Nordic Neutron Science Programme
The programme’s objectives are to increase the number of Nordic-region researchers skilled at utilising neutrons in scientific analysis, as well as raise the competency level regarding neutron scattering, particularly among younger researchers and other groups without extensive experience in this field. The new programme is designed to support long-term use of the European Spallation Source (ESS) among the Nordic countries. The ESS is one of the priority European Research Infrastructures identified by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).
The joint Nordic programme for neutron research is being established to address the need for competence-building in this field, as identified by research funding agencies in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
A bibliometric report drawn up by the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute has mapped usage and needs among the Nordic research community in its report “Nordic Neutron Scattering Communities 2009‒2013”. The report finds there is a need for greater expertise and the potential to expand cooperation in the field in three of the countries, pointing out that:
- There is sufficiently high scientific quality and volume to start up a programme.
- Neutron research is given priority in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
- Access to the ESS is considered important for the development of the Nordic research community and its international collaboration.
The Programme Committee comprises representatives from the participating funding organisations:
- Fredrik Melander, Senior Adviser, Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, Denmark; chair
- Anette Eleonora Gunnæs, Associate Professor, University of Oslo, Norway; member
- Camilla Jakobsson, Coordinator, Swedish Research Council, Sweden; member
- Johan Holmberg, Coordinator, Swedish Research Council, Sweden; member
- Joakim Amorin, Research Programmes Manager, Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, Sweden; member
- Paula Eerola, Professor, University of Helsinki; observer
- Asdis Jonsdottir, Senior Advisor at Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Iceland; observer
The Programme Committee may seek scientific consultation from a reference group consisting of representatives of the Danish Neutron Scattering Society (DANSSK), the Norwegian Neutron Scattering Association (NoNSA), the Swedish Neutron Scattering Society (SNSS) and European Spallation Source Eric (ESS).
The Programme provides funding for joint Nordic projects – such as researcher school activities, networks, access to existing neutron facilities, mobility grants and doctoral and post-doctoral positions – with the intent of helping to build Nordic critical mass in highly specialised areas and to support more new users. Activities under the programme will be determined on an ongoing basis to facilitate response to the changing needs of the research community. Activities and calls will be published on this page, as well as via NordForsk’s newsletter and application portal.
NordForsk is providing NOK 500 000 in funding for a researcher network in 2015–2016 as an independent, supplementary activity to the neutron programme. The network will facilitate coordinated, increased use of both neutron and synchrotron techniques, as well as coordinate researchers in both fields, train new users and younger researchers, and promote the use of research infrastructure outside the Nordic region.
A project proposal under the call for proposals for capacity-building has been awarded NOK 2 million in funding in the spring of 2016, making it possible for six networks to draw on each other’s experience and build new strengths in the field.
A call for postdoctoral mobility grants will follow in later 2016 or early 2017.
The programme’s budget amounts to roughly NOK 65 million. NordForsk provides one-third of the funding from the outset, with the three participating countries jointly providing two-thirds. Denmark NOK 15 million, NordForsk NOK 21,5 million, Norway NOK 8 million, Sweden NOK 15 million (the Swedish Research Council) and NOK 6 million (Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research)