In turn this will, hopefully, lead to more Nordic collaboration in a longer perspective.
The new NOS-HS-Project Grant Call is an open call for bottom-up curiosity-driven research within the humanities and social sciences. The call aims to provide an opportunity for early-career researchers (2-7 years) to build Nordic networks, and to promote Nordic added value in research.
A rare opportunity: an open call for bottom-up curiosity-driven research
There are no thematic limitations or strategic priorities connected to the funding of this call, with scientific quality is the primary criteria. Professor Terje Lohndal, chair of the NOS-HS programme committee, explains:
“I am especially happy that the call supports bottom-up curiosity-driven research, as open, non-thematic, international calls for bottom-up curiosity-driven research are not very common within Humanities and Social Sciences”.
The call then provides a rare opportunity for many researchers in the Nordics, with otherwise limited access to international funding for projects and network building within their field of expertise.
Supporting young researchers in the Nordics
In the Nordic countries, several reports point to challenges for young researchers in the social sciences and humanities. The academic career paths for young researchers within the Humanities and Social Sciences are under pressure from a range of sources. Such pressure includes the lack of sufficient research funding, as well as the disconnect between an increasing number of temporary research positions and a stable or decreasing number of permanent academic positions.
The Nordic Council of Ministers for Education and Research focuses, amongst other things, on contributing to greater mobility, researcher training and networks, including for young researchers. As this topic is highly relevant to both national and Nordic policy development, the seminar “Young Researchers’ Careers in the Nordic Countries” was part of this year’s Holberg Week event and the official programme for the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2022.
On this background, Professor Terje Lohndal hopes that the new NOS-HS call will help change this trend and says:
"Fostering new generations of scientists is vital, and for that to happen there have to be many opportunities to apply for funding. This new call is an exciting opportunity for young researchers in the humanities and social sciences across the Nordic region."
Networks will hopefully lead to more Nordic collaboration
The Nordic prime ministers declared in 2019 that their aim for the Nordic Region was to become the most sustainable and integrated region in the world. The Nordic Council of Ministers’ ambition is furthermore for the Nordic region is to be a leading global knowledge region. Science-based knowledge is fundamental to sustainable development in all areas of society, and Nordic research co-operation improves the quality and impact of the research performed, promoting Nordic Added Value for the researcher community as well as for the civil society and policy makers.
The research projects funded by this call must include partners from research performing organisations in at least four Nordic countries. Nordic countries are defined here as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland.
Usually, the number of participating countries is three, but the reason for requiring as much as at least four actively collaborating partners from as many countries is that strengthening young researchers' possibilities for international co-operation will improve their career opportunities.
“With this call we want to encourage young researchers in the beginning of their academic careers to establish broad and extensive Nordic networks within the field of Humanities and Social Sciences”, says Arne Flåøyen, director of NordForsk and explains:
“For us it is important that young researchers are able to create networks as we believe that this will in turn lead to even more Nordic collaboration in the long run. And that would indeed promote Nordic Added Value.”