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Publication, access and information security when seeking funding

The Research Council follows clear guidelines for dissemination and publication of project data, handling of requests for access and securing of sensitive data. These guidelines are based on Norwegian law.

Handling information in connection with application processing
In order to process a grant application, the relevant case officers, expert referees and decision-making bodies (for example, a programme board) must have full access to the all the application documents, including the project description. The Research Council limits the number of recipients of sensitive project information to a minimum.
Read more about information security.

What information is shared via the Research Council website and other channels?
The Research Council shares data relating to submitted grant applications and projects allocated funding in keeping with the guidelines set out in the circular on digitisation issued by the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation. Decisions regarding data sharing are taken in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, the Public Administration Act, and the Act on Securities Trading. Information relating to personal affairs and trade secrets are never made available for sharing.

The Research Council’s Privacy Statement applies in all situations where the Council handles personal data.

Grant applications
The Research Council publishes the name of the Project Owner (institution/company), geographical location, gender of the project manager, the project title, project period and amount of funding sought for all grant applications. This information is made public after each application deadline and is published in a list of grant applications under processing. In addition, raw data sets are made available in the data set repository hosted by the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi). These data sets are accessible to the public and may be downloaded for further use by institutions and/or individuals.

Approved projects
In addition to the information provided about all projects, the following information is published for projects awarded funding: name of the project manager, project summary and popular science presentation.
This information is published in the Research Council’s online Project Databank.

For projects that submit progress reports, an updated popular science presentation and all scholarly publications reported via the CRIStin Research Information System will be listed in the Project Databank as well.

For projects granted funding, the name of the project manager is included in the raw data sets published in the Difi data set repository

If the Research Council’s grant constitutes state aid to the Project Owner or a partner, and the funding amount is in excess of EUR 500 000, then information about the Research Council’s allocation to the project and a list of project partners will be entered into the Register of Public Support at the Brønnøysund Register Centre.

Access to documents
According to Norwegian law, everyone has the right to request access to documents held by public authorities and public undertakings such as the Research Council. The main rule is that case documents, journals and similar registers of an administrative agency are public unless otherwise stipulated by statute or appurtenant regulations. 

The Research Council is required to exempt from public disclosure all information that is subject to duty of secrecy. This includes, for example, information about an individual’s personal affairs and trade secrets. In addition, the Research Council may exempt from public disclosure selected information about research ideas and research projects.

We will normally ask the applicant/Project Owner for assistance when processing a request for access to a document that may contain information that must be or may be exempted from public disclosure. It is up to the Research Council to take the final decision regarding whether to grant or refuse access to the information.

Statutory basis

Act relating to the right of access to documents held by public authorities and public undertakings (Freedom of Information Act)
Act relating to procedure in cases concerning the public administration (Public Administration Act)

Freedom of Information Act, Chapter 2, Section 3: Main rule 

Key exemption rules:

Freedom of Information Act, Chapter 3, Section 13; cf. Public Administration Act, Chapter 3, Section 13: Duty of secrecy:

  1. an individual's personal affairs, or
  2. technical devices and procedures, as well as operational or business matters which for competition reasons it is important to keep secret in the interests of the person whom the information concerns.

The Freedom of Information Act, Chapter 3, Section 26, Paragraph 4 provides the statutory basis for Research Council decisions to exempt from public disclosure information relating to research ideas and research projects, including preliminary research results, methods, funding sources, more detailed description of research approaches, etc.


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