About the Institute
University of Rzeszow Researchers’ activity within the discipline of biotechnology has a long-lasting tradition. It all started in 2004 when the Branch Faculty of Biotechnology was founded in Werynia (a small city outside Rzeszow near Kolbuszowa) that was finally re-located in 2017 to Campus Rejtana in Rzeszow. Afterward, the unit’s name was shortened to Faculty of Biotechnology to identify it more to the main UR location. Finally due to the UR structural changes caused by the new classification of scientific disciplines (ministerial decision) Faculty of Biotechnology was disbanded and by the Rector’s decision Institute of Biology and Biotechnology (IBB) was established instead. Since then, the IBB become a part of the UR College of Natural Sciences (CNS). The majority of scientists that were identifying with the long tradition of conducting research in biotechnology were concentrated in the Department of Biotechnology. Before such drastic changes, it is worth noting that biotechnology during two processes of evaluation of Polish science had the A category (between 2008-2016). After the change of law regulations, the IBB was evaluated (2017-2022) in the discipline of biological sciences (biotechnology disappeared from the list) and received a B+ category. The research quality was measured in three categories (I) publication impact gaining 377.95 pts (to compare A category reference unit had 360.484 pts), (II) external projects and scientific service profits with 8.44 pts (A ref. unit 26.498) as well as (III) social and economic impact with 79 pts (A ref. unit 73.828 pts). The performed evaluation confirmed the quality and high scientific activity of the IBB researchers primarily in the first and third criteria. It is worth mentioning that the process of building scientific impact in terms of the third criterion, was solely based on achievements in biotechnology. The first impact dealt with " Developing innovative solutions for the high-tech sector based on bioactive materials," while the second was associated with "Implementing new product and technological solutions for the area of biotechnology using yeast as bioproducers." Both impacts were highly valued by the experts evaluating the (III) criterion that surpass the point level of the A reference unit.
At the end of 2022, the Ministry of Education and Science decided to make a step back and restored biotechnology as an independent scientific discipline. Therefore, it was a natural process to finally form the Institute of Biotechnology to emphasize the uniqueness and regain staff scientific unity in biotechnology.
Among research activities, the Institute plays an important and responsible role in the student's education process for both first- and second-degree studies (Ist - 3.5-year Eng. Degree, IInd M.Sc. degree) in the field of Biotechnology. Currently, nearly 100 students continue their education toward both degrees. On April 24, 2023, through the efforts of the staff of the Institute of Biotechnology, the Scientific Excellence Council (SEC) granted the University of Rzeszow the authority to confer doctoral and postdoctoral degrees in the discipline of biotechnology. Thus, the Institute has gained the opportunity to train doctoral students at the UR Doctoral School and promote independent researchers.
The Institute of Biotechnology is an exceptional unit in the region of southeastern Poland since its nature is strongly interdisciplinary either in conducting research and education. The Institute's research infrastructure consists of equipment worth approximately PLN 19 million purchased between 2009-2011 during the realization of the project Center for Applied Biotechnology and Basic Sciences. Staff constantly takes care of infrastructure development and upgrading equipment to the latest standards. The Institute's premises base consists of the laboratories of the University Center for Innovation and Transfer of Technical and Natural Knowledge in Rzeszow located at 1 Pigonia Street, the Center for Innovation and Research of the Environment in Rzeszow at 8B Zelwerowicza Street, the Center for Technology Transfer and Basic Research in Rzeszow at 4 Zelwerowicza Street. Zelwerowicza 4, the Center for Innovation and Implementation in the Food Industry in Rzeszów at Ćwiklińska 2, the Natural and Medical Center for Innovative Research in Rzeszów at Warzywna 1a , the Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical and Preclinical Research together with facilities prepared for conducting research with animal models and crops (location Werynia). Students and employees have free access to infrastructure, lecture halls, teaching rooms, and laboratories equipped with specialized research equipment. The Institute has at its disposal very modern molecular laboratories allowing for performing in vitro and in vivo studies with different biological systems.
The research activity of the Institute is closely related to the educational program. The main impact is placed on the active participation of students in research (implementation of scientific projects, scientific and teaching internships, co-authorship in publications). In addition, students majoring in biotechnology can join science clubs that are managed also by them under the supervision of experienced staff. They can choose between Biotech and Brewers scientific clubs depending on their interest.
The Institute staff is very active in attracting external sources for financing science that spans from government non-profit organizations i.e. National Science Center (NCN), National Center for Research and Development (NCBiR) up to the founding acquired from the Ministry of Education and Science (MEiN) as well as the business environment, for instance, Podkarpackie Innovation Center (PCI).
The most active students have the opportunity to study in strongly individualized systems, as well as take part in international exchange under bilateral agreements, popular programs, or based on scientific leaders' professional contacts. Teaching cooperation includes scientific internships funded by various scholarship programs, such as the "Visiting Research Graduate Traineeship Program for Polish Masters Students in the Biological Sciences" or under the auspices of the Polish-American Fulbright Commission, Erasmus+, and Lund University.
The high quality of education at the Institute of Biotechnology is evidenced by the employment of our graduated students in leading scientific centers in Poland and abroad (University of Bern, Virginia University, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Lund University, Universities and Research Centers in Poland, Institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences), pharmaceutical and life-science companies, institutions involved in monitoring and environmental protection, veterinary and Sanitary.