INTPART Funding for International Partnerships

Purpose

Approved Norwegian research organisations may apply for funding for partnerships with Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Africa, the USA, Germany and France, as well as for extensions of partnerships started in 2015 and 2016.

The objective of this call for proposals is to develop world-class research and education in Norway through long-term international cooperation.

Important dates

14 Aug 2019

Date call is made active

25 Sep 2019

Application submission deadline

01 Feb 2020

Earliest permitted project start

01 Dec 2020

Latest permitted project start

30 Nov 2024

Latest permitted project completion

Important dates

About the call for proposals

The Programme for International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research (INTPART) is administered jointly by the Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (Diku).

Contact: intpart@forskningsradet.no or intpart@diku.no.

The INTPART programme is designed to lead to:

  • enhanced quality in Norwegian higher education and research;
  • long-term international partnerships between Norwegian research and educational institutions and world-class research groups in priority countries outside the EU/EEA;
  • strong links between higher education and research within the frameworks of the partnerships;
  • cooperation with the business and public sectors and innovation-oriented activities.

INTPART programme description for grant applications in 2019.

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

Who is eligible to apply?

Funding from the INTPART programme may be sought by Norwegian universities, university colleges or other Norwegian research organisations with a designated project administrator.

See the Research Council’s definition and list of approved research organisations.

 

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner

The Project Owner (applicant institution) must be a Norwegian university, university college or other Norwegian research organisation with a designated project administrator. 

The applicant organisation must have degree-conferring programmes at the master’s and/or doctoral levels, or have a Norwegian partner institution with such programmes.

Applicants using a Norwegian partner institution with such programmes must document the collaboration.

The organisation must be listed as the Project Owner in the application form and must have authorised you to submit the grant application.

As of 25 September 2019, the research organisation must be the host institution or formal partner in peer-reviewed projects that are receiving ongoing funding under the following schemes and instruments:

  • Norwegian Centres of Excellence (SFF);
  • Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME);
  • Centres of Excellence in Higher Education (SFU);
  • Centres for Research-based Innovation (SFI);
  • Research Centres for Petroleum Activities (PETROSENTER);
  • Norwegian Innovation Clusters;
  • Knowledge-building Projects for Industry funded by the Research Council;
  • Researcher Projects funded by the Research Council;
  • Researcher projects and centre schemes funded by NordForsk or the Nordic Council of Ministers;
  • Researcher projects funded by the EU Framework Programme.

The INTPART project must have thematic relevance for the project currently being funded, i.e. for the thematic content of the centre, cluster or Researcher Project. Information about the ongoing funding is to be entered in the online grant application form under “Other relevant programmes/activities/projects”.

Maximum number of grant applications per research organisation

The maximum number of applications an applicant institution may submit is determined by the size of the organisation:

  • more than 1 500 R&D personnel: 20 applications;
  • 500–1 500 R&D personnel: 10 applications;
  • 100–500 R&D personnel: 5 applications;
  • fewer than 100 R&D personnel: 3 applications.

Exceptions to the size restrictions: Formalised institutional cooperation that has been ongoing for at least three years, and which involves seven or more Norwegian educational institutions in a consortium collaborating with one or more top-level, comparable institutions in a priority country will be exempted from the size restrictions as a trial scheme under this call.

The Project Owner (applicant institution) must forward a list of the submitted applications that have been approved by the applicant institution to the Research Council. The list must be submitted regardless of how many grant applications the applicant institution chooses to submit within the approved framework. Applications not included on the list will not be assessed. Please send the list by email to intpart@forskningsradet.no no later than 25 September 2019, 13:00 CET.

Requirements relating to project managers

  • Project managers in both countries must have experience with collaborative projects at national and international levels.
  • Key personnel in INTPART projects must be assigned active roles in the project being funded.

Requirements relating to partners

The main partner institution(s) must be a university, university college or other research organisation in the cooperating country with a designated local project manager.

Grant applications involving Norwegian Innovation Clusters must be approved by the respective cluster’s board.

Other types of organisations in Norway and the cooperating countries, including Norwegian Innovation Clusters, companies and other enterprises, may participate as partners in INTPART projects.

What can you seek funding for?

Funding is available for collaborative projects with institutions in one or more of the eight priority countries outside Europe as well as Germany and France.

Funding may be awarded to establish new international partnerships as well as to strengthen existing cooperation.

