Coronavirus: Measures to address the situation

This page contains an overview of the measures we have put in place to assist grant holders and applicants with ongoing projects or who are starting projects in 2020 to deal with challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognise that many of our applicants may find themselves in a difficult situation.

Our goal is to be as flexible as possible within the legal framework, and we have implemented a number of measures to remedy the situation. At the same time, we want to maintain and preferably increase research and innovation efforts. On this page you will find an overview of the measures that have been put in place and principles that will be followed.

The information on this page will be updated on a regular basis.

For information for trade and industry, see the box on the right.

The deadline in May has been moved

The application deadline for all announcements is postponed by two weeks from 6 May to 20 May at 13.00 CEST. The call for proposals for Large-scale Interdisciplinary Researcher Project (the Fellesløft IV joint funding initiative) has been postponed to 2021.

Since our own operations are also affected by the situation, we have taken some steps to limit the number of applications to the May deadline.

An individual may serve as project manager for only one grant application submitted to the calls Researcher Project for Scientific Renewal, Researcher Project for Young Talents or Three-year Researcher Project with International Mobility for the 20 May 2020 deadline.

If you are the project manager for a Researcher Project, Young Research Talent Project or Mobility Grant that received funding after the deadline 10 April 2019, you may not submit an application for the 20 May 2020 deadline.

There is no restriction on the number of applications on which you may be listed as a partner.

Application review process 2020

Our objective is for the application review process for 2020 to be completed before Christmas, so that the funds can be put into circulation as early as possible in 2021. We aim to maintain the quality of the application review process. All applications will be assessed according to the assessment criteria given in the calls for proposals, and expert referees will assess the applications.

New projects and contracts

We encourage projects that received allocations in December 2019 to start as soon as possible. Contact your case officer if the corona situation makes it difficult to finalise your revised grant application or to complete the contract negotiations. We wish to help you get started quickly.

Disbursement of project funds

All ongoing projects that are scheduled to receive automatic disbursement of funds in the first instalment of the year will have the funds paid out as agreed in the contract.

Projects that are contracted to invoice us to cover (part of) accrued costs can send invoices for documented accrued costs and receive funding.

Changes to ongoing projects

All significant changes to the projects are to be reported via My RCN web.

Speed up activity

If it is possible to increase efforts in the project during the current year, we encourage you to do so. Please report this as a change to your project framework. We can move part of the sum allocated for 2021 to 2020.

Delays

Projects that experience delays due to the coronavirus situation may be granted a change request. We ask that you wait until May/June to submit a request for change, as you will hopefully have a better overview then of what changes will be necessary and how a revised project plan should be set up.

Projects that cannot be carried out as planned

If the Project Owner decides that a project cannot be carried out as planned due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, force majeure applies. We will cover costs incurred until it has been established that a project can no longer continue. Please notify us through My RCN web as soon as you have established that your project cannot be carried out as planned.

Putting projects on hold

If the Project Owner wants to put the project on hold, we accept this for both ongoing and new projects. The reason for putting a project on hold must be related to the coronavirus situation. However, latest permitted project start is 1 October 2020.

Increase or offset costs in projects

the total grant amount for a project will not be increased even if project costs increase as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For a limited period of time, we may change the allocation of costs over time and between parties.

Change requests regarding project costs must be submitted via My RCN web.

Change in own financing

Projects where the Project Owner (a research organisation) contributes with own financing may continue even if they can no longer contribute with own financing. You must submit a request for change via My RCN web. We will evaluate the situation on a case-by-case basis. The change will apply to 2020, and we will reassess the situation in 2021.

Requirements for cash financing from the industrial sector

Projects in which research organisations contribute self-financing can continue even if self-funding lapses. Please notify us of any changes in self-financing via My RCN web. This change in requirements is valid for 2020, and reassessment of the project will be made in 2021.

Change in partners

Projects or centres that have already received funding from us, will not have their funding reduced in 2020, even if their partners withdraw or reduce their activities. Please notify us of any changes via My RCN web. The project will be reassessed for 2021 and the distribution of support will be recalculated based on the new constellation.

Exchange rates

Despite the fluctuating exchange rate, it is the exchange rate at the time of the revised application submission deadline that should be used. When the grant is given as state aid, the exchange rate at the time of the application submission deadline should be used.

Cancelled meetings and activities

If you must cancel scheduled meetings/seminars/workshops or have been granted support for an event or for network activities that can no longer be carried out as planned, we will cover accrued and non-refundable costs; however, we will consider on a case-by-case basis the type of costs that will be covered. Please send an invoice (as described in the contract), and we will consider each case. We may ask for further documentation to ensure that the costs accrued are not covered by others.

Projects including doctoral and postdoctoral research fellowships

We wish to be supportive and help doctoral and postdoctoral candidates finish their degrees. As long as the institution listed as the employer agrees, the fellowship period may be extended for corona-related reasons. The period for postdoctoral candidates may be extended, but the total period for the fellowship cannot exceed four years.

If the doctoral candidate is temporarily laid off, activities may resume when the layoff period is over. If the company goes bankrupt, we will be able to accept that the institution providing the degree takes on employer responsibility, provided the candidate has shown reasonably good progress. Rights to the project results must subsequently be clarified between the company, the candidate and the institution providing the degree.

Industrial Ph.D.

If the doctoral candidate is temporarily laid off, activities may resume when the layoff period is over. If the company goes bankrupt, we will be able to accept that the institution providing the degree takes on employer responsibility, provided the candidate has shown reasonably good progress. Rights to the project results must subsequently be clarified between the company, the candidate and the institution providing the degree.

Research fellows and researchers who are on a research/overseas stay or have mobility grants

Research fellows and researchers who must travel to their home countries or must cancel their stay abroad due to the coronavirus situation must report this via My RCN Web as a project change request. They will not lose their grants, but funding that is not spent may be withdrawn.

Our Brussels office

Our office in Brussels has been closed, but all employees at NorCor can be reached via telephone and email. Contact the manager of our office in Brussels, Tor Ivar Eikaas via email.

Events hosted by the Research Council of Norway

If you have been invited to an event hosted by us that has been cancelled, we will refund travel costs we would originally cover, provided you submit documentation that your travel insurance, airlines or hotels do not refund your travel costs.

Horizon 2020 projects

If you are a project partner in a Horizon 2020 project and are prevented from fulfilling your obligations according to the Grant Agreement (MGA), or even to work on the project, please contact your project coordinator immediately. He or she will contact the Project Officer (PO). The European Commission will look into the possible application of the rules of force majeure on a case-by-case basis as it is defined in Article 51 of the H2020 MGA.

For example, if scheduled meetings, seminars or workshops are cancelled, budgeted accrued costs could be covered if they are not covered by others. The Commission will make an assessment of each individual case.

Postponed deadlines for most of the Horizon 2020 calls for proposals this spring

The EU postpones the application deadlines for most calls for proposals in the period 17 March until 15 April 2020. This does not apply to IMI and EIC pilot calls.

The EIC accelerator has postponed its deadline by 48 hours to 20 March, 17.00.

Questions

If you have any further questions about project changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact us! You will find your case officer in the contract or on My RCN web.