Funding for Research Stays Abroad for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows

Purpose

The objective of the scheme is to increase the number of younger researchers who conduct a research stay abroad. International experience is important in building a career as a researcher. It helps to strengthen Norwegian research by increasing expertise and bringing new knowledge to projects. It expands networks and thereby provides Norwegian research with greater opportunity to access the international research front.

About the call for proposals

The scheme for research stays abroad is available to doctoral and postdoctoral fellowship-holders who are wholly or partially funded by the Research Council and affiliated with an ongoing project for a period of minimum 24 months. This scheme does not apply to fellowship-holders under the schemes for Centres of Excellence (SFF), Centres for Research-based Innovation (SFI), Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME) and Centres for Clinical Treatment Research (FKB). The research stay abroad must have a duration of minimum three and maximum 12 months.

The Project Owner may submit a grant application after the individual has been appointed to the position of research fellow and concrete plans have been drawn up for the research stay abroad. The grant application must be based on and related to a main project funded by the Research Council, but the time frame, progress plan, budget tables and project description must reflect the research stay and its purpose.

The duration of the planned research stay abroad must be indicated in the application form. The start and end dates of the research stay abroad must be clearly specified in the field for “Person for whom a position/fellowship is sought.”

The Research Council must be notified beforehand of the fellowship-holder’s appointment to the main project, either via a progress report or a request to change the project framework.

Research fellows must conclude their research stay abroad by at the latest six months before the end of the research fellowship period.

At the time of submission of the grant application, the research fellow must not have lived, studied or worked for more than 12 months over the past three years in the country where the international host institution is located. Exceptions may be made to this rule if the international host institution has equipment, facilities and expertise that are not available in Norway or other countries that would be appropriate for a researcher stay.

Funding for research stays abroad may not be used to spend all or part of the fellowship period on Svalbard.

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

For postdoctoral fellows

In addition to a research stay abroad, it is possible to apply for an extension of the fellowship period for postdoctoral fellows corresponding to the length of the stay abroad (minimum 3 and maximum 12 months).

The time frames for the planned research stay abroad and any extension of the postdoctoral fellowship period must be clearly indicated in the application form. One line must be selected for the research stay abroad and one for the extension on the fellowship period in the field for “Person for whom a fellowship/position is being sought”.

Applications for funding to extend a postdoctoral fellowship period must be submitted at the same time as the application for the research stay abroad. It is not possible to apply for an extension of the postdoctoral fellowship period after the research stay has concluded. If the extended postdoctoral fellowship period exceeds the period established for the main project, a request to change the project framework and extend the project period for the main project must be submitted.

The postdoctoral fellow must spend at least six months at the applicant institution after concluding the research stay abroad.

When granting an extension for fellowship-holders with partial funding from the Research Council, the Council will provide the same level of support as the original funding percentage of the position.

Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment (Section 2-3(3))

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the terms of employment for the postdoctoral research fellow are in compliance with applicable legislation and regulations. This is of particular importance when applying for an extension of more than six months for the postdoctoral fellowship period. Applications for an extension of over six months will only be approved if the research stay abroad and the extension are included in the postdoctoral fellowship contract. Section 2-3(3) of the Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of postdoctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident laid down by the Ministry of Education and Research sets limits for extensions of the contractual period that exceed six months. Applicants that are uncertain about the interpretation of the regulations should contact the personnel department of their research organisation.

Please note that the Research Council does not award funding for postdoctoral research fellowships for a period of more than four years.

Who is eligible to apply?

The scheme applies to research fellows fully or partially financed by the Research Council as part of an ongoing project with a Norwegian research organisation as the Project Owner, or under the Industrial Ph.D. Scheme or the Public Sector Ph.D. Scheme.

For both the Industrial Ph.D. Scheme and the Public Sector Ph.D. Scheme, a company or a public sector entity must serve as the Project Owner and formal applicant, in consultation with the degree-conferring institution.

The Project Owner is to submit the application after the individual has been appointed to the position of research fellow and concrete plans for the research stay abroad have been drawn up, and at least three months prior to the start of the research stay. Any exceptions to this must be explained in the Project Description

It is not possible to seek funding for research stays abroad for research fellows financed through basic funding for the SFF, SFI, FME and FKB centre schemes.