Under this call, projects awarded INTPART funding in 2015 and 2016 may apply for an extension of either an individual project or in the form of a merger of two or more INTPART projects from 2015 and/or 2016.

For a list of projects funded under the 2015 and 2016 INTPART calls, see INTPART List of projects.pdf.

Merging of projects will be viewed in a positive light when it will lead to added value and enhanced quality.

  • For new projects (Phase 1), up to NOK 4.5 million may be sought over a three-year period.
  • Individual projects awarded funding in 2015 and 2016 may apply for an extension as Phase 2A projects for up to NOK 3.5 million over a three-year period.
  • Projects awarded funding in 2015 and 2016 that choose to merge may apply for up to NOK 5 million over a four-year period as Phase 2B projects.

Information about the type of project for which funding is sought (Phase 1, 2A or 2B) is to be entered in the online grant application form under “Other relevant programmes/activities/projects”.

Financing and earmarked funding

Grant applications may encompass any combination of subject areas, thematic areas and countries.

During the application review process, emphasis will be given to ensuring that the project portfolio covers all the relevant countries and encompasses a broad scientific scope.

Under this call, NOK 150 million is available as follows:

  • NOK 61 million may be allocated for partnerships with all the countries encompassed under this call.
  • NOK 6 million may be allocated for partnerships in ICT research with all the countries encompassed under this call.
  • NOK 32 million may be allocated for partnerships with one or more of the eight priority countries outside the EU/EEA.
  • NOK 26 million may be allocated for partnerships with the Panorama Strategy countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and Japan).
  • NOK 20 million may be allocated for partnerships with India, targeted towards research on thematic areas relating to the oceans and seas. Collaboration with the business sector will be seen in a positive light when awarding this funding.
  • NOK 5 million may be allocated for partnerships with China, targeted towards global societal challenges and China as a national and international stakeholder.

Funding earmarked for India and China is allocated to the Research Council via the budget for development funding and must comply with the guidelines for use of Official Development Assistance (ODA). To be eligible for ODA funding, projects must be targeted towards promoting economic development or welfare in a country on the list of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). See here for more information.

Examples of activities that are eligible for funding

The activities must encompass both researchers and students to the greatest extent possible:

  • Additional expenses relating to short-term or long-term reciprocal mobility stays by students, researchers, managers and administrative staff can be funded according to the Research Council's rates for Visiting Researcher Grants and for Overseas Research Grants (stays of a shorter duration than 3 months may be funded).
  • Development and implementation of workshops, seminars and conferences;
  • Development and implementation of intensive courses, field courses, summer schools, etc.;
  • Cooperation on curriculum development and development of joint courses, educational programmes and/or degree programmes;
  • Planning and development of research cooperation;
  • Guest lectures and joint teaching and supervision of students and doctoral candidates;
  • Cooperation with the business and public sectors;
  • Other activities that encompass international research and educational cooperation.

Up to 20 per cent of the funding sought may be used to cover payroll and indirect expenses for administrative tasks and payroll compensation for personnel for participation in the activities. These costs must be specified in the application and must be proportionate with regard to the institutions’ own budget contributions and the overall budget for the project.

The available funding may not be used to cover the research activities involved in the collaboration or any investments in research infrastructure.

Calculating the amount of support

Own financing must comprise minimum 20 per cent of Phase 1 (new projects) budgets. For Phase 2 (extended) projects, own financing must comprise minimum 40 per cent of the project budget.

Conditions for funding

Support from the Research Council to a research organisation is to be reserved for the organisation’s non-economic activity, and as such therefore does not constitute state aid. The Research Council requires a clear separation of accounts for the organisation’s economic and non-economic activities.

Support will be awarded to companies as de minimis aid. This means that companies that are defined as an “undertaking” in the state aid rules may receive maximum EUR 200 000 in de minimis aid over a period of three fiscal years. Only companies registered with a Norwegian enterprise identity number under the Register of Business Enterprises are eligible for INTPART funding from the Research Council.

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. For more information on de minimis aid, see the Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1407/2013.

Archiving of research data

The Project Owner (R&D 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.

Reporting and disbursement of funding

Funding will be disbursed in arrears, and only actual expenses entered in the institution’s accounts will be covered. All reports are to be submitted online. In addition to the annual reports and final reports to the Research Council, you may be asked to report to the INTPART programme via a survey from Diku.

