The following describes requirements 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 promote scientific renewal and development of disciplines and/or to generate new knowledge about issues relevant to society.
Projects developed by one or more researchers at one or more institutions. The projects may be independent or affiliated with a research programme.
Expenses that may be covered:
Relevant project expenses such as payroll expenses, one or more grants/fellowships, procurement of R&D services, network measures, depreciation of equipment used under the project. Support will not be provided for doctoral fellowship candidates who have previously completed a doctoral/Ph.D degree.
The grant is reserved for the non-economic activities of the research organisation. When a cooperating undertaking has parts of its project costs covered through the Research Council grant, this must be in accordance with Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014). Further information.
Applications will be accepted from:
Norwegian research institutions (see definition and specification of the concept “research institution” (PDF - 194 KB) ), and Nordic research-performing institutions funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, or Nordic research institutions that receive public funding from at least three Nordic countries, including Norway.
- The Project Owner (formal applicant) must be a Norwegian or Nordic institution (see "Applications will be accepted from"), and must supply the name of the designated project administrator. Any exceptions to this rule will be described in the call for proposals.
- The project manager should have completed a doctoral degree or have corresponding qualifications.
- 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 (download from the menu on the right hand side). All items of information on the template must be completed.
- The project description is not to exceed 10 pages, including the list of references, unless otherwise specified in the call for proposals. 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.
- Other special requirements may be stipulated in the call for proposals. Please read the text of the call carefully.
- All mandatory attachments.
Attachments to the application
A Mandatory attachments:
- Project description
- CVs including publications lists (max. 4 pages per CV). (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).
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 confirmation from partners.
- Recommendations and invitations relating to overseas research grants.
- Grade transcripts or educational certificates for designated doctoral or student research fellowship applicants.
- Letters of recommendation from advisors for student research grants.
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 management 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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