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NOK 2 billion for new independent projects under the FRIPRO scheme

The Research Council of Norway will allocate a total of NOK 1.96 billion for projects under the funding scheme for independent projects (FRIPRO) with start-up in 2016. NOK 960 million is being allocated now, with another NOK 1 billion to be allocated for Toppforsk top-level projects at the end of January.

In this funding round, support has been awarded to a total of 132 Researcher Projects, Young Research Talents and Mobility Grants under the FRIPRO funding scheme for independent projects.

This is a boost of epic proportions for independent research projects, says Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Norwegian Minister of Education and Research. (Photo: Thomas Haugersveen, Statsministerens kontor) Historic increase in FRIPRO funding

“This is a boost of epic proportions for independent research projects. It will ensure good, long-term funding for research groups that have the potential to reach the top of their field internationally,” says Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Norwegian Minister of Education and Research.

Roughly 40 Toppforsk projects will be receiving a combined total of NOK 1 billion. The funding represents a joint effort between the universities, the research institutions and the Ministry of Education and Research, channelled through the Research Council. The universities and research institutions take part in the process of determining which projects will be funded.

Many new, talented researchers

A total of 47 Young Research Talent projects have been granted funding this year, a success rate of roughly 16 per cent for applicants under this category. This is the third year of funding for Young Research Talents, bringing the number of these FRIPRO-funded projects up to 156.

“This initiative is important for persuading our most promising young scientists to commit to a career in research,” adds Minister Isaksen. “We are forming the foundation for excellence in research for the future.”

More applicants for research stays abroad

This year marks the second time that FRIPRO Mobility Grants are being awarded. This time, 14 grant winners were selected from 90 applicants, a pool twice as large as last year’s.

“This is an encouraging trend,” says Anders Hanneborg, Executive Director of the Division for Science at the Research Council. “Increasing the number of Norwegian researchers conducting research stays at institutions abroad is an overall Research Council objective. The FRIPRO Mobility Grant makes this possible for young researchers. Two years abroad and one in Norway gives ambitious researchers at the start of their careers access to valuable international experience.”

Distribution by granting committee

A total of 132 Researcher Projects, Young Research Talents and Mobility Grants have been approved for funding under the FRIPRO scheme in this round. There were 1 072 applications submitted overall, which gives a success rate of just under 12.5 per cent.

The projects will start in 2016, and most have a timeframe of three or four years. Funding is distributed among the three FRIPRO granting committees as follows:

Distribution by application type and gender

The approved projects are distributed among the FRIPRO application types as follows:

  • 71 Researcher Projects
  • 47 Young Research Talents
  • 14 Mobility Grants

In addition, 29 applications for Support for Events were approved for FRIPRO funding.

Some additional funding for independent projects may be awarded within the funding framework of the Research Council’s Large-scale Initiative on Information Technology and Digital Innovation (IKTPLUSS).

There are 23 women and 48 men project managers in the funded Researcher Projects, while there are 18 women and 29 men among the Young Research Talent winners. Mobility Grants have been awarded to 9 women and 5 men. Overall in this funding round, the success rate is somewhat higher for women applicants than for men.

Including the Toppforsk application type, 1 277 applications seeking a total of NOK 11.6 billion were processed in this funding round.

Written by:
Christian Lund/Else Lie. Translation: Darren McKellep/Carol B. Eckmann.
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