Šiaurės ir Baltijos doktorantų ir mokslininkų mobilumo bei tinklaveikos finansavimas

2020/05/11

Aim of the call

The call is being launched to promote collaboration and coordination of energy research in the Nordic and Nordic-Baltic regions through mobility and networking grants for PhD students and researchers.

The aims and objectives of PhD and researcher mobility projects are:

  • to develop, facilitate and create frameworks for collaboration and cooperation between research groups at higher education institutions, research institutions or industry in the Nordic and Nordic-Baltic regions;
  • to offer mobility support to PhD-students and researchers and to facilitate the creation of useful networks which bring added Nordic/Nordic-Baltic value to national research work.

The key areas of research should be within: digitalisation, energy markets, energy storage, green transport, bioenergy or CCUS and energy infrastructures. We welcome all academic approaches, e.g. engineering, natural science, social science, economics, or law; as well as interdisciplinary approaches in methods, e.g. modelling, demonstration, desktop studies, experiments, or surveys (non-exhaustive lists of approaches).

Background

The Nordic countries have a unique and long-standing cooperation on energy, which has created a solid foundation for the development of a sustainable and secure energy supply in the region. Now it is time to take the next step and further the Nordic energy cooperation with the green transition as the new framework.

The green transition is a process of changing our production, our way of thought, our investments and our institutions for a sustainable future. In that future, the Nordic countries aim at being decarbonized, while still being competitive and socially sustainable. Energy research cooperation within the Nordic region can facilitate and create the knowledge base needed for a fast and optimal green transition. Nordic Energy Research wants to shape innovative research and promote research collaborations with exciting perspectives which, in turn, can bring added value to the Nordic region.

In addition, Nordic Energy Research works actively to establish energy research cooperation between Baltic and Nordic countries. To follow up on this, we include Nordic-Baltic cooperation in the PhD and researcher mobility and network activities.

Financial framework

NOK 9.7 million is available under this call. Of this, NOK 2.7 million is reserved for partners in Nordic-Baltic projects. The purpose is to support research projects with a duration of up to four years. A maximum of NOK 1.5 million is available per project for the entire project period (maximum four years).

Funding for the PhD and researcher mobility projects is targeted towards research groups at higher education institutions in the Nordic countries, their autonomous areas (Åland, Faroe Islands, Greenland) and the Baltic countries (Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia). Projects must be led by higher education institutions, but applicants are encouraged to include partners from industry and non-governmental partners where relevant. The higher education institutions must be formally recognised by the competent national authorities and must offer research-based education at PhD level.

The support can be used for the following:

  • planning and preparatory measures while setting up a Nordic or Nordic-Baltic network, summer school, seminar, or similar activities;
  • support for mobility of PhD students, researchers and/or in connection with networking.

It is possible to seek funding for projects involving one, all or any combination of mobility/networking activities.

Rates

The grant instalments are defined based on the number of students and researchers and can be adjusted within the total maximum grant of NOK 1.5 million. The consortium may use the grant on any relevant activity within the project. There are no fixed grants for students, and the consortium is free to decide how to allocate the grant in the best way possible.

The grant for the implementation of a project is allocated annually. The grant amount is based on the following rates:

  • For researchers and PhD students travelling for research abroad, the maximum rate is NOK 18 000 per month for singles and NOK 33 000 per month for families. Reasonable travel costs may be covered.
  • Daily rate per participant per workshop and summer schools is NOK 1 500. For invited speakers to workshops and summer schools the rate per invited speaker is NOK 10 000 for workshops (1-3 days) and NOK 30 000 for summer schools (1-2 weeks).

Eligibility criteria

General criteria:

To be eligible for funding, proposals must satisfy the following requirements:

  • The project is to be research-based and target one of the 6 key areas of energy research as outlined above.
  • For Nordic projects, all partners eligible for funding must be based in a Nordic country or their autonomous areas.
  • For Nordic-Baltic projects, one of the following criteria must be met:
    • The higher education institution coordinating the consortium is based in a Baltic country;
    • At least two of the participating higher education institutions are based in a Baltic country.
  • The coordinating institution must be an approved higher education institution.
  • Letters of commitment signalling the institutional commitment of all participating partners must be provided together with the full proposal.

Proposals must be submitted electronically through the Application Portal by the call deadline.

All proposals must be written in English and follow the structure set out in the application form available on the Application Portal.

Projects start-up must take place before end-2020.

PhD mobility criteria:

  • The project must comply with current national regulations in order to ensure that it meets the requirements for activities within a PhD degree in the participating countries.
  • The project is to include student mobility periods of 6-12 months in at least one other Nordic country, autonomous area or Baltic country.

Researcher mobility criteria:

  • The project is to include researcher mobility periods of up to six months in at least one other Nordic country, autonomous area or Baltic country.

Assessment criteria

All eligible proposals will be rated using a scale of 1-5 (Weak, Fair, Good, Very good, Excellent) based on the criteria described below. All applicants will receive the sum score. Nordic Energy Research reserve the right to decline funding of projects with a sum score less than Good (18).

Nordic Energy Research’s Guidelines on Impartiality will be applied to ensure that no conflicts of interest arise when making funding decisions.

An international expert panel will assess the proposals according to the following criteria:

Relevance

Relevance regarding the aim and objectives of the PhD and researcher mobility project, with special attention to the research outcomes of the joint projects and the competences provided in order to maximise collaboration and create fruitful networks.

Priority will be given to projects that incorporate networking activities.

Joint curriculum design

The joint project must have a clear joint curriculum design with focus on student and researcher mobility, and how this will be structured and organised. In addition, each partner must have a clearly indicated commitment to the joint project.

Joint management 

The joint project must have a joint management plan with a clearly defined framework and mandate between the bodies/partners involved.

Communication and knowledge exchange plan

The joint project must have a coherent communication and knowledge exchange plan that clearly describes the students and researchers targeted by the project.

Sustainability

The consortium should have a strategy for medium-/long-term development/sustainability in order to maintain the network after the funding ceases.

Gender balance

The joint project must have adequate gender balance.

For further information please see the appendix to this call detailing the assessment guidelines.

Submission of proposals & processing

Proposals must be submitted electronically through the Application Portal by 3 June 2020. Deadline for submitting proposals is 13:00 (CEST).

Grant proposals will be processed by Nordic Energy Research. Proposals fulfilling the formal eligibility criteria will be assessed by at least two international evaluators appointed by Nordic Energy Research. The evaluators will carry out a joint evaluation and rank the proposals. Nordic Energy Research will take the final funding decision based on this ranking. Grant awards are tentatively planned to be announced within three months after the deadline.

Management and monitoring of the research projects

Nordic Energy Research will sign a contract with the coordinating institution for the project. This contract will set out the specific funding rates and details in accordance with Nordic Energy Research Standard Terms and Conditions of Contract. The coordinating institution is responsible for the administration and completion of the research project.

The grant will be disbursed to the coordinating institution, which is responsible for drawing up a consortium agreement regulating the rights and obligations of the various institutions involved in the project. Nordic Energy Research will not disburse any funds before the consortium agreement has been signed. Research projects will be monitored through an annual reporting process consisting of a scientific progress report and a financial report, as well as a final report when the project has concluded.

Further information

For questions please contact:

Senior adviser Jun Elin Wiik
E-mail: Jun.Wiik@nordicenergy.org
Phone: +47 934 19 411

Senior adviser Kevin Johnsen
E-mail: Kevin.Johnsen@nordicenergy.org
Phone: +47 478 50 782

Technical support
E-mail: support@nordforsk.org
Phone: +47 905 51 520