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Call for proposals for funding for companies with employees seeking to pursue a doctoral degree

Funding is available for new candidates under the Industrial Ph.D. scheme, with project start-up in 2012. Grant proposals are not confined to particular thematic areas or industries.

Status:

Closed

Amount of funding presumed available for this call for proposals:

Funding is available for approximately 40 new research fellowships in 2012. This call for proposals will be closed once all available funding has been allocated.

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

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

Under this scheme, companies may apply for funding for a three-year period for an employee seeking to pursue a doctoral degree. Funding is limited to maximum 50 per cent of the fellowship rates in effect at the time of submission of the grant application, with an estimated annual increase of approximately 3 per cent. The doctoral research project must be relevant to issues related to the company’s long-term challenges. Funding from the Industrial Ph.D. scheme may not exceed 50 per cent of total project costs. Total public funding must adhere to the current legal framework.

The following principles apply to the Industrial Ph.D. scheme:

The company

  • is the formal applicant and recipient of the funding;
  • must have staff and other resources dedicated to internal R&D activities;
  • must have a binding collaboration with a degree-conferring institution (click on link to “About collaboration agreements” at right for a list of items that must be included in the agreement);
  • must have the capacity to provide the candidate with an adviser at the company.

The doctoral candidate

  • either has a permanent position in the company at the time of submission of the grant application or will be given one prior to the signing of the contract between the company and the Research Council;
  • will divide his/her time between the company and the degree-conferring institution, spending a minimum of one year at each;
  • must have advisers from both the degree-conferring institution and the company.

Funding

  • will be awarded conditional to the employee’s admission to an organised doctoral degree programme;
  • will be awarded for a period of three years (may be possible to distribute the sum over four years).

The doctoral research project must be designed in close cooperation between the company, the degree-conferring institution and the doctoral candidate.

The Industrial Ph.D. scheme as such primarily targets individual companies. In principle, it is possible for several companies to collaborate on funding a doctoral candidate under the scheme, but the following criteria, in addition to the ordinary eligibility criteria, must be fulfilled:

  • One company must serve as the formal applicant and the doctoral candidate must be employed by the applicant company;
  • The applicant company must document the relevance of the research project to its own activities and must contribute project funding;
  • All parties must enter into a binding collaboration agreement, and all relevant issues must be clarified, including those pertaining to intellectual property rights and financial contributions.

Please also refer to the Research Council’s general guidelines for collaborative projects.

Who is eligible to apply for funding?

Companies that have entered into a binding collaboration with a degree-conferring institution. A company may be granted funding for maximum two new doctoral candidates per year.

Only companies engaged in market-oriented activities are eligible to apply for funding under this scheme. Enterprises that are publicly funded, carry out administrative tasks for the state or municipal authorities or produce goods for their own consumption will normally not be eligible to seek funding. The same applies to associations and other organisations with aims other than economic value creation. Companies with only one employee do not qualify for funding under the Industrial Ph.D. scheme.

The scheme’s target group does not include independent research institutes or health trusts.

The scheme does not provide support for completion of doctoral degree educations that are already underway.

The earliest permitted start-up date is the date of submission of the grant application. However, it is recommended that applicants submit their applications well in advance of project start-up.

What does the funding cover?

Funding is limited to maximum 50 per cent of the fellowship rates in effect at the time of submission of the grant application. The rate is NOK 877 000 for 2012 and thus the maximum amount of funding awarded under the Industrial Ph.D. scheme is NOK 438 500. Funding will not be disbursed as a lump sum allocation and will be adjusted to reflect actual costs.

Funding may not exceed 50 per cent of total, approved project costs.

Small and medium-sized companies may in addition apply for a grant to cover up to 50 per cent of extra operating costs, e.g. in connection with costly laboratory testing at the university, university college or research institute in conjunction with the doctoral candidate’s work. This must be described in the grant application.

Companies that are awarded funding may also apply for a Personal Overseas Research Grant for their doctoral candidate. Applicants are encouraged to include this in the main grant application

Criteria for eligibility: Grant applications must satisfy the following criteria in order to be considered for funding:

  • Documentation of admission to an approved doctoral degree programme or documentation that the admissions process has begun must be attached. Funding will be awarded conditional to admission.
  • The doctoral thesis must be defended in a public forum.
  • The candidate must spend at least one year at the institution and the company, respectively.
  • The doctoral research project must be relevant for the company’s long-term needs for expertise.
  • The work duties must be clearly specified between the parties. 
  • Issues pertaining to intellectual property rights must be adequately clarified. The agreement must not prevent the candidate from publishing the results of his/her research and presenting them in his/her thesis.
     

 

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