Relevant thematic areas for this call

Internationalisation

Requirements for this application type

Application requirements

Phase 1/applications for new projects

  • The grant application, including all attachments, must be submitted in English.
  • The total funding amount sought may not exceed NOK 4.5 million.
  • Own financing must comprise minimum 20 per cent of the total project costs.
  • Project duration may be up to three years.

Phase 2A/extensions

  • The grant application, including all attachments, must be submitted in English.
  • The total funding amount sought may not exceed NOK 3.5 million.
  • Own financing must comprise minimum 40 per cent of the total project costs.
  • Project duration may be up to three years.

Phase 2B/extension via merger of two or more projects

  • The grant application, including all attachments, must be submitted in English.
  • The total funding amount sought may not exceed NOK 5 million.
  • Own financing must comprise minimum 40 per cent of the total project costs.
  • Project duration may be up to four years.

All grant applications must include:

  • The completed application form (submitted via the eSøknad online submission service).
  • Project description. The designated template for the project description must be used.
  • CVs with a list of publications for the project manager, the project manager for the partner in the cooperating country, and other key project personnel. The designated template for CVs must be used.
  • Information about all the partners in the project (institutions) and all the project participants, including from one’s own institution (individuals) must be entered in the online application form. Please note that formal collaboration agreements are required for each partner listed in the grant application. These collaboration agreements are to be completed within three months after the Research Council has sent the contract to the Project Owner, and must have been received before the Research Council will disburse any funds.
  • The online application form must include a detailed milestone plan and a dissemination plan.
  • Formal confirmation from the management of each partner institution that provides strategy clarification and explains why the project is important to the institution must be attached to the application. This account must include information about the institution’s specific commitments for project implementation. This also applies to the Norwegian degree-conferring institution if it is not the applicant institution.
  • For grant applications involving Norwegian Innovation Clusters, approval of the respective cluster’s board must be attached to the application form.

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.

  • The grant application, including all attachments, must be submitted in English.
  • All attachments must be in PDF format.
  • All the templates for attachments are available for download at the end of the call for proposals.

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

In 2019 the Research Council is introducing three new assessment criteria: Excellence, Impact and Implementation. These criteria have been designed to be applicable for assessing basic and applied research activities alike.

See the programme description for details about the programme’s overall objective, other objectives and targets as well as an explanation of which assessment criteria will be given special consideration under this call.

Excellence

Originality/Novelty
• The extent to which the concept is sound, credible and novel.

Solidity
• The extent to which the project objectives are clear and relevant.
• The quality of the proposed deliverables from the project.

Impact

Potential
• The extent to which the expected effects are specified.
• The extent to which expected impacts on the system and societal levels are specified.

Knowledge sharing and exploitation
• The quality of the proposed communication and dissemination activities.
• The extent to which it is credible that the proposed outputs will contribute to the specified effects and impact.

Implementation

Project Manager and project group
• The extent to which the Project Manager and project group are qualified and have the necessary expertise and are positioned to implement the project.
• The extent to which management structures and procedures are appropriate.

Plans and management
• The extent to which the work plan is clear and understandable, and the time table realistic
• The extent to which objectives and measures are coherent.
• The extent to which the project has the support of the leadership of the Project Owner and any partners, and the allocation of roles in the project is clear.
• The extent to which the budget is realistic and appropriate, and resources are allocated so that each of the partners can fulfil their role.
• The extent to which potential risks have been discussed.

The Research Council and Diku view it as a prerequisite that all projects will maintain high ethical standards and give adequate consideration to potential environmental impacts. The Research Council and Diku consider it essential that research projects seek to promote the internationalisation of Norwegian research, to increase the recruitment of women to higher academic positions and within MST subject areas, to enhance the gender balance in Norwegian research and to ensure that gender perspectives are adequately integrated into research activities. The Research Council and Diku will take these elements into consideration when assessing and ranking grant proposals.

Administrative procedures

An administrative panel with competency related to international cooperation will be established within the Research Council and Diku. External experts will be brought in or consulted when needed.

A steering committee comprised of representatives from the governing bodies of the Research Council and Diku will be appointed and given responsibility for approving grant allocations.

In the final assessment of applications, the Research Council and Diku will attach importance to ensuring that that the portfolio of funded projects as a whole achieves the objectives set out for the available funding.

The final funding decision will be announced in March 2020.