Doctoral Research Fellowships

Are you planning to take a doctoral degree you should contact a degree-conferring research organisation that can offer you a place on a Ph.D. programme.

The Research Council does not award funding for personal doctoral research grants and you may not apply to the Research Council for funding for a doctoral research fellowship yourself. 

Only research organisations are eligible to apply for funding for a Ph.D. fellowship as part of a research project via one of our call for proposals. The project's responsible research organization (applicant) or a collaborative partner is responsible for hiring doctoral candidates.

The exceptions are the Industrial PhD and Public Sector PhD Project schemes, where a public or private sector employer can apply for funding for the position in collaboration with a degree-conferring research institution.

The Research Council’s support for payroll and indirect expenses relating to research fellowship positions may not exceed the amount of the lump-sum allocation; see Rates for Funding of Research Fellowships. The Research Council may provide support for other project-related costs for research fellows, such as use of equipment and travel and accommodation/board.

The Research Council funding up to three full-time equivalents of a doctoral position. Any costs related to mandatory work imposed by the degree-awarding organization must be covered by them. The Research Council funding only one doctoral research fellowship per candidate and only if the candidate does not already have a doctoral degree/Ph.D.

The Research Council allocates funding for doctoral positions primarily to Norwegian universities and colleges authorized to award doctoral degrees, cf.: the Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident.

What is a doctoral position?

The terms of employment for a doctoral research fellow position are described in the Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident., § 1-3. All Research Council-funded projects must adhere to the regulations. 

Please note the following points:

  • A professional development plan for the doctoral period must be prepared. See the separate section below.
  • International research visit(s) abroad into their fellowship period are expected. 
  • The project's responsible research organization (applicant) or a collaborative partner hires the doctoral candidate.
  • If the project's responsible organization does not award the Ph.D., the organization must enter into a written agreement with the university or scientific university college where the doctoral candidate will pursue the Ph.D.

For research fellows with a registered address in Norway who spend all or parts of their research fellowship period abroad, The Project Owner, which is a research organisation, can apply for funding for stays abroad for up to 12 months. This also applies to doctoral research fellows who are staying and taking their degree at a foreign degree-conferring institution.     

Requirements relating to professional development plans for doctoral research fellowships

The Research Council has made it mandatory for all doctoral fellows it funds to draw up and submit a professional development plan, see forskningsradets-plan-for-rekruttering-til-forskning-og-tidlig-karriere.pdf).

The Project Owner or the research institution where the doctoral research fellow is employed is required to draw up a professional development plan for the full duration of the doctoral research period. 

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