The YGGDRASIL mobility programme for incoming researchers from Europe to Norway, the Leiv Eiriksson mobility programme for researcher exchange between North America and Norway, and the E.ON (formerly E.ON Ruhrgas) scholarship programme for research cooperation between Germany and Norway are all now being terminated in their current form.
Support for mobility between Norway and North America will be continued via funding announcements for Grants for Long-term, International, Institutional Cooperation (LISI), a new activity being launched at the Research Council.
Other grant schemes to be continued
The Research Council will continue to administer bilateral grant schemes with Japan and China with its partners, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the China Scholarship Council (CSC), respectively. Graduate Research Opportunity Worldwide (GROW), a grant scheme for US researchers seeking a research stay in Norway, will also be continued, and both the Aurora mobility programme for researcher exchange between France and Norway and the DAADppp mobility programme for researcher exchange between Germany and Norway will continue to issue annual funding announcements.
Will support institutional internationalisation efforts
The individual grant schemes have for the most part been used to provide funding for international researchers coming to Norway. However, there has been a major shift in research mobility patterns to and from Norway over the past decade, and the Research Council has decided to redesign its schemes accordingly.
“Incoming mobility has become very satisfactory. Norway is attractive as a research country, especially for Ph.D and postdoctoral candidates. Now our primary mobility challenge is to encourage Norwegian researchers to pursue a more international career,” says Anders Hanneborg, Executive Director of the Division for Science at the Research Council.
The second target is to boost the internationalisation of Norwegian research institutions by giving them the opportunity to seek support for international network-building from the Research Council. Thus it will be up to the institutions themselves to determine how researcher mobility can be used to build long-term relationships with research institutions in relevant partner countries.
Too few Norwegian researchers abroad
“A large number of Norwegian researchers go abroad for a short research stay, but there are still too few researchers with Norwegian doctorates who have been employed internationally in the course of their careers,” explains Mr Hanneborg.
“We know that international experience may enhance a research career greatly. It is therefore important for us to strengthen the capacity of researchers in Norway to compete with their international colleagues in the international job market,” he adds.
More say for institutions
The Research Council is moving away from the model in which mobility funding is a matter between the organisation and the individual applicant. “We believe that it is constructive for the institutions to have more say in how to use researcher mobility funding to achieve their international ambitions,” says Mr Hanneborg
Future funding announcements under the Grants for Long-term, International, Institutional Cooperation (LISI) scheme will be based on an analysis of the current status of the cooperation with priority countries. “Right now we are working on the content of a LISI call targeting North America, with a planned application deadline in the first part of the new year,” he says.
Good opportunities in the EU
For individual fellowship opportunities the Research Council points to the Marie Skodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) under the EU, a comprehensive fellowship programme for researcher mobility within Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world.
This scheme offers support to researchers of any nationality seeking to undertake research training at post-doctoral level in another country. Thus, it represents a funding opportunity both for foreigners wishing to work in a Norwegian research institution and for Norwegian researchers wishing to conduct a research stay abroad.
“A Marie Curie fellowship is an international acknowledgment that can enhance the ability of researchers to succeed in other international competitive arenas, such as the European Research Council (ERC),” says Thorbjørn Gilberg, who is one of the Research Council’s contact persons for Marie Skodowska-Curie Actions.