Processing of grant applications

Call for project outlines

Mandatory project outlines to form the basis for applications for the main call for proposals

Publication of submitted outlines

Project outlines will not be assessed for scientific merit or strategic importance.

Submission of applications for main call for proposals

Assessment in referee panels

Assessment of scientific merit of each grant proposal

Review in administrative panels

Administrative review of all grant applications assigned a mark of 5 or better by the referee panel

Overall administrative assessment

A prioritised ranking of the projects recommended for funding and the proposed framework for this.

Decision by the Executive Board

The final decision regarding the approval or rejection of grant proposals is taken by the Research Council Executive Board.

Contract negotiations

Contract negotiations with applicants awarded funding

Signing of the contract

The applicant institution and the Research Council enter into a contract.

Processing of grant applications

Mandatory project outlines

Applicants are required to submit a mandatory outline to be eligible to seek funding under the National Financing Initiative for Research Infrastructure.

The main aim of the submission of mandatory outlines is to promote better national cooperation and coordination between the different institutions and research infrastructures. Submitted outlines are published well ahead of the main call for proposals to make it easier for research groups with similar infrastructure needs to contact one another and collaborate on proposals under the main call. Project outlines will not be assessed for scientific merit or strategic importance.

Application review process for INFRASTRUKTUR projects

The application review process includes a scientific review carried out by international referees and an assessment of strategic importance by the Research Council administration.

Assessment by referees

All grant applications are initially assessed by external specialists in a referee panel that assesses the extent to which the proposed research infrastructure will facilitate research activities of high scientific quality. This assessment serves as important input for the Research Council in the further processing of the applications by the Research Council administration.

The composition of the referee panels will reflect the scientific profile of the grant applications received. In order to ensure impartiality in the proceedings, virtually all panel referees will come from the international community. Grant applications deemed to be of relevance to multiple strategic priority areas will be reviewed by more than one referee panel.

Review in administrative panels

The administrative review is conducted by administrative review panels comprised of Research Council staff members who have thorough knowledge of a scientific, thematic and/or technology area as well as of the Norwegian research stakeholders in this area. These panels are divided into roughly the same subject fields and thematic areas as those on the 2018 Norwegian Roadmap for Research Infrastructure. The administrative review panels assess the national importance of the proposed infrastructure as this is defined in Tools for Research – the National strategy for research infrastructure (2018–2025), the strategic relevance of the infrastructure in terms of Norwegian research priorities, and selected other factors set out in the call for proposals. All grant applications that have received a high mark (5, 6 or 7) from the referee panels will be submitted to the administrative review panels for assessment. Grant applications deemed to be of great relevance to multiple strategic priority areas will be reviewed by more than one administrative panel.

Overall administrative assessment

The Research Council administration then conducts an overall assessment of the grant applications as a whole, and draws up a prioritised ranking of the projects recommended for funding and the proposed framework for this. The Research Council’s recommendation to the Ministry of Education and Research regarding Norwegian participation in international research infrastructures is also drawn up.

Executive Board decision

The Research Council Executive Board quality-assures the processes leading up to the funding decisions and takes the final decisions regarding funding awards.

Contract negotiations and signing of the contract

Contract negotiations are started with applicants awarded funding with the aim of reaching an agreement on funding based on the submitted grant application and any factors that have emerged during the review process. Assuming that an agreement is reached, the applicant will be asked to submit a revised grant application incorporating the results of the negotiations. This revised application will form the basis for the contract between the applicant institution and the Research Council.