General information

The Henryk Niewodniczański Institute of Nuclear Physics (IFJ PAN) was established in 1955 as a branch of the Institute of Nuclear Research, becoming an independent Institute of Nuclear Physics in 1960 and gaining the status of a research institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in 2003.

The Institute is currently the largest research institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The Minister of Science and Higher Education in Poland has granted the Institute the prestigious status of the Leading National Research Centre (KNOW) in physics for the years 2012-2017 (together with the other members of the Marian Smoluchowski Kraków Research Consortium: “Matter-Energy-Future”) and twice, in 2013 and in 2017, the Institute was awarded A+ Category (leading level in Poland) in science and engineering. In 2017 the European Commission granted to the Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences the HR Excellence in Research award.

The Institute’s wide scope of interests includes theoretical and experimental research in the fields of:

The key activity of the Institute is participation in large-scale experiments carried out through global research collaborations. Our physicists actively participate in three major experiments (ALICE, ATLAS, LHCb) at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of CERN, Geneva, as well as in the following projects: European Laser on Free Electrons (E-XFEL, DESY, Hamburg), Large Hadron Collider (LHC, CERN, Geneva), European Spallation Source (ESS, Lund, Sweden), Système de Production d'Ions Radioactifs Accélérés en Ligne (SPIRAL2, GANIL, Caen, France), Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR , Darmstadt), Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), Pierre Auger Observatory (Argentina), High Resolution Neutron Spectrometer (HNRS), Belle2 experiment (KEK, Tsukuba, Japan).

The “National Centre for Hadron Radiotherapy-Cyclotron Centre Bronowice,” funded by the European Innovative Economy Operational Programme, is a flagship project of the Institute. The Cyclotron Centre Bronowice (CCB) is an infrastructure unique in Central Europe, serving as a clinical and research centre in the area of medical and nuclear physics. Since 2013, the Proteus C-235 cyclotron of the Centre has been delivering beams of protons with energies in the range of 70-230 MeV. With two experimental halls and three treatment rooms, since 2016 serviced by two rotating gantries with Pencil Scanning Beam as well as a horizontal line for eye treatment, CCB is a modern clinical centre for the treatment of cancer patients.

Applied and interdisciplinary physics research is also an important activity at CCB. It is carried out in the area of radiotherapy and radiobiology. Research in the field of clinical medicine is another line of activity at CCB. It aims at performing trials, which show the clinical efficacy of the state-of-the-art scanned proton beam technique in the treatment of selected tumours.

The Institute’s personnel is composed of 580 employees, including 41 full professors, 65 associate professors and over 140 PhD associates, as well as a team of over 120 engineers and technicians possessing broad competences appreciated in the world.

The Scientific Council of the Institute is authorized to confer the Ph.D. degrees and Habilitation degrees in physics. The Institute runs the International PhD Studies in physics in cooperation with the T. Kościuszko Cracow University of Technology, the Pedagogical University of Kraków and the University of Rzeszów. Currently, there are about 80 PhD students enrolled in the Studies. We also run two Interdisciplinary PhD Studies: “Interdisciplinary Research for Innovative Medicine; InterDokMed”. (jointly with the Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Pharmacology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Jagiellonian University) and “Physics, Chemistry and Biophysics for New Materials and Technologies; FCB” (jointly with AGH University of Science and Technology, the Jagiellonian University, the Institute of Catalysis and Surface Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences). We have students from several countries, among others from Italy, Iran, France, Ukraine and Belarus.

The average yearly publication yield of IFJ PAN includes over 600 scientific papers, reports and conference contributions. 70% of the publications appear in major international journals listed by the Thomson Reuters. Each year the Institute hosts international and national scientific conferences. Those events give an opportunity to share recent important results, both theoretical and experimental, and offer a general forum to discuss the frontiers of physics.

The four nationally accredited laboratories at the Institute, apart from internal services, offer certified measurements of radioactivity and spectra of radiation isotopes in environmental and materials samples to external customers. They also provide regular dosimetry services evaluating individual occupational and environmental exposure of workers to radiation, especially in hospitals and radiation industry. Routine calibration of all electronic radiometers which measure the activity of gamma-, alpha- and beta-ray sources, is also available.