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Record number of grant applications for April deadline

With NOK 2.1 billion in funding available, the 25 April application submission deadline was the largest funding round in the history of the Research Council of Norway. A total of 2 151 grant applications were submitted, also a record high.

“It is very gratifying to receive so many high-quality grant applications,” says John-Arne Røttingen, Chief Executive of the Research Council. “At the same time, we see that many other proposals are rejected. Only the best of the best proposals are granted funding and we are actually working to reduce the number of applications submitted in the future. We are transitioning from funding announcements based on independent, separate processes to coordinated announcements across all our programmes where project proposals are assessed in a single context extending across the programmes. This ensures integrated assessment of project proposals, and it keeps promising projects from falling through the cracks when they do not fit within the scope of a single programme.”

Extended deadline

Shortly before the submission deadline, technical problems arose that affected log-in access to the eSøknad electronic submission system, necessitating an extension of the deadline for applicants who had already created a grant application form.

“We maintained contact with the applicants throughout the process, and in the end all applicants were able to submit their proposals successfully,” reports Nina Hedlund, who is in charge of receiving the grant applications for the Research Council.

Fewer applications for FRIPRO funding

Of the 2 151 applications submitted for the April deadline, 1 330 were for the Research Council’s FRIPRO funding scheme for independent projects, an open national competitive arena for funding. This total is slightly lower than last year, when a record number of applications were received. Nearly 400 of this round’s FRIPRO applications targeted the Young Research Talents funding scheme.

Several policy-oriented and large-scale programmes announced funding for this year’s April deadline. In total, nearly 700 grant applications were submitted to these programmes.

Researcher Projects were by far the most common application type submitted in this funding round, accounting for 65 per cent of the total. In general, the Research Council’s funding announcements for Researcher Projects primarily attract applications from universities and university colleges, particularly for the FRIPRO scheme. When it comes to applications to the various programmes, research institutes and health trusts comprise a larger proportion of the applicants.

The proportion of women who applied for Researcher Project funding was lower for the FRIPRO scheme (32 per cent) than for the programmes (44 per cent).

Written by:
Thomas Keilman/Else Lie. Translation: Darren McKellep/Glenn Wells.
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