The agreement enables Norwegian researchers to include funding for British partners in their grant applications to the Research Council of Norway. Likewise, British researchers may seek funding to cover costs for Norwegian partners in grant applications to the two British research councils. The agreement is intended to promote increased cooperation between Norwegian and British researchers.
The British research councils will provide support for Norwegian partners for up to 30 per cent of the total project funding. The Research Council of Norway has not set a ceiling, but will leave it to the relevant funding bodies to assess whether the participation of British researchers enhances the project and whether the recommended amount of funding is reasonable based on the individual call for proposals and the objectives of the project.
“This is an agreement that will benefit British and Norwegian researchers alike,” says Arvid Hallén, Director General of the Research Council of Norway. He notes that an increasing proportion of funding for Norwegian research will be awarded for international cooperation in the future and that the agreement with the British research councils is one of many instruments encouraging this development.
“Another consideration is that we have seen that projects involving participants from other countries are often more visible and have a greater impact than purely national projects,” he says.
“We are looking forward to working more closely with our British partners,” says Jon Holm, Director of the Research Council’s Department for Humanities and Social Sciences.
“British social scientists and humanities experts have been at the forefront of their fields for many years and have been highly successful within European research cooperation. Many Norwegian groups already work closely with British researchers, but we believe that there is much untapped potential in this area. We can learn a great deal from the British, and they can learn a lot from us in areas where Norwegian researchers are among the world leaders,” Mr Holm concludes.
Towards a common European Research Area
The new agreement is the result of cooperation under Science Europe and is based on the “Money follows Cooperation Line”, i.e. the idea that funding from national agencies should also be available to partners from other countries.
The overall target of this type of cooperation is to help to develop a common European Research Area (ERA).
Along with Germany, Great Britain is Norway’s most important research partner in Europe. British researchers were involved in two-thirds of the Norwegian research projects under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme.
Great Britain has been highly successful in the EU research context. This excellent performance has also extended to the social sciences and the humanities, which are encompassed under the new agreement.