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FRIPRO: Frequently asked questions

Who can apply?

I have an idea for a research project. Can I apply for a personal doctoral research fellowship from FRIPRO?

No, FRIPRO does not offer personal doctoral research fellowships.

I just completed my PhD and need funding. Can I apply for a personal post-doctoral research fellowship from FRIPRO?

FRIPRO no longer offers the application type Personal Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, however, you can apply for a Mobility Grant. The Mobility Grant is aimed at researchers who have recently or will soon defend their PhD dissertation. It is for researchers who wish to spend two years at a research organisation abroad and a final year at a Norwegian research organisation. You may apply for funding for your own salary and indirect costs, moving expenses and operating costs.

I am not associated with a Norwegian research organisation, can I still apply for funding?

FRIPRO only processes applications from approved Norwegian research organisations. It is up to you to contact the research organisation(s) you find relevant, the Research Council cannot help with this. You cannot submit an application without first contacting the research organisation.

We do not require that you must be employed by a Norwegian research organisation upon submitting your application, but if the application is approved, you must be employed by the listed project owner throughout the entire project period. For more information, see also the paragraph about Young Research Talents.

Several people in our research group wish to submit an application to the same FRIPRO call for proposals. Is that allowed?

Yes, researchers from the same research group can submit separate applications to FRIPRO and/or different programs.

Can we submit identical or partially overlapping applications with the same project manager and/or different project managers to FRIPRO and another funding scheme at the Research Council?

Yes, you can, but if you submit fully or partially overlapping applications we require that you inform us about this in the applications. If you submit the applications to different deadlines, you must inform us of the first application in the second application submitted to the later deadline. Use the field "Have any related applications been submitted to the Research Council and/or any other public funding scheme" in the application form. If you know that you will be submitting the second application before the deadline of the first, we recommend that you inform us of this in the first application as well. Please specify which other call for proposal you are submitting to, as well as planned project manager and title.

You are required to inform us about related applications regardless of who will be the project manager or project owner, and regardless of whether both applications are sent to the Research Council or just one. We may end up granting both applications. In some cases, we may fund two partially overlapping projects, but there will be cuts in the budget or changes made to at least one of the projects before a contract is signed with either project. If we upon granting the projects did not specify how we intend to deal with the overlap, you are obligated to bring this up with us so that we avoid double funding. If you do not inform us before the contracts are signed, the contracts will contain invalid information. If we discover this at a later date, you risk that we discontinue one or both projects, and demand that you repay any disbursed funds.

Can we submit the same or partially overlapping applications with different project managers to FRIPRO?

We do not recommend that you submit identical or partially overlapping applications with two different project managers to FRIPRO. If you still decide to do so, note that the applications will be assessed in the same referee panel. The experts will likely ask questions about plagiarism and whose idea the project really is. We expect the project manager to have formulated the idea for their own application. The same project will obviously not receive funding twice. We recommend that the person whose idea the project builds on is chosen as the project manager. If you are two researchers who have prepared the idea together, you will probably do better submitting a joint application where you outline the prominent contribution and roles of both, even though only one can be listed as the project manager.


Is there a limitation with regards to the share of the budget that can be used on external collaborators, in Norway and abroad?

No, there is no specific limitation on this. However, the funds that are awarded through FRIPRO must benefit Norwegian research. You should take this into account when you consider what share of your budget will be used on external collaborators.

Furthermore, we do not have any limitation as to what costs abroad our funds may cover, beyond the limitations described for all FRIPRO funding. These limitations are specified in the calls for proposals, and may vary between application types.

How do we budget for salary costs for employees at partner organisations in the university and university college sector abroad?

You may decide for yourselves how you budget for costs for salary abroad. You can choose between using the TDI full costing methodology for research, or the employer’s salary costs (including social security costs) with an added overhead of 25 % to cover indirect costs.

The Research Council's lump-sum rate for fellowship holders is the upper limit for what we allocate to doctoral and post-doctoral fellows at all types of organisations as well as for all scientific positions in the university and university college sector abroad. For scientific positions at other types of organisations abroad, please see the rules on the Research Council's website under Payroll and indirect costs (the rules are the same as for corresponding types of organisations in Norway).


Is it mandatory to follow the CV template in detail? Can I leave out the parts that are not relevant for me?

It is recommended, but not mandatory, to use the CV template. However, the CV must adhere to the requirements regarding number of pages, font size and margins. We recommend that you use the CV template because it makes it easier for the experts who assess your application to find the information they are looking for, but we do not reject applications where the CV template has not been used. If some of the elements in the template are not applicable for you, you can remove these.

How many letters of support from project partners can I include in my application, and are there any requirements as to what these should contain?

Do not include letters of support from project partners in your application. If you do, these will not be included in the application review process.

The only ones who should include letters from a project partner are those who are applying for a Mobility Grant or Personal Overseas Research Grant. For these application types, it is mandatory to attach a letter of invitation from the host organisation abroad.

How many CVs should I submit with my application?

You are to submit CVs for the key researchers participating in the project. How many CVs that makes will depend on your project. Keep in mind that the CVs are there to assist the experts when they review the application, and it is therefore important to include CVs for researchers who will contribute to the project in a significant way. On the other hand, it is not wise to include too many, as it can make it difficult for the experts who will be assessing the application to find the information that is relevant.

Advice for writing your application

Our referee panels often give us feedback on common weaknesses in the applications they assess. Based on this feedback, we have collected some pointers that may be useful when writing your application.

  • Define the hypotheses of the project clearly, and clarify how you will test them.
  • Describe how the project will be executed in a structured and coherent way, preferably by dividing the work into work packages. Remember to describe when the work packages will be implemented, how they are connected, and what the different project participants will contribute with ("who does what when"). You can for example do this by including a Gantt-chart in the project description.
  • Describe how you plan to handle potential risks of your project, for example if a method you plan on using ends up not working. Remember to address this for the different work packages and when describing the connection between them.
  • Give a thorough description of the methods you will be using, so that the experts can assess the feasibility of your project.
  • If you are planning to generate/provide/use data material, you should also describe why you are planning to do so and how you intend to analyse the data.

The application review process
When will I find out whether my application will be granted funding?

For calls for proposals with a set deadline: The Portfolio Boards for FRIPRO will usually make a decision in November or December the same year as the application deadline, and the result will be published on the Research Council's website in December.

For calls for proposals with an open-ended deadline (Personal Overseas Research Grant and Project Establishment Support): We process the application as soon as we can once you have submitted it. We will usually respond within six weeks.  

Who will assess my application?

For applications for Researcher Projects, Young Research Talents and Mobility Grant: Grant proposals will be assessed by panels comprised of international experts with diverse scientific backgrounds. Please note that your application will not necessarily be assessed by an expert with the same specialty as you, but rather by a generalist in your field of research. You should therefore write your application with this in mind. Grant proposals and referee assessments will be submitted to the Portfolio Boards for FRIPRO, who are responsible for final processing and approval of grant allocations.

For applications for Personal Overseas Research Grant and Project Establishment Support: The application will be assessed by the Research Council's staff. For Personal Overseas Research Grant and Project Establishment Support, the department director is responsible for final approval of grant allocations.  

Research stays abroad

I am a post-doctoral candidate in a FRIPRO project, is it correct that I can apply for an extension of my fellowship period corresponding with the length of my research stay abroad?

Yes, if the following conditions are met:

  1. Your post-doctoral fellowship must be funded by the Research Council
  2. You will have/have had a 3-12-month long research stay abroad during your fellowship period
  3. You are employed on a project that received funding from a call for proposals in 2017 or later

Please note that only the organisation can apply for this extension, not you personally, and the project manager for the project you are hired on must be specified as the project manager for the application. You need to apply for a Personal Overseas Research Grant and an extension from the call for proposals open to all candidates funded by the RCN, and not from FRIPRO.

I wish to extend the post-doctoral fellowship period corresponding to the length of a research stay abroad, and I have planned a 12-month long research stay for the post-doctoral fellow on my project. Do I include this in the original application or do I apply for this after the project has received funding?

No, you do not include funding for overseas research stays and a potential extension of a post-doctoral fellowship in the original project application. Your organisation may apply for both the Personal Overseas Research Grant and an extension of the fellowship period through a separate call for proposals, if the project receives funding. If you are planning for an extension when you advertise the position, stipulations allowing for this must be included in the post-doctoral fellow's original contract of employment.

As part of the project, I wish to go abroad for a time to work closely with my collaborators there. Can I apply for funding for this as part of a Researcher Project application? Alternatively, is it possible for a project manager to apply for an overseas grant from a separate call, even though the call for proposals for Personal Overseas Research Grant stipulates that this only for researchers in recruitment positions?

Yes, you can apply for funds to cover costs associated with a research stay abroad when you apply for a Researcher Project. If the stay lasts longer than three months, you may use the rates for overseas research grants, but you cannot apply for more than 12 months. Specify the sum applied for in the table called "Allocations sought from the Research Council", under "Grants for overseas researchers." If the research stay lasts less than three months, the costs associated with the research stay must be included as other operating expenses.

For the project manager and other project participants (except doctoral and post-doctoral fellows receiving funding for salary from the Research Council), this must be included in the original application. You cannot apply for this through the open-ended call for Personal Overseas Research Grants after the project has started. The open-ended call is only for project managers of Young Research Talents and doctoral and post-doctoral fellows receiving funds for salary from the Research Council.

Conversely, for Personal Overseas Research Grants for doctoral and post-doctoral fellows receiving funds for salary from the Research Council, you must apply after the project has started. For research stays for project managers for Young Research Talents, you can choose whether to include it in your original application or apply after the project has started.

Mobility Grants

Does the research stay abroad have to be localised at the same organisation throughout, or is it possible to divide the tree years between three different organisations (two organisations in two different countries and one organisation in Norway)?

Usually, we stipulate that project managers for Mobility Grant stay at one research organisation abroad for a longer period of time. If there are specific scientific reasons that the research for the project could benefit from knowledge gained at two different organisations abroad, we might consider this. If you believe that this is the best solution for your project, it is important that you, in your project description, thoroughly detail why this is, also giving attention to how this contributes to building your career.

Is receiving a Mobility Grant contingent upon being hired in a post-doctoral fellowship, or can I work in a researcher position? I have already worked for one period as a post-doctoral candidate at the organisation I am applying with, and can therefore not be employed for a new period at the same organisation.

You can be employed in a researcher position and still receive a Mobility Grant.

Young Research Talents

At the time of the application deadline, I will be more than 40 years old, and more than seven years will have passed since I defended my doctoral dissertation. However, I have taken one year of parental leave during this period. Can I subtract this period both to my age and to the time passed since the defence of my doctoral dissertation, or can you only subtract from one of the two criteria?

You may apply to subtract the leave of absence to both criteria (age and time passed since defence of PhD), providing it complies with the guidelines for time deductions.

Do I have to be employed at a Norwegian university or organisation in order to be eligible for applying for a Young Research Talents project?

We do not require that you must be employed by a Norwegian research organisation upon submitting your application, but if the application is approved, you must be employed by the project owner (which must be a Norwegian research organisation) throughout the entire project period. Therefore, the application must be submitted by the organisation you will be working at if the project is funded, and the organisation must guarantee that you will be employed with them for the entire project period.

We wish to apply for funding for a project where the project manager defended their doctoral dissertation more than seven years ago, but has in the meantime taken parental leave. Parts of the time they have been on partial leave, working 50% of the time. How do we subtract this?

When someone has taken partial leave, we subtract only the time they have been absent from work. If, for example, someone has been on 60% leave for one year, you calculate as follows: 365 days * 60% = 219 days

We wish to apply for funding for a project where the project manager defended their doctoral dissertation more than seven years ago, but has in the meantime been on sick leave. Parts of the time they have been on partial leave, working 50% of the time. How do we subtract this?

