What to enter in the project budget

All applications for project support from the Research Council must contain a complete budget. The budget includes a cost plan detailing all the expected project costs and a funding plan showing how these costs will be covered under the project. The budget is to be specified by calendar year.

The call for proposals will specify the kinds of costs that can be funded.

Cost plan

The cost plan shows how costs will be distributed across different categories over the project period. The cost plan in the Research Council’s grant application form consists of the following four cost categories:

  • Payroll and indirect expenses
  • Procurement of R&D services
  • Equipment
  • Other operating expenses

The Project Owner obtains information about costs from each project partner. These costs are to be entered into the cost plan under the relevant category. If the partners do not come from the same sector as the Project Owner, then the costs are to be calculated according to the budget rules for the sector to which the partner belongs. For more information, see under how to enter costs for project partners who are R&D suppliers to the project.

Direct and indirect project costs

Payroll and indirect expenses

It is common practice to present indirect costs in entities by distributing them across the number of person-years. You are therefore to group indirect costs together with payroll costs in project budgets in the grant application form.
Depending on the sector that the Project Owner and any partners come from, payroll and indirect expenses are to be entered into their budgets as follows:

Procurement of R&D services

Here you are to enter costs relating to procurement of R&D services for the project. You must link R&D services to an R&D supplier that delivers contracted R&D tasks to the Project Owner or other project partners. R&D suppliers are to be registered as partners in the grant application form.

If research fellowships are included in the R&D services (the task contracted from an R&D supplier) you are to calculate the costs for this using the current lump-sum rates.


Here you are to enter the costs for use of equipment and research infrastructure that is necessary for the execution of the project. These costs may be calculated as follows:

  • The project’s share of the depreciation costs for equipment and research infrastructure that is necessary for the execution of the project, if this equipment or infrastructure has not been procured using funding from the Research Council or other public project funding.
  • The project’s share of the operating costs or "user fee" for equipment and research infrastructure that is necessary for the execution of the project.
  • Procurement costs for equipment that can only be used for this project.

Smaller-scale procurements (less than NOK 100 000 in purchase costs) of equipment that can also be used outside the scope of the project are included in the indirect expenses, and should not be entered under “Equipment”.

Determining whether equipment is “research infrastructure resources”

Other operating expenses

Here you are to enter all costs that are necessary for the execution of the project and that do not belong under the other cost categories. The call for proposals will set guidelines for the kinds of expenses that can be approved as necessary project costs. This may include costs for:

  • travel and accommodation, including research stays abroad and research visits to Norway for researchers from other countries. Read more under research stays abroad and research visits to Norway.
  • scientific events and seminars, user-oriented dissemination activities, etc.;
  • costs related to the publication of Open Access scientific books (monographs/anthologies);
  • activities to make research data from the project accessible in accordance with a potential data management plan;
  • data collection, which may include room and board, local transport, interpreter services/field assistance, car rental, visa, vaccination, etc. If room and board is covered by the employer or others, you my budget with a fixed administrative fee.
  • other materials that are not covered under "Equipment".

The budget for all types of operating expenses may be subject to revision if the project is granted funding.

Costs of Open Access article fees are not covered in individual projects. Research organisations can apply to have publication fees covered through the Stimulation Scheme for Open Access Publication (STIM-OA).

Cost code

Funding plan

The funding plan is to show how you intend to cover the project costs. The plan must clearly indicate how much of the funding will come from the Research Council and how much will be provided from other sources.

The call for proposals will state which types of project costs are eligible for full or partial funding from the Research Council. The Research Council operates with ceiling rates for maximum funding for certain project costs:.

For projects that are associated with the economic activity of the Project Owner and/or one or more of the partners, the funding from the Research Council will be granted in compliance with the state aid rules.

Requirements for own financing and other restrictions relating to the Research Council’s funding will also be set out in the call for proposals.

If the budgeted project costs exceed the amount that you can apply for from the Research Council, you must indicate how the difference will be covered in the funding plan. Differences may be covered through own financing from the Project Owner and partners, other types of contributions or grants from other sources. Own financing may comprise both cash financing and in-kind resources to cover project costs.