People in Saami clothes

Pre-announcement: Capacity-building networks for Indigenous research

The Nordic Council of Ministers’ Arctic co-operation programme states that the  Arctic is “a region that must be preserved and developed at the same time”, and the Nordic countries are heavily involved in research concerning this vulnerable part of the world. Indigenous peoples have inhabited the Arctic for thousands of years, accentuating the importance of including Indigenous perspectives and knowledge in all aspects of research.  

The level of experience and maturity in addressing Indigenous perspectives varies a lot between research areas and research environments. To complicate matters, the different Nordic countries approach the Indigenous perspective in research projects differently. As an example, the Nordic countries have varying degrees of guidelines for the ethical involvement of Indigenous people in research projects.

Additionally, there is considerable diversity among Indigenous groups and interest organisations across the Nordics and the Arctic region. Indigenous communities also report high interest from researchers from various fields and disciplines, often feeling that their societies do not sufficiently benefit enough from Indigenous peoples’ contribution to information, data collection, consultations, and practical assistance to research projects. This means that ethical, relevant, and good safeguarding of Indigenous perspectives in Nordic and Arctic research is particularly challenging.

Moreover, young researchers who want to conduct research relevant to Indigenous peoples, frequently lack the necessary experience to build trust-based high-quality cooperation with Indigenous communities and/or Indigenous researchers.

Cooperation and knowledge exchange between research environments that conduct Indigenous research or research with an Indigenous perspective will in this respect be of great value.

NordForsk announce funding for 2-4 Nordic capacity-building networks for researchers working with research relevant to Indigenous peoples. The networks can embrace all relevant subjects, subject areas and disciplines, and all Nordic countries must be able to participate. The capacity-building networks for Indigenous perspectives in research should be led by an early-career researcher, and it will be an advantage if several young researchers are given central tasks in the network.

The aim of the networks is to accelerate knowledge on relevant, respectful, and ethical involvement of Indigenous peoples in research, to foster research with higher quality and relevance for Indigenous peoples and increase the competence on Indigenous perspectives and Indigenous research.

The networks should aim to enhance the value of participating in research projects for Indigenous communities/societies and NGOs throughout the Nordics and the Arctic region. The funding can be used for networking and capacity building and knowledge sharing, but not for research activities. We foresee to support each network for 2 years with a maximum of 1 million NOK. In each funded project, the consortium must consist of researchers from research institutions in at least three Nordic countries.

Please note: The plan is to open the call in March 2024, and the details of the call in the pre-announcement may be subject to change. The final details will be provided in the call text.  


Portrait of Kristin Andersen.

Kristin Andersen

Special Adviser