How does the ‘Money Follows Cooperation’ model work?
Researchers from Norway apply for funding in collaboration with a main applicant from another applicable country. Funding is allocated on a competitive basis and the projects are carried out in accordance with the Research Council’s applicable rules and procedures.
The MFC model simplifies funding of collaborative projects carried out in several countries by directly including foreign researchers in a national funding programme. This means that organisations that fund research can provide funding to projects that include research activities abroad.
Mutual broadening of access to national funding schemes
The Research Council’s practice for some time has been that we can cover the costs associated with the involvement of foreign researchers in our projects, with a very few limitations. Since many other countries have had a more restrictive practice, the Research Council has entered into agreements with a number of countries to ensure that such openness is reciprocal.
The terms and conditions will therefore be mutual: Together with a project manager from a collaborating country, Norwegian researchers will be able to submit project applications to a foreign research council. If the projects receive funding, the foreign research council will also fund the Norwegian researchers in the consortium. The same applies to researchers from institutions in collaborating countries that apply for funding from the Research Council of Norway, together with a Norwegian project manager.
No specific bilateral calls for proposals
The MFC model does not have its own bilateral calls for proposals, but opens for international collaboration through ordinary national calls. Terms and conditions will depend on the application type. Questions related to the Research Council's terms and conditions can be sent to the contact person for the respective calls for proposals.
The Research Council has so far entered into MFC agreements with the research councils of four countries: the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP). Application requirements for calls from these partners are set out on their respective websites.
Partners in the application
Applications submitted to us must include a description of the foreign partner’s role and budget in the section ‘Partners’.
About the individual countries:
The Research Council of Norway has signed a MFC agreement with UKRI (UK Research and Innovation). UKRI is UK's largest research funder and consists of several research councils. The agreement includes the following research councils with: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Medical Research Council (MRC) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).
The agreement does not entail new bilateral instruments or calls for proposals. However, the agreement ensures predictability and sets some limits for how British researchers can participate in applications to the Research Council and receive funding. The MFC agreement with UKRI states that up to 50 per cent of the budget can be allocated to the British partner. The Research Council covers costs related to salaries, social security expenses and research costs.
In addition, the agreement states that Norwegian researchers can participate in applications together with their British colleagues in calls for proposals in the UK. Norwegian applicants may receive up to 30 per cent of the budget under UK calls for proposals. UKRI covers costs related to salaries and direct costs.
The agreement (pdf) with the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) was entered into in 2018. The agreement applies to SNSF’s National Co-Investigator Scheme. This scheme issues calls for proposals twice a year with the deadlines 1 April and 1 October. For more information, please see SNSF’s website.
The Research Council of Norway signed an MFC agreement with KETEP (Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning) in 2019. KETEP provides funding to R&D projects in a number of energy-related fields, including smart grid, development of energy supply technology, renewable energy and recycling of energy resources.
In accordance with the MFC agreement, Norwegian researchers can submit project applications for projects with a Korean project manager to KETEP. The agreement does not apply to all types of research programmes, but is limited to calls in the following thematic areas: Energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart grid and energy storage systems (ESS). Application requirements in the different types of programmes and calls may vary.
In 2019, the Research Council signed a Money Follows Cooperation agreement with the Japan Agency for Science and Technology (JST) that facilitates mutual access to national research programmes. Norwegian researchers will be able to submit project applications to JST for projects with a Japanese project manager. If the project receives funding, JST will also fund the Norwegian researchers in the consortium.
JST has calls for proposals with deadlines in the period 11 May to 8 June 2021 for programmes covered by the agreement (strategic basic research).
The calls will be published in early April on the Call for Research Proposals website.
The Agreement with the Academy of Finland (AKA) (pdf) was entered into in 2020. This is a pilot scheme that applies initially to one call for proposals in Finland and one call in Norway. The Finnish agreement is limited to the fields of engineering and technology.
Messages at time of print 2 March 2024, 05:03 CET
For the application deadline 6 March, we manage our hotline +47 22 03 72 00 from Thursday 29 February till Tuesday 5 March at CET 08.00–15.45 and Wednesday 6 March at CET 08.00-13.00.