On the 2nd January 2017 the Polish Institute of Advanced Studies (PIASt) started its activities within the structure of the Polish Academy of Sciences. It aims to support advances in knowledge and research innovation, and to contribute to the promotion of scientific development in Poland, with the ambition of complementing the national institutional and scientific landscape. The Institute will focus on the full diversity of the Humanities and Social Sciences, while being also open to cross-cutting projects with an interdisciplinary perspective, and will thus create a multidisciplinary and international learning community for these disciplines.

The objective of the PIASt is to promote scientific and intellectual exchange and create an international and multidisciplinary learning community of researchers who gather for an academic year, to reflect on and exchange ideas. Prospective fellows, released from their usual teaching obligations and administrative activities, will pursue their projects in an environment that stimulates reflection and innovation. They will benefit from the stimulating environment of a multi-disciplinary and international community of scholars.

While supporting a vision of the freedom of research, the Institute will focus its invitation policy on individual scholars who need free time to concentrate on research. The fellowships will mainly be offered in the fields of the humanities and social sciences, without any limitation of disciplinary or geographic priorities, and with no targeting of any specific scientific objectives.
The PIASt will contribute to scientific outreach by promoting various activities (e.g. guest lectures and open seminars) to ensure that the knowledge produced impacts not only upon scholarly communities but also on the public and private sector as well as civil society organizations (e.g. cultural centres) and media.

The Institute began with a first cohort of internationally renowned fellows who were invited for one semester (February– July 2017). They set the high scientific standards of the Institute and contributed to the establishment of its visibility amongst national scientific institutions. In future PIASt will operate on the basis of an open annual call for applications, aiming at 120 researcher-months per academic year. 5 or 10 month individual residence fellowships will be offered for both promising early career (postdocs) and senior researchers.

The Institute will announce its fellowships worldwide, inviting applications from foreign and Polish scholars who have spent less than a year in Poland over the past three years. While the Institute will facilitate the reintegration of Polish scholars who have emograted , it will not impose any requirements regarding the command of the Polish language, the prior establishment of local collaborations, or previous research on Poland, although the relevance of the specific scholarly environment will be assessed, and possible interaction with local researchers will be welcome.
The evaluation procedure will follow international standards with applications being reviewed by a body of peers. Competitive selection process will be supervised by the international Scientific Advisory Board that will reward confirmed and/or promising individual excellence, as indicated by a CV and a research project). Research proposals should demonstrate that the applicant's interest extends beyond narrow disciplinary specialization. Applicants must also prove their international commitment, and have a record of quality publications.

The PIASt will foster intergenerational scientific dialogue by creating annual groups of fellows as multidisciplinary research communities, involving both senior scholars (2/3) and postdoctoral scholars (1/3). Successful applicants will be offered stipends in line with the conditions offered by the Network of European Institutes of Advanced Study (NetIAS), adjusted to the cost of living in Poland.

The ambition of the PIASt for the near future is to join the various IAS networks. It will ibe ntegrated into the EURIAS Fellowship Programme by joining its Consortium, composed of 16 European IAS, and will apply for the NetIAS membership. The Institute will establish key partnerships with selected national institutions to guarantee the co-funding of invited scholars. The Institute will also promote an active hosting-policy with regard to European research projects, which will contribute to its scientific activities as well as to the funding of part of its fixed costs.