Large-scale Interdisciplinary Researcher Project

Planned

This call for proposals may be subject to revision until 16 December. It will be possible to create and submit grant applications from that date. If the call is revised, we will provide notification here.

Purpose

Funding is intended to advance the research front by providing larger-scale allocations to interdisciplinary projects. The Research Council will provide support for researchers from different subject areas to work together to generate new knowledge that would not be possible to obtain without interdisciplinary cooperation. This call is open for project proposals in all disciplines and areas of research, and applicants must have demonstrated the ability to conduct research of high scientific quality.

Important dates

November 2020

The text of the call will be finalised by the end of Nowember

16 Dec 2020

Date call is made active

10 Feb 2021

Application submission deadline

01 Jul 2021

Earliest permitted project start

01 Dec 2021

Latest permitted project start

30 Nov 2027

Latest permitted project completion

Important dates

About the call for proposals

This call is open for project proposals in all disciplines and areas of research. The researchers participating in the project must represent two or more subject groups as defined at level 2 of the Norwegian Classification of Scientific Disciplines, drawn up by Universities Norway (UHR).

NOK 70 million funded by the Research Council, is earmarked for Climate- and Earth system.

An additional NOK 1 billion is earmarked for Ground-breaking research conducted within all disciplines and areas of research. These projects are financed under the Fellesløft IV joint funding initiative, which entails co-funding from Norway’s research organisations and the Research Council of Norway (Ground-breaking research – FRIPRO). You must select the topic Ground-breaking research in the application form to apply for funding under the Fellesløft IV joint funding initiative.

The detailed information in English about the topics will be finalised by November 2020.

You can only be the project manager for one application submitted for other calls with a deadline of either 10 or 17 February 2021. This limitation does not apply to Large-scale Interdisciplinary Researcher Projects. You can therefore be the project manager in two different applications for calls with these deadlines if one of the applications is for a Large-scale Interdisciplinary Researcher Project.

If you consider the proposed project to be relevant for the priorities under both Climate- and Earth system and Ground-breaking research you may choose both topics in the application form. The form will be available from 16 December. Please be aware that the requirements differ between the topics, as Fellesløft IV only applies to the topic Ground-breaking research, and that you are required to submit the attachment ‘Relevance to the topic’ if you choose the topic Climate- and Earth system.

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

Who is eligible to apply?

Approved Norwegian research organisations may apply. See here for the list of approved Norwegian research organisations. 

The topic Ground-breaking research is only open for applications from organisations on this list that are participating in Fellesløft IV, i.e. Norwegian universities, university colleges, research institutes and health trusts.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner
The research organisation listed as the Project Owner in the grant application must have approved the submission of the grant application to the Research Council.

Under the Fellesløft IV joint funding initiative, each applicant institution itself provides financing equivalent to half of the amount sought from the Research Council if the project is awarded funding. The management at each applicant institution must send a list to the Research Council (post@forskningsradet.no) no later than 17 February 2021 of the applications the institution has submitted for the Fellesløft IV initiative, i.e. applications targeting the topic Ground-breaking research. Institutions will be requested to withdraw any grant applications that are not included on these lists.

If you have only selected the topic Climate- and earth system, your application is not relevant to the Fellesløft IV initiative and does not need to be included on your institution's list.

If you believe your application to be relevant to more than one topic, you may select this in the application form.

Requirements relating to the 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 a position as forsker 1 (research professor), forsker 2 (senior researcher) or seniorforsker (senior researcher) in the institute sector or a health trust, you are also qualified.

You can only be the project manager for one application submitted for other calls with a deadline of either 10 or 17 February 2021. This limitation does not apply to Large-scale Interdisciplinary Researcher Projects. You can therefore be the project manager in two different applications for calls with these deadlines if one of the applications is for a Large-scale Interdisciplinary Researcher Project.

Requirements relating to partners
The project must have an interdisciplinary approach and incorporate collaboration between researchers from different subject fields. If this collaboration involves researchers at different institutions, the respective institutions must be listed as 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 Researcher Project funding.

Other types of organisations, such as companies and other undertakings, may not be project partners in Researcher Projects.

The Project Owner and/or project partners may hire providers of R&D services (sub-contractors) to carry out R&D services or contribute to individual tasks in the project.

Read more about project partners and R&D suppliers here.

See also our information about the state aid rules.

A project participant may not be assigned two different roles in the project. This means that a sub-contractor for the project may not have the role of Project Owner or partner in the same project.

What can you seek funding for?

You will find detailed and important information about what to enter in the project budget on our website.

You may seek funding to cover actual costs that are necessary to execute the project. The Project Owner is to obtain information about costs from each project partner. These costs are to be entered in the cost plan under the relevant category.

Support may be granted for the following costs:

  • Payroll and indirect expenses, related to researcher time (including research fellowship positions) at the research organisations participating in the project. For doctoral and post-doctoral research fellowships, this funding is limited to maximum three person-years.
  • Procurement of R&D services. The Project Owner and partners may purchase R&D-related services from public and private suppliers individually or together.
  • Equipment. This encompasses operating and depreciation costs for scientific equipment and research infrastructure necessary for the execution of the project.
  • Operating expenses, which comprise costs for other activities that are necessary to carry out R&D efforts under the project.

If the project includes doctoral and post-doctoral research fellowships and there are concrete plans in place for research stays abroad for the fellowship holders, the costs of such stays may be included in the grant application. The Research Council has also issued a separate call for funding for Research Stays Abroad for Doctoral and Post-doctoral Fellows. The project manager may seek funding under that call in the course of the project period for research stays abroad for research fellows affiliated to the project.

Scope of funding
You can apply for NOK 12–25 million in funding per project under this call.

If you select the topic Ground-breaking research, this amount (maximum NOK 25 million) includes both Research Council funding and the research institution’s own contribution under the Fellesløft IV joint funding initiative. This entire amount is to be entered in the field ‘The Research Council’ in the funding plan in the application form, and is to be distributed among the various budget items. Own financing in excess of the institution’s own contribution under the joint funding initiative is to be entered in the field ‘Own financing’ in the funding plan.

What can be included in the 50 per cent share of funding that the research institutions are to provide themselves under the Fellesløft IV joint funding initiative?

  • R&D funding from the business sector, organisations and other external sources may be included, provided that this funding was not intended to be used in another research project.
  • Funding from other research projects funded by the EU or the Research Council may not be included.
  • Work contributions from staff in scientific positions in the university and university college sector or the research institute sector may be included, provided that the payroll costs for the work hours to be used in the Large-scale Interdisciplinary Researcher Project are not covered by funding from another research project (see points above).
  • In-kind contributions from partners (i.e. work contributions or other services) may be included.

Conditions for funding
The researchers participating in the project must represent two or more different subject groups as defined at level 2 of the Norwegian Classification of Scientific Disciplines, drawn up by Universities Norway (UHR). 

The Research Council will not award support that constitutes state aid under this call. This means that the Research Council funding is only to go to the non-economic activity of the research organisations. We require 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 and payments for subsequent years are set out in the General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects.

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.

Requirements relating to medical and health-related studies involving human participants

Relevant thematic areas for this call

This call encompasses all disciplines and areas of research.

Ground-breaking research

NOK 1 billion to ground-breaking research (FRIPRO)

Climate and polar research

NOK 70 million for research on the climate- and Earth system

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

Applications 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 application must meet the following requirements:

  • The grant application and all attachments must be submitted in English, except for the description of relevance to the selected topic in the call, which may be submitted in Norwegian or English.
  • All mandatory attachments must be included.
  • Requirements relating to the project manager and Project Owner (research organisation) must be satisfied.
  • The project must start between 1 July 2021 and 1 December 2021.
  • Funding must be sought from the Research Council for 2021.

Applications that do not satisfy the requirements listed above may be rejected.

Mandatory attachments
The designated templates found at the end of the call for proposals (updated soon) must be used for all attachments.

  • A project description, maximum 15 pages.
  • A CV for the project manager, maximum four pages.
  • CVs of key researchers participating in the interdisciplinary collaboration, not exceeding four pages each.
  • If you select the topic Climate- and earth system, you must submit a description of the project application’s relevance to the topic. (To be uploaded under Attachments/Other items in the application form.)

Optional attachments

  • Applicants are free to propose up to three referees who are presumed to be impartial and qualified to review the grant proposal.
    • The Research Council is not under any obligation to use the proposed referees, but may use them as needed.

Attachments other than the mandatory and optional attachments specified above, as well as any links to websites in the grant application, will not be included in the application review process.

Assessment criteria

Grant applications will be assessed in relation to the following criteria:

Excellence

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.

Impact

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.

Implementation

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 chosen topic

The extent to which the project satisfies the priorities in the chosen topic in the call for proposals.

Administrative procedures

More details will follow about the procedures for assessment by a referee panel, assessment of the relevance criterion and the Research Council’s recommendation.

Portfolio assessment 
The project portfolio assessment will take the following factors into account: 

  • The applications’ assigned marks based on the assessments. The panel's overall mark will be given most weight. In the thematic area Ground-breaking research, the mark awarded for Excellence will be given particular weight.
  • A good distribution of projects in relation to priorities set out for the specific topic.
  • The relative volume and quality of grant applications within the same topic under other calls in 2021.
  • Any changes in the financial or scientific framework set by the ministries. 
  • Priority will be given to projects led by women project managers when the applications are otherwise considered to be on a par. 

In the topic Ground-breaking research, only the first, fourth and fifth bullet points above will be taken into account.

Decision to grant funding – topic Ground-breaking research/Fellesløft IV:
The portfolio boards for Life science, Natural science and technology, and Humanities and social sciences are responsible for final approval of grant allocations.

For universities:  The Research Council will submit ranked lists and the referee assessments for the ranked grant proposals on these lists to the respective universities. Each university will draw up a list of the grant proposals it believes should be awarded funding. The portfolio boards are responsible for final approval of grant allocations based on the universities’ lists.

For other research organisations: On the basis of the ranked lists, the Research Council will make an offer to the relevant organisations to co-fund the most highly ranked grant applications. The portfolio boards are responsible for final approval of grant allocations based on the organisations’ decisions.

Decision to grant funding – topic Climate- and earth system:
The relevant portfolio board is responsible for final approval of grant allocations based on a project portfolio assessment and the Research Council’s recommendation.