Have you just completed your PhD and are thinking about your future career? If you consider developing your research in Poland – that is a good choice. Poland is a vigorously developing research environment, with worldwide achievements in astronomy, chemistry, physics, mathematics, archaeology and many other disciplines. We have gathered key information about scholarship opportunities, potential employment and some insights on country specifics. We would like you to treat it as a starting point – a roadmap with all references necessary.


* Important! Before applying for a research stay in Poland, please ensure that you have learned about all consequences and limitations for foreigners caused by COVID-19 outbreak, here.

      1. Scientific landscape
        What do you need to know about the Higher Education Sector in Poland?

After completing your PhD, you can continue research in Poland at a university, a non-university research institute, as well as cooperate with structures created to accelerate cooperation between research and business. Autonomic universities are the core of the higher education system in Poland. There are 18 classic public universities in Poland, several dozens of vocational universities and many non-public universities.  Learn more.

The system of higher education and science in Poland also includes:

        • research institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Polska Akademia Nauk)
        • research institutes
        • international research institutes
        • federations of system subjects
        • The Polish Academy of Sciences and the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences
        • and other entities that mainly conduct scientific activity independently and continuously.

The title of the best Polish university, according to rankings, usually goes to the Jagiellonian University or The University of Warsaw. For other Polish universities positions, check:

Poland is a vibrant academic environment. In the 2019/2020 academic year, a total of 1.2 million students studied at Polish higher education institutions. Of which 6.8 per cent were international students and researchers  –  82 thousand in total.[1]

      1. Boosting research career

What is the structure of research employment in Poland?

In Poland, academics may be employed in the following major academic posts:

        • professor – awarded by the President of the Republic of Poland
        • university professor – a person with at least a doctoral degree and significant scientific, artistic, didactic or professional achievements
        • assistant professor (adjunct professor) – holds at least a doctoral degree
        • assistant – holds at least the professional title of MA, MA-engineer or equivalent

Learn about recognition of degrees in Poland.

        1. Research funding opportunities

How to fund your research in Poland?

Apart from traditional academic forms of employment, grants and postdocs programmes are other opportunities for pursuing your research career in Poland.

Opportunities via Polish major funding bodies and organisations:

For Postdoc researchers at the early stage of their careers, we recommend mostly:

            • SONATA – for PhD holder grants (2-7 years after PhD award), a grant for innovative basic research, using advanced research equipment and/or an original methodology.
            • SONATA BIS – addressed to researchers holding a doctoral degree for establishing a new research team, aiming at becoming independent research leaders
            • SONATINA – up to 3 years after PhD award, addressed to starting their career, offering them full-time employment in Polish research institutions and funding to carry out research projects, as well as the opportunity of a 3-6-month visiting fellowship outside of Poland
          • National Agency for Academic Exchange (Narodowa Agencja Wymianay Akademickiej) – coordinates major activities to accelerate and improve the process of internationalisation of Polish academic and research institutions.

International funding opportunities:

European Research Council Grants – funding opportunities for researchers from all over the world

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – provide grants for all stages of researchers’ careers

          • National Contact Point (Horizon Europe) – supports the participation of Polish research units, enterprises and other entities in the European Union Framework Program in the field of research and innovation, Horizon Europe
          • EEA and Norway Grants – the EEA and Norway Grants, are a form of foreign aid granted by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein to new EU member states

Other sources:

Postdoc positions and jobs database:

      1. Science + business

How to develop your research in a business-oriented environment?

Linking research with business is still an area of development in Poland but at the same time one of the most dynamically expanding sectors.

There are a few solutions designed to accelerate intersectional cooperation among Polish businesses and research units:

      • Academic Business Incubators (Akademickie Inkubatory Przedsiębiorczości) – provide expert support, individual team mentoring, training and workshops, as well as working space
      • Technology Transfer Centers (Centra Transferu Technologii )- manage and organise a broad area of ​​contacts between research and industry
      • Special Purpose Partnership (Spółki Celowe) – established at universities to commercialise the results of scientific research and development work carried out at universities. Nowadays, over 100 spin-offs operate in the Polish research-business environment.

More information about research-business cooperation:

      1. Country specifics – culture, attitudes, opportunities and challenges

Research in Poland means an opportunity to develop your scholarship in world-top research institutions. Emerging and vigorously developing economy and job market, converts with reasonably affordable living costs. The central-European location enables many research-exchange opportunities, as well as travel destinations.

Poland is one of the most rapidly developing EU economies, with the lowest unemployment rate in Europe: in January 2021 unemployment rate was 3.1%. The average salary in Poland in 2019 was less than 5000 PLN (less than 1100 EUR). In larger cities, this average increases: Warsaw is 6800 PLN (1497 EUR), Poznan 5786 PLN (1276) or Wroclaw 5300 PLN (1167 EUR). However, salaries in highly qualified jobs and international research projects usually do not deviate from European standards. The unquestionable advantage is the cost of living: monthly expenses in a large city in Poland would oscillate between 2000 PLN (450 EUR) and 5000 PLN. More information.

You need to know that Poland is an ethnically homogeneous country, primarily white. 56% of foreigners in Poland come from Ukraine – about 1.2 million people from this country have links with the Polish labour market. Foreigners in Poland also come from Belarus (6%), Germany (5%), Russia, Vietnam, India, Italy, Georgia and China and many other countries.

In Poland, most people are Catholic: over 80% of Poles declare their affiliation with this religion.

Poland provides many possibilities for those willing to travel and get to know the country better.  More.

[1] https://stat.gov.pl/obszary-tematyczne/edukacja/edukacja/szkolnictwo-wyzsze-i-jego-finanse-w-2019-roku,2,16.html