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Frequently asked questions

Below you find answers to frequently asked questions about available funding and application procedures.

Available funding
"My RCN web" and the application form
Application deadlines
Application content - guidelines
Problems arising during the application process
Application processing
Contracts and reports

Available funding

Where do I access information about available research funding

Information about funding can be found under the section “Apply for Funding” on the English pages. Calls for proposals are publicised in Norwegian six weeks before the application deadline. To find out which programmes/activities are currently offering funding, use either the search function or the thematic overviews provided under Apply for funding > Find calls for proposals.

If you wish to find out whether a specific programme/activity is offering funding, simply enter its name or acronym in the specified field in the search box.
To obtain an overview over all funding announcements (active and closed), click “Show history”.The individual calls for proposals contain all official information regarding available funding, requirements, guidelines and priorities. Contact persons listed in the announcements can provide further details. In addition, the programmes/activities often publish relevant information on their own webpages.

I am not sure which programme/activity is most suitable for my application 

Please get in touch with the contact person specified if you are uncertain as to whether a programme/activity is the right choice for your needs. A grant application is submitted in response to a call for proposals. Applications that do not satisfy the call for proposals are usually rejected.

"My RCN web" and the application form

What is the electronic submission service (eSøknad)?

The eSøknad electronic submission service is the online system for submitting grant proposals to the Research Council. For more details about the eSøknad system, see Apply for funding > Application information > Application form. The call for proposals stipulates which of the standard application types is to be used. For general information about the standard application types, see Apply for funding > Application information > Application types.

Logging on to “My RCN Web”

You may log in/create a new user account at www.forskningsradet.no/login. When you create a new user account, you will receive an email containing a link that takes you to a window where you can confirm the new user account by clicking on the button for user verification. An email address may only be associated with a single user identity. A message will appear if you are trying to create a new user account with an email address that has been used previously.

If you have forgotten the password you used when you registered as a user you can click on the button for “New password” at www.forskningsradet.no/passord. You must provide your email address to receive a new password. You will be sent an email with a link that takes you to a window on My RCN Web where you can set a new password.

The Research Council has now introduced a system in which the user’s email address serves as the user name for logging in to “My RCN Web”. All user accounts registered under the same name and email address have been consolidated into a single user identity. Some users may still have multiple user accounts in cases where there was a lack of correspondence between the user’s name and email address. If you need help in consolidating user accounts, please send an email to eSoknad@forskningsradet.no.

When I open the eSøknad system everything appears in a very small font

This is usually due to the setting for the text size in your net browser. To check this setting in Internet Explorer, click on "Page" and select “Text size”. Select “Medium”. If you are using a Macintosh, try pressing the plus key a few times while holding down the “Apple key” (aka “Command key”).

I would like to view the application form to find out what information is needed

Go to Apply for funding > Find calls for proposals and enter “TEST” in the search field in the right-hand column. Click on the search result “The opportunity to see the content of an application” and then click on “Choose” and “Create new application” for the relevant application type. After you log in (or register yourself as a new user), you will access a page from which you can create a test application and navigate your way through the application form. You may also access the guidelines for filling out the individual fields in the form and print out the form. Please note: test applications are not to be submitted to the Research Council. Each of the standard application types (type of funding) has its own application form.

How do I access the appropriate online application form for completion and submission?

All applicants must use the online application form provided in the eSøknad electronic submission service. The electronic application forms and accompanying guidelines are tailored to the individual standard application types. The call for proposals will specify the types of applications from which you may choose. The application form may be accessed via the active call for proposals under which you plan to apply for funding. Calls for proposals may be found under Apply for funding > Find calls for proposals.  

All programmes/activities with an active call for proposals have a button marked “Create new application” on the last page of the call. Clicking on this will take you directly to the log-in page. If you have not already logged in, you will first be directed to the log-in box. First-time users of the eSøknad system will be asked to register themselves before they can access the application form.

How do I copy the content of an existing grant proposal to a new one?

First follow the procedure for locating the relevant call for proposals, creating a new application form and logging in to the system. Under “Create based on”, select “Copy existing application” and select the application from which you wish to copy from the dropdown list. Attachments submitted in connection with previous applications are not accessible for copying to a new application, and must therefore be uploaded again. Please note that the application forms for the various types of applications may not be identical. If you are copying from the form for a different application type, you will need to check for and fill in any additional or different information fields that are found in your new application form. Please check through the application form carefully to ensure that everything is correctly filled in.

If the existing application you wish to use is not listed in the dropdown menu, it may be listed under a different user account. Contact user support at eSoknad@forskningsradet.no for help in consolidating different user accounts.

