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Researcher Project for Young Talents


Funding is intended to give talented young researchers under the age of 40 in all disciplines and thematic areas the opportunity to pursue their ideas and lead a research project. This call is targeted towards researchers in the early stages of their careers, 2–7 years after defence of an approved doctorate, who have demonstrated the potential to conduct research of high scientific quality.

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 several topics. You will find a specified amount and priorities for the selection of projects to receive funding under each topic.

It will be possible to create and fill in an application form from 15 December.

You can select one topic in the application form. If you select Ground-breaking Research (FRIPRO), you do not need to submit the attachment ‘Relevance to the topic’. If you select another topic, this attachment is mandatory.

Applicants who have selected topics other than Ground-breaking Research, but who are not granted funding, will compete for the funding for Ground-breaking Research if they meet the qualification requirement: a mark of 6 or 7 for all the criteria assessed by the panel.

You can only be the project manager for one application submitted for either a Researcher Project for Young Talents (this call), Researcher Project for Scientific RenewalThree-year Researcher Project with International Mobility (deadline 2 February 2022),  Knowledge-building Project for Industry  or Collaborative Project to meet Societal and Industry-related Challenges (deadline 9 February 2022).

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

Who is eligible to apply?

Only 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 organisation listed as the Project Owner in the application form must have approved the submission of the grant application to the Research Council.

Requirements relating to project managers

Experience requirements: You must have an approved doctorate and the period between the date of defence of your doctoral dissertation and the application deadline may be between two and seven years. You must have defended your dissertation no earlier than 2 February 2015 and no later than 2 February 2020.

Age requirement: You must be younger than 40 years old on the date of the application submission deadline. This means that you must have been born on or after 3 February 1982.

If more than seven years have passed since you defended your dissertation or if you were born before 3 February 1982, you may apply to subtract leaves of absence, compulsory military or civilian service or sick leave in accordance with our rules for subtracting time.

Rules for subtracting time

You may apply to subtract time used in connection with statutory leaves of absence, compulsory military or civilian service (up to 12 months for both of these) or continuous full-time and/or part-time sick leave equal to at least eight weeks full-time absence.

If you apply to subtract time in order to satisfy the experience requirement, the periods to be subtracted must have taken place after the doctoral defence.

If you apply to subtract time to satisfy the age requirement, the periods to be subtracted must have taken place after you turned 18 years old.

To be allowed to subtract time from the age and/or experience requirement, you are required to submit documentation of the time you are asking to subtract with your grant application You must also enter the time deduction in the application form. We accept documentation from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), physicians/health services and employers. Documentation from current or former supervisors is not sufficient. If you are providing documentation from an employer, it must come from the employer’s administration department, such as the HR department. The documentation must be submitted in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English, or must be accompanied by a certified translation into one of these languages.

We follow the rules for leaves of absence set out in the Norwegian Working Environment Act, and you may apply to subtract time for any leaves of absence you would have been entitled to if you had lived in Norway at the time. For example, you may subtract time for parental leave in a country that does not have statutory parental leave, provided that you actually took parental leave. You must be able to document the leave as described above.

  • It is not possible to receive funding for a Researcher Project for Young Talents more than once.
  • You must dedicate at least 25 per cent of a full-time position to the project for the duration of the project period.
  • You must be employed for at least 50 per cent of a full-time position by the Project Owner (research organisation) for the entire duration of the project period.

You can only be the project manager for one application submitted for either a Researcher Project for Young Talents (this call), Researcher Project for Scientific RenewalThree-year Researcher Project with International Mobility (deadline 2 February 2022),  Knowledge-building Project for Industry  or Collaborative Project to meet Societal and Industry-related Challenges (deadline 9 February 2022).

Requirements relating to partners

Only approved Norwegian research organisations (see the section ‘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.

Read more about partners here.

Subcontractors cannot be granted any rights to project results. Organisations that are subject to the regulations governing public procurements must, in the normal manner, select subcontractors in accordance with these regulations. R&D providers cannot be included in the project.

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 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.

Funding 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.
  • 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. Procurements from subcontractors that exceed NOK 100,000 must be specified.

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

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 can provide NOK 4–8 million in funding per project under this call. There are no requirements for own financing. If our lump-sum rates do not cover all the costs associated with recruitment positions in the university and university college sector or the institute sector, or researcher positions in the university and university college sector, the difference must be covered through own funding. Reported hourly rates must be used for researcher positions in the institute sector.

Conditions for funding

The Research Council will not award funding that constitutes state aid under this call. This means that funding is only to go to your non-economic activity. We require a clear separation of accounts for the organisation’s economic and non-economic activities. Our 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 to be found on our information page What the contract involves.

If your project is awarded funding, the following must be in place before you submit your revised grant application:

  • 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 projects awarded funding from the Research Council. The requirement does not apply to the business sector, special interest organisations or the non-profit 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 management plan for any research data handled in the project. The data must be made available in accordance with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable).The Project Owner is responsible for selecting which archiving solution(s) to use for storing research data generated during the project.

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 list of topics and their amounts of funding may be subject to revision until the call for proposals opens for applications from 15 December 2021.

Ground-breaking research


Marine sectorAquaculture

Climate and polar research

Marine sector

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 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 15 September 2022 and 15 February 2023.
  • Funding must be sought from the Research Council for the year the project starts.

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

Mandatory attachments

The mandatory attachments must be prepared using designated templates found at the end of the call. 

  • A project description, maximum 11 pages.
  • A CV for the project manager, maximum four pages.
  • A description of the project’s relevance to the selected topic. 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. You must use the CV template found at the end of the call.
    • 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 enclose a short description of qualifications or propose up to three referees who are presumed to be qualified to review their 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

We assess applications in light of the objectives of the application type in question and on the basis of the following criteria:

Excellence – potential for advancing the state-of-the-art

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.

Excellence – quality of R&D activities

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.

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

We will assess the version of your application that you submit and will not take into account how an identical or almost identical application has been assessed in the past.

The applications are first considered through a common process by a set of referee panels composed on the basis of the research content of the applications. The applications are assessed regardless of which topic the applicant has selected from the call. After the panel has completed its assessment, the Research Council will conduct an assessment of the application’s relevance to the call.

Applications that, in principle, target topics other than Ground-breaking Research (FRIPRO), but are not granted funding, will compete for the funding for Ground-breaking Research if they meet the qualification criteria: a mark of 6 or 7 for all the criteria assessed by the panel. This strict requirement has been set due to the very low percentage of applications granted funding.

When we prioritise between applications when preparing our ranked lists for the portfolio boards, we carry out a portfolio assessment that takes account of the following:

  • the applications’ assigned marks based on the assessments;
  • a good distribution of projects in relation to the priorities set out for the specific topic;
  • the relative volume and quality of grant applications within the same topic under other calls in 2022;
  • any changes in the financial or scientific framework set by the ministries;
  • that priority will be given to projects led by women project managers when the applications are otherwise considered to be on a par.

Read more about the application review process here.

Messages at time of print 26 February 2024, 18:16 CET

Important message

For the application deadline 6 March, we manage our hotline +47 22 03 72 00 from Thursday 29 February till Tuesday 5 March at CET 08.00–15.45 and Wednesday 6 March at CET 08.00-13.00.