The following describes requirements and overall principles for grant proposals submitted under this type of application. Any amendments or additions to the requirements below will be described in the call for proposals. Grant applications that do not satisfy all the requirements listed for the application type and/or stipulated in the call for proposals will be rejected.
To establish research infrastructure that enables Norway to meet emerging knowledge challenges, to satisfy the research needs within the public and private sectors, to promote recruitment, to enhance efficiency and quality in research and to realise the potential of international research collaboration in a sound, cost-effective manner.
Funding may only be sought for nationally-oriented research infrastructure with investment costs of more than NOK 2 million and an investment plan of up to five years. The maximum amount of funding that may be sought from the Research Council is NOK 200 million. Funding may be sought to cover investment, establishment and installation costs for new research infrastructure or costs for upgrading existing infrastructure. In certain cases, funding may be sought to cover operating.
Applications will be accepted from:
Universities, university colleges and research organisations(1) and other publicly funded administrators of research infrastructure who cooperate closely with Norwegian research institutions.
(1)According to the European Union (EU), a research organisation is “an entity, such as university or research institute, irrespective of its legal status (organised under public or private law) or way of financing, whose primary goal is to conduct fundamental research, industrial teaching, publication or technoloy transfer; all profits are reinvested in these activities, the dissemination of their results or teaching; undertakings that can exert influence upon such an entity, in the quality of, for example, shareholders or members, shall enjoy no preferential access to the research capacities of such an entity to the research results generated by it.”
- The project description is not to exceed the number of pages stipulated in the call for proposals. It is not possible to upload project descriptions that exceed the page total stipulated. The page format should be A4 with 2 cm margins, 12 point font and single spacing. For references and figure text, font size 9 may be used.
- The Project Owner (formal applicant) must be an institution, and must supply the name of the designated project administrator. Any exceptions to this rule will be described in the call for proposals.
- Grant proposals must reflect the established research agenda and strategic plans of the Project Owner and its partners. A letter from each of the partners confirming that the project supports the research strategy of the relevant institution must be attached.
- The project description must be submitted using the designated template.
- The infrastructure in question must be nationally oriented.
- It is especially important that the project description provides a scientific description of the research infrastructure to be procured/established, that it gives a brief account of the research-related questions the research infrastructure will help to answer.
- The project description must describe how the infrastructure will be made accessible to the research community and relevant trade and industry other than the Project Owner and partners. It must also include an overview of the key research environments that will benefit from the infrastructure and the projected degree of use.
- A separate cost and funding plan must be drawn up using the template provided and attached to the grant application. Budgetary components associated with the establishment of the infrastructure and its operation after initial implementation are to be clearly differentiated.
- All mandatory attachments.Other special requirements may apply. For details, please see the call for proposals.
Attachments to the application:
A Mandatory attachments:
- Project description (use template).
- Cost and funding plan (use template).
- Confirmation at institution level from each partner regarding their obligations under the project, and a declaration that the infrastructure is part of the institution’s research strategy.
B Attachments that may be required in the call for proposals
Only the attachments requested in the call for proposals should be submitted. Attachments that have not been requested will not be included in the application review process.
- A CV for the project manager (maximum 4 pages). The page format should be A4 with 2 cm margins, 12 point font (Times New Roman) and single spacing. For references lists, font size 9 may be used.
- CVs for the project manager at the Project Owner and for corresponding project managers at each partner.
- Declaration from the Project Owner that the infrastructure is part of the institution’s research strategy.
- Other attachments.
Assessment criteria for the application:
- Relevance relative to the call for proposals
- The national importance of the infrastructure
- Benefit to research of the infrastructure
- International cooperation
- Scientific and technological solutions
- Relevance and benefit to trade and industry
- Relevance and benefit to society
- National cooperation
- Distribution of national research responsibilities
- Scientific management of the infrastructure
- Administrative leadership and operation of infrastructure
- Strategic basis and importance
- Implementation plan and resource parameters
- Implementation capacity
- Quality of the application documents
- Ethical perspectives
- Environmental impact
- Overall assessment of the referee/panel
The Research Council views it as a prerequisite that all projects will maintain high ethical standards, and give adequate consideration to potential environmental impacts.
The Research Council considers it essential that research projects seek to promote the internationalisation of Norwegian research.
Additional assessment criteria may be specified in the call for proposals
Definition of the assessment criteria:
Relevance relative to the call for proposals
This criterion gives an indication of how well the project satisfies the guidelines and stipulations set out in the call for proposals.
The national importance of the infrastructure
This criterion gives an indication of the function that the infrastructure will play at the national level. The national importance of the infrastructure will be assessed in relation to the following points:
- Whether the infrastructure is of widespread national interest.
- Whether the infrastructure will be available in only one or a few locations in Norway (as a general rule).
- Whether the infrastructure will lay a foundation for internationally cutting-edge research.
- Whether the infrastructure will be made accessible to relevant researchers and industries.
- Whether the infrastructure will promote effective coordination between relevant research groups.
