applying funding students researchers

Funding process

NordForsk programmes

NordForsk programmes are developed in cooperation with the national research funding organisations, mainly through the Open Invitation mechanism.

Through the Open Invitation mechanism, the national research funding organisations are invited to propose new Nordic programmes or extension of existing NordForsk programmes .

The decision to establish new programmes or calls is taken by the NordForsk Board. The national research funding organisations fund at least 2/3 of the total programme budget, while the NordForsk contribution is from 0 to 1/3. NordForsk appoints a programme committee consisting of a committee chair and a member from each of the programme funding partners.

Overview of NordForsk’s ongoing programmes


Calls under the NordForsk programmes are published on the NordForsk webpages, our webportal and in the newsletter. We do not have any fixed annual calls for proposals or open-ended calls. The call deadlines will vary from year to year. The NordForsk calls employ either a real common pot or a virtual common pot. For calls with a virtual common pot, national guidelines and regulations will apply as specified in the text of the call.

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The date and time stipulated for deadlines are absolute and final, and no one is automatically entitled to an extension. The cut-off time is 1:00 pm Oslo time.

Applicants are themselves responsible for ensuring that they have adequate time to complete and submit grant applications.

The deadline may be extended in the event of technical problems with the NordForsk application portal. If the deadline is extended, all applicants will be informed of this. Technical problems originating with the applicants will not lead to an individual extension of the deadline.

Applications cannot be revised after the submission deadline has passed, unless the revisions concerned are needed due to errors of a clearly clerical or technical nature.

All NordForsk programmes have an appointed programme committee consisting of a committee chair and a member from each of the programme funding partners. The programme committee draws up the recommendation regarding which projects to fund. The recommendation is based on the expert assessments, the Nordic added value of the projects, and a strategic assessment of which projects will best promote achievement of the programme objectives.

The project owner of a NordForsk project must be a research-performing institution. Project partners may include research-performing organisations, or public sector, private sector and third sector participants, depending on the purpose and objectives of the programme and project. The project consortium must include partners from at least three Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden) or autonomous areas (the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Åland).

Specific requirements relating to the applicants will vary and are stipulated for each call. The funding must comply with the state aid rules.

How to apply for NordForsk funding – step by step

NordForsk funding instruments

NordForsk’s three main funding instruments are research projects, Nordic Centres of Excellence and Nordic University Hubs.

Assessment of NordForsk proposals

Proposals for NordForsk calls are to be submitted via the web portal. After a proposal has been submitted, you will receive confirmation by email. The proposal will also be assigned a project number.

Proposals that do not fulfil the formal requirements set out in the call will be rejected. Information regarding rejection of a proposal will be given by email.

Experts assess proposals based on the criteria stipulated in the call. Each proposal is assessed by experts, normally in a referee panel that together determines the score for the proposal. The panels normally consist of non-Nordic experts. Sometimes panels also include representatives of the end users.

Principles for our expert assessment

How we define Nordic added value

More detailed information about the assessment process for a specific call will be provided in the text of the call.

The final decision on which proposals to fund is taken by the NordForsk Board based on the recommendation from the programme committee. If the call uses a virtual common pot funding model, the national research funding organisations will take separate decisions on their portion of the funding.

All applicants will receive written feedback regarding the decision.

For most calls, the applicants will receive the panel assessment after the assessment process is finalised. The funded projects will be announced on the NordForsk webpages and in the newsletter. The names of the experts who took part in the assessment of grant proposals will be published on the webpages after the process is completed.


NordForsk and the project owner both sign the project contract. The contract sets out the terms and conditions for the use of the research funding and establishes the parties’ rights and obligations with regard to the implementation of the project.

For calls with a virtual common pot funding model, each of the national funders signs a contract with its respective national partners. NordForsk signs a contract only with the project owner.

The project partners must sign a collaboration agreement before the first disbursement of project funding. The collaboration agreement must be sent to NordForsk for information.

Project monitoring and reporting

Projects must submit annual reports to NordForsk in accordance with the specifications in the contract. In addition, projects must report outputs, outcomes and impact in Researchfish.

Project monitoring and reporting