Personal Overseas Research Grant for Doctoral and Post-doctoral Fellows

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Purpose

The objective of the scheme is to increase the number of younger researchers who conduct a research stay abroad. International experience is important for building a career as a researcher. It increases expertise and expands networks, providing Norwegian research with greater opportunity to access the international research front.

About the call for proposals

Overseas research grants are available to doctoral and post-doctoral fellowship-holders affiliated with a project that has received a pledge for full or partial funding from the Research Council for a period of minimum 24 months. The research stay abroad must have a duration of minimum 3 and maximum 12 months.

The Project Owner may submit the grant 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. The grant application must be based on and related to the main project funded by the Research Council.

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, applicants must not have 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.

Overseas Research Grants may not be used to spend parts of the fellowship period on Svalbard.

For post-doctoral fellows

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

Applications for an extension must be submitted at least six months prior to the conclusion of the ordinary post-doctoral period. The post-doctoral fellow must spend at least six months at the applicant institution after concluding the research stay abroad.

The start and end dates for the desired extension of the post-doctoral period and for the research stay abroad must be clearly stated in the field for specification in the application form.

When granting an extension, the Research Council will provide the same level of support as the original funding percentage of the position.

It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the terms of employment for the post-doctoral 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 post-doctoral 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 post-doctoral fellowship contract. Section 2-3(3) of the Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral 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. If you are unsure of how to interpret the regulations, please contact the personnel department of your research organisation.

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

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

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, the 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 grant 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 research stay. Any exceptions to this must be explained.

It is not possible to seek funding for Personal Overseas Research Grants 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 research fellows 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.

What can you seek funding for?

  • It is only possible to apply for the fixed rate for Personal Overseas Research Grants, coverage of travel expenses (cheapest mode of transport), and coverage of documented tuition costs. For post-doctoral research fellows, it is also possible to apply for an extension of the post-doctoral fellowship period.
  • 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.
  • The Research Council will only cover travel costs for one round-trip ticket for the research fellow and any accompanying family.
  • It is possible to apply for funding to cover documented tuition costs.

See the Research Council’s rates for fellowship grants. The grant proposal must be based on and related to the main project.

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.

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.

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Relevant thematic areas for this call

Internationalisation

Requirements for this application type

  • The project manager for the ongoing project must be the project manager in the application for a Personal Overseas Research Grant.
  • The grant application, including all attachments, may be submitted in Norwegian or English.
  • All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.
  • 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”).

All the templates for attachments are at the end of the call for proposals.

Mandatory attachments

  • A letter of invitation from the host institution abroad.
  • A recommendation from the project manager.
  • A project description – a plan for the research stay, to be uploaded under the field for “Project description” in the application form. The project description must follow the designated template, which can be found at the end of this call.
  • Brief CV for the fellowship-holder, to be uploaded under the field for CV in the application form. The CV must follow the designated template, which can be found at the end of this call.
  • For applications for Overseas Research Grants for post-doctoral fellows, an updated professional development plan must also be attached.
  • Companies applying for an Overseas Research Grant for a project under the Industrial Ph.D. scheme must attach a signed “Declaration form for de minimis aid”. The declaration must follow the designated template, which can be found at the end of this call.

Attachments for the professional development plan and the Declaration form for de minimis aid are to be uploaded under the field for “Other” in the 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

Application processing time is normally one month.

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.