Both the overall amount of funding sought and the number of grant applications submitted under the Funding Scheme for Independent Basic Research Projects (FRIPRO) increased by 20 per cent from 2012 to 2013. This increase is primarily due to the new application category Young Research Talents. Altogether, grant applications for a total of NOK 8.1 billion (round about one billion Euro) in funding have been received.
The amount of funding sought has increased by a good 22 per cent within the activity areas of Medicine, Health Sciences and Biology (FRIMEDBIO) and Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Technology (FRINATEK). The area Humanities and Social Sciences (FRIHUMSAM) increased by 13.5 per cent. The distribution of the total of NOK 8.1 billion sought is as follows:
- FRIMEDBIO: NOK 3.6 billion
- FRINATEK: NOK 2.1 billion
- FRIHUMSAM: NOK 2.3 billion
Thirty per cent of grant applications for Young Research Talents
The category for Young Research Talents is designed to provide the most talented young researchers with funding and the opportunity to establish their own research groups and develop their own research ideas at an early stage in their careers. The Research Council of Norway thus seeks to encourage even more talented, young researchers to pursue academic careers. This will in turn enhance the research-based education in the institutions responsible for producing new generations of scientists in addition to carrying out research.
Of the total of 1 227 grant applications received under the FRIPRO scheme this year, 351 were for Young Research Talents. This new category thus accounted for close to 30 per cent of all the applications received.
The applications submitted in the category Young Research Talents totalled NOK 2.3 billion. The distribution of these applications was as follows:
- FRIMEDBIO: 168 applications
- FRINATEK: 106 applications
- FRIHUMSAM: 77 applications
Fewer Researcher Projects, more Postdoctoral fellowships
As a result of the new application category, the number of grant applications for Researcher Projects has declined slightly from 814 last year to 670 in 2013.
On the other hand, 206 grant applications were submitted for the Postdoctoral Fellowship category, representing a moderate increase of approximately 15 per cent. The percentage of women seeking postdoctoral fellowships remains stable from last year at 55 per cent.
Greatest increase from the university and university college sector
The university and university college sector accounted for most of the increase in grant applications, with 802 in 2012 rising to 983 this year, i.e. an increase of 23 per cent. The number of applications submitted by independent research institutes rose from 205 last year to 225 in 2013, representing an increase of 10 per cent.