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Gender Balance, Diversity and Inclusion in Norwegian Research

Important dates

04 Oct 2023

Open for applications

15 Nov 2023

Application deadline

01 Apr 2024

Earliest permitted project start

01 Apr 2024

Latest permitted project start

Important dates

Purpose

The objective of this call for proposals is twofold. The first objective of this call is to provide funding for a centre of excellence that can coordinate and lead the BalanseHub network in close cooperation with the Research Council. The resource centre will also perform analysis tasks as further described below.

The second objective of this call is to provide funding for individual projects that will develop innovative measures aimed at achieving gender balance, diversity and inclusion in academia. These projects will be part of a network where they can exchange experiences and receive updates on new ideas, methods and theories on gender balance, diversity and inclusion in academia.

About the call for proposals

Funding is available for two different types of projects. 

(A) Resource Centre  

Up to NOK 7 million for analysis and coordination of the BalanseHub network 

Funding is available for one 4-year project. This call is targeted towards actors that can produce knowledge and analysis of the activities financed by BALANSE+, as well as coordinate the BalanseHub network. BalanseHub is a network of individual projects that receive funding to develop innovative measures at the institutions. Network meetings must be arranged at least four times a year to exchange experiences and be updated on new ideas, methods and theories on gender balance, diversity and inclusion in academia. The resource centre will be responsible for analyses of measures and impacts on gender balance, diversity and inclusion generated by the hub and in projects funded by BALANSE+. The tasks will include:  

  • coordinating and facilitating good discussions and learning related to one, or possibly two, rounds of BalanseHub: 2024-2025 and 2026-2027 and to disseminate best practice experiences from BALANSE+ both internally between the projects participating in the hub, but also externally 
  • writing scientific articles along the way and compile a written report to the Research Council of Norway at the end of the period based on results and findings 
  • cooperating closely with the Research Council on coordination of the hub 

(B) Up to NOK 1 million for the development of innovative measures and participation in the BalanseHub network over a two-year period 

Funding is available for approximately 20 two-year projects. This call is targeted towards research organisations seeking to develop innovative measures for gender balance, diversity and inclusion in academia. These individual projects will also be part of a network, or community of practice, that will be an arena for the exchange of experiences and updates on new ideas, methods and theories on gender balance, diversity and inclusion in academia. 

BalanseHub will run over a two-year period from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2026. Network meetings are arranged at least four times a year. The working language of the network is Norwegian.  

In the application, you must provide a picture of your own challenges and goals and planned measures that address the challenges in a good way. The measures may encompass the entire organisation, a single faculty, department or department, etc. Grant applications must have a clear research question and descriptions of good and innovative measures. For institutions that have had many previous projects such as this, the application should focus on diversity. Institutions that have not had such projects before may have projects that focus more on gender balance. The measures should mainly be aimed at structural and cultural challenges such as management culture, organisational culture, organisational changes, etc. The application must be clearly endorsed by the institution's management and in the institution's own action plan for gender equality. 

Funding is to be allocated to measures beyond what the institutions are already obliged to or expected to do. Budgets must be made for one trip per year to attend the gathering, and some of the funds should be set aside for analysis of own initiated measures. 

The call is available in both Norwegian and English. The Norwegian call text is legally binding. 

Relevant plans: 

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?

The Project Owner must be a research organisation. 

The research organisation listed as the Project Owner in the application form must have approved submission of the grant application. 

If the application involves collaboration between several organisations, the Project Owner submits the application on behalf of all partners. 

Requirements relating to the project manager for the resource centre 

The person who is to lead the competence centre must have the following: 

  • Research competence 
  • competence on gender balance and diversity in academia 
  • experience with project management and network management 

Requirements relating to project managers for projects that are to participate in BalanseHub 

There are no formal requirements for project managers for projects participating in the BalanseHub network, but projects must be firmly anchored in management. 

Requirements relating to partners 

Approved Norwegian research organisations may participate as partners in the project and receive funding. 

What can you seek funding for?

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

The grant application requires you to break down the project budget into the following cost categories. 

For applications for competence centres, you can apply for funding for: 

  • Payroll and indirect expenses: costs incurred by the Project Owner (company) and partners. 
  • other operating expenses, which are costs for other activities that are necessary to carry out the project's activities. All costs entered as "other operating expenses" must be specified in the application. 
  • You must budget for speakers/presentations at each network gathering and one physical gathering a year. 
  • equipment, which includes operating and depreciation costs for scientific equipment necessary to implement the project; 

The cost category Procurement of R&D services should not be used.  

For applications for individual projects to participate in the BalanseHub network, you can apply for funding for: 

  • Payroll and indirect expenses: costs incurred by the Project Owner (company) and partners 
  • Other operating expenses, which are costs for other activities that are necessary to carry out the project's activities, such as the initiation of measures aimed at gender balance, diversity and inclusion. All costs entered as "other operating expenses" must be specified in the application 
  • equipment, which includes operating and depreciation costs for scientific equipment necessary to implement the project; 

The cost category Procurement of R&D services should not be used. 

You will find detailed and important information about what the budget should contain on the website.   

Scope of funding 

We can provide up to NOK 7 million in funding for one application for a resource centre under this call. 

The Research Council may provide up to NOK 1 million in funding per individual project to participate in the BalanseHub scheme under this call. 

In addition, you must be aware of the following if you should receive funding from us: 

Reporting and disbursement of funding 

Funding will be disbursed in arrears, and only actual expenses entered in the institution's accounts will be covered. All reporting shall be done electronically. 

Relevant thematic areas for this call

Welfare, culture and society

Gender perspectivesGoal 5 Gender equality

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

You can amend and submit the application several times up to the application deadline. We recommend that you submit your application as soon as you have completed the application form and uploaded the mandatory attachments. When the application deadline expires, it is the version of the application that was submitted most recently that we will process.  

  • For knowledge centre applications, the application and all attachments must be written in English. 
  • For the BalanseHub network, the application and all attachments must be submitted in Norwegian. 
  • All attachments must be in PDF format. 
  • The grant application must clearly state whether the applicant is applying for a knowledge-building project or an individual project. 

Mandatory attachments 

  • Project description of max 5 pages. Use the default template that you can download at the bottom of the page. 
  • CV for the project manager. Use the default template that you can download at the bottom of the page. 

Applications that do not satisfy the above requirements will be rejected. 

Optional attachments 

  • CVs of key project participants 

All attachments to the application must be submitted with the application. We will not accept attachments submitted after the application deadline unless we have requested additional documentation. 

We will not consider documents and websites linked to in the application, or other attachments than those specified above. Be careful to upload the correct attachment type, as there are no technical restrictions on what kind of templates it is possible to upload in the application form.  

Grant applications that do not satisfy the formal requirements set out in the call will be rejected. 

Assessment criteria

Grant applications will be assessed in light of the objective of the call and the following criteria: 

Excellence

Originality/Novelty
• The extent to which the concept is sound, credible and novel.

Solidity
• The extent to which the project objectives are clear and relevant.
• The quality of the proposed deliverables from the project.

Impact

Potential
• 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.

Implementation

Project Manager and project group
• 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.

Relevance to the call for proposals

The extent to which the project satisfies the guidelines and stipulations set out in the call for proposals.

We use an overall portfolio assessment as a basis for the decision to award funding to the steering group. This includes the following factors:  

  • Relevance to the call 
  • The applications' assigned marks based on the assessments 
  • Innovative and innovative initiatives 
  • distribution of projects on the topics gender balance, diversity and inclusion 

Administrative procedures

Applications for competence centres are processed by a referee panel, and applications for individual projects are processed administratively. The Research Council's advisers will draw up a ranked recommendation of the grant applications based on their relevance, marks awarded marks and the panel's assessments. It is the steering group for BALANSE+ that makes the final decision on which applications will be awarded support or rejected. All applicants will receive a written explanation of the decision on "My RCN Web". 

After the application review process has been completed, the applicant will receive the referee panel's assessment. The names of the reviewers included in the panel will be published on our website. There we also publish which projects will receive funding. 

Applications that are approved for funding must be revised. During the revision phase, the Research Council requests, among other things, an updated progress plan and budget according to the given framework. 

We expect to publish which applications will be awarded funding on 15.02.2024. 

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