Prize of the Foundation for Polish Science

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The Prize of the Foundation for Polish Science (Polish: Nagroda Fundacji na rzecz Nauki Polskiej) is the most prestigious scientific award in Poland given every year from 1992 by a non-governmental non-profit Polish organization, Foundation for Polish Science (Polish: Fundacja na rzecz Nauki Polskiej), from 1992. The prize is widely regarded as the most prestigious scientific award in Poland.[1] The Prizes awarded in 2013 equal PLN 200,000 (approximately $60,000).[2]

Since 2011, the Prize is awarded in four categories: Life Sciences, Chemical and Material Sciences, Mathematics, Physics and Engineering Sciences, as well as Humanities and Social Sciences. Candidates can be either Polish scientists working in Poland or abroad, foreign ones working there, provided that their achievement has been realized within the territory of the Republic of Poland, as well as foreigners dealing with matters pertaining to Poland.


The prize honours renowned scientists for significant advancements and scientific discoveries which shift cognitive boundaries and open new perspectives for research, provide an exceptional contribution towards the advancement of our nation’s progress and culture as well as assure Poland a significant position for undertaking the most ambitious challenges of the modern world. Subject of the Prize may include clearly defined and confirmed scientific achievements which have in the recent period opened new perspectives for further research.


Source: Foundation for Polish Science

Life Sciences[edit]

Year Recipient Institution Justification
1992 Ewa Kamler Military Medical Academy in Warsaw for her 'Early Life History of Fish' published in London by Chapman and Hall.
1993 Wiesław Wiktor Jędrzejczak Military Medical Academy in Warsaw for his series of studies on the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in blood-cell generation.
1994 Krzysztof Selmaj Medical Academy of Łódź for his studies into new immunological mechanisms in auto-immunological diseases of the nervous system, Multiple Sclerosis in particular.
1995 Stanisław Konturek Jagiellonian University for his studies on the importance of local blood circulation in the mucous membrane of the stomach and the duodenum in the cyto-protective function of the mucous.
1996 Aleksander Koj Jagiellonian University for a series of papers concerning the regulation of the acute phase protein synthesis.
1997 Ryszard Gryglewski Jagiellonian University for a series of studies on the regulation of thromboresistance.
1998 Andrzej Szczeklik Jagiellonian University for discovering the anti-thrombotic properties of aspirin, and studies on the pathogenesis and treatment of aspirin-induced bronchial asthma.
1999 Maciej Żylicz University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk Medical Academy for research on regulatory proteins constituting part of the system protecting cells against undesirable changes in their external environment.
2000 Leszek Kaczmarek Polish Academy of Sciences for his work on the impact of stimuli on gene expression in selected brain structures of mammals.
2001 Maciej Gliwicz University of Warsaw for revealing the role of predation in shaping animal demography, life histories and behaviour.
2002 Mariusz Jaskólski Adam Mickiewicz University for explaining the mechanisms leading to the formation of amyloidal aggregates of human protein (cystatin C): an important factor in various brain disorders and diseases in humans.
2003 Roman Kaliszan Gdańsk Medical Academy or applications of mathematical modelling and chromatography in defining the correlation between the chemical structure of drugs and their pharmacological properties.
2004 Janusz Limon Department of Biology and Genetics, Gdańsk Medical Academy or his outstanding contribution to the development of cytogenetic methods used in the diagnosis of malignant tumours.
2005 Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska Institiute of Paleobiology, Polish Academy of Sciences for a creative synthesis of research on the Mesozoic evolution of mammals presented in the fundamental work Mammals from the Age of Dinasours (2004).
2006 Mariusz Ratajczak Pomeranian Medical University, University of Louisville for discovering cells functionally resembling embryonic stem cells in bone marrow and umbillical blood.
2007 Włodzimierz Krzyżosiak Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences for discovering the mechanism of selective silencing of genetic information that can lead to neurodegenerative diseases.
2008 Jacek Oleksyn Institute of Dendrology, Polish Academy of Science for his contribution to the discovery of the universal, bio-geographic correlations between plant characteristisc, that are fundamental for understanding ecological processes on a global scale.
2009 Andrzej Koliński University of Warsaw for development and practical application of unique methods for protein structure prediction.
2010 Tomasz Guzik Jagiellonian University for demonstrating the importance of the immune system in the pathogenesis of hypertension.
2011 Jan Potempa Jagiellonian University, University of Louisville for the characterization of a new family of bacterial proteases and for demonstration of their role in the development of periodontal disease.
2012 Krzysztof Palczewski Case Western Reserve University for characterizing crystal structures of native and activated G protein-coupled receptor, rhodopsin, involved in eyesight.
2013 Andrzej Tarkowski University of Warsaw for discoveries explaining the fundamental mechanisms responsible for the early development of mammalian embryos.
2014 Tomasz Goslar Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań for his contribution to determining the chronology of changes in C14 carbon isotope concentration in the atmosphere during the last ice age, which is of key importance for contemporary climate research.
2015 Prize not awarded
2016 Jan Kozłowski Institute of Environmental Sciences at Jagiellonian University for formulation and experimental verification of a theory explaining the diversity of life strategies of organisms resulting from optimal allocation of resources.

