“The HAVBRUK 2 programme is a thematic-oriented programme in which the programme board decides which topics to prioritise for funding. In this round, the call was also open to research projects on all aspects of the thematic area of healthy fish,” explains programme coordinator Kjell Emil Naas. “While we have received proposals in all thematic areas, there were relatively few for the specifically targeted topics and surprisingly many where we had left it up to the researchers to choose a research question to address.”
Mr Naas finds it unfortunate that so few have submitted proposals within the targeted thematic areas. “These topics represent major challenges facing the aquaculture industry, challenges we want research to shed light on,” he says. He also relates that the budget parameters and the large number of applications in response to the open thematic area on fish health will result in a lower success rate (percentage of projects being awarded funding) in this area.
The programme received many applications from top scientific groups working with societal challenges related to aquaculture. “For a number of years we have worked to encourage high-quality proposals focused on these challenges. It seems that our efforts are now bearing fruit,” Mr Naas states.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications to the HAVBRUK 2 programme in early December.
Fewer projects means better projects
The Initiative for ICT and digital innovation (IKTPLUSS) issued a joint call for proposals with the Programme for User-driven Research-based Innovation (BIA) for projects designated as lighthouse projects. The initiative received a total of 41 applications. Jan Rasmus Sulebak, who is responsible for the call, explains that a number of the project concepts had been consolidated since the previous call.
“That is exactly what we were after,” he says. “We have funding available for two to three of the best lighthouse projects, and we believe that proposals based on a combination of project concepts yield the best projects.”
Applicants who submitted proposals under the IKTPLUSS initiative will be notified of the outcome of their applications on 9 October.
Many last-minute submissions
Over half of the applicants did not submit their proposals until two hours before the deadline, and as much as 15 per cent of the submissions came in the final ten minutes.
Nina Hedlund, who is in charge of the receival procedures for applications to the Research Council, reminds those seeking funding that applications can be created as soon as a call is made active, up to six weeks before the deadline. The grant application form may be saved and updated any number of times up until the deadline. It is recommended to use the “Check page” and “Check entire” functions. This will help to detect errors and enhance the quality of the proposals submitted.
“It is distressful that so many first start to fill out the application on the same day it is due,” Ms Hedlund states.
The application deadlines set by the Research Council are final. It is not possible to submit an application once the deadline has passed. The application system closes automatically, as does the EU application system.