We grant deductions for partial sick leave as long as the (uninterrupted) period of part-time leave in duration equals a full-time leave of 100% for at least eight weeks.

If, for example, someone has been on 60% leave for one year, you calculate as follows: 365 days * 60% = 219 days.

I would like to apply for a Young Research Talents project, but at the application deadline, only 1 year and 11 months have passed since I defended my doctoral dissertation. Is it possible to be exempted from the rule that a minimum of 2 years must have passed since the defence of the doctoral dissertation?

No, we cannot make these kinds of exceptions, as the rules regarding time passed since defence of the doctoral dissertation, and age, are absolute. The only exceptions we make are for applicants who defended their thesis more than seven years ago, or who are more than 40 years old at the time of the deadline, who fulfil the requirements to subtract time in connection with statutory leaves of absence, compulsory military service and/or continuous (full-time or part-time), sick leave equal to at least eight weeks full-time sick leave from the total time period.

I am applying for funding for my own salary through a Young Research Talents project, and I am employed by a research institute. Which rates do I use to calculate salary costs?

You base your calculations on the hourly rates reported by your institute to the Research Council, what category your position will be, and the number of hours you plan to work on the project per year. However, your yearly salary costs cannot exceed the yearly lump-sum rate for doctoral or post-doctoral fellowships. Please be advised that there are requirements regarding the project manager's work time dedicated to the project.

FRIPRO Toppforsk

Please note that funding for FRIPRO Toppforsk was announced in 2015 and 2017. No new calls for proposals for FRIPRO Toppforsk are planned. This part of the Q&A is relevant for granted proposals.

How does the co-financing between the Research Council and the different organisations work? Do you apply for 25 million from the Research Council, and then receive 25 million from your organisation as well?

No. The amount you apply for from the Research Council (15-25 million kroner over four to five years) is the total amount you will receive, to which both the Research Council and the organisation contribute. For projects that are allocated funding, the organisation and the Norwegian Research Council each cover 50% of the amount you applied for. If you apply for 25 million, the Research Council and the organisation cover 12.5 million each. The figure below illustrates how a FRIPRO Toppforsk project is financed.

What kinds of funding can comprise the share of the amount applied for which is to be covered by the organisations themselves? Can the organisations' shares be covered by (projects financed by) other sources of funding, such as Horizon 2020, NIH, Nordforsk, etc.?

The organisations' shares cannot be covered by external funding intended for other projects. R&D-funds from the private sector, organisations or other external sources can be included, presuming that these funds are not intended for use in another research project. You cannot use funds from other research projects funded by the EU or the Research Council as part of the organisation's share of the funding.

Can working hours of scientific employees in the university and university college sector be a part of the organisation's share of the funding?

Working hours of scientific personnel can be part of this funding, presuming that the salary expenses for the work hours intended for the FRIPRO project are not covered by funds from another research projects (cf. the above answers). To calculate the "value" of the working hours of a scientific employee working in the university or university college sector, use the lump-sum rate for doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships. If, for example, a professor will dedicate 20% of their working hours in 2019 to the project, this would comprise a contribution of 0,2 x kr 1 113 000 = kr 222 600.

Can contributions from partners be part of the organisation's share, for example through dedicated working hours?

Yes, contributions from partners can be part of the amount the organisations have to cover themselves, but this contribution must be in cash. In-kind contributions are not accepted, because they do not comply with the Research Council's guidelines for how organisations' shares are calculated in projects where these shares are mandatory. A collaborating partner is viewed as a third party, and according to these guidelines, potential contributions from third parties can only be in cash.

In the call for proposals it says that project managers of funded FRIPRO Toppforsk projects must apply for an ERC grant to be eligible to apply for FRIPRO funding again. Does the project manager have to be the Principal Investigator on the ERC application or can someone else in the FRIPRO Toppforsk project group be PI?

Yes, the project manager has to be the one who is PI on the ERC application apply. It is not sufficient for the FRIPRO Toppforsk project manager to be a project participant in the ERC project application, you must apply yourself.

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