Structure of the Polish Academy of Sciences

The Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) is a major state-funded institution of higher education and research in Poland. It consists of three main pillars: a body of elected members, a network of research institutes (including some of the top scientific centers in the country), and also a set of committees focused on specific disciplines and problem issues.

The first these is the elected body of Members of the Academy, which consists of up to 350 National Members – all of them highly distinguished scholars and scientists of renowned achievements and respected authority. The Academy also currently has 163 Foreign Members. Membership in the PAS is considered a great honor and an expression of the highest recognition for preeminent scholarly accomplishments. Since 2010, an elected body of talented researchers of the younger generation, known as the  Polish Young Academy , has also been operating within the structure of the PAS.

The second pillar of the Polish Academy of Sciences is the network of PAS research institutes. The strongest research network in the country, it consists of 69  scientific institutes , many of them ranking among the very best in Poland, indeed even Europe and the wider world. The PAS Institutes are engaged in carrying out top-notch research projects in almost all scientific fields. They generate the inventions, patents, and scientific advances that are the Academy’s hallmark, helping to expand humanity’s horizons and change the world in a positive way.   

The third pillar, in turn, consists of a set of  committees and advisory panels  that disseminate scientific knowledge and provide the kind of expertise that is crucial for robust public debate. These are expert groups that draw together specialists with different narrow specializations and fields of expertise. They create a space for intellectual exchange and relationship-building among scholars. They serve as the national-level representation of various scientific communities and disciplines and they perform important advisory functions.

Other important parts of the Academy include its auxiliary units, including libraries, archives, museums, a botanical garden and  conference centers . The Academy also has territorial branches centered in eight Polish cities, which serve to integrate the local scientific community in the region, to initiate research and to disseminate research results. Moreover, the Academy also maintains a strong presence outside of Poland, via its  scientific centers  in six major European capital cities.

The PAS in figures

up to 350


160 foreign members

The Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) was first set up in Warsaw in 1952. At present it is engaged in international-caliber research in virtually all fields of science and scholarship. It fosters, educates, and supports a broad community of scientists and scholars in Poland. It also plays an important role for society, in providing and promoting fact-based knowledge.

The Academy has a somewhat complex structure, chiefly comprising an elected body of Academy Members (as well as an elected body of members of the Young Academy), a network of dozens of cutting-edge research institutes, and a set of numerous committees and advisory panels. It also embraces a number of auxiliary units, including libraries, archives, museums, a botanical garden, and conference centers. The Academy also maintains a strong presence in Poland’s regions, in a number of major European capitals, and even at the North and South Poles (via polar stations operated by PAS Institutes).

One of the important elements of the Academy is the PAS Committee on Ethics in Science. It upholds the observance of the principles of research ethics by the employees of the scientific units of the Academy, Poland’s universities, and other research institutes. Another important body is the Audit Committee, which oversees the financial and economic activities of the Academy (more information is available in Polish on the PAS Public Information Bulletin).

The PAS represents Poland in many international organizations, including: the European Federation of Academies of Sciences (ALLEA), the European Academies’ Scientific Advisory Council (EASAC), and the Scientific Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) consortium. It maintains regular contacts with partners from all over the world.

The Polish Academy of Sciences had its first headquarters at the historic Staszic Palace, a historic building situated along the Royal Tract in Warsaw’s old quarter. Today the Staszic Palace still houses more than a dozen scientific and scholarly institutions, most of them associated with the Polish Academy of Sciences. Its impressive historic interiors are also used to host debates, conferences, and other meetings.   The Academy itself, however, is now headquartered at the Palace of Culture and Science, a striking skyscraper in central Warsaw. The Academy’s authorities (its President and Vice-Presidents) and its Chancellery have their offices there. 









17 scientific disciplines in the institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences with the highest category A+, another 40 disciplines with category A


scientific institutes

International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw - IIMCB

more than 9,500 employees at the institutes, including 4,312 researchers