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New Rector

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New Rector

After 20 years of leading SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities as Rector, Professor Andrzej Eliasz has decided to cede the position to Associate Professor Roman Cieślak. The change is effective as of September 1, 2016.

The courage and perseverance of Rector Andrzej Eliasz in spearheading the ambitious development of SWPS University have played a crucial role in the success of the school, which culminated in atteining the status of the first private university in Poland, in May 2015.

On behalf of the whole SWPS community we would like to sincerely thank Professor Andrzej Eliasz for his contribution and dedication to creating a center of research excellence and making SWPS University a leading social sciences school in the country. We are very proud that we can be a part of this success. We are extremely glad that Professor Eliasz will still be a part of SWPS University as a member of the Board of Trustees.

At the same time, we would like to congratulate Professor Roman Cieślak on the new appointment. We wish Professor Cieślak many successes in the new role and much courage in charting new paths for further development of SWPS University.

Faculty, staff and students of SWPS University

It is not easy to follow in the footsteps of a living legend such as Rector Andrzej Eliasz. I have accepted this challenge, because I deeply believe in the vision of a private research university – the vision of SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities created by Professor Andrzej Eliasz.

Associate Professor Roman Cieślak, Ph.D.

Roman Cieślak

Professor Andrzej Eliasz has created a university, which has become a passion for dozens of academics and thousands of students and alumni. Thanks to him, SWPS University has become a symbol of excellence in research and education. It is thanks to Rector Eliasz that today we can be proud of the university that we are co-creating. We are grateful to have had the privilege of working with the Rector who has always respected everyone, trusted his colleagues and invited them to contribute and at the same time set ambitious and interesting goals for the university.

I will strive to continue this legacy. I believe that a group of passionate, intelligent and enthusiastic people at our University will be united by the common vision of developing research university that was created by my predecessor. Here, the search for truth through research and academic freedom is coupled with the responsibility and courage to change the world around us.

Continuation of this vision requires professional support and partnership. It requires competencies and dedication. I believe that we can deliver all these qualities. As the new Rector, I would like to ask for your support in realization of this vision and at the same time I would like to assure you about my own commitment to this path.

Associate Professor Roman Cieślak, Ph.D.

Profile of the New Rector

Coordination of Research at SWPS University

Roman Cieślak is an Associate Professor at Warsaw Faculty of Psychology. He joined SWPS University 19 years ago. In 2012, he was appointed Vice-Rector for Research. During that time, SWPS University significantly developed its scientific activities thanks to bold initiatives supporting research, new grant opportunities available to academics and students and the support of the Office for Research.

Currently, SWPS University is conducting close to 350 studies thanks to various grants awarded by prestigious Polish and European institutions supporting scientific research. The results of the research projects have an impact on the economy and social policy and are published in renowned scientific journals.


Professor Cieślak’s research interests include coping with traumatic stress and professional burnout. His research shows how perceived possibility of getting help reduces negative impact of stress and prevents burnout. Additionally they indicate that high esteem of one’s effectiveness helps to predict psychological consequences of stress. Professor Cieślak leads a team of researchers at StressLab, which specializes in traumatic stress and professional burnout. The team creates, implements and evaluates various methods of trauma and stress therapy, including online psychological interventions.

Since 2007, Professor Cieślak, has been collaborating with the Trauma, Health & Hazards Center (THHC) at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, where he completed his post doctoral fellowship, worked as Director for Research and currently, as Associate Professor Adjunct, holds the post of Senior Statistical and Content Expert Consultant. Stress Lab cooperates with THHC on common research project and publications.


Professor Cieślak has published numerous articles in renowned scientific journals, including Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Behaviour Research and Therapy, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Military Psychology, PLoS ONE, and Journal of Clinical Psychology. He has led research projects financed by grants from the European Commission, the National Science Centre and The National Centre for Research and Development. Additionally, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) and the European Society for Research on Internet Interventions (ESRII), and a member of editorial boards for scientific journals, such as Stress and Health and Anxiety, Stress, & Coping.