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Collaboration Project to Strengthen Research and Researcher Recruitment in Museums

Important dates

10 Aug 2022

Date call is made active

21 Sep 2022

Application submission deadline

01 Jan 2023

Earliest permitted project start

01 Jun 2023

Latest permitted project start

31 May 2027

Latest permitted project completion

Important dates


The purpose of the call is to strengthen research, research expertise and collaboration on R&D work of key importance to museums. The funding should also encourage and support collaboration between research groups and museums outside the research sector, and meet the museums’ needs for knowledge and research expertise.

At least one museum from outside the research sector must be a partner in the project. The project must be carried out as a collaboration between the research group and the museum.

About the call for proposals

Up to NOK 15 million is available for projects that seek to strengthen research and researcher recruitment in museums. The projects must meet the museums’ need for knowledge and research expertise.

There are no priority areas as regards research topics in this call, but project applications must be relevant to the museum sector and to the specific museums that will be partners in the project. The project may concern both basic and applied research.

The projects should encourage research collaboration between research groups and museums outside the research sector. At least one of the project partners must be a museum from outside the research sector, i.e., that is not an approved research organisation.

Recruitment in the form of a doctoral research fellowship must be included in the project and may be affiliated to a museum.

In the application, you must

  • describe what role the collaborating museum(s) will have in the project;
  • describe how research in the project will form part of the collaborating museum/museums’ strategic plans;
  • describe how the PhD project will be relevant to the partner museum(s), the museum sector and long-term competence needs;
  • describe how the knowledge will be used after the project has been concluded;
  • draft a communication and dissemination plan.

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

Who is eligible to apply?

The call is open to approved Norwegian research organisations in effective collaboration with museums from outside the research sector.

See 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 application form must have authorised the submission of the grant application to the Research Council. The application must be aligned with the Project Owner’s strategies.

Requirements relating to project managers

You must have an approved doctorate or achieved professor/associate professor qualifications before the date of the application submission deadline. For the purpose of this call, you are also qualified if you hold or have held a position as forsker 1 (research professor), forsker 2 (senior researcher) or seniorforsker (senior researcher) in the institute sector, or førstekonservator NMF (Senior curator NMF) at the museum. You can only be the project manager of one application submitted under this call for proposals.

The project manager must be employed by the Project Owner or one of the partners.

Requirements relating to partners

Projects must be carried out by one or more research organisations in effective collaboration with one or more museums that are not research organisations.

  • The project must include at least one Norwegian museum outside the research sector as a partner (i.e., this museum cannot be a research organisation). The partner museum must contribute its experience and knowledge and ensure that the project and its objectives address genuine challenges for the museum sector.
  • The partner museum from outside the research sector must actively participate in the project. At least 5 per cent of the project’s total costs must be budgeted to this partner/these partners. This is called the ‘participation requirement’.
  • All project partners are required to take active part in planning and following up the project as well as in disseminating project results and promoting the utilisation of new knowledge.
  • The grant application must describe how the project incorporates the strategic objectives of all the partners. This must be confirmed in the Letters of Intent. See the section “Practical information” below for details on what the Letter of Intent should include.

One and the same project participant may not be assigned more than one role in the project, e.g. as Project Owner and partner or subcontractor.

Project partners must take active part in the project (participation requirement)

At least 5 per cent of the project’s overall costs must be budgeted to the partners that are not research organisations. This can be in the form of payroll expenses or other project costs.

It is important that the partners contribute actively to the project. Costs related to the partners’ participation or in-kind contribution to the project must be entered in the budget tables. You can apply for funding to cover the costs of Norwegian partners; see below.

The Project Owner must carry out the project in effective collaboration with its partners. This means that independent parties collaborate to achieve a common objective based on the division of labour, where the parties jointly define the scope of the collaborative project, contribute to its implementation and share its risks, as well as its results.

If we grant you funding, the Project Owner and the partners must agree on the distribution of rights and obligations relating to project implementation and the results generated in the project. This agreement will be included in the contract between us and the Project Owner.

What can you seek funding for?

The minimum amount of funding you can apply for is NOK 4 million and the maximum is NOK 5 million. The project can last between three and five years and must include a doctoral research fellowship. Own funding is not required.

You can apply for funding to cover the actual costs necessary to carry out the project. The Project Owner must obtain information about costs from each project partner. These costs are to be entered in the cost plan under the relevant category.

The following cost categories must be used:

  • Payroll and indirect expenses related to researcher time (including research fellowship positions) at the research organisations, and the partners’ personnel hours. For doctoral research fellowships, this funding is limited to maximum three person-years.
  • Equipment. This encompasses operating and depreciation costs for scientific equipment and research infrastructure necessary to carry out the project.
  • Operating expenses, which comprise costs for other activities that are necessary to carry out the project.

Do not use the item Procurement of R&D services.

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

The costs of Norwegian partners

The Research Council’s funding can be used to finance the costs of all Norwegian partners in the project. This means that project partners can have all or some of their costs covered. It is of course also possible for participants to fund their own costs in the project. This must be stated in the application (budget, funding plan in the application form).

