University of Bergen successful in achieving EU funding
The University of Bergen has the greatest application approval rate for the EU programme Horizon 2020 among universities in Norway.
According to statistics given by the Research Council of Norway, the University of Oslo (UiO) is the Norwegian university which participates in the most applications, and has obtained the most funds. The University of Bergen (UiB), however, has the highest success rate, with an affirmative response to 15 of their applications, resulting in a funding total of 11.3 million Euros.
Horizon 2020 (H2020) is the EU's eighth Framework Programme for Research and Development, and the EU’s biggest research and innovation programme ever.
Taking an active stance
UiB actively approaches a high quality application strategy to the EU. One example of this is establishing a group with specialist knowledge as to what it takes to succeed with an EU application. The members of the group are experts on economy, administration and law.
“Those who have experienced success serve as role models and inspire others to apply. I think this is one of the main explanations to our recent success,” says Dag Rune Olsen, Rector of UiB.
Applicants who have been through the demanding interviews in the EU share their experiences with those who are in the middle of the process of applying. In addition, UiB's Division of Research Management stages interview panels resembling the ones researchers will face in Brussels.
The Division of Research Management has expertise in different grants and programmes, know the guidelines and what is expected of the researchers who apply.
“It is our job to be specialists. We know the background information, and how to help our researchers reach their goals of funding their research,” says Heidi Espedal, Deputy Director General of the division.
UiB wishes to increase its number of applications, by motivating researchers. One goal is increasing the number of applications to large and theme-orientated programmes.
“Maintaining our high quality of international research demands strengthening financing through collaborative and contract research,” says Rector Dag Rune Olsen.
UiB is now in the process of establishing an extended specialist team, with expert knowledge on funding through collaborative and contract research. The goal is to create a support network, making it possible for researchers to focus on their research, as well as acting as a motivation to apply.
Making ambitions come true
Increased EU funding gives UiB more options in pursuiting its ambitions as an international research institution.
“In addition, participating in Horizon 2020 gives us access to larger European research networks. The process of evaluating our applications contributes in making our research more visible,” says Olsen.