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Division for Science

The Research Council plays a key role in the effort to create and maintain a well-functioning research sector, and is charged with promoting appropriate distribution of tasks and cooperation at the research-performing level. The Division for Science is responsible for strategic development of the universities, university colleges and independent research institutes.

Executive Director: Anders Hanneborg

To achieve its strategic objectives, the division awards funding in its open competitive arenas using scientific merit as the primary criterion, independent of considerations relating to politically-established priority areas. The most important quality-promoting funding instruments in this context are the Centres of Excellence (SFF) scheme, the Outstanding Young Investigators (YFF) scheme and the Support for Independent Projects (FRIPRO) scheme.

The division initiates thematically and strategically-oriented basic research programmes in selected fields. The division is in charge of funding national research infrastructure and the further development and coordination of the Research Council’s role in national and international collaboration within this field. It also administers the system of basic funding for such infrastructure.

Subject-specific evaluations and their follow-up activities are also a means of enhancing quality in Norwegian research. A critical review of scientific merit, research strategy and research management in the Norwegian research community creates the basis for advising the institutions and government ministries on how to target further development activities. Evaluations also constitute a valuable source of knowledge when the RCN designs new research programmes and initiatives.