incubators?

You cannot be a member of two Incubators.

Are there any demands for a stage of scientific career (as in the case of people from outside the University of Wrocław who must be “young scientists”) for current employees of University of Wrocław? Or is it possible to work here without any of those requirements?

IDN assumes the employment of a manager and a maximum of 3 people (they can be from the University of Wrocław or from outside the university), including 2 young scientists with a doctoral degree obtained no later than 7 years ago. This period does not include sickness, maternity, paternity, etc., which means that there are no other restrictions, apart from being a young scientists.

Can doctoral students be part of the team?

Students of Doctoral Schools may not be employed full-time, but they may carry out doctoral projects as part of the Doctoral School under the supervision of IDN employees.

Will the Doctoral School admit PhD students recruited to the Incubator? Currently, the project manager cannot recruit people who have not been admitted to the Doctoral School, even beyond the admission limit of a specific college, for doctorates.

We do not recruit PhD students to the Incubator, but only to the Doctoral School.

How does the real connection between the Incubator and POBs look like? Should we emphasize the lack of this relationship in the application? Or should we emphasize that the effects of the Incubator will ultimately fit into the POB?

Incubators are created outside POBs and are related to such areas of science that require special support.

Incubator cost estimate

Expenses should be planned for the years 2021-2025, but funds not used until December 31st of the last year, remain in the IDUB funds.

Estimate items should be qualified in accordance with the directive, stating that the incurred costs should be purposeful and economical, and implemented relevantly with the principle of obtaining the best results from given input. They should be presented at the level of detail corresponding to the projects funded by the NCN.

Salary rates

The rates of remuneration will correspond to the level of funding proposed by the NCN (National Science Center):

up to PLN 190,000 per year – manager of the Incubator,

up to PLN 120,000 per year – member of the Incubator,

The rates must take into account the employee’s gross salary as well as derivatives and the so-called “13”.

In the case of employees from the University of Wrocław, who will be transferred to the Incubator, the source of remuneration payment will change.

What position can we give to a newly hired young scientists with a doctorate (assistant professor)?

A young scientist should be employed in a group of research workers as an assistant professor.

Does additional money have to be secured for remuneration for this person depending on the scientific promotion during the employment at Incubator (for example promotion to a higher academic title)?

Salaries in the Incubator must meet the minimum wage requirements resulting from the remuneration regulations of the University of Wrocław. The remuneration is included in the Incubator’s budget.

Published by: Agata Kreska

23 Feb 2021

last modification: 15 Mar 2021