International Collaborative Projects with Russia


This call for proposals may be subject to revision until six weeks before the application submission deadline (26 June 2019). It will be possible to create and submit grant applications from that date and up to the submission deadline. If the call is revised, we will provide notification here.


Joint projects between Norwegian and Russian researchers in the field of petroleum are to help to maintain existing networks and research collaboration and to develop new collaborative constellations through strategic basic research that is of relevance for both countries.

Important dates

26 Jun 2019

Date call is made active

26 Jun 2019

Open for applications

04 Sep 2019

Application submission deadline

04 Sep 2019


13 Dec 2019

Announcement of funding awards

01 Jan 2020

Earliest permitted project start

01 Jan 2020

Tidligste tillatte prosjektstart

01 Mar 2020

Latest permitted project start

01 Mar 2020

Seneste tillatte prosjektstart

31 Dec 2022

Latest permitted project completion

31 Dec 2022

Seneste tillatte prosjektslutt

Important dates

About the call for proposals

The 2019 call for proposals for collaborative projects between Norwegian and Russian researchers is a coordinated call between the Large-scale Programme for Petroleum Research (PETROMAKS 2) and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR). Norwegian researchers must apply for Research Council funding to cover their part of a joint project, while Russian researchers must apply to the RFBR to cover their part of the same project. The Research Council will finance the costs of the Norwegian researchers and the RFBR will finance the costs of the Russian researchers. The research activities must be defined as basic research.

Each country will review its own part of the joint application in accordance with national guidelines, but final decisions regarding the allocation of funding will be taken jointly.

The call has been published in Norwegian and English. The English-language call for proposals is the legally binding version.

Under this year’s call, the following research areas will be given priority:

  • Environmental monitoring, control, mitigation and understanding of marine pollution related to pollution from the petroleum industry in the Barents Sea region;
  • Research that contributes to an increased understanding of the geological and geophysical processes in the Barents Sea related to oil and gas resources.
  • Research related to challenges resulting from ice and the icing of offshore petroleum installations and equipment.

Assuming all factors relating to scientific merit and relevance are essentially equal, priority will be given to projects led by women project managers.

All requirements and guidelines for this call are set out in the agreement document RFBR-RCN Addendum 2019-2022 (pdf) between the Research Council and the RFBR.

Who is eligible to apply?

The call is open to approved research organisations.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner

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

Requirements relating to the project manager

There are no special requirements regarding who can serve as the project manager.

Requirements relating to partners

  • All research organisations must apply in cooperation with a Russian partner. The Russian partner must seek funding from the RFBR to cover its project costs.
  • The Norwegian and Russian researchers are to collaborate on a joint project. In their grant application, the Norwegian researchers must adequately describe the tasks to be carried out by their Russian colleagues and what deliverables are expected, but the grant application is to focus primarily on the tasks to be performed by the Norwegian researchers.
  • Other Norwegian research organisations may also participate as partners in the project and receive Research Council funding.
  • Any partners from a third country must cover their own project costs.

What can you seek funding for?

Under this call, the Research Council may cover up to 100 per cent of the costs incurred by participating Norwegian research organisations that are necessary for the execution of the project. Funding of other project costs must be covered by the research organisations themselves.

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

  • Payroll and indirect expenses relating to researcher time (including research fellowships) at the research institutions participating in the project. See here for guidelines for calculating payroll and indirect costs in grant applications to the Research Council.
  • Procurement of R&D services. The Project Owner and Norwegian partners may jointly or individually procure R&D services from R&D-performing companies. Suppliers of R&D services for the project are not partners and may not be granted ownership rights to results generated under the project.
  • Costs relating to procurement and use of scientific equipment. See here for Research Council guidelines for calculating costs of equipment.
  • Other operating expenses, including support for research stays abroad (Personal Overseas Research Grants) and travel expenses and other project-related costs not covered under the categories above.

Conditions for funding

Support from the Research Council is to go to the non-economic activity of research organisations. Companies defined as an “undertaking” in the state aid rules will not be eligible to receive support to cover projects costs under this call.

The Research Council's terms for allocation and disbursal of support for the first year and any pledges and disbursals for subsequent years are set out in the General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects.

Professional development plan for post-doctoral research fellows

If the project includes funding for post-doctoral fellowships, a professional development plan must be drawn up for the post-doctoral fellowship period and submitted to the Research Council by at the latest three months after the post-doctoral research fellow is formally employed. The professional development plan must be signed by the employee and the immediate supervisor and it must be updated in connection with any significant changes during the fellowship period. For more information, please see the document “Mandatory professional development plan for post-doctoral research fellows (docx)” and the information on Personal Post-doctoral Fellowships on the Research Council website.

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.

