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The Warsaw Voice » The Polish Science Voice » December 13, 2015
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Institute Expands
December 13, 2015   
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The Warsaw-based Institute of Physical Chemistry, one of Poland’s leading research institutions, plans to launch a new department of “physical chemistry of biological systems” that will combine cutting-edge research on biology, chemistry and physics.

The institute is searching for an outstanding internationally renowned scientist to launch the new department using a grant of 2.5 million euros under the European Union’s ERA Chairs program. The successful applicant will be able to pursue their own research program, select their own research staff and buy new measuring apparatus. The winner will also be eligible for an attractive salary “significantly higher” than those offered by leading academic institutions in Europe and the United States.

“Our intention is to find a world-renowned scientist who will be able to build on the institute’s successful track record in areas such as microfluidic technology, analytical chemistry, modern biological chemistry and nonlinear optics,” says Prof. Robert Hołyst, director of the Institute of Physical Chemistry, which is run by the Polish Academy of Sciences. The successful candidate will be expected to take the new department to new research areas “on the borderline between biology, chemistry and physics” and effectively compete for prestigious European grants such as ERC Advanced Grants and ERC Starting Grants.

The preliminary selection of candidates closes on Dec. 31 when a short list of three to five finalists will be drawn up. In January, the shortlisted candidates will be invited to Warsaw to give a seminar at the Institute of Physical Chemistry before a Recruitment Committee made up of scientists from Poland, Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands. The committee will announce its decision following a substantive evaluation of the candidates’ performance.

ERA (European Research Area) Chair grants are awarded under Horizon 2020, the EU’s largest funding program for scientific research and innovation. The program’s budget for 2014-20 is almost 80 billion euros. The main aim of ERA Chair grants is to attract the most eminent academics to scientific institutions operating in new EU member states. The long-term aim is to improve the standard of science in new member states and increase its competitiveness to a level enabling effective competition with leading research centers in Western Europe and worldwide.

“Our predecessors have set us extremely high intellectual and scientific standards,” says Hołyst. “We want to not only meet these standards, but also raise and develop them further.”
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