Investment plan

Priorities

The Portfolio Analysis 2023, the budget situation, and the expected allotments from the Ministries for 2024 are the basis of the activities and priorities for this portfolio for the upcoming years. 

For 2024 the following thematic areas have disposable income to be used for call for proposals;  

  • Global Health 
    • Global Health Research relevant to Sustainable Development Goal 3 
  • Poverty, Development and Equality (NORGLOBAL) 
    • Research on poverty, development and equality 
  • Security and governance (UTENRIKS) 
    • Research on Europe 
    • Research on Russia 
    • Research on the High North and the Arctic 
  • Global sustainable development (Global bærekraft) 
  • Bilateral research cooperation with South Africa 
    • Joint call on Areas under pressure 

Below are the topics of the planned calls for 2024. In addition to the text below, please be advised to also read the Portfolio Plan for Global Development and International Relations for further information. 

Topics  - call for proposals 2024 

Global Health  

The primary objective of the global health research initiative is to conduct high quality research that will provide new knowledge and understanding of what is needed and how this can best be implemented to promote health equity and health improvements for disadvantaged populations in LLMICs1. This covers all areas described in the Portfolio plan under the section 4.2.3 Global health, including determinants of health, burden of disease, health systems, and policy and practice. Funding for global health research will be included in 4 calls for proposals in 2024.  

Research Projects in Global health  

Global health will be one of the topics for the call for Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal in 2024 with NOK 54 million available. The topic will, like in the last years, be thematically broad in scope and support research that is relevant to Sustainable Development Goal 3 ‘Good health for all’ and one or more of its targets. Relevant projects must involve research on health improvements for vulnerable populations in low- and lower-middle income countries (LLMICs).  

Relevant proposals must describe how the proposed research is related to a current research gap. To showcase the potential for societal impact the proposals must also demonstrate the project's potential to: (1) contribute, directly or indirectly, to reductions in the disease burden in LMICs; (2) promote health equity in LMICs, and (3) contribute to knowledge translation by producing higher-level insights of relevance to policy and practice beyond the specific setting and context where studies are carried out, i.e. by closing current evidence gaps and thus informing future guidelines and policies.  

The projects must involve research institutions from LLMICs as partners and provide concrete and clear answers to how the project will fulfil set requirements for equitable partnerships. As a general rule, at least 20% of the Research Council's allocation should cover costs incurred by partner institutions in LLMICs. It will also be mandatory to include at least one doctoral or postdoctoral researcher at a partner institution in a LLMIC. 

End users must be represented in all phases of relevant projects. To secure knowledge transfer, it is a requirement to include relevant decision makers and stakeholders at policy level like Ministries of Health or the WHO as users in the project, and as members of a project steering committee. Ethical aspects must be considered and projects concerning children and adolescents are to preserve and safeguard their perspectives, needs and rights. 

When performing research involving vulnerable groups, ethical aspects such as the capacity to give consent and data collection and/or data processing must especially be taken into account. Projects concerning children and adolescents are to preserve and safeguard their perspectives, needs and rights. 

Researcher School on Global Health 

The Norwegian Research School of Global Health (NRSGH) was funded in 2015 and ended in 2023. By offering many different activities it has contributed to create a network for PhD students from the many scattered global health research environments in Norway and increased the collaboration between Norwegian institutions working within this area. There is still a need for an institution offering a network for PhD students in global health in Norway, and there is large potential for expanding the schools' activities, collaboration, and geographic scope. A new school should build on and further develop the work already done by the NRSGH. The funding will either be available through a joint call for National Researcher Schools or a separate call. The decision on this will be made in the first part of 2024, so will the priorities and the final funding available for the call.   

Pre-projects for global health call in 2025 

Developing strong research proposals and equitable research partnerships where all partners are involved from the onset is both resource- and time-consuming. To meet this challenge up to NOK 5 million will be available for researchers and consortia that want to apply for funding from the planned global health call in 2025. Researchers can apply for support to carry out various types of preparatory work, activities, and measures necessary to develop a project idea and a collaboration based on principles of equitable partnership, and to clarify important preconditions that must be met for the idea to be realized. The objective of the call for pre-projects is to establish solid equitable research partnerships that develop strong and relevant applications for the global health call for proposals in 2025.  

Belmont Forum International Call 

Climate change has adversely affected physical health of people globally as recently highlighted in the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC2. Weather and climate extreme events have resulted in human mortality and morbidity and an increase in the occurrence of climate-related food-borne and water-borne diseases. The incidence of vector-borne diseases has increased and animal and human diseases, including zoonoses, are emerging in new areas.  

This is the second Belmont Forum (BF) Collaborative Research Action (CRA) supporting transdisciplinary research to improve understanding of the pathways between climate, environment, and health to protect and promote human health and well-being in the face of climate challenges.   

This call has a two-stage submission process, and the deadline for submission of pre-proposals to qualify for the main call was in July 2023. The deadline for the full proposals is postponed to January 2024. Global health participates in this international joint call with NOK 5 million. 

Poverty, Inequality and Development (NORGLOBAL) 

The primary objective of the thematic area Poverty, Inequality and Development is to understand how progress towards development and equality can be achieved worldwide, with a specific focus on low- and middle-income countries. The last call was in 2022, under NORGLOBAL2, with a thematic scope of food security and climate-smart agriculture in developing countries.   24 million kroner were available, and two projects were funded. In 2024, to widen the scope, the administration proposes that the call is open for the entire thematic priority from the Portfolio Plan of Poverty, Development and Inequality. The thematic priority covers poverty, inequality, and exclusion, education, skills and labour, peace, violence and state fragility and food access and food security.  