Chemical and Materials Sciences[edit]

Year Recipient Institution Justification
1993 Kazimierz Sobczyk Polish Academy of Sciences for his studies on the stochastic dynamics of systems and construction materials.
1995 Maksymilian Pluta Institute of Applied Optics in Warsaw presenting pioneering ideas related to phase-contrast microscopy and interference polarisational microinterferometry as applied in the construction of optical tools.
1997 Antoni Rogalski Military Institute of Technology in Warsaw or his studies on infrared radiation detectors using triple semi-conductive compounds.
1998 Leszek Stoch AGH University of Science and Technology for explaining the phenomenon of multi-stage crystallisation of vitreous materials and developing a method for the production of new forms of glass for pro-environmental applications.
1999 Zdzisław Kowalczuk Gdańsk University of Technology for research in the field of automation concerning the design of continuous time control systems.
2000 Jan Węglarz Poznań University of Technology for developing a variety of methods for designing IT systems for production management and control, using discrete-continuous scheduling.
2001 Michał Kleiber Polish Academy of Sciences for describing new computational methods of analysis and optimisation in non-linear thermomechanics of deformed bodies.
2002 Adam Proń Warsaw University of Technology for his contribution to research on electroactive polymers and the development of processible conducting polymers
2004 Krzysztof Matyjaszewski Carnegie Mellon University for developing new methods for controlled radical polimerisation and their application in industry.
2005 Roman Słowiński Poznań University of Technology for developing a methodology for computer-aided decision-making based on incomplete data.
2006 Leon Gradoń Warsaw University of Technology for developing the theory of aerosol and microparticle transport processes in gases and liquids and its application in technical and medical equipment.
2007 Andrzej Nowicki Polish Academy of Sciences for developing the theoretical foundation and production implementation of ultrasound scanners with colour imaging of blood flow.
2008 Andrzej Jajszczyk AGH University of Science and Technology for his research in the theory of high-speed telecommunication network nodes as the basis for building the next generation Internet.
2009 Bogdan Marciniec Adam Mickiewicz University for discovery of new reactions and new catalysts for processes leading to synthesis of organosilicon materials for industrial applications.
2011 Elżbieta Frąckowiak Poznań University of Technology for research on new materials, carbon composites and their use for electrochemical energy storage and conversion.
2012 Mieczysław Mąkosza Polish Academy of Sciences for discovery and introduction of vicarious nucleophilic substitution into the canon of organic chemistry.
2013 Sylwester Porowski Institute of High Pressure Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences for developing a high-pressure method for producing gallium nitride monocrystals
2014 Karol Grela Institute of Organic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences; University of Warsaw for developing new catalysts for olefin metathesis reactions and applying them in industrial practice
2015 Stanisław Penczek Centre for Molecular and Macromolecular Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences in Łodz for elaboration of the theory of ring-opening polymerization and its use for synthesis of biodegradable polymers
2016 Marek Samoć Faculty of Chemistry at the Wrocław University of Science and Technology for research on nanostructural materials for nonlinear optics

Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences[edit]

Year Recipient Institution Justification
1992 Aleksander Wolszczan Pennsylvania State University for discovering the first extrasolar planet system.
1993 Stanisław Lech Woronowicz University of Warsaw for his studies on quantum groups and their relations with C*-algebra.
1994 Zbigniew Ryszard Grabowski Polish Academy of Sciences for developing new methods for molecule generation in states with significant electron charge dislocation.
1995 Adam Sobiczewski Andrzej Sołtan Institute of Nuclear Studies for his studies predicting the existence of unexpectedly stable nuclei of the heaviest elements, later confirmed in laboratory tests conducted in 1993.
1996 Bohdan Paczyński Princeton University for the development of a new method of detecting space objects and establishing their mass using the gravitational lenses effect.
1997 Tomasz Łuczak Adam Mickiewicz University for his work on the theory of random discrete structures.
1998 Lechosław Latos-Grażynski University of Warsaw for his studies on porphyrines and metalporphyrines with specific molecular and electronic structures.
2000 Bogumił Jeziorski University of Warsaw for developing a new formulae of exact quantum calculations of interatomic and intermolecular interactions.
2001 Ludomir Newelski University of Wrocław for his work in the field of mathematical logic, being a breakthrough in model theory and algebra.
2002 Andrzej Udalski University of Warsaw for his work concerning the revision of the distance scale of the Universe and discovering many planetary low-luminosity companions to solar-type stars.
2003 Marek Pfützner University of Warsaw for experimental confirmation of a new type of radioactivity – the two-proton decay.
2004 Wojciech Stec Polish Academy of Sciences for obtaining new biologically active compounds with a high treatment potential, using his own innovative method for the synthesis of thiophosphate DNA analogues.
2006 Tomasz Dietl Institute of Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences for developing the theory, confirmed in recent years, of diluted ferromagnetic semiconductors, and for demonstrating new methods in controlling magnetization
2007 Andrzej L. Sobolewski Polish Academy of Sciences for explaining the photostability of biological matter by discovering a new mechanism of radiationless deactivation of electron-excited states of DNA and proteine.
2008 Ryszard Horodecki University of Gdańsk for his contribution to creating the foundations of quantum information technology and the development of the basics of quantum physics.
2009 Józef Barnaś Adam Mickiewicz University, Polish Academy of Sciences for development of the theoretical foundations of spintronics, particularly explanation of the phenomenon of giant magnetoresistance.
2010 Tadeusz Marek Krygowski University of Warsaw for creating a method for quantifying the aromaticity of organic compounds.
2011 Maciej Lewenstein ICFO for achievements in the area of quantum optics and the physics of ultra-cold gases.
2012 Maciej Wojtkowski Nicolaus Copernicus University for developing and introducing Fourier domain optical coherence tomography into clinical ophthalmology.
2013 Marek Żukowski University of Gdańsk for research on multi-photon entangled states, which led to formulation of information causality as a principle of physics.
2014 Iwo Białynicki-Birula Polish Academy of Sciences for fundamental electromagnetic field research that has led to the development of the Uncertainty principle for photons.
2015 Kazimierz Rzążewski Centre for Theoretical Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw for discovery of the phenomenon of magnetostriction in ultra-cold gases with dipole forces
2016 Józef Spałek Institute of Physics at Jagiellonian University for research on strongly correlated electron systems, in particular derivation of the t-J model

Humanities and Social Sciences[edit]

