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Professor Karol Olejniczak Wins Fulbright Senior Award

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Professor Karol Olejniczak Wins Fulbright Senior Award

We are extremely pleased to announce that one of our academics, Associate Professor Karol Olejniczak, from SWPS University’s Institute of Social Sciences, has received a Fulbright Senior Award for his project focused on the topic of “Evidence-informed policy in the post-truth era”. Professor Olejniczak will carry out his research at the George Washington University in the United States.

Research Project: Evidence-informed policy in the post-truth era

The application of research insights in policymaking lies at the heart of the public policy discipline and practice. It is rooted in American pragmatism that treats research knowledge as a way of tackling social challenges. Policies driven by evidence-informed insights, derived from various forms of research and analysis, take into consideration underlying mechanisms that drive the behaviors and choices of policy addressees. The evidence-based approach substantially increases the effectiveness of policy solutions in addressing socio-economic problems, satisfying the demands of the citizens, and ultimately making the world a better place.

However, the recent emergence of the post-truth phenomenon creates a substantially new and challenging context for implementing evidence-informed policy initiatives. Post-truth is defined as an environment where emotions and personal belief are more influential in decision making than objective facts. In the public policy context, post-truth means that policies are designed based on how they make addressees feel rather than how well they work in reality. This creates a substantial challenge for providing effective and efficient public services to society. It erodes a factual base for diagnosing problems and designing policy solutions, and it obstructs implementation by limiting the basis for consensus and coalition building among stakeholders and general public. Unfortunately, new modes and patterns of social communications exacerbate the problem to an unprecedented scale.

In his research, Professor Olejniczak will focus on two new approaches that American public agencies employ to improve evidence-informed decision-making: (1) learning agendas designed by federal agencies and (2) behavioral insights labs run by cities. The project will contribute to broadening the toolbox of democratic governments for designing smarter policies. It will also provide substantial input to the emerging discipline of public policy in Poland.

Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission

The Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission is an educational foundation, which administers the Fulbright Program in Poland. The Commission also runs an EducationUSA Advising Center, where Polish students can receive information and advice about studies in the United States.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program of the U.S. government. For over 70 years, the Program has supported cooperation for the development of science, culture, and interpersonal, as well as inter-institutional relations between the United States and over 160 countries.

The goal of the Program is not only to support the scientific community, but also to promote creative leadership. Shaping future social leaders, politicians and government advisers is an activity of the Commission, part of the process of realizing Fulbright’s dream of living in peace and reducing the risk of international conflicts.

Fulbright Senior Award

The Fulbright Senior Award is a part of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program. It is awarded to researchers who hold at a minimum a doctoral degree and are employed at higher education or research institutions in Poland. The Fulbright Senior Fellows conduct research or conduct research and teach at any accredited institution of higher education in the United States, non-profit research institutes or approved government institutions. Applications are accepted in all fields of study, except for projects that require direct patient contact. The Commission welcomes applications from all candidates regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status and physical or mental ability.

karol olejniczak



Award Recipient

Karol Olejniczak – is an Associate Professor of public policy and a co-founder of policy research company Evaluation for Government Organizations (EGO s.c.). His work focuses on the intersection of policy design and evaluation, and the use of evidence in decision-making. In his research and teaching, he utilizes games, experiments, and behavioral design. He has twenty years of experience in applied research and training for numerous institutions around the world such as the European Commission, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the U.S. National Science Foundation, and various public agencies in Poland, including The Chancellery of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy, Polish Agency of Enterprise Development, National Science Center, The National Centre for Research and Development. He is currently running a policy lab on innovative public services with Polish local municipalities and consulting with U.S. Federal agencies to develop learning agendas. Full bio »

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