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STER- calls for applications to the program

Call for applications for the STER program – Internationalization of Doctoral Schools at the Krakow School of Interdisciplinary PhD Studies

Call No. 6/2023 of September 13,2023

I announce another call for applications for the NAWA-STER program awarded to the Krakow School of Interdisciplinary PhD Studies (KISD) for the years 2021-2023. The aim of this program is the internationalization of PhD schools. This internationalization includes the aspect of utmost importance to us: by offering KISD PhD students – as this program is dedicated exclusively to them – internships to be realized at selected research institutions abroad. It should be remembered that the STER program covers ONLY flat-rate travelling expenses (depending on the travelled distance) and flat rate living costs which include meals and accommodation (in monthly rates and depending on the length of stay: 12000 PLN monthly for the OECD member countries, 8000 PLN monthly for the countries outside of the OECD). The STER program does not fund research costs, access to research equipment, training fees, participation in conferences etc.

Detailed information is available on NAWA’s website:


The grant beneficiaries/scholarship holders shall be selected in the first and next call of the STER program by way of an open competition. To take part in the competition, KISD PhD students are required to submit an application approved by their supervisors to the KISD Secretary Office in the period from September 13, 2023 to September 22, 2023, 2 p.m. o’clock. The application should include:

  1. information about the place of an intended stay (research center, research group etc.), its dates and duration, note: the internship cannot be shorter than 1 month, internships of 1 month or multiples of 1 month can be funded under the project,
  2. short (2 pages maximum) description of research plans to be executed in the research center. The description should include:  

a) plan of the visit with the description of research subject matter and its goals – which must be directly related to the PhD dissertation of a candidate – including a justification for the duration of the stay, for trips of 3 months or longer, the justification for the length of the trip must be detailed,

 b) impact of the visit on collaboration with the selected host institution – whether it is a continuation of a scientific collaboration related to the realization of the existing projects or an activity that will result in establishing a new collaboration in the near future;

 c) can the visit be documented with joint publications or conference talks – this applies especially to longer stays;

VERY IMPORTANT — in publications resulting from joint research, it is absolutely necessary to include a thank you note for the project with the following content:

“X.Y. acknowledges financial support provided by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange NAWA  under the Programme STER– Internationalisation of doctoral schools, Project no.  PPI/STE/2020/1/00020”.     

d) can the visit be interpreted as an “introduction” to individual applications for grants that would allow a PhD student to conduct research in an international collaboration, e.g. within the NAWA-Bekker scholarships, National Science Centre grants – Preludium or Miniatura, a co-tutelle program etc.

e) will the visit, or possibly next visits, provide a PhD student with an opportunity to work on     his/her dissertation in a more formalized mode by way of international cooperation agreements, e.g. under the guidance of two supervisors or in the form of a dual degree program. This is of crucial importance for the final settlement of the project from the point of   view of its so-called hard deliverables.

3. VERY IMPORTANT – an invitation from a foreign host institution confirming the acceptance of a given candidate in the period defined in Point 1 – this applies particularly to the lack of possible demands of co-financing the research or lack of formal and organizational obstacles connected with the pandemic.

The STER program does not provide for “top-down” restrictions on the number of trips carried out by individual doctoral students – however, I appeal for their reasonable planning (see point 2a above) and taking into account that the length of a research stay devoted to research planning is usually different than the length of stay devoted to conducting of these studies. The length of stay, and in the case of planning “multiple” trips, also their schedule, must be agreed with the supervisor/ supervisors.

Doctoral students after the mid-term evaluation, i.e. in their third year of training, must take into account that the internship may not conflict with the activities planned in the individual research proposal, and in particular must not affect the deadline for the submission of their dissertation at the end of their training.

We encourage all persons applying for the scholarships within the STER program to carefully read the requirements specified in the program’s terms and conditions, including in particular the documents to be submitted by the program beneficiaries before and after the trip, the most important thing is to obtain a certificate confirming the stay at the inviting center.

Please also take into account that the time necessary to prepare and approve documents enabling a research trip under the STER program is at least 1 month.   

More information:

Regulations for supporting foreign mobility under the STER program – internationalization of doctoral schools

NAWA-STER- Regulations STER Programme

NAWA- STER- documents (in Polish)

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