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NOK 87 million for research on integrated multi-stressor impacts on ecosystems

Up to NOK 87 million is available for Researcher Projects for knowledge about integrated multi-stressor impacts on ecosystems. The MILJØFORSK, KLIMAFORSK, MARINFORSK and POLARPROG programmes are collaborating on this call for proposals, issued in parallel with a bilateral call in cooperation with the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) on the same topic (see the MILJØFORSK programme website to the right).

Researcher project Choose
26.04.2018 13:00 CEST


Grant applications are to be submitted via the MILJØFORSK programme. Applicants are encouraged to read the text of the call carefully and to comply with the requirements stipulated for the relevant application type and the call for proposals. Grant applications that do not comply with these requirements, including addressing the stipulated research challenges, will be rejected.

The grant application form may be saved and submitted multiple times on “My RCN web”. Upon expiry of the deadline, it is the most recently submitted version of the grant application that will be sent on for processing.

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



Amount of funding presumed available for this call for proposals:

Up to NOK 87 million is available for Researcher Projects. Funding is expected to be awarded to four to eight projects with a timeframe of three to four years.

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

This is a joint call for proposals issued by the MILJØFORSK programme, the Large-scale Programme on Climate Research (KLIMAFORSK), the Research Programme on Marine Resources and the Environment (MARINFORSK) and the Polar Research Programme (POLARPROG). The aim of this call is to shed light on issues related to integrated multi-stressor impacts on ecosystems.

Who is eligible to apply?

Funding may be sought by scientists carrying out research on marine, limnic and terrestrial (including polar) ecosystems. Project proposals encompassing multiple pressures on, and especially across, ecosystems are particularly encouraged.

Background for the funding announcement

The principles set out in the Nature Diversity Act regarding the ecosystem approach and cumulative environmental effects are designed to ensure that the various pressures are assessed in relation to one another, and that their overall impact on species, habitat types and ecosystems does not exceed tolerance thresholds. The UN Sustainable Development Goals point to the need to manage, protect and encourage sustainable use of ecosystems.

The overall pressure on ecosystems in Norway and globally is increasing. Loss of biodiversity is one of the biggest challenges currently facing the world. There are alarming indications that the degradation of ecosystems poses threats to the production and harvesting of food. Pressures range from changes in land and sea areas, climate change, pollution and hazardous substances, to the spread of alien species, harvesting, infrastructure and industry development, increased tourism in the Arctic and more.

The different anthropogenic drivers of change most often involve complex interactions. Understanding how these drivers interact with one another requires multidisciplinary approaches within discipline-based environmental research as well as interdisciplinary approaches incorporating social science-based knowledge.

In the view of the Research Council, research on environmental impact today is too fragmented and there is insufficient understanding of connections between different environmental impacts over time. Therefore, funding is being announced for projects with a particular focus on cumulative environmental effects and the ramifications these will have for environmental sustainability in a long-term perspective.

Grant proposals will be accepted for projects addressing the following research challenges:

  • integration of multiple pressures into a single perspective;
  • systems for selecting the most critical pressures on an ecosystem or geographic area;
  • methods for mapping and quantifying cumulative effects;
  • upscaling of data on environmental pressures and impacts for use by the public administration;
  • integrated assessments of pressures and impacts and potential measures for reducing ecological strain.

General and specific requirements for grant applications

Grant applications must satisfy the general guidelines, requirements and assessment criteria for grant proposals found in the information about the Researcher Project application type.

The following guidelines and requirements apply specifically to this call for proposals:

Project proposals encompassing multiple pressures on, and especially across, ecosystems will be given priority.

Importance will be attached to scientific merit, boldness in scientific thinking and scientific innovation in research projects.

In addition, importance will be attached to achieving a balanced project portfolio that reflects the full spectrum of research challenges.

  • Interdisciplinary cooperation is encouraged when addressing the complex knowledge needs described in this call.
  • National and international cooperation is encouraged.
  • The Research Council is working to encourage greater user involvement and/or knowledge development of relevance to trade and industry and the public sector. The active involvement of relevant user groups in designing the research questions and carrying out the project will be viewed in a positive light.
  • Communication of research results to key decision-makers, the public administration and the public at large is of particular importance. Grant applications must include a communication plan that describes concrete measures and activities targeted towards various user groups.
  • The budget and resource parameters must be specified in the specification field in the application form, or in a separate attachment. Applicants must indicate the number of person-months per work package/sub-project/milestone and the institution/person that will be performing the individual segments, as well as the roles of the individual partners and the need for additional resources.
  • Gender perspectives of relevance to the research questions are to be incorporated into the project.

Assuming all other quality-related factors are essentially equal, importance will be attached to the following considerations in the final review of grant applications:

  • Grant applications that incorporate doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships will be viewed in a positive light.
  • Grant applications with women project managers will be viewed in a positive light.

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 research data

The R&D-performing institution or company is responsible for selecting an archiving solution to use for storing research data generated during the project. The solution is to be specified in the revised grant application and the contract documents for the project.

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