INTPART International Partnerships for Excellent Education, Research and Innovation



Norwegian research organisations may apply for funding for partnerships with Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Africa, South Korea  and the USA. Funding may also be sought for partnerships with Germany and France under this call.

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

The INTPART programme also aims to address the following secondary goals:

  • Long-term international partnerships that enhance the quality of higher education and research in Norway;
  • Strong links between higher education and research within the frameworks of the partnerships;
  • Cooperation with the business and public sectors to enhance quality and relevance within the frameworks of the partnerships, where relevant.

Important dates

07 Oct 2020

Date call is made active

18 Nov 2020

Application submission deadline

Important dates

About the call for proposals

The programme will provide funding for the establishment and further development of formalised institutional cooperation on research and higher education. The projects must use the funding to strengthen peer-reviewed projects, centres or clusters at Norwegian institutions.

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

Contact: or

See the INTPART programme description for grant applications in 2020.

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 applicant organisation must have degree-conferring programmes at master’s and/or doctoral level, or have a documented collaboration with a Norwegian partner institution with such programmes for the INTPART project.

The organisation must be listed as the Project Owner in the application form and must have authorised you to submit the grant application. Grant applications involving Norwegian Innovation Clusters must be approved by the respective cluster’s board.

As of 18 November 2020, the applicant must be a host institution or formal partner in a peer-reviewed project that is currently funded under one of the following schemes:

  • 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);
  • The Norwegian Artistic Research Programme (NARP); 
  • Research Centres for Petroleum Activities (PETROSENTER);
  • Norwegian Innovation Clusters;
  • Collaborative and Knowledge-building Projects (KSP);
  • 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.

Information about the project being funded, including the scheme it is funded under, project number and other project identification, is to be entered in the online grant application form under ‘Other relevant programmes/activities/projects’.

The application must substantiate that the international partnership will strengthen the ongoing peer-reviewed project. Partners and collaborative activities must be aligned with the needs of and possibilities in research and higher education, and applications must refer to how the activities will contribute to achieving the strategic research and quality of education goals specific to the subject and institution.

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

  • 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 several 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.

The 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 or no later than 18 November 2020, 13:00 CET.

Requirements relating to project managers

  • The project managers of all the partner institutions must have experience of collaborative projects at the national and international level.
  • 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.

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 international collaborative activities that are not already supported under the ongoing project. Funding may be awarded to establish new international partnerships as well as to strengthen existing cooperation.

The amount available under this call is NOK 150 million. Applicants may apply for NOK 2 million per year over a five-year period, totalling NOK 10 million.

Examples of activities that are eligible for funding:

  • Additional expenses relating to short-term or long-term reciprocal mobility stays by students, researchers, managers and administrative staff;
  • Development and implementation of workshops, seminars and conferences for the purpose of strengthening international cooperation;
  • 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;
  • Joint researcher schools and international educational programmes based on research collaboration and institutionalised within the framework of the partnerships;
  • 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;
  • Development of digital forms of collaboration
  • Other activities that encompass international research and educational cooperation.

Own financing of the project budget must comprise a minimum of 20 per cent.

The available funding may not be used to cover research activities involved in the collaboration or any investments in research infrastructure. Teaching and education already encompassed by the institution’s ordinary educational programmes must be funded by other means. Activities related to the participation of international partners in a partnership may be financed with INTPART funds.

Conditions for funding
Funding awarded to a research organisation is only to go to the organisation’s non-economic activity. It does not therefore 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 undertakings as de minimis aid. This means that an undertaking may receive maximum EUR 200,000 in de minimis aid over a period of three 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.

Before the disbursement of de minimis aid, the Research Council will request written confirmation and an overview of all other de minimis aid the undertaking has received during the three last fiscal years. For undertakings that are part of a group of companies, the maximum limit generally applies to the group as a whole. For more information on de minimis aid, see the Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1407/2013.

Reporting and payment of funding

Funding will be disbursed in arrears, and only actual expenses entered in the institution’s accounts will be covered. All reporting takes place electronically. 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


Requirements for this application type

Requirements relating to the application

  • The application must refer to the ongoing project.
  • The grant application form and all attachments are to be submitted in English.
  • All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.
  • The total funding amount sought may not exceed NOK 10 million. The funding that may be sought per year is NOK 2 million. Own financing must comprise minimum 20 per cent of the total project costs.
  • The project duration  should be five years.

The grant application must include:

  • The completed online application form.
  • A 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, as well as information about educational expertise, teaching experience and experience from international cooperation in higher education. 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 plan for how results relating to research and education will be disseminated. Details about the project being funded can be provided in the online application form under ‘Other’.
  • Formal confirmation from the management of the Norwegian and international partner institution, and the applicant 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 relating to implementation of the INTPART project. This also applies to the Norwegian degree-conferring institution if this is not the applicant institution; see ‘Requirements relating to the project manager’ above. General cooperation agreements will not be accepted.
  • Applications involving Norwegian Innovation Clusters must also attach documentation of approval of the application from the respective cluster’s board.

You may revise and resubmit your grant application form 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.

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

Applications that do not meet the requirements listed above will be rejected.

We will not assess documents and websites linked to in the application, or other attachments than those specified above. There is no technical validation of the content of uploaded attachments, so please ensure that you upload the correct file for the selected type of attachment.

Assessment criteria

See the programme description for details about the programme’s overall objective, goals and targets, as well as an explanation of which assessment criteria will be given special consideration under this call. Please note that under the ‘Excellence’ criteria, we will give special consideration to relevance in relation to the call and project being funded, and under ‘Impact’, emphasis will be placed on how the application is related to the objectives of the INTPART programme.

Grant applications will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:


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

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


• 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.


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.

Overall assessment of the referee/panel

This criterion indicates the overall view of the referee/panel, based on the specific criteria which they have been asked to assess.

The Research Council and Diku view it as a prerequisite that all projects 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 and education, 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 in the projects. The Research Council and Diku will take these elements into consideration when assessing and ranking grant proposals.

Administrative procedures

INTPART funding comes from several sources and may have different budgetary purposes and guidelines pertaining to it. The overall portfolio of projects awarded funding should ensure that these are achieved.

An administrative panel with competency related to international cooperation will be established within the Research Council and Diku. The panel will assess the applications based on the set assessment criteria and present a recommendation to the steering committee.

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, importance will be attached to ensuring that the portfolio of funded projects as a whole achieves the objectives of the INTPART programme.

The project portfolio assessment may also take the following factors into account:

  1. A balanced distribution between partner countries;
  2. A balanced distribution between subject areas;
  3. Compliance with the guidelines for different budget posts;
  4. Projects with female project managers when the applications are otherwise considered to be on a par;
  5. A balanced distribution between Norwegian institutions when the applications are otherwise considered to be on a par;
  6. Projects that have good synergies with the EU Framework Programme;
  7. Projects clearly aligned with the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The funding decisions are expected to be announced in April 2021.