NOK 200 million extra for independent research awarded

The funding has been awarded under the FRIPRO scheme for independent basic research projects at the Research Council of Norway. The projects will also receive funding in 2013 and 2014.

Very high scientific merit

Anders Hanneborg Photo: Sverre Jarild Anders Hanneborg (Photo: Sverre Jarild) “These are first-rate projects which, despite their high assessment scores of 6 or 7 (out of a possible 7), did not obtain funding under the FRIPRO scheme’s regular funding round in autumn 2011,” explains Anders Hanneborg, Executive Director of the Division for Science. “There were 172 projects in this group – all assessed by international referees as being of particularly high scientific merit.”

“With the extra allocation we could give funding to a full 90 of these projects.”
Universities set the priorities

In December, a list of the 172 highly ranked grant proposals was circulated to Norway’s universities. It is their assessments that form the basis for the grant awards.

The universities indicated which projects they hoped would be given priority within the parameters of the NOK 200 million. In the final assessment round, the four expert committees under the FRIPRO scheme formally selected 90 prioritised projects as recipients of the funding.

Major allocations by four scientific committees

The funding amounts given below represent the combined total for the entire duration of the project periods.

Expert Committee for Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Technology: NOK 136 million has been awarded to 20 new projects in mathematics, physical sciences and technology, including energy. Read more in Norwegian.

Expert Committee for Social Sciences, including Environment and Development Research: NOK 45 million is being allocated to seven new social science-related projects. Read more in Norwegian.

Expert Committee for Medicine, Health and Biology: NOK 285 million is being allocated to 42 new projects in biology and biomedicine. Read more in Norwegian.

Expert Committee for the Humanities: NOK 133 million is being allocated to 21 new projects in the field of humanities. Read more in Norwegian.

Higher rate of grants awarded

Illustrative photo: Shutterstock (Illustrative photo: Shutterstock) A total of 966 grant proposals were submitted to the FRIPRO scheme for funding for 2012. Including the 90 additional projects now funded under the joint initiative, 158 projects have received support. Of these, 13 were grant proposals that did not succeed in the competition for ERC Starting Grants but have been given financing from the FRIPRO scheme’s budget.

“It is very gratifying to see we have managed to make so many more of the best projects happen,” says Mr Hanneborg.

Thanks to the joint funding initiative, the percentage of grant proposals awarded funding under the FRIPRO scheme rose from seven to 16 per cent for regular projects. The 13 proposals for ERC Starting Grants are not included here. The total awards percentage for independent research projects remains low, however, given the large number of high-calibre grant proposals submitted.

The FRIPRO scheme has an overall budgetary framework of NOK 720 million for 2012.

Photo: Shutterstock (Photo: Shutterstock)

 

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