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Up to NOK 45 million for research on the effects of interventions to promote quality in early childhood education and care and primary education

Do you have a quality-promoting intervention that you would like to test out at the early childhood education and care (ECEC) or primary school level, and that you believe will be effective? Apply for funding to test and implement the planned intervention.

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Deadline:
13.02.2019 13:00 CET

Messages:

Please note that this call for proposals may be subject to revision until 19 December 2018. The designated template for the project description will be made available together with the call before this date.

Applicants must indicate what the funding is being sought for (pilot project or full-scale project) when they create the grant application. Please refer to the text of the call for proposals.

The Norwegian-language call for proposals is the legally binding version.

Status:

Planned

Guidelines and important considerations relevant to all types of applications in this call for proposals:

The call is a step in the follow-up to the Government’s national competence strategy in education, Innovasjonsordningen (“the Innovation Scheme”) and is part of the Government’s new model for competence-building in early childhood education and care (ECEC) and primary education set out in Meld. St. 21 (2016–2017), Lærelyst – tidlig innsats og kvalitet i skolen (Norwegian only), the white paper from the Ministry of Education and Research on early efforts/interventions to increase quality in schools.

The Research Council is announcing a total of up to NOK 45 million in funding for research on the effects of interventions to promote quality in ECEC and primary education. These effects are to be evaluated through randomised controlled studies or quasi-experimental design. Only applications based on a mandatory project outline submitted by the deadline (26 September 2018 13:00 CEST) will be accepted to this call for proposals. Only one proposal can be submitted for each previously submitted mandatory project outline.

Who is eligible to apply?
Norwegian research organisations (see the Research Council’s definition and specification of the concept “research organisation” PDF - 704 KB ) are eligible to apply for funding in collaboration with owners of ECEC institutions or primary schools.

Scientific priority areas
The following thematic priority areas set out in the FINNUT work programme are of relevance to this call:

  • A: Learning processes, assessment forms and learning outcomes;
  • B: Praxis, professional practice and competence-development;
  • C: Governance, management, organisation and achievement of results.

For more information see FINNUT's Work programme PDF - 338 KB .

All applicants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the guidelines and principles set out in Meld. St. 21 (2016–2017), Lærelyst – tidlig innsats og kvalitet i skolen (Norwegian only), the white paper from the Ministry of Education and Research that forms the basis for the current call. The white paper is only available in Norwegian.

Under this call, funding will be targeted towards projects where researchers and owners of Norwegian ECEC institutions and primary schools test and evaluate the effects of interventions to promote quality. The interventions may be new or may have been previously tested in other countries or contexts, and must be transferable to other practicing environments and implementable on a large scale.

Researchers and the owners of ECEC institution or primary school are responsible for designing the content of the projects. Before an intervention is tested, a clear definition must be provided for the substance of the intervention, its target group, the effects to be measured, as well as how these will be measured and how they will be supported and implemented locally within the organisations involved.

Research design must be of high quality and the interventions must have their basis in the field of practice. The intervention are to be designed in a manner conducive to review via impact evaluations, preferably through randomised controlled studies or quasi-experimental design. In addition, the impact evaluation is to include an implementation and process evaluation to provide knowledge that explains the effect or the lack of effect, if that is the case.

What can funding be sought for?
Funding is available for pilot projects and full-scale projects that have completed a pilot phase. Applicants must indicate whether funding is being sought for a pilot project or full-scale project when they create the grant application.

The Research Council may cover costs associated with implementing or initiating the intervention and its evaluation. The scope and duration of the project must be proportional to the amount of funding sought.

Requirements for pilot projects:

  • The total project period may be from one to two years.
  • Applicants may seek a minimum of NOK 1 and a maximum of NOK 2 million in funding per project.
  • You should apply for a pilot project if:
    • the intervention is being developed and funding is being sought for that work.
    • the intervention has already been developed and the you wish to develop measures of intervention fidelity (compliance with the programme).
    • the intervention is developed and the you are preparing for a smaller scale evaluation study. For example, a small RCT that allows the team to test the research process, or collect information that will inform power calculations for a larger trial.
  • The project is to involve a collaborative effort between owners of ECEC institutions or primary schools and one or more research groups.

Requirements for full-scale projects:

  • The total project period may be from two to four years.
  • Applicants may seek a minimum of NOK 5 and a maximum of NOK 20 million in funding per project.
  • The intervention must encompass more than one ECEC institution/school.
  • Interventions are to be designed in a manner conducive to review via impact evaluations, preferably through randomised controlled studies or quasi-experimental design.
  • The impact evaluation is to include an implementation and process evaluation.
  • The project is to involve a collaborative effort between owners of ECEC institutions or primary schools and one or more research groups.
  • The project must also provide own funding of minimum 25 % of the amount sought from the Research Council. Own funding may be in the form of cash financing or in-kind contributions from the project partners and/or the host institutions (formal applicant) themselves.
  • The project must include recruitment positions.

Priority will be given to projects that are led by women project managers, assuming all factors in competing grant applications are assessed as being equal.

Funding from the Research Council may be used to cover the following:

  • payroll expenses, including researcher, doctoral and postdoctoral positions;
  • payroll expenses for the project manager at the ECEC/school owner institution;
  • expenses in connection with implementing the intervention.

Conditions for funding
Support from the Research Council to a research organisation is to be reserved for the organisation’s non-economic activity, and as such does not constitute state aid. The Research Council requires a clear separation of accounts for the organisation’s economic and non-economic activities.

According to the state aid rules, support to an undertaking constitutes state aid. An “undertaking” in this context is defined as any actor that carries out an economic activity consisting of offering products or services on a given market. When an undertaking receives support to cover a portion of its project costs, either in the role as Project Owner or as a partner in the project, this support must be awarded in accordance with Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014).

Overseas research grants for fellowship-holders and extension of post-doctoral fellowships in connection with research stays abroad

Applicants may include overseas research grants for doctoral and post-doctoral fellowship-holders in the grant application. If the project is awarded funding, the Project Owner may also apply during the project period for overseas research grants and extension of post-doctoral fellowship periods corresponding to the length of the research stay abroad. See here for more information about the UTENLANDSSTIPEND scheme.

Archiving of research data
The Project Owner (R&D organisation/company) is responsible for selecting the archiving solution(s) to use for storing research data generated during the project. The Project Owner must specify the planned solution(s) in connection with the revised grant proposal.

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