The costs of international partners

The Research Council’s funding can be used to finance the costs of research organisations from abroad. See Calculating payroll and indirect expenses for the university and university college sector.

The costs of other international partners will not be funded through the project grants. These costs must not be included in the budget tables. The activities these partners will perform, as well as any self-funded activities, should be described in the project description (under section 3.2) if you would like this information to be taken into account when the application is reviewed.

Conditions for funding

Projects must commence between 1 January 2023 and 1 June 2023, and you can apply for funding from the Research Council for 2023. The latest permitted completion date for the project is 31 May 2027.

The Research Council’s requirements relating to allocations and disbursement of funding 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, available in their entirety on the information page What the contract involves. Projects awarded funding under this call are required to submit an annual project account report documenting incurred project costs and their financing.

The funding allocated to research organisations is to go to their non-economic activity in the form of independent research. 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.

Funding allocated to the museums through these R&D projects must be used for non-economic activities, i.e., R&D work related to the museum’s core activities. It does not therefore constitute state aid. If the museum also has economic activities, the Research Council thereby requires the necessary separation of accounts for its economic and non-economic activities.

If your project is granted funding, the following must be in place when you revise the application:

  • The Project Owner institution must establish a collaboration agreement that covers all partners in the project. The collaboration agreement regulates the reciprocal rights and obligations of the Project Owner and project partners and ensures the integrity and independence of the research.
  • If the degree-conferring institution responsible for the doctoral research fellowship in the project is not the Project Owner, this institution must be included as a partner in the project.
  • From 2022, all grant recipients that are research organisations or public sector bodies (Project Owners and partners) must have a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) available on their website. This must be in place when they sign the grant agreement for the project awarded funding. The requirement does not apply to the business sector, special interest organisations or the non-governmental sector.
  • The Research Council requires full and immediate open access to scientific publications; see Plan S – open access to publications.
  • You must prepare a data processing plan for any research data that will be processed in the project in connection with the revised application. Research data must be made available in accordance with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).

Relevant thematic areas for this call

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 grant 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 and all attachments must be submitted in English.
  • All mandatory attachments must be included. All attachments must be uploaded in PDF format.
  • Requirements relating to the project manager and Project Owner (research organisation) must be satisfied.
  • Requirements relating to the partners must be satisfied.
  • The project must start between 1 January 2023 and 1 June 2023.

Mandatory attachments

  • A project description of maximum 11 pages using the designated template found at the end of this call.
  • The CVs of the project manager and key project participants not exceeding four pages each using the mandatory CV template at the end of the call. Applicants themselves are to decide which project participants are most important to include and in which cases it will be of significance to the review process to assess these participants’ qualifications. Key project participants who are researchers can use the “Template for CV researchers". Other key project participants can use the "Template for CV".
  • Letters of Intent from all registered research organisations participating as partners.
  • Letters of Intent from all registered partners from outside the research sector.

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

Optional attachments

  • You are welcome to attach proposals for up to three referees who are not affiliated to a Norwegian institution and who are presumed to be impartial and qualified to assess the grant application. We are not under any obligation to use the proposed referees, but may use them as needed.

All attachments must be submitted together with the application. We will not accept attachments submitted after the deadline for applications unless we have requested further information.

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 the attachments you upload, so please make sure that you upload the correct file for the selected type of attachment.

Assessment criteria

We assess applications in light of the objectives of the application type in question and on the basis of 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 societal responsibility, ethical issues and gender dimensions in research content.
• The extent to which appropriate consideration has been given to the use of stakeholder/user knowledge.


Potential impact of the proposed research
• The extent to which the planned outputs of the project address important present and/or future scientific challenges.
• The extent to which the planned outputs of the project address important present and/or future challenges for the sector(s).
• The extent to which the competence developed and planned outputs of the project will provide the basis for value creation in Norwegian business and/or development of the public sector.
• 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 targeted towards relevant stakeholders/users.
• The extent to which the partners are involved in dissemination and utilisation of the project results.


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.
• Appropriateness of the partners' contribution to the governance and execution of the project.

Relevance to the call for proposals

Thematic guidelines
The extent to which the project satisfies the guidelines and priorities of the thematic area
• The extent to which the project satisfies the thematic guidelines and delimitations.

Requirements and characteristics of the call
The extent to which the project satisfies the requirements and characteristics of the call and the thematic area
• The extent to which the project satisfies the requirements for partners in the project.
• The extent to which the project satisfies the purpose of competence-building in the research environments.

Administrative procedures

Once the grant applications have been received, the Research Council will conduct a preliminary administrative review to ensure that they satisfy all the stipulated formal requirements. Applications that do not meet the formal requirements will be rejected. Applications will be assessed by international referees/a referee panel based on the criteria Excellence, Impact and Implementation. We will then conduct an assessment of the application’s relevance to the call.

As the basis for the portfolio boards’ decisions, we will carry out an overall assessment of the applications taking account of the following elements:

  • the applications’ assigned marks based on the assessments;
  • relevance to the call for proposals;
  • the distribution of the projects between different topics;
  • any changes in the financial or scientific framework set by the ministries.

See also: Processing applications.

We expect to publish the funding decisions in mid-December 2022.

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