Major boost for independent projects

All research institutions will be eligible to seek the funding provided by the initiative. The purpose is to provide long-term funding to research groups with the potential to become world leaders in their field.

“This joint funding initiative demonstrates that the research institutions are willing to do their part to achieve the objective set out in the Government’s long-term plan for research and higher education to lift more Norwegian research groups to the top international level,” says Director General of the Research Council, Arvid Hallén.

The aim of the joint funding initiative is to support pioneering, high-quality research. It is also intended to enable dynamic Norwegian research groups to win more grants from the European Research Council.

There is tremendous untapped potential in strong Norwegian scientific groups with novel research ideas, says Arvid Hallen. (Photo: Sverre Jarild) Unexploited potential
“There is tremendous untapped potential in strong Norwegian scientific groups with novel research ideas. By giving the best researchers ample long-term funding Norway can build a greater number of internationally prominent groups. This in turn will enable us to carve out a stronger position on the research front and hopefully expand cooperation with the best international researchers,” Mr Hallén points out.

The universities and research institutions will be putting a total of NOK 750 million in the pot for the FRIPRO funding scheme for independent projects over seven years. The funding initiative is comprised of two phases: phase one will begin in 2016 and last for five years, while phase two will begin in 2018 and run through 2022. The institutions’ contribution is contingent upon an increase of the FRIPRO budget by the Ministry of Education and Research with the corresponding amount.

NOK 1.5 billion to at least 60 research groups
If the proposed funding initiative becomes a reality, it will mean that NOK 1.5 billion will become available to outstanding research groups in Norway.

The joint funding initiative follows up the aspirations of the Government’s long-term plan for research and higher education of developing more world-leading research groups. This is also one of the Research Council’s priority areas in its budget document on priority initiatives for 2016 (in Norwegian only).

Projects awarded this funding will receive between NOK 15 to 25 million over four to five years. Thus at least 60 highly-capable research groups will receive a significant, long-term addition for their activities. The funding is available to all Norwegian institutions seeking funding under the FRIPRO scheme.

Application deadline 27 May
The Research Council will announce the new funding in the FRIPRO scheme’s 2015 call for proposals as a new application category. The deadline for submitting applications is 27 May. More information about the new application category will be available in the latter half of March.

Third joint funding initiative for the FRIPRO scheme

The universities and the Research Council pooled their resources for the first time in 2012, resulting in a NOK 600 million increase to the FRIPRO budget. In 2014, the second joint funding initiative led to an additional NOK 300 million for Young Research Talent projects. Both initiatives have helped to increase the percentage of applications awarded allocations under the FRIPRO scheme significantly. Cooperation makes it possible to award grants to many outstanding projects that would otherwise have been rejected due to a tight financial framework.



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