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Contracts for R&D projects

After a research project has been granted a pledge of funding, contract negotiations will be initiated between the Project Owner and the Research Council. The contract sets out the terms and conditions for use of the research funding and the parties’ rights and obligations with regard to the implementation of the project.

Once the application review process has been completed and the outcome has been published on the Research Council website, the project administrator and project manager will receive an email notifying them that the formal response letter is available on “My RCN Web”.

It is frequently the case that certain aspects of the grant application must be revised and updated before a contract can be signed. The email from the Research Council will list any required revisions.

What the contract entails
The contract between the Research Council and the recipient of the research funding consists of the following documents at minimum:

  • an agreement document that contains the concrete conditions associated with the allocation, such as specification of the project’s objectives, management, budget, financing, progress plans and reporting requirements;
  • the project description that was submitted by the Project Owner together with the final, often a revised, version of the grant application;
  • the General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects, which are the Research Council’s standard terms and conditions and are applicable to all R&D projects, unless otherwise specifically agreed in writing. 

In the event that the provisions of the various contract documents conflict with one another, the agreement document will take precedence over the General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects and the project description.

The contract may be written in Norwegian Bokmål, Nynorsk or English, as desired by the Project Owner.

The General Terms and Conditions in force at the time the grant proposal was submitted (application deadline) will be applicable for the entire project period. Links to the most recent version of these terms and conditions in Norwegian Bokmål, Nynorsk and English may be found in the column at right. A compilation of the previous versions can be found on a separate webpage.

Data management plans
For all projects that are awarded funding, the Research Council will ask the Project Owner to draw up a data management plan.  If the Project Owner believes there will be no need for such a data management plan, this must be explained. Read more about Open access to research data.

Contracting parties
The parties to the contract are the Research Council and the Project Owner. A designated project administrator signs the contract on behalf of the Project Owner.

Signing of the contract
All contracts with the Research Council are to be signed electronically via “My RCN Web”. The project administrator will be notified by email by the Research Council when the contract is available for signing. The project manager will receive a copy of the email, and will be given read-only access to the documents. The project administrator (or a specifically designated contract administrator) is the only person authorised to sign the contract.

For projects involving partners, all collaboration agreements must be uploaded on “My RCN Web” before the contract with the Research Council can be signed. Both the project administrator and the project manager will be granted access to upload the collaboration agreements. The Research Council recommends that all partners have a chance to familiarise themselves with the provisions of the contract before signing a collaboration agreement.

The deadline for signing the contract is one month from the date the contract was published on “My RCN Web”. For projects involving partners, the deadline is three months from this date.

Amendments to the contract
Any changes to the contract are made following the same procedure as when the contract was originally finalised. The project administrator will receive a letter from the Research Council on “My RCN Web” indicating the proposed amendments along with a complete, updated agreement document. For contracts that were signed before the Research Council introduced its fully electronic solution in 2014, all existing collaboration agreements must be uploaded on “My RCN Web” before the amendments to the contract can be accepted.

Key roles in an R&D project funded by the Research Council

Project Owner: The institution, company or activity that is responsible for the R&D project.

Project administrator: The individual who is authorised to represent and commit the Project Owner in respect of the Research Council. The project administrator is:

  • the Research Council’s primary contact person at the Project Owner in connection with the signing of the contract and project follow-up;
  • the individual who can share electronic access to the grant application with the project manager and others involved in quality assurance of the project;
  • the individual who submits the revised application to the Research Council.

The Project Owner designates the project administrator. In the event that a new individual will be taking over the role of project administrator in the course of the project period, notification of this change may be done easily on “My RCN Web”.

Contract administrator: A Project Owner may choose to designate an individual responsible for signing all agreement documents for R&D projects with the Research Council.

Project manager: The individual who is in charge of the progress and performance of the project on behalf of the Project Owner.

If you have any general questions about the Research Council’s R&D contracts, please contact the Legal Affairs Department; see the contact information in the column at right.

If you have questions about a specific contract, please contact the case officer for the project.

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