Who can participate in the project?

The scheme applies to named research fellows affiliated with ongoing projects financed by the Research Council that have a Norwegian research organisation as the Project Owner, or are under the Industrial Ph.D. Scheme or the Public Sector Ph.D. Scheme.

What can you seek funding for?

  • It is only possible to apply for the fixed rate for research stays abroad, coverage of travel expenses (cheapest mode of transport), and coverage of documented tuition costs. For postdoctoral research fellows, it is also possible to apply for an extension of the postdoctoral fellowship period, please see the Rates for Funding of Fellowships.
  • The Project Owner may be granted funding for a research stay abroad for the research fellow for 3–12 months.
  • The stay abroad may be divided into shorter segments of minimum three consecutive months each, provided that the funding is sought as an overall amount in a single application. An explanation for dividing the stay into shorter segments must be provided in the project description.
  • The Research Council will only cover travel costs for one round-trip ticket for the research fellow in connection with the research stay abroad. This is also the case when the research stay is divided into multiple segments.
  • The Research Council will cover travel costs for family members provided that they will be accompanying the fellowship-holder for all or most of the stay abroad. The Research Council does not cover travel costs for short-term visits by family members.
  • It is possible to apply for funding to cover documented tuition costs. The amount of these costs must be stated in the letter of invitation from the host institution. 

Applications under the Industrial Ph.D. scheme – conditions for funding

For companies defined as an “undertaking” in the state aid rules, support will be awarded as de minimis aid. This means that the company may receive maximum EUR 200 000 over a period of three fiscal years. Written confirmation and an overview of all other de minimis aid that the company has received in the past three fiscal years must be submitted to the Research Council as an attachment to the application. 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.

Create application

Relevant thematic areas for this call

Internationalisation

Requirements for this application type

General requirements

  • The applicant/Project Owner must come from an eligible category of institution. The project manager for the ongoing main project must be the project manager in the application for a research stay abroad. The project number of the project with which the fellowship-holder is affiliated must be indicated in the application form (under “Supplementary info from applicant”).
  • The grant application must lie within the scope/satisfy the objectives of this call.
  • The funding amount sought and expenses to be covered must be in keeping with the framework of the call.
  • The budget must be formulated correctly and the field for specification must clearly state what the funding will cover.
  • The application form must be fully completed. In the field for “Person for whom a fellowship/position is being sought”, applicants must fill in “Type of fellowship”, “Basis for calculating the grant for research stays abroad”, the name of the fellowship-holder and the time frame.
  • The required attachments must be included using the designated templates.
  • The project description and the plan for the research stay abroad must provide answers to the items set out in the text of the call. All items in the project description template must be completed.
  • The grant application, including all attachments, may be submitted in Norwegian or English.
  • All attachments must be submitted in pdf-format.

Mandatory attachments

  • Project description – a plan for the research stay abroad, using the designated template for this application type found at the end of this call (to be uploaded under the field for “Project description” in the application form).
  • Brief CV for the fellowship-holder, using the designated template for this application type found at the end of this call (to be uploaded under the field for CV in the application form).
  • A letter of invitation from the host institution. The letter of invitation must state the time frame of the research stay, the name of the fellowship-holder, the objective of the research stay and the amount of any tuition costs. The letter of invitation must be signed.
  • A recommendation from the project manager. This letter of recommendation must be signed by the project manager.

The designated templates are found at the end of this call for proposals.

Other attachments

  • For applications for an extension of a postdoctoral fellowship period in connection with a research stay abroad, an updated professional development plan must also be attached with the new dates and necessary signatures (to be uploaded as an attachment under “Other items” in the online grant application form). This requirement applies to all postdoctoral fellows who apply regardless of when the main application was submitted.
  • For projects under the Industrial Ph.D. scheme, where the applicant is a company, a signed “Declaration form for de minimis aid”, must be attached using the designated template found at the end of this call (to be uploaded as an attachment under “Other items” in the online grant application form).

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.

Administrative procedures

Notification of the outcome from the Research Council will normally be provided within one month after receipt of the application.

Grant applications will be assessed by the Research Council administration, and funding will normally be awarded if the application has satisfied the formal requirements stipulated in this call for proposals. When funding for a research stay is granted, the Project Owner will receive an amendment to the contract for the main project.