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About the SAMKUL programme

Today’s societal development and social change is characterized by global trends and large-scale technological, demographic and cultural changes. We are facing major social challenges, exemplified through climate change and ecological depletion, social inequality and antagonism, war and terror, democracy development, centralization and urbanization, new technologies, international migration and a multitude of religion, ethnicity and culture.

To better equip society to address these and other challenges, as well as opportunities arising from them, there is great need for an expanded knowledge base: A broad interpretation, understanding and explanation of the cultural conditions, or rather cultural prerequisites, underlying societal development. This will generate important new insights and supplement the economic, technological and natural science knowledge-bases which are largely considered to be the valid foundations for decision-making in society.


The aim of SAMKUL for the period 2016 to 2020 is still to provide high quality research which is relevant for society's direction and political choices. The new programme plan for 2016 to 2020 (available in English early January 2016) describes the prioritized thematic areas and dimensions for SAMKUL research the upcoming years:

  • Man and Nature
  • Technology and Material Environments
  • Knowledge, Welfare and Economy

The research in the cultural prerequisites for societal development by studying important societal challenges, should make use of these crosscutting dimensions in the analyses: Historical, linguistic, religious, ethical, normative, communicative and aesthetic dimensions.

Through new research, networks of researchers, dissemination and dialogue with politics, government and the civil society, internationalization, conferences and meeting-places, especially humanistic oriented research will have relevance and be employed in areas of society facing great challenges. The new work programme (i.e. the programme plan, forthcoming) gives further information about SAMKUL's overall thematic and strategic priorities.


As of December 2015, the overall budget for SAMKUL for the whole ten year period 2011 to 2020 amounts to NOK 390 million. The main income stems from the Ministry of Education and Research (NOK 40 million per year since 2013). The Ministry of Culture is funding the programme with NOK 5.5 million per year, while the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation is funding NOK 1.5 million per year – designated to research on national minorities in Norway.

Related programmes

Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of biotechnology, nanotechnology and neurotechnology (ELSA)
JPI Cultural Heritage (JPICH)
Culture and Media (KULMEDIA)
Responsible innovation and corporatesocial responsibility (SAMANSVAR)
Welfare, Working Life and Migration (VAM)

Written by:
Tor Lunde Larsen Spesialrådgiver 22 03 73 44
Last updated: