Arctic Field Grant (AFG) – Funding for Fieldwork in Svalbard
Download the call
04 Oct 2023
Open for applications
15 Nov 2023
15 Jan 2024
Expected funding decision to be announced.
01 Mar 2024
Earliest permitted project start
28 Feb 2025
Latest permitted project completion date
The funding is available for master's students, PhD candidates and researchers employed, enrolled at, or affiliated with Norwegian research organisations. The main priority of this call is to promote career development in polar sciences among students and researchers. For master's students and PhD candidates, the collected field data must be necessary for, and part of, their thesis.
In this year’s call, an additional amount of NOK 1.5 million is allocated to AFG. The added allocation is intended to support use of the research infrastructure in Ny-Ålesund by researchers employed by Norwegian research organisations.
About the call for proposals
Funding may be sought for the period 1 March 2024 to 28 February 2025. Master's students conducting fieldwork vital to their thesis in January and February 2024, can also apply for funding under this call.
International and scientific collaboration and coordination are keystones in the objectives of the SSF. The application must give a description of the collaboration and the short and long-term benefits it will have for all parties involved in the collaboration. Applications related to Ny-Ålesund/the Kongsfjorden area, must describe how they will contribute and relate to the four flagships. See the webpage Research, monitoring and flagships from Ny-Ålesund Research Station.
This call for proposals is available in Norwegian and English. The Norwegian version is legally binding.
Who is eligible to apply?
This call will support master's and PhD students, as well as "mid-career" researchers not currently established in Svalbard.
Funding may be sought for one named project manager (the student/researcher). Funding cannot be transferred to another person or year. The application should be written by the project manager and submitted by a named project administrator on behalf of the Project Owner (an approved Norwegian research organisation). See the list of approved Norwegian research organisations.
The project manager and the project must be registered in the Research in Svalbard Portal.
Who can participate in the project?
Requirements relating to the Project Owner
The Project Owner must be an approved Norwegian research organisation. The project must have a project administrator from this organisation. The funding will be administered by the Norwegian organisation. The Norwegian organisation will have the economic and scientific responsibility for the project.
Requirements relating to the project administrator
The project administrator is the contact person for the Project Owner and must be employed by the Project owner. The project administrator signs the contract on behalf of the Project Owner. Here we ask for the name of the individual designated by the Project Owner to serve as project administrator. This is the person who is authorised to represent and assume obligations on behalf of the Project Owner vis-à-vis the Research Council.
Requirements relating to the project manager
The project manager is the person for whom funding is sought, and who will carry out the fieldwork. She/he must be a master's student, PhD candidate or mid-career researcher affiliated with the Project Owner. Applicants who are not employed by or enrolled as a master's student or PhD candidate at the Project Owner are eligible for AFG if, and only if, their project is carried out in close cooperation with the Project Owner.
Partners may receive funding through this call. Partners are not to be listed in the application form under "Partners", but may be mentioned in the project description.
What can you seek funding for?
You can apply for a maximum of NOK 120 000. The funding covers costs related to fieldwork in Svalbard (including Bjørnøya and Hopen) or on Jan Mayen.
Costs for a maximum of one field assistant can be covered only if it is necessary for safety reasons. Travel costs to Svalbard are only covered for the field assistant if it can be justified that special qualification or skills prohibit the use of a local field assistant.
Helicopter rental is covered only when absolutely necessary and other means of transport are not possible.
Boat rental and helicopter transport should be coordinated with other projects (see the Research in Svalbard Portal).
Funding is allocated to cover supplementary costs for fieldwork and is not intended to fully finance a project. The funding only covers direct expenses in connection with field-based collection of data or samples for a project and no more than 5 per cent overhead for the Project Owner (the responsible organisation).
A fieldwork costs calculator is available at the bottom of this call.
