Chinese-Norwegian Collaboration Projects within Climate Systems
Published 14 Dec 2020
This call for proposals may be subject to revision until March 24. 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.
Funding is available for joint projects between Norwegian and Chinese researchers that generate knowledge on the climate system. The call aims to contribute to improved climate predictions through better understanding of processes and interactions between components of the climate system, and through development of models and methods. Of particular interest is the polar climate and its interaction with the global system.
24 Mar 2021
Åpen for søknad
12 May 2021
01 Jan 2022
Earliest permitted project start
01 Jun 2022
Latest permitted project start
31 May 2026
Latest permitted project completion
About the call for proposals
A MOU between the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and the Research Council of Norway (RCN) on China-Norway research and innovation partnership was signed in 2018. Both climate research and polar research are areas of priority. With reference to this document, RCN and MoST are issuing a call within climate systems.
Knowledge about how the components of the climate and earth system are connected forms the basis for understanding natural and anthropogenic climate change and is beneficial for governments all over the world. Our ability to make climate predictions depends on the development of models and methods which help us understand the climate variations on different time scales. Polar areas are particularly sensitive to climate change, and it is of great importance to improve our knowledge about the polar climate and its interactions with the global system.
Due to its geographic location, Svalbard is an attractive platform for Norwegian and international climate research. The existing Chinese and Norwegian research in Svalbard are of high quality, contributes to knowledge development in the Arctic, and provides a basis for strengthened international research collaboration. Of specific value are new Sino-Norwegian collaboration utilizing and benefitting from the research facilities at the Ny-Ålesund Research Station and the Svalbard Integrated Arctic Earth Observing System (SIOS). Joint projects contributing to a better understanding of core climate and polar processes in the development and use of earth system and climate prediction modelling infrastructure will also be of high value.
The available funding is aimed at projects addressing challenges related to the topics below, either separately or combined.
Climate and earth system modelling and predictability
Advanced earth system models need further development to improve predictability at all time scales. This includes better understanding of processes and interactions between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, geosphere and/or cryosphere. More knowledge is needed on teleconnections and coupling mechanisms as well as potential tipping points within the system. Polar areas are particularly exposed to climate change, and better understanding of climate processes in these areas are essential.
Field observations are important to improve model predictability, and new data from areas that are difficult to access are particularly useful. Making use of existing infrastructure in both countries could therefore be mutually beneficial.
The climate system and hydrology in polar and high mountain areas
Polar and high mountain areas are cryospheric environments, and hydrological processes are heavily influenced by the phase transitions of water between the frozen (essentially immobile) and liquid states.
Changing precipitation patterns in polar and high mountain areas are influenced and interconnected through new modes of atmospheric variability and circulation. This creates short- and longterm storage components in the water balance, and thus seasonal and longer-term trends in water availability, but also renders these areas particularly subjected to climate change effects. These effects include changes in albedo and permafrost conditions and positive feedbacks to the climate system, but also directly influences society through increasing risk from natural hazards and availability of water resources over larger regions.
It is generally believed that these cryospheric environments are highly sensitive to climate change such as increased temperature or precipitation. A large number of people depend on water supply from cryospheric areas and will benefit from building further knowledge on the polar and high mountain hydrological system.
Contact us if you have any questions
Department in the RCN
Ocean and Polar research
41 23 45 59
Global development and international relations
97 68 88 08
Ivar Thoralf Berthling
Climate and Environmental research
90 06 65 09
The call is only available in English. The English text is legally binding.
Who is eligible to apply?
Who can participate in the project?
Requirements relating to the Project Owner
The Norwegian 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
The Norwegian project manager must submit the proposal to the Research Council, and the Chinese project manager must submit the proposal to the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).
To qualify as project manager, you must have an approved doctorate or equivalent qualifications before the date of the application submission deadline.
If you do not have an approved doctorate but are qualified at associate professorship level or have current or previous employment in the Norwegian research institute sector or a health trust in a position as forsker 1 (research professor), forsker 2 (senior researcher) or seniorforsker (senior researcher), you are also qualified.
The project manager must be employed by the project owner, or one of the project partners.
