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Our doctoral students awarded grants from NCN

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Our doctoral students awarded grants from NCN

Several doctoral students from SWPS University have been awarded research grants by the National Science Centre. Thanks to the NCN’s ETIUDA funding scheme for doctoral candidates, they will research various aspects of human psychology, such as the impact of gratitude on psychological wellbeing, the causes of sedentary lifestyle, the origins of a positive self-image, and biomarkers of suicidal behaviors in people suffering from schizophrenia.

The impact of gratitude on the healing process

Recently, practicing gratitude to achieve positive impact on wellbeing has become very popular. Some studies claims that the practice of gratitude makes people happier and healthier, which translates into better quality of life. In case of people who are chronically or terminally ill, practicing gratitude helps to cope with the pain and accept the situation.

Doctoral student, Joanna Sztachańska, will study the impact of daily gratitude journal entries, in a group of women suffering from depression and cancer. If gratitude is a ‘cure’ and has a real impact on the quality of life, it would be beneficial to teach chronically or terminally ill people how to find reasons for gratitude in their lives.

  • Name of the project: The role of gratitude and the daily wellbeing of depressed and oncology patients - a diary study
  • Researcher: Joanna Sztachańska
  • Grant amount: PLN 109,568 (EUR 25,000)

Why is sedentary lifestyle so prevalent?

Desk jobs, board meetings, watching television, doing homework, and daily commute – according to the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, on average people spend 64 hours per week in a sitting position, while the World Health Organization identifies sedentary lifestyle as the fourth highest morbidity risk factor and a high risk factor for developing medical conditions, such as cardio-vascular disease, type two diabetes, metabolic syndrome and depression.

Doctoral student, Zofia Szczuka, will identify factors and mechanisms that influence sedentary behaviors. Her research will result in developing effective intervention strategies aimed to shorten the time people spend in a sitting position.

  • Name of the project: Sedentary behaviors and their socio-cognitive predictors
  • Researcher: Zofia Szczuka
  • Grant amount: PLN 101,584 (over EUR 23,000)


A funding opportunity intended for doctoral candidates. Receipients receive  a monthly salary for 12 months and must complete a 3 to 6 months internship in a research institution outside of Poland.

Where does a positive self-image come from?

People often think that in a given moment they are better than they used to be in the past. Where does this strong conviction about a positive self-development come from and is it well-grounded in reality? Is one’s own perception cohesive with the person’s actual development?

Doctoral student, Joanna Gutral will analyze mechanisms impacting the perception of personality across a life span, including: a) beliefs that are common in society, b) a tendency to create a positive self-image in comparison with others, and c) a tendency to realize one’s full potential and become the person one truly is.

  • Name of the project: The relationship between social expectations, basic psychological needs, self-enhancement, and perceived changes in personality over a life span.
  • Researcher: Joanna Gutral
  • Grant amount: PLN 117,000 (over EUR 26,000)

Understanding suicidal behaviors in schizophrenia

Suicides are one of the most difficult and most neglected social issues. Patients with diagnosed schizophrenia are particularly vulnerable and prone to suicidal behaviors and premature deaths. It is estimated that in this group, suicides constitute 40 percent of all deaths.

Using resting state functional MRI tests, doctoral student Bartosz Bohaterewicz, will measure brain activity in people suffering from schizophrenia to determine biomarkers that might help to diagnose disorders leading to suicide attempts.

  • Name of the project: Differences in the resting state activity of the brain as a potential biomarker of suicidal behaviors in schizophrenia.
  • Researcher: Bartosz Bohaterewicz
  • Grant amount: PLN 104,144 (over EUR 23,000)

Close to 300 research projects annually

The National Science Centre is not the only funding source supporting research at SWPS University. The university receives grants from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the European Commission, the Ministry of National Education, the Foundation for Polish Science, and The National Centre for Research and Development. In 2018, SWPS University conducted over 284 research projects, including R&D and applied science projects, worth over PLN 52 million (close to EUR 12 million).

SWPS University research project database »

SWPS University’s Interdisciplinary Doctoral School

Our Interdisciplinary Doctoral School (IDS) offers a unique education model. The School is a member of the EUA Council for Doctoral Education and VITAE, a global leader in supporting the professional development of researcher. The School accepts candidates intent on academic and research careers, provides them with optimal conditions for realizing their research aspirations, and helps them to kick-start their scientific careers. The School’s innovative approach to doctoral education is based on immersing doctoral student in SWPS University’s research centers, where they learn to conduct research projects, prepare their research results for publication, participate in scientific debates, and become familiar with grant application process.

More information on SWPS University's Doctoral School »

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