Working environment

The institution fully responsible for the organization and conducting the programme for postdocs “From Postdoc to PI: Future leaders of ERA" is the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IChF), located in Warsaw, Poland.

The scientific profile of IChF is strongly linked with modern directions in physical chemistry and chemical physics as well as material and applied chemistry. The research work covers a wide range of physicochemical disciplines and is carried out in 7 departments and CHEMIPAN R&D Laboratories.

As a scientific institution IChF is vested with the authority to award academic degrees of doctor and habilitated doctor of chemical sciences.

IChF employs more than 200 researchers, including 20 professors. Ca. 30% of our employees are foreigners. Our foreign colleagues consider Warsaw as a very good place for living due to its dynamism, high quality of life, and moderate costs of living.

IChF research infrastructure

Researchers at IChF have at their disposal the equipment gathered in 12 commonly accessible specialised laboratories, such as:

  • Laboratory of High Pressure,
  • Laboratory of X-Ray Structural Analysis,
  • Laboratory of Calorimetry,
  • Laboratory of Chromatographic Analysis,
  • Laboratory of Molecular Films,
  • Laboratory for Solid State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance,
  • Mazovia Center for Surface Analysis,
  • Laboratory of X-Powder Diffractometry and Spectroscopy,
  • Laboratory of Electrochemistry and Surface Analysis in Corrosion Studies,
  • Laboratory of Spectroscopy and Photochemistry,
  • Molecular Beam Laboratory, Laser Centre.

More information on our research infrastructure you may find at IChF equipment database.

Our collaborations

IChF collaborates with over 40 universities and scientific institutions throughout the world, including those with the highest reputation, such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Max Planck institutes and the University of Cambridge. Scientists from IChF participate in many national and international research projects, including under Horizon2020.

IChF has a solid record in both - fundamental and application-oriented research esp. on sensors, new materials for nanotechnology, and chemical functionalization of nanomaterials. Our efforts and excellency in conducting research were appreciated by professional investor, who set up 2 spin-off companies with IChF.

IChF as scientist-friendly institution

As one of the first institutions in Poland, in 2014 the Institute was given HR Excellence in Research award for its efforts to implement the provisions of the “European Charter for Researchers” and the “Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”.

Following these principles IChF wants to become an internationally attractive employer and top European research institution, mainly by attracting skilful scientists, supporting researchers career development and engagement of the Institute to the society.

Working conditions for PD2PI fellows

The PD2PI fellows will receive an employment contract on a fixed term. The contract will define working conditions, e.g. starting date & period of appointment, salary, workplace (incl. partner organization during secondments), assignments (incl. those resulting from obligations of reporting to EC). After the signature of an employment contract, the PD2PI fellow will formally become workers of IChF. Therefore, they will have the same rights and obligations as other workers of IPC.

According to Polish law, as full time workers, the fellows will be expected to work 40 h per week (5-day week), 8 h per day. Working hours will be decided by the PD2PI fellow (flexible working hours). In some cases – teleworking can be accepted as well. Training programme and business trips will be included in the work time. Each PD2PI fellow, like other researchers, will be entitled to holiday leave of 36 days/yr. All fellows will be eligible for maternity leave (fully paid up to 20 weeks) and shared parental leave.

The fellows, their spouses and children will be included in the public healthcare system and a private healthcare package. IChF also offers support in application for residence card, work permit, finding accommodation (e.g. IChF hotel/apartments), schools/kindergartens for children, free Polish language course (see pt. 1.3.2 for details). The fellows will also be entitled to profit from the Social Fund – i.e. system of favourable loans for employees, & integration and cultural events for the IChF community.

Welcome package

The PD2PI fellows, like all new IChF employees - prior to their work start - will be handed so called “Welcome package”, consisting of:

  • specification of most important rules & procedures regulating work at IChF,
  • list of consultation & decision-making bodies,
  • information on communication channels, etc.

The HR departament will also lead them through the process preceding work start at IChF – incl.:

  • medical examination,
  • health & safety training,
  • registration in private medical system,
  • consents required to process personal data by IPC during employment phase & for reporting purpose.

Additionally, the PD2PI fellows will be given “guided tour” through all administration and management departments to get acquitted with key persons and processes. Additionally, IChF mentors will give “guided tours” through research facilities available at IChF and introduce to staff operating them.

All PD2PI fellows will be offered assistance of the designated team to legalize their stay (PD2PI fellows and their families). We will assist the PD2PI fellows in other matters relating to their stay at IChF, or in Poland.

To integrate the PD2PI fellows with IChF community we offer free Polish classes, funds for cultural events (e.g. tickets to theatre/ sport events/ concerts), integration picnics & trips, participation in IChF -wide professional & popular science events.

Permanent bodies of IChF such as Commissionaire for Researchers’ Rights will serve PD2PI fellows in case of any problems during their stay at IChF, incl. potential conflicts between mentors and fellows.