In this funding round, the new FRIPRO Toppforsk application category was introduced, while, for the first time, no funding was offered for Personal Post-doctoral Research Fellowships. All in all, close to 200 more proposals were submitted by the application deadline than in 2014, equalling the record number of applications received in 2013.
The idea is to use Toppforsk to develop research groups that can subsequently become candidates for SFF funding and, not least, to equip these groups to compete successfully for ERC grants, says Øyvind Pettersen.
Many applied for Toppforsk funding
The new FRIPRO Toppforsk application category enables dynamic research groups to apply for generous, long-term funding. Projects awarded support will receive between NOK 15 million and NOK 25 million over four to five years. A total of 173 applications were received under the FRIPRO Toppforsk application category.
“This is somewhat more than I had anticipated,” says Øyvind Pettersen, who heads the FRIPRO group at the Research Council of Norway. “On the other hand, it is not surprising there would be more applications for Toppforsk funding than there were in the last round under the Centres of Excellence Scheme (SFF) in 2012. Toppforsk funding is somewhere between a researcher project and an SFF centre. The idea is to use Toppforsk to develop research groups that can subsequently become candidates for SFF funding and, not least, to equip these groups to compete successfully for ERC grants.”
“It’s really interesting to follow the development of the various FRIPRO application categories,” Mr Pettersen adds. “There has been a doubling of the number of applications for mobility grants and a 30 per cent rise in applications for Young Research Talents, both of which are probably a result of the fact that we are no longer offering funding for Personal Post-doctoral Research Fellowships as a separate application category.”
Post-doctoral Research Fellowships are still available within the framework of some of the other FRIPRO application categories.
INTPART call for proposals attracts widespread interest
The International Partnerships for Excellent Education and Research (INTPART) programme is a recently established partnership programme under the auspices of the Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU). The programme will promote institutional cooperation involving researchers and students in the eight priority countries outside of the EU/EEA: Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa and the US.
Bjørn Tore Kjellemo and Berit Johne are very pleased with the widespread interest the INTPART call for proposals attracted. (Photo: Thomas Keilman)
A total of 47 grant applications were submitted to the call under the INTPART programme. Bjørn Tore Kjellemo, director of the Department for Cooperation and Development Research, and Berit Johne, INTPART programme coordinator, are very pleased. “The proposals received represent a good distribution among the countries and thematic areas involved,” Mr Kjellemo states. “It looks like all eight priority countries are represented and many interesting types of cooperation with top-notch institutions have been proposed. Many applicants are seeking cooperation with the US in thematic areas such as energy, climate, aquaculture, carbon capture and storage, cancer and neuroscience research. Some of the proposals were targeted specifically towards education.
Universities were responsible for a majority of the grant applications. Seven of Norway’s eight universities are represented among the applicants. Five proposals were submitted by research institutes and two from university colleges.
“We see there is substantial interest in this joint funding programme, which combines designated funding from the Ministry of Education and Research with funding from several of the Research Council’s programmes,” states Berit Johne, who goes on to say that the results of the application review process will be available at the end of October.
*See the respective call for proposals for more details