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Large-scale Interdisciplinary Researcher Project (Thematic Priority Call)

This call does not include funding for the topic Ground-breaking research (FRIPRO). 

Important dates

20 Dec 2022

Date call is made active

08 Feb 2023

Application submission deadline

15 Sep 2023

Earliest permitted project start

01 Apr 2024

Latest permitted project start

31 Mar 2030

Latest permitted project completion

Important dates


Funding is intended to advance the research front by providing larger-scale allocations to interdisciplinary projects. The Research Council will provide support for researchers from different subject areas to work together to generate new knowledge that would not be possible to obtain without interdisciplinary cooperation. Applicants must have demonstrated the ability to conduct research of high scientific quality. Which disciplines and research areas the call is open for, are specified under each thematic area and topic.

About the call for proposals

The researchers participating in the project must represent two or more subject groups as defined at level 2 of the Norwegian Classification of Scientific Disciplines (only in Norwegian) (opens in new tab), drawn up by Universities Norway (UHR).

You can only be the project manager for one application submitted for other calls with a deadline of either 8 or 15 February 2023. This limitation does not apply to Large-scale Interdisciplinary Researcher Projects. You can therefore be the project manager in two different applications for calls with these deadlines if one of the applications is for a Large-scale Interdisciplinary Researcher Project.

This call does not include funding for the topic Ground-breaking research (FRIPRO). We will publish information about the call for proposals for FRIPRO at a later date. Please read the information under Relevant thematic area carefully before you begin working on an application.

It will be possible to create and fill in an application form from 20 December (date postponed from 14 December). See our video tutorial that tells you how to fill in the application form (in Norwegian).

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

We reserve the right to make possible changes to the call after we have received our letter of allocation from the Norwegian government for 2023.

Who is eligible to apply?

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

Requirements relating to the project manager

You must have an approved doctorate or equivalent qualifications before the date of 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.

You can only be the project manager for one application submitted for other calls with a deadline of either 8 or 15 February 2023. This limitation does not apply to Large-scale Interdisciplinary Researcher Projects. You can therefore be the project manager in two different applications for calls with these deadlines if one of the applications is for a Large-scale Interdisciplinary Researcher Project.

Requirements relating to partners

The project must have an interdisciplinary approach and incorporate collaboration between researchers from different subject fields. If this collaboration involves researchers at different institutions, the respective institutions must be listed as partners. Only approved Norwegian research organisations (see under ‘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 research fellowships, this funding is limited to maximum three person-years. For post-doctoral research fellowships, this funding is limited to maximum four 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

You can apply for a minimum of 12 million NOK in funding per project under this call. The maximum amount you can apply for will be specified under the topic in question. 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 researchers participating in the project must represent two or more different subject groups as defined at level 2 of the Norwegian Classification of Scientific Disciplines (only in Norwegian) (opens in new tab), drawn up by Universities Norway (UHR).

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:

Relevant thematic areas for this call

The thematic priorities for this call may be subject to change until 14 December.



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 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 2023 and 1 April 2024.
  • You must clearly demonstrate that the project is within the priorities described for the topic from which you are applying for funding.

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

Mandatory attachments

The designated templates found at the end of the call for proposals must be used for all attachments.

  • A project description, maximum 15 pages.
  • A CV for the project manager, maximum four pages.
  • CVs of key researchers participating in the interdisciplinary collaboration, not exceeding four pages each.
    • 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.
  • A description of the project’s relevance to the selected topic. (To be uploaded under Attachments/Other items in the application form.)

Optional attachments

  • 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.

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

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.
The extent to which the planned outputs are openly accessible to ensure reusability of the research outputs and enhance reproducibility.
• 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
• The extent to which the appropriate open science practices are implemented as an integral part of the proposed project to ensure open sharing and wide distribution of research outputs.
• 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.

You can read more about the administrative procedure for Researcher Project here.

In summary, the process is as follows: 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 may be rejected.

The applications will then be distributed to thematic referee panels to be assessed in relation to the criteria Excellence – potential for advancing the state-of-the-art, Excellence – quality of R&D activitiesImpact and Implementation.

From 2023, the referees will assess applications for Researcher Project for open science as part of the criterion Impact. Here you will find more information about assessment of open science in grant applications.

After the panel has completed its assessment, the Research Council will conduct an assessment of the application’s relevance to the call.

The portfolio boards’ decisions are also based on an overall assessment of the project portfolio. The portfolio assessment takes the following factors into account:

  • 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 2023;
  • 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.

The decision meetings of the portfolio boards will be held in the end of June 2023. The outcome of the application processing will be published after these meetings.

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