This will give the portfolio board a chance to choose high quality projects that fall in under the sub-priorities mentioned above. However, to encourage cross cutting projects, the administration proposes that the call for Researcher projects (not Young Talents) aims to fund one to two projects that provide evidence on the complexity of issues climate change, violence, migration and development.   

The projects must involve research institutions from LLMICs as partners and provide concrete and clear answers to how the project will fulfil set requirements for equitable partnerships. 

Security and Governance (UTENRIKS) 

The primary objective of the thematic area Security and Governance is to understand how heightened competition between the great powers is challenging the established world order and its institutions, and how this development creates a new, more challenging and less predictable context for international cooperation related to security, climate change, trade, commerce and the world economy.  

Several regions of the world are characterized by instability, violence and ongoing conflicts, most recently in Europe with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Middle East following the attack by Hamas on Israel.  The international security situation is affected by the development of new technologies, including military technologies, in the space and cyber domains. Trade, technologies and finance are areas that are also linked to security, competition and risk management.  

Research on Europe 

The EU is facing several external and internal challenges, including the geopolitical strains on the union’s relations with Russia, China and the USA. Freedom of speech and the rule of law are still challenged in some member states. 

The call for proposals on Research on Europe will in 2024 aim to understand the complex set of challenges facing Europe in the areas of security, economic competitiveness, trade, technology and global influence. 

Applicants are encouraged to identify relevant research questions and debate what this will mean for the formulation of Norwegian policies in the years ahead, and what kind of challenges and considerations this may entail. 

Research on Russia  

Russia will be an important country to follow in the years to come, notwithstanding the outcome of the war with Ukraine, even with a stalemate situation. Russia is our neighbor, and any instability or economic underperformance might generate political strains and worsen the social and regional situation close to our borders. Communicating with the Russian leadership in the future will require knowledge of the inner workings and decision-making processes. Research should aim at reducing risks of misunderstanding, misperception and miscalculation.  

Applicants are encouraged to identify relevant research questions and debate what this will mean for the formulation of Norwegian foreign and security policy in the years ahead, and what kind of challenges and considerations this may entail. 

High North and the Arctic 

Available funding for research on the High North and the Arctic is committed to the upcomming NORDFORSK call on “Sustainable Development in the Arctic”.  While the overall topic of the call is sustainable development of the Arctic, it will be an invitation to submit proposals on bottom-up interdisciplinary research initiated by the research communities. Thematic framing of the call is given with the keywords security, natural resources and societal changes.  The full call text will be announced by the Nordforsk administration during Q4 2023. 

Global sustainable development (Global bærekraft)  

The aim of this mechanism is to mobilise research on the Sustainable development goals across sectors, aimed at developing countries and in particular at the countries prioritized in the Government's Panorama Strategy. Norwegian researchers' participation in international partnerships, with particular emphasis on ODA partner countries is key.  

Further, the activity should contribute to capacity building both in Norway and in partner countries in the South for research and innovation challenges in the breadth of the SDG's goals and indicators.  Research for global sustainability will make an important contribution to the design and organization of Norwegian development and aid policy and build expertise on global issues in sector areas that have traditionally had a national focus. 

Investments through this activity will also contribute to the Research Council's efforts bilaterally towards priority cooperation countries in development policy, as well as countries such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa, which are central countries in the Panorama Strategy.  

Research for global sustainability will be a mobilization scheme that can co-finance research with funds from other RCN Portfolios by allocating dedicated funds into various thematic calls for proposals, and through this double the efforts on important sectoral responsibility for the SDGs and to contribute to international research on these. 

Research cooperation with China (CHINOR) 

No more funds are available for research cooperation with China. 

Research Cooperation with India (INDNOR) 

Thematic priorities for research cooperation with India is primarily guided by priorities in the Government’s India strategy and by agreements with Indian government partners. After the successful India conference in May 2023 organized by the RCN, it is expected that joint research cooperation with India will be supported with new funding from 2024.  This will be used to motivate other portfolios in the Research Council to include research with Indian partners into their regular calls.   

Bilateral research cooperation with South Africa 

There have been four phases of bilateral research cooperation programmes with South Africa since 2002. The latest was the SANOCEAN programme.  The thematic scope for SANOCEAN was Oceans, Blue Economy, Climate Change, the Environment and Sustainable Energy. The funders (MFA and Department of Science and Innovation, South Africa) wish to fund another five-year period. The funding ministries wished to broaden the thematic scope to energy, climate change and circular economy.  To accommodate for the broad scope, the administration has proposed that the funds available for the call are a part of a joint call at the Research Council of Norway called Areas under pressure. The reason for that is to capitalize on the experience of the team behind Areas under pressure, and draw on their resources when it comes to the call process (reception, panel assessments, relevance assessments etc.) 

Areas under pressure is a call where several sub-portfolios have committed funding and has the focus of developing knowledge for holistic and sustainable use and management of land/areas. It encompasses all areas; land, freshwater, coast, and sea. Topics include coexistence, biodiversity, environmental impact, use and consumption of natural resources, cultural environment, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, renewable energy, agriculture and forestry, aquaculture, fisheries, land-based transport, issues in the polar regions (Arctic and Antarctic), infrastructure development, societal security and emergency preparedness, and urbanisation. There is need for knowledge about conflicts, dilemmas, opportunities and solutions.    

The projects will need to be relevant for both Norwegian and South African priorities and have two PIs (Norwegian and South African). Otherwise, projects need to be interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral and emphasize areas under pressure and climate and challenges related to climate and/or environment. 

Messages at time of print 17 June 2024, 19:28 CEST

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