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Enormous interest in Polish-Norwegian research cooperation

The Polish-Norwegian Research Programme, funded under the scheme for EEA and Norway Grants, received a total of 269 joint project proposals for the November application deadline. This is almost four times the number received in the previous programme period.

“This is a tremendous success,” says Professor Eivind Hiis Hauge of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. He is one of two Norwegian representatives on the programme board. “We see that many new research groups in Norway have established cooperation with Polish institutions in connection with this call for proposals.”

 

EUR 38.8 million to be allocated

The 269 applicants sought a total of NOK 1.56 billion, or approximately EUR 212 million. The amount available under the call for proposals was NOK 280 million, or EUR 38.8 million.

A total of 70 proposals was received in the last EEA funding round on Polish-Norwegian research cooperation in 2007. At that time applicants competed for available funding of NOK 50 million.

 

Simpler administrative routines

“In the initial funding round the administrative system for funding from the EEA and Norway Grants was perceived as highly bureaucratic, so we feared there would be less interest in this call for proposals,” says Dr Hiis Hauge.

"However, it seems we have reached the institutions with our message that we have now introduced much simpler administrative routines.”

The decision to reduce the maximum amount per project from EUR 2 million in the 2007 call to EUR 1 million this time does not appear to have dampened interest either.

 

Further procedures

The grant proposals will now be submitted to international referees for assessment. Then the administration of the Polish programme operator, the National Centre for Research & Development (NCBiR) , will draw up its recommendation. As a general rule, specific funding amounts are not set aside in advance for certain disciplines or thematic areas.

The final recommendation will be prepared by the programme board, which is comprised of the following members:

  • Professor Malgorzata Lewandowska-Szumiel (chair), Medical University of Warsaw
  • Professor Malgorzata Fuszara, University of Warsaw
  • Professor Eivind Hiis Hauge, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Research Director Nalan Koc, Norwegian Polar Institute
  • Professor Andrzej Witkowski, University of Szczecin

The programme board will meet at the end of February and formally submit its recommendation to NCBR, which is responsible for the formal approval of grant allocations.

The outcome is planned to be announced in early March 2013.

 

Future calls

There will be no more funding announcements for research cooperation between Norway and Poland during the current EEA agreement period (2009-2014).

Before any new calls for proposals can be issued, a new EEA agreement between Norway and EU must be signed , Norway must once again contribute financially to the EEA and Norway Grants, and Poland must decide to use some of this funding for research cooperation. If all of these conditions are fulfilled, a new call for proposals for research funding may be issued in 2017.

 

Other funding for Polish-Norwegian cooperation

Norwegian researchers who want to cooperate with Polish institutions are encouraged to explore the opportunities for funding under the Polish-Norwegian Scholarship and Training Fund operated by The Foundation for the Development of the Education System.

The Scholarship and Training Fund will provide grants for the exchange of and visits by students, PhD candidates, researchers and academic staff, as well as for cooperation on courses, seminars, the development of teaching methods and tools (especially ICT), preparatory trips and the like. The first of several calls is planned for February 2013.

The Norwegian coordinator for all EEA scholarship programmes is the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU).

EEA research cooperation programmes with other countries

The EEA research programmes between Norway and Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Estonia, respectively, will issue funding announcements in the coming months. All of these will be published on the Research Council of Norway’s website.

Researchers and institutions are invited to express their interest in partnerships by entering their data into the EEA Partner Search Database .

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