Many Seeking A Research Stay In Norway

05 Dec 2012


Immigration News

Seventeen programmes and activities issued calls for proposals for the 28 November deadline, and the Research Council received a total of 553 grant applications in response.

Researcher mobility enhances cooperation

The largest number of grant applications was submitted to the YGGDRASIL mobility programme for international Ph.D. students and younger researchers seeking a research stay in Norway. An impressive 145 applicants are now competing for a grant from the NOK 10 million available for allocation.

Most of the researchers who receive grants for a stay at a Norwegian research institution under the YGGDRASIL mobility programme come from countries with which Norway already has extensive research cooperation. The guest researchers are evenly distributed among the Norwegian research institutions. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Under the YGGDRASIL mobility programme grants are provided to Ph.D. students and younger researchers from Council of Europe member states, as well as from other countries with which Norway is seeking to expand research cooperation.

“A majority of the grant applications come from researchers from countries such as France, Germany, Poland, Russia and the UK – countries with which Norway already enjoys productive research cooperation. At the same time we have opened the door to researchers from non-European countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile and South Africa,” explains Hilda Strøm Martinsen, adviser for the YGGDRASIL programme.

Strategic basis in the institutions

Despite the high percentage of grant applications received, the YGGDRASIL mobility programme received fewer applications than expected.

“We have had as many three or four hundred grant applications under previous funding rounds. However, in 2011 we introduced a procedure in which the host institution, not the guest researcher, submits the application. This helps to ensure that projects have better support within their institutions and has led to an overall rise in the quality of the grant applications. But it is also probably part of the reason why we have received fewer applications this year than previously.”

Fewer applicants means a higher proportion of grants awarded. Under the previous call for proposals, 26 per cent of the grant applications were approved for funding.

“We are optimistic, and estimate that as many as 40 per cent of the applicants will receive a positive reply this time,” says Ms Martinsen. Grant awards are expected to be finalised in early April 2013.

The Research Programme on Sickness Absence, Work and Health (SYKEFRAVAER) stood for the largest pot of funding available in this funding round, with calls for proposals for NOK 60 million for Researcher Projects and NOK 2 million for pre-projects.

“We have provided funding to research projects on sickness absence and exclusion from working life since 2007. In the programme’s revised work programme from 2011, the working environment and health in the workplace is designated as an independent thematic area. This has resulted in projects with a larger proportion of health science research,” says Yngvill Rådmannsøy Tømmerberg, senior adviser at the Research Council.

This is the first time the programme has issued a call for pre-projects.

“Our aim is to support research on effective measures for reducing sickness absence and disability retirement and promoting health in the workplace and productivity,” explains Ms Tømmerberg. “Such projects may require cooperation with working environments in which the measures can be tested. This makes for a very complex planning phase, and we recognised the need to make funding available for pre-projects.”

“Allocating funding for pre-projects does not entail any obligation to award grants to any subsequent projects. However, we hope that support for project development will result in a greater number of applicants seeking funding for intervention studies under the call for full applications to be issued next year.”

The six applicants that submitted grant applications for pre-projects and the 50 applicants that submitted grant applications for Researcher Projects can expect to receive a reply at the beginning of April 2013.

Source: http://www.nortrade.com/sectors/news/many-seeking-a-research-stay-in-norway-/


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