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The Research Council launches new social-science research programme

The Programme on Social Science Research related to the Petroleum Sector (PETROSAM 2) will enhance research-based knowledge about Norway as a petroleum-producing nation and stakeholder in the petroleum sector, both nationally and internationally.

Knowledge about the economics, planning, politics, pricing, forecasting and investment in petroleum resources on the Norwegian continental shelf will be a key element of the programme. In addition, the programme will work to increase understanding of Norwegian petroleum activities in a regional and Arctic context.

Key industry in changing times

Petroleum activities play a critical role in Norway’s economy and hence in the financing of the Norwegian welfare society. The magnitude of the country’s petroleum revenues is determined not only by the volume of actual resources at hand but also the manner in which these are managed.

Natural resource management is never a static process; it is constantly being shaped by national political priorities and changes in the global petroleum markets that directly and indirectly affect the value of Norwegian resources.
The programme’s primary objective is to expand knowledge about social conditions of relevance to the efforts of the Norwegian authorities and petroleum industry players to develop strategies and policy in the petroleum sector.

The programme will also work to develop a stable, highly skilled research environment that can make a mark within the programme’s thematic priority areas, and provide valuable input to the ongoing Norwegian public debate.

Activities under the PETROSAM 2 programme will target research towards user needs as closely as possible. The PETROSAM 2 programme continues the social science-based research on the petroleum sector which the Research Council has administered via a number of programmes since the early 1980s.

Board chair with a vision

Photo: University of Nordland Frode Mellemvik, chair of the PETROSAM 2 programme board. (Foto: Universitetet i Nordland) Professor Frode Mellemvik of the University of Nordland is the chair of the PETROSAM 2 programme board.
“I am very pleased about what the Research Council is doing to increase knowledge about petroleum resources and conditions relating to the petroleum sector that will be of relevance to the Norwegian authorities and the industry,” he says.

“Considering how important petroleum activities are to Norway, our objective must be for Norwegians to assume a leading role internationally when it comes to generating knowledge about the social and commercial conditions of relevance to realising the full value of petroleum resources.”

To accomplish this objective, the PETROSAM 2 programme will work to expand the research community by promoting interdisciplinary projects and the inclusion of doctoral and post-doctoral fellows in research activities. A set of thematic and geographical priority areas have also been specified for the programme.

“Given the financial resources available to the programme,” continues Professor Mellemvik, “I this this focus is a natural one, and these are areas in which it is particularly important for both the public administration and the industry to have relevant knowledge.”

Seeking contact with researchers and users

Professor Mellemvik is hoping researchers and users will get involved as soon as possible.

“In order for research activities to be optimal for the industry and authorities, it will be very valuable – now at the outset – to hear the views of researchers and users alike. So we are encouraging the relevant research and user groups to contact us with their input and advice.”

“We will also be holding a meeting in Oslo at the end of May to gather input from users about important issues they think should be addressed under the programme. We hope the research community will be well represented as well. As soon as the meeting time is set, we will send out the invitation,” concludes Professor Mellemvik.

First application deadline: Autumn 2013

The programme plans to issue its first call for proposals for research funding in summer 2013, with a planned application deadline of 4 September. The financial parameters of the funding announcement have not yet been established, but are expected to be in the NOK 10-15 million range.

Information about the preliminary thematic priority areas, limitations and requirements established by the programme board for the call for proposals will be published on the PETROSAM 2 programme’s webpages.

The final call for proposals will be published on both the Research Council’s central webpages for funding announcements and on the PETROSAM 2 programme webpages, at the latest six weeks before the application deadline. Here is the link to the call for proposals from PETROSAM 2.

Preliminary work programme PETROSAM2 PDF - 491 KB  

Skrevet av:
Kari Druglimo-Nygaard
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