Call and funding process

NordForsk funds research by issuing calls for grant applications. Here you can read more about our call and funding processes.

Establishing NordForsk calls

NordForsk calls are developed in cooperation with the national research funding organisations, mainly through the Open Invitation mechanism. Through this mechanism, the national research funding organisations are invited to propose new Nordic calls or extension of existing NordForsk initiatives. A proposal for a new call (Expression of Interest) must in general be supported by research funding organisations in at least three Nordic countries.

The formal decision to establish new calls is taken by the NordForsk Board. The national research funding organisations fund at least 2/3 of the total budget, while the NordForsk contribution is up to 1/3.

For each call, NordForsk appoints a committee consisting of a chairperson and a member from each of the funding partners. The committee draws up the recommendation regarding which projects to fund. The recommendation is based on international expert assessments, the Nordic added value of the projects, and a strategic assessment of which projects best contribute to the call objectives.

Our calls are published on the NordForsk webpages, our web portal 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.

To get information about new calls, sign up for newsletters from NordForsk.

Overview of NordForsk’s ongoing initiatives

Funding models

NordForsk commonly employ a real common pot funding model, but in some cases a virtual common pot funding model is used. As a general requirement, in both funding models, the project owner of a NordForsk project must be a research-performing institution. Requirements to applicants and participants will vary and are always stipulated in the call text.

Real common pot with no fair return 

In a real common pot model with no fair return, the funding from the national research funders and NordForsk is pooled into one joint pot and allocated to the best research proposals after peer review, regardless of how much funding each country has contributed to the pot. In this model, researchers from all the Nordic countries (including the autonomous regions) can receive funding from the call. However, only research institutions from countries co-funding the call can be project owner (host institution).  

NordForsk administers the funds on behalf of the national research funding organisations. NordForsk administers the call for proposals and is the contact point for the applicants. The NordForsk Board makes the final funding decision and the NordForsk administration is responsible for monitoring the projects.   

Virtual common pot 

In a virtual common pot funding model, the national research funding organisations will directly fund their national participants in the awarded projects. In this model, only researchers from countries (or autonomous regions) co-funding the call can receive funding.  

The NordForsk funding will be used for gap-filling to the Nordic funders. This means that NordForsk funding will be used to fill a potential gap between available national funding and requested project funding for that country. The national research funders will pay national funding as well as NordForsk funding to their respective national participants according to administrative processes based on their terms and conditions. 

NordForsk administers the call for proposals in close collaboration with representatives from the national funders. The national rules and regulations are stated in annexes to the call text and the national funders are the main contact point for applicants from their respective country. Both the NordForsk board and the boards of the national funders makes funding decisions. The national funders are responsible for monitoring the projects.   

For calls with a virtual common pot, national guidelines and regulations will apply as specified in the text of the call.

Funding instruments

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

Application process and assessment procedure

For more information about how to apply and about the steps following your submission, please see here:

How to apply for NordForsk funding – step by step

Principles for our expert assessment