Norway's Ministry of Education and Research has approved an additional NOK 50 million per year for three years for the Research Council of Norway's category Young Research Talent - and the country's eight universities are matching that amount.
"This is another major boost for the Research Council's funding scheme for independent basic research projects (FRIPRO) and will give much-needed support to our young, talented researchers," says Arvid Hallén, Director General of the Research Council. He is pleased by the Government's clear message that it will invest in young researchers, and by the universities' willingness to follow up by matching the funding.
The NOK 300 million in extra funding will be allocated to top young researchers, as was recommended in the Research Council's input to the 2014 national budget.
Funding for 40 projects
A total of 359 researchers submitted applications by the May deadline for the FRIPRO scheme's new category Young Research Talent. The new initiative will provide funding for more than 40 of these projects.
In addition, many young researchers from the universities and institutions not taking part in the joint funding initiative will receive funding under the ordinary FRIPRO budget.
Recruitment, renewal and creative thinking
The Research Council hopes to encourage a greater number of talented researchers to pursue an academic career path by providing more of them with the funding and opportunity to explore their own ideas and establish their own research groups at an early stage of their careers. This in turn will reinforce research-based education at the institutions that are responsible for churning out the qualified workforce of the future.
"When we provide young researchers with better opportunities to pursue their own ideas," says Mr Hallén, "we are also laying a foundation for scientific renewal and boldness in thinking in research."
"Along with the 60 fellowship positions the Government plans to establish within the natural sciences and technical subjects and the professional disciplines in 2014, the Young Research Talent initiative represents a long-awaited, necessary measure to nurture our best young researchers," says Minister of Education and Research Kristin Halvorsen.
Including the NOK 300 million for Young Research Talent, the Research Council will be allocating a total of NOK 827 million to new FRIPRO projects with start-up in 2014. This funding is to cover the entire project period.
Young Research Talent
- An application category under the FRIPRO funding scheme.
- Researchers aged 39 or younger (as of the deadline expiry date of 29 May 2013) were eligible to seek funding to establish their own research group.
- Decisions regarding funding awards under the FRIPRO scheme's ordinary budget will be taken in December 2013. Decisions regarding grant awards under the special scheme for Young Research Talent will be determined shortly thereafter.