Poland has just been highlighted in a Nature feature as an up and coming contender in the international research landscape. The piece was well-researched and I think it pretty much sums up all the pros and cons of Poland as a destination for international talent. The pros are the relatively plentiful funding, and lots of newly constructed modern labs and institutes that have many vacancies. The cons are the sometimes hierarchical power structure, the resistance to change on the structural level by the established “old guard”, and the sometimes inadequate logistical support for researchers from abroad.
Personally, I am in awe of the changes that have taken place in Polish research in the last few years. I have witnessed how from year to year conferences in Poland have changed from being rather provincial affairs with very little good science, to truly excellent venues for exchange of results and ideas. We are attracting more and more people who had already established labs abroad, but decided to come to Poland nevertheless, including three excellent researchers from my own institution: Magda Konarska (previously at Rockefeller University) and Agnieszka and Krzysztof Kobielak (previously at University of Southern California). Also at the PhD student and postdoc level, excellent candidates from abroad are increasingly choosing Poland as their destination. Hopefully the trend will continue, and we will soon be able to compete at the highest levels of scientific excellence!