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Research funding deadlines spring 2016

Now it is even easier for UiB researchers to get help with applications for external funding. These are the most important deadlines for spring 2016.

Portreit of Heidi A. Espedal
EXTERNAL FUNDING MEANS MORE LEEWAY: Director Heidi Annette Espedal from the Division of Research Management promises UiB researchers help in getting external funding.
Kim E. Andreassen

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“Most of our economic leeway comes from external funding. Our basic funding is not an infinite resource, so there needs to be a high awareness on where to compete for research funding outside of the university,” says Heidi Annette Espedal, director of the Division of Research Management.

She points out that when the government channels research funding into competitive programmes, it is to achieve higher quality of research and more cooperation both nationally in Norway and internationally.

Spring 2016 brings with it a number of deadlines for applications for both Norwegian and international research projects, along with a deadline for infrastructure applications this spring.

Infrastructure covers everything from subsea robotics to health registries and scientific collections – items too expensive for one institution to fund from their basic funding, but open new possibilities for its researchers and also makes them attractive partners in joint projects.

Assistance from all administrative units

Autumn 2015 marked a milestone for the Division of Research Management when the cross-disciplinary BOA-team was launched to better help researchers applying for external funding.

The BOA-team (which gets its acronym from the Norwegian Bidrag- og Oppdragsfinansiert Aktivitet) provides support for researchers all through the life of a project from idea to day-to-day operations. The team is a joint effort from the central departments of the university, combining expertise from the Division of Research Management, the Financial Services Group, the Division of Human Resources, the Division of Communication and the University of Bergen Library. The Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities will also contribute.

The team will assist in everything from drawing up budgets to helping with the specifics of employing a Marie Curie-scholar, making web pages, publication lists for CVs, and the ethics involved in an application.

“We want to make it easy for our researchers to get the help they need. Achieving success in the larger projects means that a lot of smaller elements need to unite, and our goal is that a researcher should have one main contact helping them out, as opposed to six or seven contacts from as many departments,” Espedal says.

The importance of international experience

There are several major deadlines for EU applications this spring, but there are also deadlines for the Norwegian Centres of Excellence (SFF) and Centres of Excellence in Higher Education (SFU).

Sketch applications for new SFFs were due last November, while contestants in the final heat will be notified in March to supply a full application by May. SFU applications are due the same month.

Grants from the European Research Council (ERC) and mobility scholarships like Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) are of special importance for the University of Bergen.

"When building a career as a researcher, networking is important. If you ever apply for a grant from the ERC, they will emphasize whether you have international experience or have spent your career at the same institution. We want to increase the number of PhDs studying abroad, precisely to help them build networks and gather impulses from more than one institution," Espedal says.

Applicants can get help to navigate the 2016 deadlines by contacting the leader of the BOA-team Arne Sivert Svindland.