Relevant thematic areas for this call

All the thematic areas listed below are relevant under this call, but within each thematic area there are areas that will be given priority under the call. These are specified in the section "About the call for proposals" above on this page.


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

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.

The budget in the online grant application form must only include costs for the Norwegian participants. However, in the document “Joint call RCN-RFBR Mandatory attachment” (see below in this call) applicants are to include the total project costs for all parties as well as a description of how these will be financed from both countries.

  • The grant application, including all attachments, must be submitted in English.
  • All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.
  • All the templates for attachments are at the end of the call for proposals.
  • For all projects, funding must be sought in both Norway and Russia to be eligible for support.

Mandatory attachments

  • A project description of maximum 10 pages using the designated template for this call (found at the bottom of this page).
  • Description of relevance of the project to the call, to be uploaded under the attachment type “Other”.
  • CV for the project manager using the designated template (found at the bottom of this page), to be uploaded as attachment type “CV”.
  • CV for the project manager in Russia, using the designated template, to be uploaded as attachment type “Other”.
  • Confirmation from the Norwegian research organisation explaining why the project is important to the organisation. This is to be uploaded as attachment type “Other”.
  • Confirmation from the Russian research organisation explaining why the project is important to the organisation. This is to be uploaded as attachment type “Confirmation of partners”.
  • The document “Joint call RCN-RFBR Mandatory attachment” (see template at the bottom of this page). This document must specify, among other things, how overall project costs, financing and activities are to be distributed between Norway and Russia. PLEASE NOTE: This document must also be submitted as an attachment in the Russian party’s application to the RFBR. The document must therefore be completed by both the Norwegian and Russian applicants and must be identical. This is to be uploaded as attachment type “Other”.
  • For projects encompassing doctoral degree education, a Letter of Intent from the degree-conferring university/institution must be attached to the grant application. This is to be uploaded as attachment type “Other”.

Grant applications that do not satisfy the above requirements will be rejected.

Optional attachments

Proposals for up to three international referees who are presumed to be impartial and qualified to review the grant proposal. Any such proposal is to be uploaded under the attachment type “Referees”.

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 to the application you upload to our system, so please make sure that you upload the correct file corresponding to the selected attachment type.

Assessment criteria



The extent to which the proposed work is ambitious, novel, and goes beyond the-state-of-the-art
• Scientific creativity and originality.
• Novelty and boldness of hypotheses or research questions.
• Potential for development of new knowledge beyond the current state-of-the-art, including significant theoretical, methodological, experimental or empirical advancement.

The quality of the proposed R&D activities
• Quality of the research questions, hypotheses and project objectives, and the extent to which they are clearly and adequately specified.
• Credibility and appropriateness of the theoretical approach, research design and use of scientific methods. Appropriate consideration of interdisciplinary approaches.
• Where relevant, the extent to which appropriate consideration has been given to ethical issues, safety issues, gender dimension in research content, and appropriate use of stakeholder/user knowledge.


Potential impact of the proposed research
• The extent to which the planned outputs of the project address important present and/or future scientific challenges.
• If relevant with respect to the project objectives, the extent to which the planned outputs will address UN Sustainable Development Goals or other important present and/or future societal challenges.
• The extent to which the potential impacts are clearly formulated and plausible.

Communication and exploitation
• Quality and scope of communication and engagement activities with different target audiences, including relevant stakeholders/users.


The quality of the project manager and project group
• The extent to which the project manager has relevant expertise and experience, and demonstrated ability to perform high-quality research (as appropriate to the career stage).
• The degree of complementarity of the participants and the extent to which the project group as a whole assembles the necessary expertise needed to undertake the research effectively, and provides added value.

The quality of the project organisation and management
• Effectiveness of the work plan, including the extent to which resources assigned to work packages are aligned with project objectives and deliverables.
• Appropriateness of the allocation of tasks, ensuring that all participants have a valid role and adequate resources in the project to fulfil that role.
• Appropriateness of the proposed management structures and governance.

Overall assessment of the referee/panel

Overall assessment of the referee/panel based, on the criteria Excellence, Impact and Implementation.

Relevance to the call for proposals

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

Administrative procedures

All grant applications will be assessed by international referee panels. After the panel assessments are completed, the grant applications will be assessed for the strength of bilateral collaboration and relevance relative to the call for proposals. The programme administration will then submit its recommendation to the allocating body. The allocating body is responsible for the final decision regarding the approval or rejection of grant proposals.

All the Russian grant applications will be assessed in accordance with RFBR procedures. Only grant applications that have received a high score from both countries will be considered for support. The Research Council and the RFBR will select projects for funding by consensus after the separate national assessments have been completed.

Disbursement of the grant for Year 1 and honouring of any pledges for subsequent years are contingent on the implementation of the Russian project.