Få utskriftsvennlig versjon ved å trykke på denne

External funding for scientific career building

External funding – Why?

External funding increases your research resources and strengthens your publication and CV merits whether you have a well-established career or you are about to build a career. Regional, national and international funding bodies offer you opportunities in both cases.

Receiving external funding is often a scientific acknowledgement of you and your research group. Evaluators and funding bodies definitely take positive notice of such previous acknowledgements. This is advantageous for their evaluation of you and your proposal and you may look at this as a “snow ball” effect.

Also important, the ability to obtain external financing of your research impacts the evaluation of you as a candidate for hiring in scientific positions.

Eligibility criterias for excellent science grants. Click on picture for interactive version.


Who gets external funding?

The competition is hard and you need to be “excellent” compared to your competitors, which varies a lot with type of funding, and you must meet the pre-set criteria for eligibility and quality measures.

The grant can be awarded to a group of researchers to collaborate in a consortium or to an individual researcher/ research group for a “solo” project.


Consortium-based collaboration projects: you need a wide and preferably international network of experts or groups to choose from for you to join (as partner) or to build (as PI or coordinator) a consortium. All chosen partners should have high capability in serving a particular task to solve as part of the project.

Individual-based projects: you are the principal investigator (PI) and must cover all parts of the project unless you have collaborators that already have financing and therefore don’t receive funding from your project.

Which projects are funded?

A project is competitive if the evaluation process concludes that your submitted proposal:

  1. Will contribute to solve challenges as defined in a call text by the funding body. Such challenges often vary a lot from one year to the next and only projects that fits with the call are relevant.
  2. Will answer a scientific question that you define is of significance in your research field.  Thus, any theme is relevant.  

The Research Council of Norway (RCN) finances research through:

  • Various  thematic programs that aim to solve certain identified problems and challenges. High scientific quality and how well the proposal relates to the call text, are major decisive elements for the funding evaluation. These programs are for building societal impact.
  • The FRIPRO program that encourages “independent” research on any theme as defined by yourself. High scientific quality and the PI’s accomplishments (merits) decides the outcome of the evaluation. This program is for building careers and prepare international competitiveness.

More on FRIPRO (mobility, Young talented, Researcher and Topforsk grants) including criteria

The European Union (EU) finances most of its research through Horizon2020 (H2020) comprising:

  • Seven different Societal challenge (SC) programs for consortium-based projects of significant scientific and management quality as well as of high societal impact for Europe and the world. These programs supports projects that will provide evidence-based solutions to decision makers. The over-all goal is to move all societal aspects of EU forward.

  • Two programs for building individual careers at different levels.
    • The European Research Council (ERC) grants support (potential) world-class researchers who provide significant contribution to their research field.  Scientific excellence in the proposed work and the PI “track record” (CV) decide whether you are funded or not. The over-all goal is to build research leaders able to meet the global scientific competitions.
    • The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) finance international mobility to support training networks for graduate (ITN; PhDs) students and to create independency for experienced individual researchers (IF; Post docs).

More on ERC and MSCA (subgroups and criteria)

Ansvarlig for siden: Marita Pedersen
Sist oppdatert: 23.04.2018 08:28

Interested in applying EU-projects? Please contact these persons for support:

Faculty of Health Sciences, UNN and Helse Nord:

UiT - Department of Research and Development:

Research Council of Norway – National Contact Points:

Interested in applying The Research Council of Norway?

Contact persons for support:

Your department

UiT - Department of Research and Development

Research Council of Norway

Online resources

Guide to your FRIPRO-application (login)

Euraxess database for funding opportunity

ERC Eligibility Window Calculator

In the words of others:

Links to debates and blogs regarding external funding and career builiding that you might find interesting.