The following items must be specified in the application form:
- travel to Svalbard
- cost of living
- local transport
- renting cost for equipment
- rent of facilities in Ny-Ålesund
- institution overhead (5 per cent of total)
- field assistant (if necessary for safety purpose)
The following costs are NOT covered:
- compensation for time at sea/in the field or for normal working hours (for applicants or field assistants)
- compensation for use of private equipment (e.g., snow-mobile, clothing)
- purchase of instruments and other equipment
- any type of analysis costs including lab work, other than securing the samples and preparing the samples for shipping
- participation in courses, conferences, or seminars
Travel to Longyearbyen from the mainland for persons already located in Svalbard (residents, UNIS employees, permanent staff at research bases, course participants etc.)
Reporting and disbursement of funding
The project owner is required to submit two reports by 1 November 2024, a science and field report and a financial report. For projects with fieldwork carried out after 1 October 2024, the deadline can be adjusted with prior agreement.
As part of the reporting your project must be registered and kept updated in the Research in Svalbard Portal. A description of the data (metadata) must be uploaded to the portal as part of the report.
Project managers are obliged to ensure that these reports are submitted. Both reports must be in English, follow the AFG templates and be submitted as two separate, high quality PDF files through the RCN online reporting system (on My RCN web). The scientific report will be published on the SSF webpage.
The financial report includes an official financial report issued by the Project Owner and must show that the expenses were paid by the Norwegian institution or reimbursed to the grant holder by the institution in accordance with the budget. Any overhead must likewise be documented.
Funding will be disbursed in arrears, and only actual expenses entered in the institution’s accounts will be covered. All reporting must be done electronically.
Relevant thematic areas for this call
Climate and polar research
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 Project Owner must be in the correct category.
- The project manager must be in the correct category.
- The application must be within the purpose specified in the call.
- The budget and any own financing must comply with the requirements set out in the call.
- The budget must be set up properly using the AFG template so that it is clear what funds are being sought.
- The mandatory attachments must be included and in the correct template.
- The grant application and all attachments must be written in English.
- All attachments must be in PDF format.
The mandatory attachments must be prepared using the designated templates found at the end of the call:
- a project description, maximum three pages
- a CV for the project manager, maximum four pages
- an itemised budget, see the template below
- a confirmation form signed by the Project Owner
- a description of the cooperation, written by the Project Owner, including what the benefits are to both parties. This attachment is mandatory for all applicants who are not enrolled as a Master's or PhD student at, or employed by, the Project Owner.
Applications that do not meet the requirements listed above will be rejected.
We will not assess additional attachments, links to websites, nor any other attachments than those specified above. All pages exceeding the maximum number allowed will be removed from the application. 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.
All attachments to grant applications must be submitted together with the application form. We do not accept attachments submitted after the application submission deadline unless we have requested additional documentation.
All documents and a HowTo can be found on the SSF webpage.
Grant applications will be assessed in the light of the objective of the call and on the following criteria:
• The extent to which the concept is sound, credible and novel.
• The extent to which the project objectives are clear and relevant.
• The quality of the proposed deliverables from the project.
• The extent to which the expected effects are specified.
• The extent to which expected impacts on the system and societal levels are specified.
Knowledge sharing and exploitation
• The quality of the proposed communication and dissemination activities.
• The extent to which it is credible that the proposed outputs will contribute to the specified effects and impact.
• The extent to which the Project Manager and project group are qualified and have the necessary expertise and are positioned to implement the project.
• The extent to which management structures and procedures are appropriate.
Plans and management
• The extent to which the work plan is clear and understandable, and the time table realistic
• The extent to which objectives and measures are coherent.
• The extent to which the project has the support of the leadership of the Project Owner and any partners, and the allocation of roles in the project is clear.
• The extent to which the budget is realistic and appropriate, and resources are allocated so that each of the partners can fulfil their role.
• The extent to which potential risks have been discussed.
Grant applications will be processed administratively by a panel composed of Research Council staff and external experts with extensive experience from Svalbard. The final decision regarding funding is made by the Research Council of Norway. No individual feedback or grades are available to applicants.
The anticipated date for notification of results of application process is 15 January 2024.
Messages at time of print 30 November 2023, 19:03 CET