Polish National Science Centre has just announced the result of Sonata 17 funding scheme. Katarzyna Gorczyca, one of the HES-GEO team leaders, found herself on a list! Continue reading the interview to know more about Katarzyna’s research plans.

1. Sonata 17 is a call for early career researchers, so one could expect tough competition. Only in your panel, including economy, finances, management, demography, socio-economic geography and urban planning, 11 proposals out of 53 were successful. Was this your first try? 

Yes, it was my first try.

2. And why do you think you have been awarded? In what do you see the strength of the proposal?

It seems that reviewers appreciated the actual topic and found it exciting and innovative, especially in the context of post socialist cities.

3. Looking into your publication records, I see that you’ve been mainly focusing on social and urban geography in the Polish context without explicitly focusing on adaptation to climate changes. What makes you change your research domain?  

I made studies concerning urban regeneration and socio and spatial transformation of large housing estates. I had already the feeling that I had researched it quite intensively.

In Poland, urban regeneration programmes concentrate primarily on city centres, leaving the problems of housing blocks at the periphery of the research. This aspect might also be frustrating for the researchers’ who are aware of the changes that should be implemented soon. And especially in large housing estates.

Portrait of Katarzyna Gorczyca
Katarzyna Gorczyca

As probably most of us, I am personally aware of the climate change consequences. Such changes will fundamentally change how we live and organize our lives. 

Read the abstract to know more details about the project

But the situation is not that bad. Polish cities are aware of the issue of adaptation to climate change. Some of them are working on plans to cope with climate change. Those documents have been recently introduced, and at the moment, it is difficult to say if they adequately reflect the problems.  

But what is crucial for me is that not only the city officials are the ones that act. I’ve observed many new and interesting bottom-up social activities that concentrate on the idea of climate change. We could thus watch those small neighbourhood initiatives, as well as residents making pressure to change planning towards a more sustainable one. So, I hope it will make the needed shift in managing the cities.

4. And lastly, how do you personally expect to benefit from the project? Do you see it now as a fundamental part of your professional path?

I do hope that I can do interesting research which will be published in international journals. So, I think it will be essential to my professional path.  

Sonata 17 is a funding scheme of the National Science Centre in Poland. The call is devoted to scientists who received their doctoral degrees within 2 to 7 years before the proposal submission. It could apply for 1, 2 or 3 years of funding. In total, 239 projects were qualified for financing, with a total budget of over 240 million PLN. The success rate for the SONATA 17 competition was 20.98%.