Requirements relating to partners
Only approved Norwegian research organisations (see under “Who is eligible to apply?” above) and corresponding research organisations in other countries are eligible to be partners and to receive project funding.
What can you seek funding for?
Please see the webpage on “What to enter in the project budget” for details and important information.
The following costs may be covered by the funding sought from the Research Council:
- Payroll and indirect expenses relating to researcher time (including research fellowships) at the research organisations participating in the project.
- 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 may not have the role of partner or be granted any rights to project results developed in the project.
- Equipment. This encompasses operating and depreciation costs for scientific equipment and research infrastructure necessary for the execution of the project.
- Other operating expenses, including support for research stays abroad and travel expenses and other project-related costs not covered under the categories above.
To ensure adequate participation of all project partners and encourage long-term cooperation, the project description should clearly describe specific in-kind and financial contributions by each partner, as well as their role in the joint project.
For more information about costs being requested from the MoST, please refer to the call text on MoSTs website.
Scope of funding
The Research Council may provide NOK 6–10 million in funding per project under this call. There are no requirements for own funding and the Research Council can therefore provide support for up to 100 per cent of the total approved costs. Funding may be sought for joint projects for a duration of 3–4 years.
Conditions for funding
The Research Council will not award support that constitutes state aid under this call. This means that the Research Council funding must only go to the non-economic activity of the research organisations. The Research Council requires a clear separation of accounts for the organisation’s economic and non-economic activities. Companies will not be eligible to receive support to cover projects costs and may not receive indirect support through the granting of any rights to project results.
The Research Council’s requirements relating to allocation and disbursement of support for the first year and any pledges for subsequent years are set out in the General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects.
A project participant may not be assigned two different roles in the project. This means that a supplier of R&D services for the project may not have the role of Project Owner or partner in the same project.
Archiving of research data
The Project Owner (research organisation) is responsible for selecting which 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.
Research results are to be made accessible through sharing and publication in line with the Research Council’s Policy on Open Science.
Relevant thematic areas for this call
Climate and polar research
The available funding is aimed at projects addressing climate and polar research. The topics are described above under the heading "About the call for proposals".
Requirements for this application type
The grant application form must be created and submitted via “My RCN Web”. 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 mandatory attachments must be in PDF-format.
- Requirements relating to the project manager must be satisfied.
- Requirements relating to the Project Owner (research organisation) must be satisfied.
- The project must start between 1 January 2022 and 1 June 2022.
- Funding must be sought from the Research Council for 2022.
- A project description of maximum 10 pages using the designated template found at the end of this call.
- A CV for the project manager of maximum four pages using the designated template found at the end of this call.
- A CV for the main PI among the Chinese partner(s), maximum four pages.
- A letter of support from participating partners
- A one-page summary of project activities, identical in the proposals to Norway and China. This summary should list the planned activities/work packages and clearly show which partner will be involved in the different activities. (To be uploaded under Attachments/Other items in the application form.)
Grant applications that do not satisfy the above requirements will be rejected.
- Proposal of three experts for evaluating the proposal.
- A maximum of 5 optional CVs for the key project participants. Each CV must not exceed four pages; CVs that exceed the maximum length will not be included in the application review process.
- Applicants themselves are to decide which project participants are most important and in which cases it will be of significance to the review process to assess these participants’ qualifications.
Attachments other than those specified above as mandatory or optional, as well as any links to websites in the grant application, will not be included in the application review process.
Grant applications will be assessed in relation to the following criteria:
• 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 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 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
Relevance to the call for proposals
Projects that include recruitment positions, PhD or Post.Docs, will be given priority. This is corresponding to young talents in the Chinese call.
The proposals will be assessed separately according to the rules of procedure in each country. The proposals submitted to the RCN will be assessed by international experts or referee panels and the administration. MoST and RCN will implement a joint decision-making procedure to determine the outcome of the call as per the existing evaluation procedure at MoST and RCN. Projects must receive a high assessment score in both countries to be funded.
The final decision regarding grant allocations will be taken by the portfolio board for climate and polar research or a person given mandate from this board.
Notification of the funding decision can be expected in the autumn of 2021.