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Call: Nordic Register Pilots

The submission deadline for this call has passed
Application deadline
18.02.2015 13:00
Full call title

Constructing Nordic Research Infrastructure Pilots in Health and Welfare by combining registers with socioeconomic and health-related data


NordForsk is now announcing the third call under the Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare. This call is targeted towards establishing infrastructures based on Nordic registers of socio-economic and health-related data in order to facilitate cross-border research that addresses societal challenges. The overall goal of the Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare (hereafter referred to as the Programme) is to improve health in the Nordic countries by finding solutions to societal and public health challenges through high quality research.

The aim of this specific call is to support projects targeting the construction of Nordic research infrastructures in the health and welfare sphere by combining socio-economic and health-related registers. The joint Nordic registers established should subsequently be utilised as a knowledge resource for answering novel research questions that address grand societal challenges relating to health and welfare, and thereby provide a foundation for future policy incentives and interventions.

The call also aims to monitor existing hurdles and bottlenecks (technical, organisational, legal, ethical, etc.) that impede Nordic research and research infrastructure cooperation, in keeping with NordForsk's objective to strengthen Nordic register-based research.

Who is eligible to apply?

Researchers and research groups at universities and other research institutions in the Nordic countries are eligible to apply for funding. The Nordic countries are defined here as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Aaland Islands, Faroe Islands and Greenland. The formal applicant must be an institution, organisation or other legal entity based in one of the Nordic countries.

Thematic framework

Together, the Nordic countries have a population base of almost 26 million, which can provide a solid foundation for numerous types of research of high international scientific value. The construction of infrastructures based on Nordic registers will open up potential new avenues for research, and will enable important research on health, welfare and social conditions in general. The research infrastructures that result from the alignment of socio-economic and health registers across countries can be used to apply a multi-disciplinary approach to research activities targeting grand societal challenges.

The welfare systems in the Nordic countries provide an arena for deeper enquiry into the role of these systems for health outcomes. The Nordic welfare systems operate in a life-time perspective. Consequently, the issues of interest represent a broad range of scientific questions. Studies targeting a comparative approach in different contexts in the different countries are expected to contribute to a deeper understanding of mechanisms behind different trajectories of health and social conditions over the life span and the role of welfare systems to improve living conditions.

The planned infrastructures should be intended for use in projects studying the Nordic welfare societies and their sustainability from a number of perspectives. Example of study targets include: Ageing, education, ethnicity, gender, life style and working life, including retirement conditions. Other targets relevant to health and welfare are also welcome.

Financial framework

This call for proposals is funded and administered by NordForsk. The total budget for this call is NOK 30 million, and the maximum funding amount that may be sought is NOK 10 million. Funding will be granted for a period of 1-3 years.

Eligibility criteria


  • The Project Leader should be an established senior researcher based at a research institution in one of the Nordic countries. NordForsk will enter into a contract with this institution, which will be responsible for the administration of the research project. This is also the legal entity to which NordForsk will disburse the grant.
  • The research project must have a binding institutional commitment (Letter of Intent) from at least three Nordic countries.
  • The proposed research infrastructures should be built on register data from minimum three Nordic countries.
  • Proposals must include an overall budget detailing the anticipated costs of the research project and a specification of how these costs will be distributed among all funding sources, including funding sought from the Programme.
  • All project partners must document their own contribution (cash and in-kind) to the project.
  • The proposed time frame for the research projects is 1-3 years.
  •  All projects that receive funding from NordForsk must maintain high ethical standards (good research ethics and adequate consideration of ethical questions of relevance to the project). Proposals must include a description of the relevant legal and ethical frameworks and procedures needed to perform the research. 
  • The proposals must include plans for dissemination and implementation of the project results, including, if relevant, plans for market orientation.
  • 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 or given consideration in the project.
  • Proposals must include a plan for contributing to open science in accordance with Science Europe's Principles for the Transition to Open Access to Research Publications. Proposals must include a plan for open access to data.
Assessment criteria

The proposal will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Quality of the grant proposal, including the scientific potential and quality of the project plan enabling novel approaches to utilisation of Nordic registers,
  • Relevance relative to the call for proposals;
  • Competence of the applicants, including scientific merits and output, academic leadership, and experience and skills related to the project;
  • Research environment including profile, cohesion, possibility for specialisation;
  • Expected results and impact, including long-term scientific as well as societal impact of the cooperation;
  • Feasibility and rigour of the project plan in relation to proposed resources (human resources, budget, schedule).
  • Feasibility of the proposed budget describing the total costs of and overall funding contributions to the research project, including the impact of the funding sought from the Programme;
  • Added value of the Nordic cooperation, including justification as to why the project should be carried out as a joint Nordic effort and how the results will benefit the Nordic countries;
  • Contribution to open science: plans as described in Annex 1, merits in the area of open science.
  • Gender perspective of research and gender aspects of the organisation.
Processing of proposals

The application must be submitted in electronic format via the NordForsk application portal no later than 18 February 2015 at 13:00 CET. Proposals must be submitted in English. No attachments are to be included unless specifically requested in the application form. The application form is based on the eligibility criteria and assessment criteria stated above, and may be found on the NordForsk Application Portal. In order to access the application form, applicants must register as a user on the NordForsk Application Portal and create a draft application.

The final funding decision will be taken by the NordForsk board based on external peer review performed by an international panel of experts and the subsequent recommendation by the Programme Committee of the Nordic Programme.

NordForsk's Guidelines on Impartiality will be applied in order to avoid conflicts of interest in the prioritisation of projects and funding decisions. The assessment panel will provide written feedback to the applicants via NordForsk. The decision on grant allocations will be taken by the NordForsk board in June. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the funding decision, and NordForsk will sign contracts with the approved research projects and their host organisations shortly thereafter. The preliminary start-up of projects awarded funding will take place during autumn 2015.

Management and organisation

NordForsk will sign a contract with the host institution of the project, and this contract will set out the specific funding rates and details. The grant will be disbursed to this institution and a consortium agreement regulating the rights and obligations of the various institutions involved in the project must be drawn up. Implementation of the project will be monitored through annual progress reports comprising a scientific progress report and a financial report. A final report must be submitted to NordForsk at the end of the funding period. A final evaluation of the results and impact of the Nordic Programme on Health and Welfare will be conducted at the end of the funding period.

The Project Leader will be responsible for the implementation of human resource strategies for researchers in keeping with the basic principles of the EU Charter for Researchers and the EU Code for the Recruitment of Researchers.

Max applied amount (NOK)
Responsible adviser

Maria Nilsson, Senior Adviser
Phone: +47 993 80 264

Responsible adviser

Ida Persson, Adviser
Phone: +47 407 24 571

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