Borrow a Researcher


The objective of the “Borrow a Researcher” scheme is to increase collaboration between companies the R&D community. The researcher will work on research, development and innovation activities together with a company’s own personnel for a limited period.

Not all counties have funding available for the “Borrow a Researcher” scheme, so please check with the county your application targets before submitting your proposal. Links to the websites of participating counties are provided below. These also provide more information about the scheme.

About the call for proposals

The “Borrow a Researcher” scheme is intended to expand networks, facilitate cooperation and lead to knowledge exchange between research and the business sector.

The scheme is designed for small and medium-sized enterprises that need greater in-house research competence for a given period and for researchers who wish to learn more about challenges in the business sector and provide assistance to R&D efforts in companies.

Typical activities under the scheme include specific R&D needs or helping to set up a larger R&D project.

The company must find a relevant researcher itself or with the assistance of a competence broker. The company’s need for competency must form the basis for the collaboration.

Who is eligible to apply?

The formal applicant must be a company.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner

The company must be listed as the Project Owner. The project administrator is the individual from the company who is authorised to represent and assume obligations on behalf of the company in relation to the collaboration.

Funding is available for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Only SMEs are eligible to apply. See the EU’s definition of an SME here.

Requirements relating to the project manager

The project manager is the researcher’s contact person within the company.

Requirements relating to partners

The researcher must be employed by an approved Norwegian research organisation.

What can you seek funding for?

Approved project costs include all payroll costs and costs for travel expenses incurred by the researcher.

Conditions for funding

The company (defined as an undertaking in the state aid rules) may receive funding under the scheme provided that the following requirements are met:

  • The researcher must have at least 5 years of relevant professional experience. This may also include time spent in doctoral studies.
  • The researcher is to work on research, development and innovation activities within the company.
  • The amount of funding that may be awarded is up to 70 per cent of the approved costs within a period of maximum one year per company and per researcher.

According to the state aid rules, support to an undertaking constitutes state aid. An “undertaking” in this context is defined as any actor that carries out an economic activity consisting of offering products or services on a given market. Usually the undertaking is a company.

Support will be awarded as de minimis aid, pursuant to Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013 and implemented in Norwegian law through the Regulations of 14 November 2008 No 1213, Section 2. A company may not receive more than a total of EUR 200 000 in de minimis aid during a period of three years.

Prior to disbursement of any de minimis aid, the Research Council will request written confirmation and an overview of all other de minimis aid that the company has received in the course of the three fiscal years in question. For companies that are a part of a group of linked enterprises, the ceiling amount generally applies to the group as a whole.

More information is available in our information on conditions for awarding state aid.

  • The project must not start before notification of funding awards have been received.
  • The latest permitted project start is five months after the funding allocation has been received.
  • The latest permitted project completion is 18 months after the funding allocation has been received.

Scientific articles and research data

The Project Owner (institution/company) is responsible for selecting the archiving solution(s) to use for storing research data generated during the project. 

Contact the county council administration

County councils have different focus areas. You should therefore contact your respective county council administration for further information before submitting your application.

Relevant thematic areas for this call

Trade and industry

Trade and industry throughout the country

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

You may revise and save your grant application form multiple times before you submit it. Once it has been submitted it will no longer be possible to revise it.

  • The grant application, including all attachments, must be submitted in Norwegian.
  • All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.

Mandatory attachments

  • A project description of maximum five pages using the designated template. The template is available directly from the county you are to seek funding from.
  • A letter of confirmation from the researcher’s employer.
  • A CV of maximum 4 pages for the researcher, using the designated template found at the end of this call for proposals.
  • A CV of maximum 4 pages for the project manager.
  • Declaration form for de minimis aid. (To be uploaded under “Other items” in the online grant application form.) Use the designated template found at the end of this call for proposals.

Optional attachments

  • CVs for key project participants (maximum four pages).

Applications that do not satisfy the above requirements will be rejected. Links to websites and documents, as well as other attachments than those specified above, will not be included in the application review process.

Assessment criteria

Only the criteria for administrative review will apply to applications submitted in response to this call.



Priority will be given to projects

  • in companies with little R&D experience;
  • with women project managers and/or women researchers, assuming all factors relating to scientific merit and relevance are essentially equal.

Administrative procedures

Check the relevant county website to see when notification of grant awards may be expected.

Once the grant applications have been received, the Research Council will send them to the county administration for assessment. The county administration will assess the application to determine whether it fulfils the formal requirements set out in the call and is in line with relevant focus areas. The county administration will submit its' recommendations (referee review) to the Research Council.

The Research Council administration is responsible for the final funding decision. The county administration is responsible for implementing the decision and following up on funding allocations.

See here for information about lodging a complaint: Complaints about decisions

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