Norwegian-Russian Bilateral Call for Proposals on Environmental Aspects and Sustainable Resource Development in the North

Important dates


The Ministry of Higher Education and Science of the Russian Federation will publish the call for Russian applicants medio January 2022.

02 Feb 2022

Date call is made active

16 Mar 2022

Application submission deadline

01 Aug 2022

Earliest permitted project start

01 Oct 2022

Latest permitted project start

30 Sep 2025

Latest permitted project completion

Important dates


This joint call for proposals aims to enhance Norwegian-Russian research collaboration through strategic petroleum and polar research that is of relevance for both countries.

About the call for proposals

This call for proposals for projects between Norwegian and Russian researchers is a coordinated call between the Research Council of Norway and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (MSHE). NOK 26 million is available for research on environmental aspects and sustainable resource development in the North. Norwegian researchers must apply for funding from the Research Council (this call) to cover their costs in a joint project, while Russian researchers must apply to the call from the Russian Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

The activities in the projects on the Norwegian side could be basic or applied research, while the Russian party are only eligible for funding on the Russian side for applied research activities.

Each country will review its own part of the joint application in accordance with national guidelines, but final decisions regarding the allocation of funding will be taken jointly.

Under this call, science questions in proposals eligible for funding must be relevant for the Barents Sea, including Svalbard, or the Norwegian and Russian parts of the Barents region and be covered by one or more of the following thematic areas:

  • Geophysical and geological processes
  • Ocean and cryosphere: state and processes
  • Sustainable development of petroleum resources and its impact on the marine environment

This call for proposals is available in English and Norwegian. The English call text is the legally binding version.

Relevant plans for this call

Contact us





Lars Erik Walle



Ingerid Fossum

Oceans and polar research



Who is eligible to apply?

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

Joint research projects are to be carried out by established research groups from both countries. The national project leaders must represent a research organisation or a higher educational institution of the respective country.

Private companies and commercial entities cannot apply for funding or be a formal partner in a project consortium.

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.

In case the grant application is a collaboration between several Norwegian organisations, the Project Owner submits the application on behalf of all the partners.

Requirements relating to project managers

You must have an approved doctoral degree or similar qualifications before 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 to be project manager.

Requirements relating to employment

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

Requirements relating to partners

All research organisations must apply in cooperation with a Russian partner. The Russian partner must seek funding from the MSHE to cover its project costs.

The Norwegian and Russian researchers are to collaborate on a joint project. In their grant application, the Norwegian researchers must adequately describe the tasks to be carried out by their Russian colleagues and what deliverables are expected, but in the grant application, you must focus primarily on how to describe the tasks to be performed by the Norwegian researchers.

Other Norwegian research organisations may also participate as partners in the project and receive Research Council funding.

Any partners from a third country must cover their own project costs.


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.

What can you seek funding for?

You may seek funding to cover up to 100 per cent of actual costs that are necessary to carry out 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.
  • 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 up to NOK 7 million in funding per project under this call. If our lump-sum rates do not cover all the costs associated with recruitment 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, while recruitment positions use our lump-sum rates.

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 Norwegian 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

This call covers the thematic areas Petroleum and Climate and polar research, and we support grant applications of both applied and basic research.


Climate and polar research

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 budget in the online grant application form must only include costs for the Norwegian participants. However, in the document “Joint call RCN-MSHE Mandatory attachment” (see below in this call) applicants are to include the total project costs for all parties as well as a description of how these will be financed from both countries.

  • The grant application and all attachments must be submitted in English.
  • All attachments must be uploaded in PDF-format.
  • For all projects, funding must be sought in both Norway and Russia to be eligible for support.
  • The project must start between 1 August 2022 and 1 October 2022.
  • Funding must be sought from the Research Council for the year the project starts.

Mandatory attachments

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

  • A project description of maximum 11 pages.
  • Description of relevance of the project to the call, to be uploaded under the attachment type “Other”.
  • CV for the project manager, maximum four pages.
  • CV for the project manager in Russia, maximum four pages.
  • Confirmation from the Norwegian research organisation explaining why the project is important to the organisation. This is to be uploaded as attachment type “Other”.
  • Confirmation from the Russian research organisation explaining why the project is important to the organisation. This is to be uploaded as attachment type “Confirmation of partners”.
  • The document “Joint call RCN-MSHE Mandatory attachment”. This document must specify, among other things, how overall project costs, financing and activities are to be distributed between Norway and Russia. PLEASE NOTE: This document must also be submitted as an attachment in the Russian party’s application to the MSHE. The document must therefore be completed by both the Norwegian and Russian applicants and must be identical. This is to be uploaded as attachment type “Other”.
  • For projects encompassing doctoral degree education, a Letter of Intent from the degree-conferring university/institution must be attached to the grant application. This is to be uploaded as attachment type “Other”.

Grant applications that do not satisfy the above requirements will be rejected.

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. There is no technical validation of the content of the attachments to the application you upload to our system, so please make sure that you upload the correct file corresponding to the selected attachment type.

Assessment criteria

We assess applications 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

All grant applications will be assessed by international referee panels. After the panel assessments have been completed, the grant applications will be assessed for the strength of bilateral collaboration and relevance to the call for proposals. The administration will then submit its recommendation to the allocating body. The allocating body is responsible for the final decision regarding the approval or rejection of grant proposals.

All the Russian grant applications will be assessed in accordance with MSHE procedures. Only grant applications that have received a high score from both countries will be considered for support. The Research Council and the MSHE will select projects for funding by consensus after the separate national assessments have been completed.

Disbursement of the grant for Year 1 and honouring of any pledges for subsequent years from the Research Council are contingent on the implementation of the Russian project.

More information will follow later. Read more about the application evaluation process here.

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