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General application requirements

Details regarding requirements for grant proposals are described in the call for proposals under the individual programme/activity as well as in the appropriate application form with accompanying instructions for applicants. Proposals that do not satisfy these requirements will be rejected.

Grant proposal requirements may vary according to the type of application. Applicants should study the description of their chosen application type in detail, and should also pay close attention to the clickable instructions in the accompanying application form. Once an application form has been opened, it is possible to print out the entire form from the menu. It is also possible to print out all the related instructions.

The instructions to the application form also provide more detailed information regarding the criteria on which the proposal assessment process will be based.

The Research Council's Principles for Open Access to Scientific Publications

The Research Council has stipulated requirements relating to self-archiving and open access to scientific articles produced in connection with R&D projects funded by the Council. Read more about The Research Council's Principles for Open science.

The formal applicant/project owner

As a general rule, the formal applicant to the Research Council is to be a Norwegian institution/enterprise with a specific individual designated as the project administrator. The project administrator is responsible for approving the grant application before it is submitted. The application form contains a box that must be checked off for this purpose. By checking this box, the institution/enterprise confirms that the application has been approved for submission to the Research Council.

When processing the application, the Research Council will normally deal with the project administrator. The project administrator will be sent notification of the outcome of the application review process, and will be the contractual partner and party responsible for following up the project in the event funding is granted.

In cases where the Project Owner is reporting on behalf of several research-performing partners, there must be adequate exchange of information among them to enable the project manager to satisfy the reporting requirements stipulated by the Research Council.

Doctoral and post-doctoral fellows who spend their entire fellowship period abroad may be exempted from the requirement regarding affiliation with an institution/enterprise as project owner.

The Research Council has drawn up a document containing the definition and specification of the concept "research organisation" and a list of approved research organisations PDF - 292 KB

The project manager

The project manager is the person who, on behalf of the project owner, will be responsible for the project's scientific progress. The project manager may be contacted during the processing of the application and will be the contact for scientific matters during project implementation. Specific project manager requirements are set out in the formal description of each application type, and in the guidelines to the relevant application form.

Project description requirements

All applications should be accompanied by a project description There are size restrictions stipulated for each application type - see the instructions in the relevant electronic application form (eSøknad). The project description must not exceed the stipulated size restrictions.

Special requirements for attachments

Mandatory and optional attachments are stipulated for each application type. More information on attachments may be found in the individual funding announcement.

All attachments to grant proposals sent through the eSøknad system must be submitted in pdf-format. The pdf-format satisfies the criteria stipulated by the National Archives of Norway, whereas Word and rtf-formats do not. Learn more about the application form and attachments.

For project description and CV following applies:

  • The page format should be A4 with 2 cm margins, 11 point font (Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman) and single spacing. For references and figure text, font size 9 can be used.
  • Links that are listed in the project description and CV will not be included in the assessment.

All attachments must be submitted together with the application. The only documents that the Research Council will accept after an application has been submitted are transcripts issued after the application deadline and confirmation of completed defence of a doctoral dissertation. Documents sent after the application deadline must be submitted by email to, The email message must contain references to the project number, the title of the project and the name of the project manager.

Size of the projects

The Research Council is now targeting project support towards larger projects of greater scientific and strategic significance. While no fixed lower limit for the project funding sought from the Research Council has been set, an amount of at least NOK 300 000 per year on average over the project period is preferred. For certain application types, such as "Support for events" the funding sought will normally be lower.

Ethical guidelines

Projects funded by the Research Council are to maintain high ethical standards and uphold fundamental principles for integrity and ethics in research. Grant applications submitted to the Research Council must explain any relevant ethical questions and will be assessed on the basis of this.


The researchers and the institution or entity responsible for the project have the primary responsibility for ensuring high integrity and ethics in research. The awarding of funding from the Research Council therefore in no way entails an approval of the project relative to the applicable legislation and norms.


Read more about the Research Ethical guidelines and good research practice.

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.

Requirements relating to protection of personal data in the project
NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data is the Data Protection Official for the research performed at the institutions. See here to read more about the agreement for protection of privacy.

The processing of data in studies that entail the collection of personal data is regulated under the Personal Data Act, and the project will be required to provide appropriate notification or obtain a license pursuant to Sections 31 and 33. If the application is granted, the applicant must complete a notification form and submit it to the NSD or the Norwegian Data Inspectorate, depending on his/her institutional affiliation.

Please see the NSD website for more information about the guidelines for projects that are subject to the provisions of the Personal Data Act.

Approval from the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK) is required for all types of medical and health research projects that include trials on humans or involve human biological material. Approval from REK is also required for the establishment of research biobanks. More detailed information is available on the REK website. The appropriate forms and deadlines are also found there.

For questions regarding how the Research Council collects and processes personal data in grant applications and project reports, please see our Privacy Statement.

Gender perspectives

Gender perspectives are to be incorporated as an integral part of the research funded by the Research Council. The Research Council is working to promote increased recruitment of women to subjects where the percentage of women is low, and to develop initiatives to boost the proportion of women in senior academic positions. For more information, please see the  Policy for gender balance and gender perspectives 2013-2017 PDF - 460 KB   

Charter and Code

Research funded by the Research Council is to be performed in accordance with the principles of set out by the EU in the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct of the Recruitment of Researchers” (Charter and Code).

Environmental impact

The Research Council attaches importance to any impact the research projects may have on the external environment. The project description should therefore discuss whether the use of the results from the projects will have any significant environmental impact (positive or negative). If the answer is yes, the following questions must be answered:

  • Is the need for research related to this environmental impact?
  • Has the project defined objectives or secondary objectives with a view to shedding light on the environmental impact?
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