Research Centre for Selected Professional Education within the Topic of Vulnerable Children and Adolescents

04 Oct 2023

Open for application

15 Nov 2023

Application deadline

01 Jul 2024

Earliest permitted project start

01 Dec 2024

Latest permitted project start

30 Nov 2029

Latest permitted project completion


Funding is available to establish up to three new research centres within the topic of vulnerable children and adolescents. Teacher education programmes and relevant health and welfare education programmes may apply, and the projects will be long-term initiatives with the overall objective of building capacity and strengthening research within the selected professional education programmes.

About the call for proposals

We need to strengthen research on the topic of vulnerable children and adolescents. The topic represents a large and complex societal challenge. At the same time, the BarnUnge21 strategy shows that research in this area is poorly founded, that it is too sectorised and short-term, and that the services offered to individuals may currently be poorly coordinated. 

Professional subjects, and especially teacher education and health and welfare education, are central to being able to approach the problem in a holistic manner. We need knowledge that provides better, more research-based educations and more targeted services and offers. There is also a need to increase cooperation on innovation between researchers, professionals, service providers and users. 

Funding is available for strategically anchored research centres of high quality and relevance to education and professional practice. Applications may come from teacher education programmes, including kindergarten teacher education programmes, and child welfare education, social workers and social educators, and they must address the complex of problems described above. The centres must collaborate with relevant actors in the field of practice and must aim to link research and practice closer together and meet the needs of children and families in a holistic manner. We also encourage cooperation between research communities within and across professional education programmes. Collaboration with research groups outside the professional education programmes may also be relevant. 

The research needs in this area are well described in the BarnUnge21 strategy.  

The strategy forms an important basis for the Government's social mission for the inclusion of more children and young people in education, working life and society, which was launched in the revised long-term plan for research and higher education. 

Through the activities in the centres, you will: 

  • strengthen research in the selected professional disciplines 
  • produce research of high scientific quality 
  • collaborate with relevant actors in the field of practice 
  • strengthen and support the institutions' strategic priorities related to the relevant professional education programmes. The grant application must explain how the centre intends to be part of the institution's strategic and long-term commitment to research 
  • disseminate and disseminate the results, and have plans for this that ensure knowledge sharing and implementation with relevant target groups 
  • strengthen research-based teaching in professional education 

You will find detailed information about the Research Centre – Research Institution-based Strategic Project for use in preparing the grant application in the attached Requirements and guidelines for research centres – Research Institution-based Strategic Project.  

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

Who is eligible to apply?

Universities and university colleges with institutional accreditation that have the relevant professional education programmes are eligible to apply.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner 

The Project Owner must be an approved Norwegian research organisation. 

The research organisation listed as the Project Owner in the application form must have approved submission of the grant application. The Project Owner (organisation) submits the grant application on behalf of all partners. 

Requirements relating to the project manager 

  • The project manager in the application is the same as the centre director. 
  • The project manager must have an approved doctorate or achieved associate professor qualifications before the application submission deadline. 
  • The project manager must be employed by the Project Owner (research organisation) (the host institution). 
  • If the project manager is not employed by the host institution at the application deadline, a signed confirmation must be submitted from the project manager (see the template "Confirmation for Centre director" at the end of this call) confirming that he/she will work in at least an 80 per cent position for the host institution and the centre and stay at the host institution at least half of the time each year. 

Requirements relating to partners 

  • Approved Norwegian research organisations and international research organisations may participate as partners in the centre and receive funding. 
  • Relevant actors in the public and/or private sector may also be included as partners in the centre. Please note that only research organisations are eligible to receive support from the Research Council. For more information about this, see 'Conditions for funding' under 'What can you seek funding for'.  
  • All partners must actively contribute to the planning and implementation of the centre's activities, disseminate results from the centre's research activities and ensure that new knowledge is put to use. 
  • Research activities carried out at the centre are intended to further develop the research field and increase the quality of research in professional disciplines in Norway. If you plan   for parts of the funding to be awarded to international research organisations, you must explain in the project description how the research field in Norway will be further developed as a result of the funding awarded to research organisations. 

What can you seek funding for?

Support may be granted for the following costs: 

  • Payroll and indirect expenses related to researcher time (including research fellowships) at the research organisations participating in the centre. For doctoral research fellowships, support is limited to a maximum of three full-time equivalents. For postdoctoral fellowships, support may be given for a minimum of 3 full-time equivalents and a maximum of 4 full-time equivalents. To ensure the long-term effect of the centre on Norwegian knowledge preparedness, the establishment of new, permanent researcher positions may be part of the research organisations' plans. Such research positions, which are intended to contribute directly to the centre's activities, may be funded within the centre grant for a period of up to three years.  
  • Equipment necessary to implement the project. This includes rental and depreciation costs for scientific equipment, access to national or international research infrastructure, and minor acquisitions and upgrades of existing equipment.  
  • Other operating expenses which are costs for other activities that are necessary to carry out the centre's R&D activities. Purchases from subcontractors exceeding NOK 100,000 must be specified.  

The cost type "Procurement of R&D services" in the application form is not to be used.  

