Pre-announcement: Joint Call for Proposals NordForsk - NRO

Education for Tomorrow: Inclusive Education Across Borders: Research projects oriented towards practice and policy. Please note: the call will be launched tentatively December 2016, pending funding can be obtained for the call. Application deadline: April 2017 (tentatively).

Estimated amount available

The total funding requested per proposal is not to exceed EUR 750,000 across all participating partners. The funding available for this transnational call is estimated at EUR 2.25 million and up to three projects will be funded, subject to quality.

Project duration

Applications should be for projects with a duration of three years.


NordForsk is administering the call in collaboration with the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO, which is part of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, NWO). All applications must be submitted via the NordForsk online application portal. The call will be on the portal tentatively December 2016.

Responsible adviser: Kaisa Vaahtera, Senior Adviser
Phone: +47 91148694

Responsible adviser: Sóley Morthens, Senior Adviser
Phone: +47 97415820

For technical support, please contact: or +47 905 51 520

Responsible adviser, NRO:
Niels Rijke. E-mail:


The Research Council of Norway (Forskningsrådet), Academy of Finland (AKA), The Icelandic Ministry of Education, The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), The Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO) and NordForsk are issuing this call to strengthen research cooperation by funding joint research projects in the field of education.

Please refer to the NordForsk and NRO research programmes:



Thematic framework

The objective of this call is to broadly explore the many and various research questions related to inclusive education. This is a highly topical theme which calls for approaches from a variety of perspectives and educational science disciplines, and will facilitate, encourage and require multidisciplinary research. By bringing together excellent scholars and practitioners from the participating countries, the joint research projects will stimulate innovative research in transnational cooperation with benefits for policy and practice in the field, and promote international collaboration in the research field of inclusive education.

Applicants are invited to apply for funding for joint projects under the priority theme, addressing key issues where true added value can be gained from collaboration. The focus of the thematic joint call will be on research on inclusion in pre-primary and primary education. Pre-primary education (International Standard Classification of Education level 0 [ISCED 0]) is defined as the initial stage of organised instruction, designed primarily to introduce very young children to a school-type environment, that is, to provide a bridge between home and a school-based atmosphere. ISCED level 0 programmes should be centre or school-based, be designed to meet the educational and developmental needs of children at least three years of age, and have staff that are adequately trained (i.e., qualified) to provide an educational programme for the children (OECD, 2002, p. 372).

Inclusive education is interpreted in this call for proposals as “an ongoing process aimed at offering quality education for all while respecting diversity and the different needs and abilities, characteristics and learning expectations of the students and communities, eliminating all forms of discrimination” (UNESCO IBE, 2008, p.18). A systemic approach to inclusion focuses on providing high quality education in mainstream schools that effectively meets the academic and social learning needs of all the learners from the school’s local community.

The priority theme is teaching and learning of children and students in need of special support. This includes children and students with migrant background or a multi- and/or minority language background, and gifted students and students with disabilities. Applicants are invited to apply for funding for joint projects under the priority theme, addressing key issues where true added value can be gained from collaboration. Involvement of practitioners will be built into the activities.

If relevant, in the first stage of the research projects researchers and practitioners can conduct review studies on the topic(s) they are investigating, with involvement of policymakers. These review studies should make use of both international literature as well as knowledge available in the local language. If the applicants choose to include a review study in their proposal this will be included as part of the assessment procedure under this call for proposals.

Who is eligible to apply?

The scheme is open to eligible researchers based at universities, universities of applied sciences or research institutes in collaboration with practitioners in educational institutions in The Netherlands and at least two subscribing Nordic countries. Researchers based at institutions located in Finland, Iceland, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden are eligible to apply for funding, irrespective of their nationality.

Projects must involve collaboration between eligible researchers with adequate expertise to carry out educational research within the specified theme, and practitioners (who are part of the consortium, but for administrative reasons are not dealt with as applicants).

Applicants, teams and project leaders

Each project team must consist of three or more national teams (of which one must be from the Netherlands). These national teams must consist of researchers and practitioners in each participating country. There must be a) one Project Leader (main applicant) to oversee the project as a whole, and b) each national team must have an identified Team Leader.

Researchers and educational institutions can only participate in one proposal under this call.

A balanced division of labour among the national teams is recommended.

Estimated funding

Applicants are invited to apply for funding for projects with a value of maximum EUR 750,000 and a maximum duration of three years.

The funding agencies have an estimated overall budget of EUR 2.25 million and expect to fund up to three projects, subject to quality. Scientific quality, social relevance and knowledge utilisation, quality of the consortium and value for money are prioritised criteria for evaluation. Strategically the aim is to fund a thematically balanced portfolio of projects covering different themes under teaching and learning of children and students in need of special support.

Download a PDF-version of pre-announcement here

Kaisa Vaahtera - Seniorrådgiver
Kontaktperson Kaisa Vaahtera
Work +47 911 48 694
Sóley Morthens - Seniorrådgiver
Kontaktperson Sóley Morthens
Work +47 974 15 820