Benefit to research of the infrastructure
The benefit to research of the infrastructure is a comprehensive criterion that encompasses both the impact that the establishment of the infrastructure will have on research activities within the relevant subject areas and the significance that the infrastructure will have for the national research community. The benefit to research of the infrastructure will be assessed in relation to the following points:
- Whether the research groups have documented expertise in the application areas and in national research in the relevant area.
- Whether the research infrastructure will open up new opportunities for Norwegian research groups compared to existing infrastructure.
- The extent to which the research infrastructure contributes to scientific renewal, increases the scope of research activities, promotes the development of new knowledge, and drives research in areas of major national and/or international significance towards the research front.
- How the research infrastructure will be operationalised and applied in relation to existing infrastructure.
- The potential to make Norwegian research groups attractive to the best researchers in Norway and abroad.
- The capacity to carry out high-priority research that Norwegian research groups could not otherwise conduct on their own. (This applies to projects that require international cooperation on research infrastructure.)
International cooperation will be assessed in relation to the extent and quality of the international cooperation activities set out for the project.
Scientific and technological solutions
The choice of scientific and technological solutions will be assessed in relation to the following points:
- The feasibility of the project.
- The best available solutions; state-of-the-art.
Relevance and benefit to trade and industry
This criterion gives an indication of the anticipated potential of the expertise/knowledge developed in connection with the project to generate value added in Norwegian trade and industry. The relevance and benefit to trade and industry will be assessed in relation to the following points:
- The need for this expertise among the participants from industry.
- The need for this expertise within Norwegian industry at large.
- The potential of the increased expertise to trigger new growth in Norwegian industry.
Relevance and benefit to society
Evaluation will be focused on the extent to which a project is relevant to society, e.g. by considering its ability to contribute to knowledge/competence that would in the short or long term be of significance to meeting major challenges in the public sector, industry and the civil society, viewed in a regional, national or global context.
This criterion will be assessed in relation to the extent to which the project will make use of national research expertise and help to promote national network-building.
Distribution of national research responsibility
This criterion gives an indication of the extent to which the project will contribute to the constructive distribution of tasks and responsibilities at the national level.
Scientific management of the infrastructure
The plan for management of the infrastructure will be assessed in relation to the following points:
- Whether the applicant institution and project manager/project group have the expertise and resources needed to establish, operate and make optimal use of the research infrastructure.
- Whether the project group has the expertise and resources needed to establish, operate and make optimal use of the research infrastructure.
- The scientific contribution of any partners to enhancing the quality and feasibility of the project.
- Whether the research infrastructure will be organised and administered in a manner that ensures satisfactory accessibility for relevant researchers and industries.
- The data management plan; i.e. plans for storing the data generated, and publishing or making it accessible in other ways.
Administrative leadership and operation of infrastructure
The plan for establishing and operating the infrastructure will be assessed in relation to the following points:
- Plans relating to distribution of tasks and obligations regarding the operation, upgrading and life-cycle of the research infrastructure.
- The funding plan, including any co-funding from the institutions.
- The administrative contribution of any partners to enhancing the quality and feasibility of the project.
Strategic basis and importance
This criterion gives an indication of how the project is incorporated into, and the role it will play, in relation to the project owner’s and partners’ strategic objectives and plans, as well as the relevant research challenges (e.g. subject-specific evaluations, research agendas and technology roadmaps, strategic activities and business plans).
Implementation plan and resource parameters
This criterion gives an indication of whether the plan for project implementation is satisfactory, and whether the planned use of resources is reasonable based on assessment of the following elements of the project:
- Plans for project implementation, including breakdown into work packages/sub-projects, milestones and deliverables.
- Need for personnel resources, as listed in terms of work time distributed by work packages, sub-projects or milestones.
- Need for other resources (such as equipment, data collection, field work), distributed by work packages/sub-projects or milestones.
The assessment is not to give consideration to any scientific risks involved.
This criterion gives an indication of the extent to which the partners, viewed as a whole, are seen as capable of performing the R&D project in an optimal fashion.
The implementation capacity will be assessed in relation to the following points:
- Scientific management.
- Organisation and administrative leadership.
- Constellation of cooperating parties (make-up and competence).
Quality of the application documents
This criterion gives an indication of the extent to which the application documents are satisfactory as a basis for assessing whether a project should be granted funding. The information and plans that have been requested must be clearly described.
The Research Council emphasises the need for projects to maintain high ethical standards and not conflict in any way with the fundamental principles for ethics in research.
More information on ethical perspectives may be found in the guidelines for ethics in research drawn up by the national committees for research ethics and in the Act on Ethics and Integrity in Research.
The Research Council attaches importance to whether research projects give adequate consideration to any potential impacts (positive or negative) on the natural environment (external environment), when this is relevant. This applies both to the performance of the projects and to the utilisation of the results.
Overall assessment of the referee/panel
The overall assessment of the referee/panel taking into account the criteria which the referee/panel has been asked to assess.
- Last updated: