Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal

This call for proposals may be subject to revision until six weeks before the application submission deadline. 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.

Information under "Relevant thematic areas" will be published continuously through October and November.


Funding is intended to support scientific renewal and development in research that can help to advance the international research front. This call is therefore targeted towards researchers who have demonstrated the ability to conduct research of high scientific quality. Grant proposals will be accepted for projects within all disciplines and research areas

Important dates

30 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

Grant applications will be accepted for projects in all disciplines and research areas, and funding is available for both basic and applied research projects.

The call encompasses many topics, and new topics will be added on a running basis. You will find a specified amount and priorities for the selection of projects to receive funding under each topic.

Please select the topic for which your application may be relevant in the application form. This will be available six weeks before the deadline for applications. Your grant application will be assessed on the basis of the topic(s) you select. You must select the topic Ground-breaking research in order to have your project assessed for funding from FRIPRO.

You can only be project manager for one application submitted for either a Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal (this call), Researcher Project for Young Research TalentsThree-year Researcher Project with International Mobility, Knowledge-building Project for Industry or Collaborative Project to meet Societal and Industry-related Challengesall with a deadline of either 10 or 17 February 2021.

 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.

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.

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 either a Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal (this call), Researcher Project for Young Research TalentsThree-year Researcher Project with International Mobility, Knowledge-building Project for Industry or Collaborative Project to meet Societal and Industry-related Challenges, all with a deadline of either 10 or 17 February 2021.

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 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
The Research Council may provide NOK 4–12 million in funding per project under this call. There are no requirements for own funding, but some own financing of researcher time is required for applications from the university and university college sector.

Conditions for funding
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

The call encompasses all disciplines and research areas, and grant applications will be accepted for both basic and applied research projects.

The topics incorporated in the call are subject to change. The detailed information in English about the topics will be finalised by November 2020.

Ground-breaking research

Democracy, administration and renewal

Energy, transport and low emissions



Climate and polar research

Land-based food, the environment and bioresources

Enabling technologies

Natural science and technology

Education and competence

Welfare, culture and society

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 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 mandatory attachments.

  • A project description, maximum 11 pages.
  • A CV for the project manager, maximum four pages.
  • A description of relevance of the project to the selected topic(s). This is mandatory for all topics under the call except for Ground-breaking research (FRIPRO). (To be uploaded under Attachments/Other items in the application form.)

Optional attachments

  • CVs of key project participants not exceeding four pages each. The CV template at the end of the call must be used.
    • 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.
  • 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:


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 chosen topic in the call for proposals

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 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.