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Call: New instrument for Nordic University Cooperation: Nordic University Hubs

The submission deadline for this call has passed
Application deadline
03.05.2017 14:00

A Nordic University Hub is a long-term partnership between Nordic universities, universities of applied sciences and university colleges that forms a consortium which will provide a framework for expanding cooperation in the Nordic region. The overall objective of the new funding instrument is to strengthen international competitiveness and facilitate the development of world-leading Nordic research environments. The new instrument will provide funding for high-quality activities that facilitate cooperation within selected areas, promote excellence and create Nordic added value. The new instrument will allow Nordic universities, university colleges and universities of applied sciences to use Nordic cross-border cooperation as a tool for achieving their own strategic objectives, thereby building long-term institutional capacity. This will be done by making top funding available to Nordic university consortia as an incentive to promote Nordic university cooperation and capacity building.

Who can apply?

Nordic universities, universities of applied sciences and university colleges that perform research are eligible to apply for funding.

Financial framework
  • NordForsk funding will be available for the period 2018-2020, with a possible extension for the period 2021-2023.
  • The NordForsk funding allocated to the call is maximum NOK 40 million annually for the period 2018-2020, and maximum NOK 20 million annually for the period 2021-2023.
  • Each university consortium may receive NOK 2-10 million in NordForsk funding per year for the period 2018-2020, and thereafter NOK 1-5 million per year through 2023.
  • The participating universities, universities of applied sciences and university colleges must contribute resources equalling twice the amount of funding sought from NordForsk from 2018 through 2023.
  • Expenses for coordination of the hub should not exceed 20 per cent of total costs.
  • Non-Nordic consortium partners must fund their own participation; however, expenses related to mobility may also be covered for international partners.

Funding may be used for the cooperational framework necessary for implementation of the hub, including:

  • mobility;
  • guest researchers;
  • workshops, seminars and conferences;
  • higher education at the master's and doctoral level (e.g. intensive courses, field courses, summer schools and joint courses);
  • communication and dissemination activities;
  • other expenses that promote the cooperational framework and are necessary for implementation of the hub.
Eligibility criteria
  • The contractual partner for a Nordic University Hub must be a Nordic university, university college or university of applied sciences.
  • The consortium must include universities, universities of applied sciences or university colleges from at least three Nordic countries.
  • The consortium partners are obligated to contribute twice the amount sought from NordForsk. The contribution must be guaranteed through a letter of commitment signed by a high-level administrator with the authority to assume obligations on behalf of the university or university college.
  • The Project Leader of the consortium must be an employee at the host institution and appointed by the contractual partner.
  • The grant application and all attachments are to be submitted in English via the NordForsk Call and Application Portal.

In addition, the proposal must include:

  • a description of how gender perspectives will be incorporated into the cooperation, please consult the NordForsk Gender Policy;
  • a plan for open access to publications and data in accordance with Science Europe Principles on Open Access;
  • a description of legal and ethical issues of relevance to the proposed cooperation.

Other mandatory attachments to the proposal are specified in the application form.

Assessment criteria

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

  • Relevance relative to the instrument's overall objective;
  • Nordic added value;
  • Quality of the collaboration, long-term strategic significance and basis in the strategic plans of the consortium partners;
  • Scientific quality of the consortium;
  • Potential for innovative capacity building;
  • Clearly defined plans that specify objectives, milestones, activities, task distribution, resource needs and mobility;
  • Plans for dissemination of knowledge and results from the collaboration.
Processing of proposals

NordForsk's Guidelines on Impartiality will be applied in the event of potential conflicts of interest. The proposals will be evaluated by international experts and by a Nordic advisory group. The NordForsk Board will take the final funding decision. NordForsk will initiate contract negotiations with the contractual partners for the proposals selected for funding.

Management and organisation

NordForsk is responsible for the administrative follow-up of the Nordic University Hubs. All participating institutions in the consortium must commit to the collaboration. One of the institutions is to serve as host institution and the legal contractual partner vis-á-vis NordForsk. NordForsk negotiates and signs the contract with the contractual partner. A consortium agreement regulates the rights and obligations between the consortium partners. A management group consisting of the funding partners (i.e. universities/university colleges/universities of applied sciences) will manage each consortium. An advisory expert group will evaluate the performance of the university consortia after three years. The evaluation will form the basis for NordForsk's decision as to whether to continue funding for the individual consortia for an additional three years. The commitment from the consortium partners will be for six years, independent of the evaluation.

Max applied amount

NOK 10 million per year for the period 2018-2020. NOK 5 million per year for the period 2021-2023.

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

E-mail: / Phone:+47 905 51 520

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