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Collaborative and Knowledge-building Pre-project within Welfare, Working Life and Migration

Important dates

14 Aug 2019

Date call is made active

25 Sep 2019

Application submission deadline

01 Jan 2020

Earliest permitted project start

01 Jun 2020

Latest permitted project start

30 Sep 2020

Latest permitted project completion

Important dates


The objective of this call is to increase cooperation between research groups and collaboration partners aimed at addressing or resolving key societal challenges identified under the Research Programme on Welfare, Working Life and Migration (VAM). Pre-projects are intended to develop proposals for Collaborative and Knowledge-building Projects for the main call for proposals planned to be issued with an application submission deadline of 16 September 2020.

About the call for proposals

Collaborative and Knowledge-building Projects under the VAM programme are to resolve societal challenges pertaining to welfare, working life and migration. Projects must address key thematic areas under the VAM programme, cf. the work programme (available for download under “Relevant thematic areas for this call”), for example, measures that reduce inequality, increase inclusion of vulnerable groups in the labour market or society or lead to health-promoting workplaces. These suggestions are by no means exhaustive and are only provided as examples. The project may be based on challenges and objectives relevant to the partners in exercising their responsibilities and where research-based knowledge can lead to better practice.   

A Collaborative and Knowledge-building Pre-project under the VAM programme may comprise different types of preparatory work, activities and measures that are necessary to further develop the project concept and to clarify important conditions for the realisation of the project. The Pre-project may, for example, be used to establish collaborative constellations and to conduct preliminary studies.

Carrying out a Pre-project is not a prerequisite for an application under the main call for proposals in 2020. The allocation of a grant to a Pre-project does not bind the Research Council in any way with regard to a future application for funding for collaboration projects.

State aid

The part of this call for proposals that involves support to start-up companies constitutes a funding scheme that is notified to the EFTA Surveillance Authority. Funding awarded under this scheme is granted in accordance with Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014). In addition, the common provisions set out in Chapter 1 of the regulation must also apply. See the regulation here.

This funding scheme is to be practised in compliance with the EEA state aid rules. This means that conditions and concepts are to be interpreted in keeping with corresponding conditions and concepts in the state aid rules. In the event of conflict between the text of the call and the state aid rules, the latter will have precedence. The text of the call may be adjusted for this same reason.

State aid may not be given to an undertaking which is subject to an outstanding recovery order following a formal decision by the EFTA Surveillance Authority or the European Commission that state aid received is illegal and incompatible with the internal market. Nor may support be granted to an enterprise that is defined as an “undertaking in difficulty” under the state aid rules.

The Norwegian-language call for proposals is the legally binding version.

The call for proposals has been approved as an aid scheme by The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) with the reference: GBER 40/2019/R&D&I.

Who is eligible to apply?

Approved Norwegian research organisations may apply in cooperation with actors from the public and private sectors, non-governmental organisations, special interest organisations and other research organisations.

See the definition of a public sector body here.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner

The organisation listed as the Project Owner in the grant application must be an approved Norwegian research organisation and must have approved the submission of the grant application to the Research Council.

Requirements relating to the project manager

To qualify as project manager, individuals must hold an approved doctorate or have obtained qualifications at associate professorship level before the date of the application submission deadline. In the context of this call, current or previous employment in the Norwegian research institute sector in a position as forsker 1 (research professor), forsker 2 (senior researcher) or seniorforsker (senior researcher) is considered equivalent qualification.

Requirements relating to partners

A Collaborative and Knowledge-building Project, including any Pre-projects, requires the active participation of one or more relevant partners. Eligible partners include trade and industry, public sector entities, the social partners, non-governmental organisations and/or other national and international actors of relevance to the project. The applicant must intend for the activities under the project to lead to further cooperation.

The project is to be implemented in accordance with the definition of “effective collaboration” in the state aid rules, which entails among other things that the results of the project are to accrue to the Project Owner and other project partners. Effective collaboration is defined as follows:

“collaboration between at least two independent parties to exchange knowledge or technology, or to achieve a common objective based on the division of labour where the parties jointly define the scope of the collaborative project, contribute to its implementation and share its risks, as well as its results. One or several parties may bear the full costs of the project and thus relieve other parties of its financial risks. Contract research and provision of research services are not considered forms of collaboration.”

What can you seek funding for?

Under this call, the Research Council may cover costs that are necessary for the execution of the project. These costs must be associated with activities that comply with the definition of “feasibility studies” in the state aid rules (see definition here), including seminars/workshops and other measures to build networks and establish cooperation as the basis for a Collaborative and Knowledge-building Project. 

In order for the Research Council to calculate the amount of support, the grant application must include an overall project budget based on the following types of approved project costs:

Conditions for funding

  • Support awarded by the Research Council is to go to the non-economic activity of research organisations participating in the project.
  • 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. When an undertaking receives support to cover a portion of its project costs as a partner in the project, this support must be awarded in accordance with Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation for state aid (Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014).
  • Support for organisations that are not research organisations or are not acting as an “undertaking” in the context of this call must go to their non-economic activity.
  • The Research Council’s allocation for the first year and any pledges for subsequent years will otherwise be disbursed in accordance with the conditions set out in this agreement and the General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects.

Scientific articles and research data

The Project Owner (research organisation) is responsible for selecting the archiving solution(s) to use for storing research data generated during the project. The Project Owner must specify the planned solution(s) in connection with the revised grant proposal.

Relevant thematic areas for this call

Welfare, working life and education

Working life, Migration, immigration and integration, Living conditions and demographic changes, The welfare society's services and organisation

Please remember to select the topics most relevant to your project proposal in the grant application form.

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

You may revise and resubmit your grant application form multiple times up to the application submission deadline. We recommend that you submit your application as soon as you have filled in the application form and included all mandatory attachments. After the deadline, it is the most recently submitted version of the grant application that will be processed.

  • Grant applications and all attachments, may be submitted in Norwegian or English.
  • All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.

The designated templates for the attachments are available for download at the bottom of this page.

Mandatory attachments

  • A project description of maximum three pages using the designated template, found at the bottom of this page.
  • CVs for the project manager and key project participants using the designated templates found at the bottom of this page.
  • Confirmation of participation from partners.

Grant 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. There is no technical validation of the content of the attachments you upload, so please make sure that you upload the correct file for the selected type of attachment.

Assessment criteria

The assesment criteria for this call for proposals:

Relevance to the call for proposals

The extent to which the project satisfies the guidelines and stipulations set out in the call for proposals.

Priority will be given to projects that:

  • help to achieve the broadest thematic range possible within the framework of the VAM work programme.
  • are led by women project managers, assuming all factors relating to scientific merit and relevance are essentially equal.

Administrative procedures

Applications for funding for Pre-projects as the basis for a Collaborative and Knowledge-building Project will be processed administratively by the Research Council.

The final decision regarding funding is expected to be announced in December 2019.

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