Personal Post-doctoral Research Fellowship
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.
To grant a personal research fellowship to an outstanding candidate who recently earned his/her doctorate. Post-doctoral research fellowships are intended in particular to help develop cutting-edge expertise within high-priority fields, to give highly qualified doctorate-holders the opportunity to further qualify for academic positions, to encourage national and international mobility between research groups as well as between research circles and business and industry, and to promote gender equality.
- Fellowships are granted for a period of two to four years. Candidates may not be granted funding from the Research Council for more than one period.
- The Research Council primarily allocates post-doctoral research fellowships to Norwegian educational institutions that are entitled to confer doctorates, cf. the Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident. Allocation to other institutions is possible, provided special needs for a post-doctoral fellowship can be documented. In addition, it must be permissible to employ personnel in temporary positions of this type under the legislation regulating employment contracts at the relevant institution (the Civil Service Act or the Working Environment Act), and the position in question must comply with the requirements set out in Section 1-2, paragraphs 1, 3, 5 and 7 of the regulations mentioned above. The individual institutions must have assessed this before they submit a grant application to the Research Council.
- Grant proposals from applicants who have not submitted their doctoral theses by the date on which the allocation decision is taken will be rejected. Please see the schedule in the call for proposals. Documentation of submission of the doctoral thesis must be forwarded.
- The fellowship may not commence until the doctoral thesis has been formally presented, defended and approved.
- Fellowship-holders are strongly urged to spend all or part of their fellowship period abroad.
Those who pursue their entire post-doctoral fellowship period abroad are usually registered as employees of the Research Council. It is to the benefit of such research fellows to be affiliated with a Norwegian specialist environment during the fellowship period to promote knowledge transfer and active career planning.
Expenses that may be covered:
The rates for post-doctoral research fellowships (see Rates) are to cover all expenses during the fellowship period. However, a certain amount of additional funding may be available for extra costs. If the entire fellowship period is to be spent at a university abroad, the fellowship-holder may apply for an overseas research grant for 12 months of the fellowship period, preferably applied to the first year. The overseas research grant may be used to cover costs for settling in and extra expenses incurred from living abroad based on fixed rates. The Research Council will not grant extra funding for travel or visits home.
Applications will be accepted from:
A Norwegian research institution (see definition and specification of the concept “research institution” (PDF - 194 KB) ).
Post-doctoral fellowship-holders who are spending their entire fellowship period abroad may be exempted from this requirement.
- The Project Owner (formal applicant) must be a Norwegian institution, and must supply the name of the designated project administrator. Any exceptions to this rule will be described in the call for proposals.
- The post-doctoral candidate is to serve as the project manager.
- Any special requirements regarding the language in which the grant proposal is to be submitted will be specified in the call for proposals.
The project description must be submitted using the designated template:
Template for project description for Personal Doctoral Research Fellowship (DOCX - 23 KB)
- All items of information on the template must be completed.
- The project description is not exceed 10 pages, including the list of references. It is not possible to upload an attachment that exceeds 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 can be used.
The grant proposal will be evaluated relative to the assessment criteria that apply to that particular type of application (see separate item below), and the requirements and principles set out in the call for proposals.
Attachments to the application
A Mandatory attachments:
- Project description
- CV with a publications list (max. 4 pages). (The page format should be A4 with 2 cm margins, 12 point font and single spacing. For references and figure text, font size 9 can be used).
- Post-doctoral candidates who have yet to defend their thesis must submit verification that the thesis has been submitted.
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.
- Letters of recommendation and invitations related to overseas research grants.
- Letters of confirmation from partners.
Note: Non-binding declarations of support are not to be submitted.
C Optional attachments:
Proposals for up to three expert referees who are presumed to be impartial and qualified to review the grant proposal.
Assessment of grant proposals
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, to increase the recruitment of women to higher academic positions and within MST subject areas, to enhance the gender balance in Norwegian research and to ensure that gender perspectives are adequately integrated into research activities.
These elements will be taken into consideration when assessing and ranking grant proposals.
Assessment criteria for the application:
- Scientific merit
- Project manager and the Project group
- Implementation plan and resource parameters
- National cooperation
- International cooperation
- Dissemination and communication of results
- Relevance relative to the call for proposals
- Overall mark of the referee/panel
Additional assessment criteria may be specified in the call for proposals
This criterion gives an indication of the essential, fundamental aspects of the research project.
The scientific merit of a project will be assessed in relation to the following points:
- Originality in the form of scientific innovation and/or the development of new knowledge.
- Whether the research questions, hypotheses and objectives have been clearly and adequately specified.
- The strength of the theoretical approach, operationalisation and use of scientific methods.
- Documented knowledge about the research front.
- The degree to which the scientific basis of the project is realistic.
- The scientific scope in terms of a multi- and interdisciplinary approach, when relevant.
The project manager and project group
This criterion gives an indication of the qualifications of the project manager and project group.
The project manager and project group will be assessed in relation to the following points:
- Project management
- Expertise and experience within the field of research
- Publication record
- Experience with national and international collaboration on projects
- Experience with supervision of students and younger researchers
- The degree to which the project manager and project group are part of a research environment that has the competence and resources needed to ensure the success of the project
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 in the project is well-suited for the tasks in the project, based on assessment of the following elements:
- 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.
This criterion gives an indication of the extent to which the project will make use of national research expertise and help to promote national network-building.
This criterion gives an indication of the extent and quality of the international cooperation activities set out for the project.
Dissemination and communication of results
This criterion gives an indication of the quality of the dissemination and communication plans for the project.
Dissemination and communication of results will be assessed in relation to the following points:
- Plans for scholarly publication, dissemination and other communication activities.
- Plans for popular science dissemination and communication activities vis-à-vis the general public as well as users of the project results, including planned use of channels and measures.
- Plans for ensuring that important users (in industry, community life and public administration) are incorporated into/take part in dissemination activities for the project.
Relevance relative to the call for proposals
This criterion is used to assess the degree to which the project satisfies the guidelines and stipulations set out in the call for proposals.
Overall assessment of the referee/panel
This criterion indicates the overall view of the referee/panel, based on the specific criteria which they have been asked to assess.
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.
Recruitment of women
The Research Council considers it important for projects to promote increased recruitment of women to higher academic positions and within the MST subject areas (mathematics, science and technology).
Gender balance in the project
The Research Council works actively to enhance the gender balance in the Norwegian research sector. Each project can play a role in this by seeking to ensure gender balance in the composition of the project group.
Gender perspectives in the research
The Research Council views it as essential that gender perspectives are given adequate consideration in research projects where this is relevant. Good research must take into account biological and social differences between women and men, and the gender dimension should be one of the main pillars of the development of new knowledge. In research projects this dimension may be manifested through the research questions addressed, the theoretical approaches chosen, the methodology applied, and in the efforts to assess whether the research results will have different implications for women and men.
In this context, internationalisation refers to the extent to which the project serves to promote the internationalisation of Norwegian research, by such means as:
- International networks
- International mobility
- Measures that enhance Norway’s attractiveness as a host country for research activities
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