Can I make corrections to a grant proposal that has already been submitted?

Should you discover errors or missing information in an application you have submitted (or the attachments), you may open, correct and resubmit your application provided that the submission deadline has not yet expired. It is the last submitted version of the grant application that will be sent on for processing. This does not apply to applications to calls for proposals with open-ended deadlines.

How do I convert my attachments to pdf (Portable Document Format) files?

All attachments to grant proposals sent through the eSøknad system must be submitted in pdf-format. The pdf-format satisfies the criteria stipulated by the National Archives of Norway, whereas Word and rtf-formats do not. Click here to learn more about the application form and requirements for attachments.

How do I fill out an application form "My RCN web"?

An introduction to how to create and complete applications is available under Apply for funding > Application information > Application form.  Pay special note to the sections on saving information and error detection. All mandatory fields (designated with a *) must be filled out. The eSøknad system will not allow you to submit an application in which information is missing from any of the mandatory fields or is entered incorrectly. Use the “Check page” and “Check entire” buttons to make sure you have filled in all fields correctly. All attachments to the grant proposal must be submitted in pdf-format. When your application has been successfully completed, click the “Submit…” button. Email confirmation of receipt will automatically be sent as soon as the application has been received by the Research Council.

Is it possible for more than one person to work on the same grant application form?

If more than one person working on the same grant application at the same time has logged on using the same user name and password, there is a risk that text and figures may be stored incorrectly and lost. Please use the “Share application…” function to ensure that there is no confusion.
Please note: it is only the user who originally created the application who can grant access to shared editing rights and submit the final application. The Project Owner and person submitting the grant application will both receive confirmation of receipt by email.

Which browsers does the eSøknad system support?
See the overview of compatible browsers.

Why can't I print out my application or copy it to a pdf-file?

When you click on “Print” or the pdf-icon, you generate a pop-up. Many machines are blocked for pop-ups. Turn off your pop-up blocker or override it by holding Down the Ctrl-key while you click on the printer or pdf-icon under “My Applications” under the tab for Applications in eSøknad. Do not release until you see that the process has started.

Word gives a different number of characters than "My RCN web"/the eSøknad system when I cut and paste text from a document into my application. Why?
The eSøknad system counts each carriage return as two characters, while Word only counts it as one.

The pdf version of my application/report does not display what I registered

The various net browsers store files in a browser cache and check there to see if a file already exists before displaying anything.
If the file already exists, your browser is probably displaying an earlier version of the file stored in the browser. You must empty the browser cache. In Internet Explorer: Go to Tools > Internet Options > General and select “Delete Files”. In Firefox: Go to Tools > Clear Private Data and select “Clear Private Data Now”.

I get an error message when trying to download a file ("Internet Explorer Cannot Download")

Check the following in Internet Explorer:

  1. Open the "Tools" menu and go to "Internet options..."
  2. Open the "Advanced" tab in the pop up-window
  3. Scroll down to the "Security" options
  4. Uncheck "Do not save encrypted pages to disk"
  5. Click "OK" and try again.

Application deadlines

What is the cut-off time for submission of grant applications using “My RCN Web”?

You may submit electronic applications until the expiry of the deadline date and time stipulated for the relevant call for proposals. Applications may be opened, amended and resubmitted up to the expiry of the submission deadline. It is the last submitted version of the grant application that will be sent on for processing. Applications to activities with an open-ended deadline may be submitted on an ongoing basis. In this case, a submitted application may not be reopened and amended. If changes to such applications are necessary, a new application form must be created and submitted, and the previously submitted application must be withdrawn. Please note that the date and time stipulated for the deadline are absolute and final. After that time, the system will automatically cease to accept applications for that deadline. Thus, it is not possible to submit or make any changes to an application after the expiry of the deadline. It is the applicant's responsibility to budget adequate time for completing and submitting grant applications.

Is it possible to submit attachments after the deadline has expired?

No, it is not possible to submit attachments after the deadline has expired, with the exception of grade transcripts issued after the application deadline. All forwarded documents should be sent to post@forskningsradet.no well before the projected final processing date. All forwarded documents must be marked with the project number (or ES-number found in the application form), project title and name of project manager. For more information, please refer to the relevant call for proposals or contact the case officer directly.

When are funding announcements publicised?

Funding announcements are published six weeks before the deadline for submission of grant applications. It is possible to create and submit grant applications from the time the call for proposals has been designated as “Active” and up to the application deadline. A preliminary call for proposals may also be published earlier, and will in such cases be designated as “Planned”. It is not possible to establish or submit grant applications for calls for proposals that have not yet been designated as Active (six weeks before the application deadline).

Application content - guidelines

Where can I find guidelines for how to fill out the individual items of the application form (including project description)?

Guidelines for how to fill out the individual items are integrated into the application form, and may be found by clicking on the “Guidelines” button to the right of the heading for the relevant item. 

Who is eligible to submit proposals?

Normally, applications for research funding must be formally submitted by a Norwegian company or institution. See Apply for funding > Application information > Application types.

The institution/enterprise must tick off a special box on the application form to confirm that it is willing to assume the role of project owner.
Doctoral and post-doctoral grant recipients who will be spending their entire grant period abroad may be exempted from the requirements relating to project ownership by an institution/company. Applicants should then put their own names as project owner.

Candidates may, however, submit personal applications for certain international fellowships that the Research Council administers on behalf of other institutions. These fellowships have their own application forms and deadlines, see International Scholarship Section.

What do the terms project owner, project administrator and project manager mean?

For more information, please see under Apply for funding > Application information > General application requirements

What is meant by the term "partner"?

The term “partner” is used to designate participants that have stipulated rights and/or obligations under the project contract. Partners comprise institutions, companies and other activities (as well as any designated individuals) that will be providing professional or financial resources to the project. Partners must be listed in the application form. In connection with contracts with the Research Council collaboration agreements must be drawn up between the project owner and each partner participating in the project. 

What are the requirements pertaining to signatures on the grant proposals and contracts?

The application form (eSøknad electronic application submission system) entails that grant proposals to the Research Council do not require the personal signatures of either the project manager or the project administrator on behalf of the applicant institution/enterprise. However, the application must contain confirmation that the institution/enterprise, via the project administrator, has approved the proposal. Both the individual who submits the application and the project owner will automatically receive email confirmation of receipt as soon as the application has been received by the Research Council. The project administrator must personally sign the contract for project allocations.

Problems arising during the application process

Whom should I contact if I have problems filling in my application?

Grant-related questions and problems filling out the application form: If you are unable to find the answers you need in the call for proposals, the description of application types or the guidelines to the application form, please contact the Research Council. Primary contact persons for the various programmes/activities are listed in the individual calls for proposals.
In connection with the application submission deadlines, assistance channels will be established. Information about this will be published on the Research Council website. Users should make a note of these!

I am a Macintosh user, and I have encountered some problems when filling out the application form. What should I do?

Read more about Mac compatible browsers here.

I am unable to upload a pdf-file to my electronic grant application because it is too large.

It is no longer possible to upload project descriptions that exceed the maximum page limits specified in the call for proposals and/or general requirements for the relevant application type. If you are receiving an error message that your file is too large, then you must adjust the length of your project description to be within the stipulated limits.

Application processing

How are applications processed within the Research Council?

Once an application has been received and registered by the Research Council, it is assigned an individual project number. The project manager and project administrator will automatically be notified by email once this has taken place. A list containing the project numbers, project titles and project owners of the grant applications currently under processing is published on forskningsradet.no each month. To access this list, go to Apply for funding > Application information > Application status.

How do I find out about the outcome of the application processing?

Once the final decision has been taken, all applicants will be notified by letter of the outcome of the application processing. The Research Council seeks to provide useful feedback to applicants whenever possible. This feedback will include information about where to find the list with the names of referees/members of the panel used in the assessment process. This information is also available upon request. A list of the all the projects recommended for allocation, with project number, project title and project owner, will be published on forskningsradet.no under Apply for funding > Application information > Application status and/or the research programme’s webpages.

Can I submit a complaint regarding the processing of applications?
It is only possible to submit complaints relating to a procedural error or a fundamental deficiency or shortcoming in the grounds underlying the exercise of academic, or expert discretion alleged to have occurred during the submission or processing of applications. Complaints may not be submitted regarding academic or expert discretion exercised. For more information, please see under Apply for funding > Application information > Complaints procedures and the Appeals Committee

Contracts and reports

What is the difference between a grant proposal and a contract?

A grant proposal is essentially a declaration of intent, while a contract is a binding agreement. A contract is signed subsequent to allocation of funding. Both parties are bound to comply with the terms of the contract once it has been signed by the project owner (institution/company, as represented by the project administrator) and the Research Council. The project period is specified in the contract. For more information see Apply for funding > Contract.

Where can I find the report forms?

Progress reports and final reports are to be submitted to the Research Council in electronic form via “My RCN Web”. Those responsible for submitting reports will be notified of this by email well in advance of the reporting deadlines. For more information, see the sample report forms under Apply for funding > Project follow-up and reporting

Who has employers' liability for the approved projects?

As a general rule, the project owner (institution/company) bears master-servant liability for project employees.

Published:
14.01.2004