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

  • You can apply for a maximum of NOK 30 million spread over a period of five years. 
  • You can apply for funding to cover actual costs that are necessary to carry out the centre's activities. 
  • Research stays abroad for doctoral and post-doctoral research fellows must be covered within the framework of support to the centre. The research centre is therefore not covered by the Research Council's special scheme for support for research stays abroad for doctoral and post-doctoral fellows. 
  • State aid will not be awarded under this call. 

Conditions for funding 

The centre must start up between 01.07.2024 and 01.12.2024, and you must apply for funding from the Research Council for 2024. The latest permitted project completion date is 30.11.2029.  

  • The Research Council's requirements relating to allocation and disbursement of support for the first year, and any pledges and payments for subsequent years are set out our General Terms and Conditions for R&D Projects which can be found in full on the information page This is what the contract consists of.  

If you are granted the centre, the following must be in place before you enter into a contract with us: 

Reporting and disbursement of funding 

Funding received from the Research Council will be disbursed in arrears on the basis of a digital (so-called EHF) invoice sent by the Project Owner to the Research Council. Only actual expenses entered in the project partners' accounts will be covered. Read more about payment with digital invoice.   

For information on reporting and more, see the document Requirements and guidelines for Research Centres – Research Institution-based Strategic Project  

Relevant thematic areas for this call

Education and competence

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 the 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.  

  • The grant application and all attachments must be submitted in English. 
  • All attachments must be in PDF format. 

Mandatory attachments 

  • Project description of maximum 15 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. 
  • CV for work package managers. Use the standard template found at the bottom of the page, max. four pages per CV. Be uploaded under the attachment type "CV" in the application form.  

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

Optional attachments 

  • CVs of other key participants in the project in accordance with the guidelines for the application type. 
  • Brief description of competence or proposals for up to three referees you believe will be suitable for assessing your application. We are not obliged to use the suggestions but can use them when necessary. 

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. 

Assessment criteria

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


The extent to which the centre is ambitious, innovative and advances the research front
• Scientific creativity and originality.
• The extent to which hypotheses and research questions are innovative and courageous.
• The extent to which the centre has the potential to generate new knowledge that advances the research front, including significant development/renewal of theories, methods, experiments or empirical knowledge.

The quality of the centre's R&D activities
• The quality of research questions, hypotheses and the centre's objectives, and the extent to which they are clearly described.
• The extent to which the theoretical approach, research design and choice of methods are credible and appropriate, and interdisciplinary perspectives are sufficiently considered.
• The extent to which research conducted at the centre takes sufficient consideration of social responsibility, ethical issues and gender dimensions.
• The extent to which the centre satisfactorily addresses users/stakeholders’ knowledge.


Potential impacts of the proposed research
• The extent to which the centre’s planned results can contribute to addressing important scientific challenges, both now and going forward.
• The extent to which the centre’s planned results can address important challenges in the sector(s), both now and going forward.
• The extent to which competence building and the centre's planned results will form the basis for value creation in the Norwegian business and/or public sector.
• The extent to which the centre’s planned results are relevant to the UN Sustainable Development Goals or have the potential to address other important societal challenges, both now and going forward.
• The extent to which the potential impacts are clearly formulated and credible.

Communication and utilisation
• 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.
• The quality and scope of communication and involvement activities targeting relevant stakeholders/users.
• The extent to which partners are involved in the work of utilising the centre's results.


Quality of the project manager (centre director) and project group
• The extent to which the project manager (centre director) has relevant expertise and experience and is qualified to lead an initiative of this scale.
• The extent to which the project participants complement one another, and the project group has the necessary expertise to effectively implement the centre initiative.

The quality of the centre’s organisation and management
• The extent to which organising the research activities as a centre rather than separate projects gives added value.
• The extent to which the centre will be efficiently organised, including whether the resources allocated to the different work packages are sufficient and in accordance with the centre’s objectives and deliveries.
• The extent to which the centre's tasks are distributed in a way that ensures all project participants have a clear role and sufficient resources to fulfil that role.
• The extent to which the management and governance of the centre are expediently organised, including risk and innovation management.
• The extent to which the partners contribute to the management and implementation of the centre.

The quality and extent of international cooperation
• The extent to which the scope and quality of international collaborative activities are in keeping with the centre's objectives.

Gender balance in the centre’s project group
• If the gender balance in the centre's management team (centre manager and research managers) is poor, the extent to which there is an expedient plan in place for the centre to support the development of researcher talents of the under-represented gender to qualify for senior-level positions.

Relevance to the call for proposals

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

Administrative procedures

Applications will be assessed by an international referee panel. The panel will assign marks for the three assessment criteria. If the average of the marks is lower than 5, the application will be rejected directly. If the application for one of the main criteria has received a mark of 3 or lower, it will also be rejected directly. After the panel assessment has been completed, the administration will assess the application's relevance to the call for proposals, and then submit a recommendation to the portfolio board. The portfolio board bases its assessment on the referee panel's assessment and the assessment of relevance, and ultimately makes decisions on awards or rejections that may also take account of an overall portfolio assessment, consisting of: 

  • Allocation of projects in accordance with the priority areas set out in the call 
  • the distribution of projects between the different study programmes 

See also: How we process applications

The Portfolio Board is scheduled to meet in February/March 2024. We will publish the results of the application review process after the meeting. 

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