Year Recipient Institution Justification
1992 Marian Biskup Polish Academy of Sciences for his study Wojna Pruska, czyli walka Polski z zakonem krzyżackim z lat 1519-1521 (The Prussian War, or Poland’s Fight with the Teutonic Order 1519-1521).
1994 Roman Aftanazy The Ossolinski's National Institute for his eleven-volume work under the collective title Materiały do dziejów rezydencji (Materials for the History of Residences).
1995 Teresa Michałowska Polish Academy of Sciences for her fundamental work 'Średniowiecze' (The Middle Ages, 1995), presenting Polish and Latin writings of the first half of the Second Millennium and their role in Polish culture in a new perspective.
1996 Jerzy Gadomski Jagiellonian University for his three-volume work, Gothic Tabular Paintings of the Little Poland Region”.
1997 Andrzej Paczkowski Polish Academy of Sciences for his work Pół wieku dziejów Polski 1939-1989 [Half a Century of Polish History 1939-1989].
1998 Janusz Sondel Jagiellonian University for his Latin-Polish Dictionary for Lawyers and Historians, constituting a significant contribution to the knowledge about Latin sources of Polish culture.
1999 Mieczysław Tomaszewski Academy of Music in Kraków for his publication Chopin: The Man, the Work, the Resonance, an innovative synthesis of knowledge about the great composer.
2000 Jan Strelau University of Warsaw for his innovative regulative theory of temperament, and in particular for his work Temperament: A Psychological Perspective (1998).
2001 Stefan Swieżawski Catholic University of Lublin for his work A History of European Classical Philosophy, being decisive in the research upon the changes in European philosophical thought in antiquity and the Middle Ages.
2002 Lech Leciejewicz University of Wrocław, Polish Academy of Sciences for his work The New Shape of the World: The Birth of Medieval European Civilisation.
2003 Jerzy Szacki University of Warsaw for his fundamental work Historia myśli socjologicznej [A History of Sociological Thought] (2002), a comprehensive and innovative diachronic presentation of the various perspectives and perceptions of social phenomena.
2004 Jadwiga Staniszkis University of Warsaw or her studies aimed at developing a theoretical framework for, and interpreting the current transformation process in Poland and elsewhere in the world, presented in her books 'Postkomunizm' (Post-Communism, 2001) and 'Władza globalizacji' (The Power of Globalisation, 2003).
2005 Karol Myśliwiec Polish Academy of Sciences for the discovery of the tomb of Vizier Merefnebef in the necropolis of Saqqara (Egypt), documented in the monograph 'The Tomb of Merefnebef' (2004).
2006 Piotr Sztompka Jagiellonian University for an original overview of the ideas of contemporary sociology, allowing for a better understanding of the determinants and dynamics of complex changes in modern societies documented in such books as: Socjologia. 'Analiza społeczeństwa' [Sociology. An Analysis of Society] and 'Socjologia zmian społecznych' [Sociology of Social Change].
2007 Karol Modzelewski University of Warsaw for his research on the emergence of the European identity revealing the importance of pre-Christian and multicultural tradition for the contemporary concept of Europe, presented in his work Barbarzyńska Europa (Barbarian Europe).
2008 Stanisław Mossakowski Polish Academy of Sciences for his comprehensive, interdisciplinary monograph on the Sigismund Chapel of the Wawel Cathedral – a leading historic building of Polish and Italian Renaissance art.
2009 Jerzy Strzelczyk Adam Mickiewicz University for the dissertation 'A Pen in Slender Hands', which takes a fresh look at the contributions made by creative works by women to the development of European civilisation from antiquity through the first millennium AD.
2010 Anna Wierzbicka Australian National University for developing the theory of the natural semantic metalanguage and discovering a set of elementary meanings common to all languages.
2011 Tomasz Giaro University of Warsaw for an interdisciplinary analysis of the category of truth in the doctrines of law from antiquity to the present – opening new prospects for understanding of the law as one of the foundations of European civilization.
2012 Ewa Wipszycka University of Warsaw for her wide-reaching reconstruction of the functioning of monastic communities in Egypt during the late antiquity.
2013 Jan Woleński Jagiellonian University for a comprehensive analysis of the work of the Lwów–Warsaw school and for placing its achievements within the international discourse of contemporary philosophy.
2014 Lech Szczucki Polish Academy of Sciences for explaining the cultural ties between Central and Western Europe in a monumental edition of the correspondence of Andrzej Dudycz, the 16th-century thinker, religious reformer and diplomat.
2015 Jerzy Jedlicki Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw for fundamental studies on the phenomenon of the intelligentsia as a social stratum and its role in modernization processes in Central & Eastern Europe
2016 Bogdan Wojciszke SWPS University of Science and Humanities, Sopot campus for developing a model of agency and communion as basic dimensions of social cognition