New Strategic Programmes for NOFIMA 2021-2024

Viktige datoer

19 May 2020

Date call is made active

25 May 2020

Application submission deadline

01 Jan 2021

Earliest permitted project start

01 Jan 2021

Latest permitted project start

31 Dec 2024

Latest permitted project completion

Viktige datoer


The purpose of this call is to register applications for the period 2021–2024 for new strategic programmes for Nofima.

About the call for proposals

  • The general principles guiding the Research Funding for Agriculture and the Food Industry (Foundation for Research Levy on Agricultural Products (FFL) and the Agricultural Agreement Research Fund (JA)) involve follow-up of the agricultural policy objectives set out in the white paper on agricultural and food policy (in Norwegian only: Endring og utvikling – En fremtidsrettet jordbruksproduksjon (Meld. St. 11 (2016–2017)) and in the recommendation concerning the white paper (in Norwegian only). 
  • The Foundation for Research Levy on Agricultural Products (FFL) was established pursuant to the Act relating to research duties on agricultural products to ensure the economic basis for research related to agricultural products. The FFL’s funds come from research duties levied on Norwegian-produced and imported agricultural products. The board takes decisions on the basis of statutes issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.
  • Based on these statutes, the FFL has a special responsibility for funding agricultural research at Nofima. This is carried out in part through allocations to the institute’s strategic programme initiative.
  • Grant applications are assessed on the basis of research quality in keeping with the Research Council’s guidelines.

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

Who is eligible to apply?

This call for proposals is only open to grant applications from Nofima.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner
The research organisation is to be entered as the Project Owner in the application form, and must have authorised the submission of the grant application. 

Requirements relating to the project manager
To qualify as project manager, individuals must hold an approved doctorate or have obtained qualifications at associate professorship level before the date of the application submission deadline. In this context, current or previous employment in the Norwegian research institute sector in a position as forsker 1 (research professor), forsker 2 (senior researcher) or seniorforsker (senior researcher) is considered equivalent qualification.  

Requirements relating to partners
Only research organisations are eligible to be partners and receive funding via the research project.

Other types of organisations, such as companies and other undertakings, are not eligible to receive support and may not be project partners, but they may serve as suppliers of R&D services to the project. In such cases, the intellectual property rights related to the result of the supplier’s work activities will become the property of the institution procuring the services. 

Requirement to incorporate user involvement
The project is required to incorporate user involvement. Grant proposals must explain who the relevant users are for the given project, and how they will be involved in the planning and implementation of the project and application of the results. 

It is important that the anticipated benefits of the project are based on user needs and documented knowledge gaps within the thematic areas described in the text of the call. Both short- and long-term impacts and outcomes are to be described in the grant application.

What can you seek funding for?

Please see the webpage on What to enter in the project budget for details and important information. 

  • Doctoral research fellowships for up to three years and post-doctoral research fellowships for up to three years. The amount sought must follow the Research Council’s rates for doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships. 
  • Hiring procedures, employment periods, work duties, education plans, etc., must comply with 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. 
  • Academic positions.    

Conditions for funding  

Companies will not be eligible to receive support to cover projects costs. 

Scientific articles and research data

The Project Owner (research 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. 


Relevant thematic areas for this call

The topics addressed under this call are defined based on the project outlines reviewed by the board of Research Funding for Agriculture and the Food Industry. The topics must be followed up in the application.  

Land-based food, the environment and bioresources

Food - Green sector, Food - Blue-green sector, Safe food value chain, Food, health and well-being

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

Grant applications are to be based on a project outline submitted to the FFL by the 17 January 2020 deadline 

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 uploaded in PDF format. 
  • Grant applications must fulfil the intentions and objectives of Nofima Mat. 
  • Grant applications must include plans for how important users (in industry, society, research and public administration) will be incorporated into/take part in dissemination activities for the project. 
  • The role and tasks of each project partner must be clearly described. 
  • The project summary must address all key points in the grant application, as the project summary will be a central component of the decision-making process.   
  • The project title, project summary and overall objectives must be submitted in Norwegian as a separate attachment of maximum one page.   
  • To be eligible for funding the project must start on 1 January 2021 and funding for 2021 must be sought from the Research Council. The latest permitted project completion date is 31 December 2024. 

Mandatory attachments   

  • A project description of maximum 15 pages using the designated template, found at the bottom of this page.    
  • A CV of maximum 4 pages for the project manager using the designated template, found at the bottom of this page.   

Applications that do not satisfy the above requirements will be rejected. 

Optional attachments  

  • CVs for key project participants; 
  • A proposal for up to three referees who are presumed to be impartial and qualified to review the grant proposal. 

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. 


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.
• The extent to which appropriate consideration has been given to ethical issues, safety issues, gender dimension in research content, and use of stakeholder/user knowledge if appropriate.


Potential impact of the proposed research
• Potential for academic impact:
The extent to which the planned outputs of the project address important present and/or future scientific challenges.
• Potential for societal impact (if addressed by the applicant):
The extent to which the planned outputs of the project 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 has the necessary expertise needed to undertake the research effectively.

The quality of the project organisation and management
• Effectiveness of the project organisation, 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. Once the panel assessments are completed, the grant applications will be assessed in relation to their relevance to this call. Assessment of the relevance criterion will be carried out by the Research Council in cooperation with the FFL SecretariatThe Research Council administration will then submit its recommendation to the allocating bodyThe allocating body is responsible for the final decision regarding the approval or rejection of grant proposals. 

The final decision regarding funding is expected to be announced end of October/beginning of November 2020. 

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