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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 postdoctoral research fellowship from FRIPRO?

FRIPRO no longer offers the application type Personal Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, however you can apply for a FRIPRO Mobility Grant. The application type FRIPRO 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.


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.


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 that 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 FRIPRO Mobility Grant or personal overseas research grant. For these application types it is mandatory to attach a letter of invitation from the host organisationabroad.

In the call for proposals it says that doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships or temporary researcher positions that are to be hired as part of the project will not be assessed by the Research Council, and that names for these should not be included in the application and their CVs should not be submitted. At the same time it also says that you should include CVs for key researchers participating in the project. If the key researchers in the project are doctoral or post-doctoral fellows, should I include their CVs?

No. The reason for this is that doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships, or temporary researcher positions, that are to be hired as part of the project must be advertised according to the rules of the organisation if the project is granted funding, and therefore cannot be earmarked for named candidates. Other than this it is up to you to decide which of the researchers on the project you will submit CVs for.

How many CVs should I submit with my application?

You are to submit CVs for the key researchers participating in the project. How many will depend on your project. Keep in mind that the CVs are there to assist the experts when they review the application, and therefore it is 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.

The application review process

To which activity should I submit my application: FRIMEDBIO, FRINATEK or FRIHUMSAM?

When choosing an activity, consider where your project best fits in. You will find an overview of fields of research covered by the three activities here. Remember the following when choosing an activity:

  • In which field of research is the main part of the project? Which area is the majority of the work connected to?
  • Which disciplines do the main researchers in the project belong to?
  • Where do you intend to publish? Which areas of research do these publications cover?

Most proposals clearly belong to one specific activity, but for some multidisciplinary projects, it may be difficult to choose. Our advice is to choose the activity where the main part of the research will be done. If you are uncertain you can write that the application also may be applicable for another activity under "discipline(s)" in the application form. If we, on the basis of this or based on our own assessment, believe that the application would be better suited in a different activity, we will contact you and confirm whether we can move the application.

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

For calls for proposals with a set deadline: The granting committees for each of the activities (FRIMEDBIO, FRIHUMSAM and FRINATEK) will usually make a decision at the end of November the same year as the application deadline, and the result will be published on the Research Council's website in the beginning of December. For FRIPRO Toppforsk applications from the universities it will take a little longer before the results are ready. Information about the applications that will receive funding from IKTPLUSS and ROMFORSKNING will usually be published on the Research Council's website in December or January.

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 more than 500 000 kr.: 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 relevant Granting Committee (FRIMEDBIO, FRINATEK or FRIHUMSAM) which is responsible for final processing and approval of grant allocations. For FRIPRO Toppforsk applications from the universities, FRIPRO will submit lists of the best applications to each university. Each university will prepare a list of the grant proposals it would like to see funded, and the Granting Committees are responsible for final approval of grant allocations. For FRIPRO Toppforsk applications from other research organisations, grant proposals and referee assessments will be submitted to and ranked by the Granting Committees. Based on this, the organisations will be invited to co-fund the applications.

For applications for less than 500 000 kr.: The application will be assessed by the Research Council's staff. For applications for Support for Events, the Granting Committees for each of the activities (FRIMEDBIO, FRINATEK or FRIHUMSAM) are responsible for final approval of grant allocations. For Personal overseas research grant and Project establishment support, the department director in charge of the relevant activity is responsible for final approval of grant allocations.  

Research stays abroad

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 postdoctoral 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 it is the organisation that can apply for this extension, not you personally.

I would like to apply for an extension of the fellowship period for a postdoctoral fellow on my project, and have planned a 12 month long research stay abroad for this position. Should I include this in the original application, or do I apply for this after the project has been granted funding?

You should not include funds for a personal overseas research grant and extension of a postdoctoral fellowship in the original application. Your organisation can apply for this via a separate call for proposals if the project is granted funding. You must make provisions for the potential extension when you advertise the postdoctoral position, and when drawing up the employment contract for the chosen candidate.

As a part of my project I would like to include a research stay abroad to work with my external collaborators. Can I include funding for this in my application for a Researcher project? Alternatively, is it possible to apply for a separate personal overseas research grant for the project manager, even though the calls for proposals specify that this applies for doctoral and post-doctoral research fellows?

Yes, you can apply for funds to cover costs associated with a research stay abroad when you apply for a FRIPRO researcher project. If the research stay lasts more than three months, you can use the rates for personal overseas research grant, but you can only apply for up to 12 months. The amount should be included under the item for grant for overseas researchers, in the table labelled "Allocations sought from the research Council". If the research stay lasts less than three months, the expenses associated with the stay should be included under other operating expenses. Applications for personal overseas research grants for the project manager and other project participants (excluding doctoral and post-doctoral candidates who are funded by the Research Council of Norway), have to be included in the original application. You cannot apply for this through the open-ended call for proposals for personal overseas research grants after the project has started. The open-ended call for proposals is only open to project managers for Young Research Talents projects, and doctoral and post-doctoral fellows receiving funding for their salary through the Research Council of Norway. For doctoral and post-doctoral positions funded by the Research Council, you apply for the personal overseas research grants, after the project has started. If you are a project manager for a Young Research Talents project, you can choose whether you include it in the original application or apply for it after the project has started.

FRIPRO Mobility Grant

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 FRIPRO Mobility Grant stays 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 FRIPRO 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 FRIPRO Mobility Grant.

Young Research Talents

At the time of the application deadline, I will be more than 40 years old, and more than eight 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 stipulate 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 8 years ago, but who in the meantime has 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 do 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, regrettably, 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 8 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 specific statutory leaves of absence, compulsory military service and/or full-time, continuous sick leave for more than eight weeks from the total time period.

The announcement stipulates that candidates must be available for an interview upon request by the Research Council. Who conducts the interviews, and when will they be held?

Candidates are interviewed by the granting committees. On the website for FRIPRO, under "Who decides what in FRIPRO" in the left hand menu, you will find information about the members of the granting committees. Not everyone on the committee will participate in each interview. We do not release the names of the participating members before the interviews. In addition to members of the granting committees, at least one employee of the Research Council will attend the interview. The interviews are scheduled for the end of November/early December.

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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