Dioscuri Centres of Scientific Excellence
A program initiated by the Max Planck Society to support scientific excellence in Central and Eastern Europe
Dioscuri aims to establish internationally competitive research groups at Central and Eastern European scientific institutions with the support of partners from Germany. The person-centered program was initiated by the Max Planck Society and is funded by the German Federal government as well as the government of the respective host country.
Dioscuri was initiated by the Max Planck Society to support the development of centres of scientific excellence in Central and Eastern Europe. The program seeks to support outstanding scientists who would like to establish and lead a highly visible research group in this region. Dioscuri Centres are established at research institutions that are capable of providing adequate infrastructure and that offer an environment for cutting-edge research. Centres are supported by experienced partners from Germany. Each Centre is funded with up to € 300,000 per annum for an initial five years and can be extended for a further five years after successful evaluation by external experts. Funding is provided equally by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the government of the respective country.
The Dioscuri Programme aims to strengthen international standards of scientific excellence in the region and to support the on-going transformation processes in the EU-13 countries. By helping to overcome the existing performance gap between Western and Eastern European science, MPG contributes to the overall strengthening of the European Research Area.
Kick-off in Poland
Dioscuri is being implemented as a first step in Poland, where the program is jointly managed by the Max Planck Society (MPG) and the National Science Centre (NCN). Starting in 2017, MPG and NCN have published several calls for Dioscuri Centres (DCs) in all scientific disciplines. The calls resonated with applicants from all over the world, also some that had no prior connection to Poland. What makes Dioscuri attractive beyond the region is the solid financial support of the centres, generous funding from the host institutions and additional support from experienced partners from Germany, as well as the proven scientific quality of the program.
The first Dioscuri Centres opened in Warsaw in 2019. Up to ten centres of excellence will be established in Poland in the coming years. The funding for the Polish DCs is shared equally between the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Polish Ministry of Education and Science.