Important changes in the Research Council's application processing

The Ministry of Education has asked us to reduce the number of applications and to introduce measures that limit the use of resources by applicants and the Research Council. The target is a 25 per cent success rate. We are now introducing two main measures for FRIPRO.

Ground-breaking research (FRIPRO) receives 1,400–1,600 applications per year, and a reduction in the number of applications will have a significant effect on resource use both in the sector and the Research Council.

Therefore, measures are now being introduced for FRIPRO:

  • We are replacing the annual application deadline with ongoing application processing and a one-year waiting period.
  • We are introducing a submission restriction period for applications that receive marks below given limits, so that these must wait another year or two before they can apply again. The grade requirement to avoid a submission restriction period will be lower for the call for Researcher Projects for Young Talents than for the call for Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal (see details in the table below).

In addition, several other smaller measures are being introduced that also reduce the number of applications and increase the success rate in FRIPRO (see list at the bottom of the case).

Bilde av Heidi Roggen som er leder av FRIPRO-gruppa. Mari Sundli Tveit som er administrerende direktør i Forskningsrådet og Petter Helgesen som leder avdeling for banebrytende forskning
Leader of the FRIPRO group Heidi Roggen, CEO Mari Sundli Tveit and Petter Helgesen, who heads the department for pioneering research where the responsibility for FRIPRO lies.

- We will now reduce the number of applications and increase the success rate of FRIPRO calls. At the same time, we are keen to have a system that gives young research talents the opportunity to apply for and receive funding in the important early phase of their career, says CEO of the Research Council Mari Sundli Tveit.

Broad support

In the past year, a range of representatives from the research sector have been invited to dialogue meetings where they commented on the proposals for measures. In the autumn of 2022, twelve proposals were put forward as to how the overall use of resources linked to applications to FRIPRO and their processing can be reduced. In recent years, FRIPRO has received 1,400–1,600 applications a year and only 5–7 per cent have obtained funding. The aim is to reduce the amount without a real chance of funding, so that the annual amount submitted will be between 400 and 600, with a 25 per cent success rate.

- Experience from other countries shows that these measures reduce the number of applications and give researchers incentives to use the time it takes to develop applications of high quality. I am sure that we have come to a good solution, in close dialogue with the sector, says Sundli Tveit.

Ongoing application reception and application processing

Starting with the FRIPRO announcements published this autumn, you will be able to submit your application at any time. Once the application has been submitted, you as the project manager will have a 12-month waiting period until you can submit your next application. The allocation of funds will be distributed throughout the year. The peer review process will be as before.

Submission restriction period

From and including the announcement of the Researcher Project for Young Talents with a deadline 15 March, we will introduce a 0-2-year submission restriction period based on the average grade the application receives in the peer review assessment. Any submission restriction period will be in addition to the quarantine period. The submission restriction period will be as follows:

Call 

Two-year restriction 

One-year restriction 

No restriction 

Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal 

3 or lower 

Above 3, up to 5,5 

Above 5,5 

Researcher Project for Young Talents 

None 

4,5 or lower 

Above 4,5 

Three-year Researcher Project with International Mobility 

None 

None 

All 

The waiting period applies from the date you submit the application. The submission restriction period applies from the date the waiting period expires. With a one-year submission restriction period, you can therefore be the project manager for a new FRIPRO application at the earliest two years after you submitted the application that triggered the submission restriction period.

Other measures

In addition to the ongoing application processing and submission restriction period, we are introducing four other measures to reduce the number of applications and increase the acceptance rate.

  1. You cannot be the project manager for more than one FRIPRO project at a time, but you can apply for a new project well in advance of the completion of your current project.
  2. There will be a requirement of six years' experience after a doctorate or equivalent for the Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal, so that this call will be reserved for experienced researchers. Researchers early in their career may apply for a Researcher Project for Young Talents or a Three-year Researcher Project with International Mobility.
  3. If it is appropriate for the project you are planning, you may apply for a project with a longer duration than you have been able to until now.
  4. The Research Council will establish permanent expert pools in order to more quickly and efficiently assemble suitable expertise for assessing the applications that come in.

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