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Call: Nordic Graduate Education Courses within register-based research

The submission deadline for this call has passed
Application deadline
21.06.2017 13:00
Call description

The Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare is inviting applications for funding of Nordic PhD education courses in the area of register-based research as specified in the thematic framework below.

The overall goal of the Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare is to improve health and welfare in the Nordic countries. The Nordic countries possess a unique source of information in their population-based registers (administrative registers for statistics purposes) and healthcare register data (quality registers, medical records and biobank data). Register information is often augmented by researcher-collected additional data.

The aim of this call is to support the activities of the next generation of researchers utilising data from Nordic registers in health and welfare by providing high-quality education and training as well as networking platforms. The courses funded under this call should incorporate aspects of the legal framework, open science, and research ethics of Nordic collaborative research based on register data. It is essential that the courses focus on aspects relevant for both health data and socioeconomic data.

Courses should cover material at an academic level that merits their inclusion in the local PhD educational programmes in the different Nordic countries. Over and above this, courses for which funding is sought are expected to be at high international level.

The application should include a budget with information on planning, execution, salaries and indirect costs including overhead, etc. Guidelines for budget specifications are provided in the application form.

Thematic framework

To be eligible for funding, courses must be targeted towards register-based research in line with the aims of the Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare. The courses that receive funding are to enhance the ability of next generation researchers to utilise Nordic register data in their research. In addition to the overall goal of improving health and welfare, which involves better understanding of determinants and consequences of health and welfare inequities, courses should incorporate aspects of the legal framework, open science, and research ethics of Nordic collaborative research based on register data.

Each application should cover a course in a single area, but multiple applications for courses covering a set of areas may be submitted by the same applicant.

Applicants should describe what steps will be taken to achieve broad participation of students from the Nordic countries.

Who is eligible to apply?

The contractual partner must be a university or other research institution engaged in PhD education in one of the Nordic countries. The Nordic countries are defined here as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Aaland Islands, Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Management and organisation

The Project Manager is the institution responsible for administering the grant. The Project Leader is responsible for the professional implementation and completion of the course on behalf of the Project Manager and should have a direct affiliation with the Project Manager. A steering group with representatives from minimum three Nordic countries should be established.

Eligibility criteria

The PhD education course should focus on utilisation of Nordic social and health register data in health and welfare research. The course should take place in the Nordic countries, and should preferably be organised as an intensive course corresponding to a total of 10 full working days/3 ECTS (consecutive or divided into separate sessions) for PhD students and young researchers (at the PostDoc level).

The course should strive to have participants from all Nordic countries. The course should make use of existing competence in the Nordic countries. Engagement of international lecturers is encouraged. It is anticipated that each course will be given at least twice (e.g. two consecutive semesters or academic years). The course language is to be English.

The Project Leader is responsible for ensuring that all the institutions, groups and lecturers mentioned in the application have confirmed their participation in the activity via a Letter of Intent.

In accordance with its gender policy, NordForsk promotes gender balance among researchers as well as gender perspectives within the research activity as important aspects of research quality. All projects that receive funding from NordForsk must describe how gender perspectives will be incorporated into or given consideration in the project.

Financial framework
  • The total budget for the call is NOK 6 000 000. The maximum amount that may be sought is NOK 2 000 000. It is anticipated that each course will be given at least twice within the proposed budget, within the time frame 2018-2020, i.e. the maximum cost for a single course occasion is NOK 1 000 000.
  • Funding should be used to plan and develop the course and for course execution, including travel and accommodation costs for lecturers and Nordic students.
  • No course fees may be charged for the participation of Nordic PhD students and young researchers at postdoc level, affiliated with Nordic research institutions.
  • Students outside the Nordic countries can take part in the courses, but must cover their own costs of participation.
Assessment criteria
  • Relevance of the course for register-based research utilising Nordic social and health registers relative to the call.
  • Quality of the scientific content of the course, including cross-disciplinary aspects.
  • Scholarly competence and experience of the course leaders.
  • Quality of the course plan and organisation of the course, including plans on steps to take to achieve broad participation of students from the Nordic countries and the possibility of including the course in the local PhD educational programmes of the students.
  • Incorporation of or consideration given to gender perspectives in the course.
  • Feasibility of the proposed budget describing the total costs of the course and overall funding contributions, including the impact of the funding requested from NordForsk.
Processing of proposals

Proposals should be submitted electronically through the NordForsk Application Portal no later than 21 June 2017 at 13.00 CEST. Proposals must be submitted in English. No attachments to the proposals are allowed, unless specifically requested in the application form. The application form is based on the eligibility criteria and assessment criteria stated above, and can be found in its complete form at NordForsk Application Portal. In order to access the application form you must register as a user at NordForsk Application Portal and create a draft application.

Call conditions
  • The Project Leader is responsible for informing NordForsk as soon as the scheduled date and place for the course is known and for maintaining a course website.
  • The course should be announced in all the Nordic countries along with national courses and on NordForsk’s website
  • The Project Leader is responsible for ensuring that all course material to be used is openly available on the course web site.


Funding decisions will be made by the NordForsk board in December 2017.

Max applied amount (NOK)

2 000 000

Responsible adviser

Marianne Aastebøl Minge, Senior Adviser
Phone: +47 936 02 527

Responsible adviser

Lise-Lotte Wallenius, Senior Adviser
Phone: +47 915 81 993

Technical support

For technical support, please contact: or +47 905 51 520

NordForsk, Stensberggata 25, 0170 Oslo, Tlf: +47 476 14 400, E-post:, Organisasjonsnummer: 971 274 255