Complaints about decisions

You may only submit complaints in connection with procedural errors or fundamental deficiencies or shortcomings in the manner in which the Research Council has exercised its discretion. It is not possible to lodge complaints relating to the Research Council’s academic or expert assessments.

If you wish to lodge a complaint regarding the rejection of a grant application or denial of funding, you must submit it to the Research Council by at the latest three weeks after you received notification of the decision.

Decisions taken by the Research Council are exempted from the usual provisions of the Public Administration Act regarding the right to appeal. Thus, complaints will not be submitted to our superior administrative agency, but are dealt with by an independent, external Appeals Committee.

Procedural errors

A procedural error refers to a violation of the general provisions of the Public Administration Act on administrative proceedings or the Research Council’s own regulations regarding procedures for processing applications for research funding.

Fundamental deficiency or shortcoming in the exercise of discretion

A fundamental deficiency or shortcoming in the exercise of discretion refers to a situation in which the Research Council has exceeded its authority to exercise discretion in connection with a funding decision. This may, for example, involve situations in which extraneous considerations were allowed to determine the

  • decision;
  • arbitrary, biased or highly unreasonable decisions have been made;
  • or the decisions that have been taken lead to subjective differential treatment in relation to other applicants.

You may not appeal academic or expert assessments

You may not lodge a complaint against the Research Council’s academic or expert assessments of the grant application. Decisions regarding the allocation of research funding are not directly pursuant to an act of legislation or regulation, but are taken based on an academic or expert assessment of the grant application’s quality and relevance relative to a call for proposals. Although an applicant may disagree with the substance and outcome of these assessments, this does not give grounds to lodge a complaint.

Procedures in connection with appeals

Complaints may only be put forth by the Project Owner (via the project administrator). Complaints must be submitted within three weeks after notification of a decision. The complaint must be in writing and should be justified. We request that you use the relevant complaint form provided below:

Complaints are to be sent to the Research Council of Norway post@forskningsradet.no (attn. the case officer). We will first assess whether the complaint is justified and the case should be reassessed. The complainant will be notified.

If the Research Council chooses to uphold its original ruling, the matter will be submitted to the Research Council’s external Appeals Committee accompanied by a letter giving an account of the case.

You will be sent a copy of this letter and will have three weeks to submit comments, before the Appeals Committee will review the case.

If the Appeals Committee finds that the Research Council’s decision is invalid, the Committee will revoke the original ruling and return the matter to the Research Council for a new assessment.

Special complaints procedures

Information about the complaints procedures for the SkatteFUNN Tax Incentive Scheme is available upon request from the SkatteFUNN secretariat. See Skattefunn's website.

For complaints procedures relating to applications to the regional research funds, see Regionaleforskningsfond's website