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Funding for Health Research

Here is a list of funding opportunities relevant for health that are available to applicants in Norway (note that some opportunities are region-specific). The list is intended to be as extensive as possible, but if you find more relevant funding opportunities, please do let us know at soknadshjelpen@mh.ntnu.no.

We have also put together a full list of deadlines for EU and RCN calls for 2021 and 2022 (excel).

To make it easier to navigate, the opportunities are organized according to the type of research, innovation or education activities funded. For some of the opportunities, we also give some core information on who/what is funded. Please check the link to the funder’s website for the full eligibility conditions.

Thematic (“top down”) calls

  • Cancer
    • Kreftforeningen – Several calls, both for specific cancers and “open” cancer research.
      • Open Call: 1-8 million nok. for 1-4 years. Includes specific funding for breast cancer through the pink ribbon campaign.
      • Krafttak mot kreft: 1-5 million nok. for 1-4 years. The specific theme changes yearly based on the theme of the annual fundraising campaign
    • TRANSCAN-3 (translational cancer research). Collaborative projects requiring transnational consortia of at least 3 partners from at least 3 different eligible countries.
    • Cancer Grand Challenges
    • Rakel and Otto-Kristian Bruuns Endowment. Supports medical basic research within biochemistry, physiology and pathology. Cancer-related projects are prioritized. Applicants must be licensed medical doctors.
    • Health Cluster Horizon Europe has opportunities for cancer research (among-many other health-related topics). Collaborative projects requiring transnational consortia of at least 3 partners from at least 3 different eligible countries.
    • The “Mission on Cancer” under Horizon Europe
  • Global Health
    • Health Cluster Horizon Europe has opportunities for global health research (among-many other health-related topics). Collaborative projects requiring transnational consortia of at least 3 partners from at least 3 different eligible countries.
    • Global development and international relations (a portfolio of global-development related calls from the RCN)
    • NORHED II (capacity development in education and research for higher education institutions between Norway and developing countries).
    • EDCTP2 (clinical studies on poverty-related infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa).
    • Gates Foundation
    • Laerdal Foundation (supports practically-oriented research and development in acute medicine, in particular on projects related to saving lives in low-resource settings)
    • JPI-AMR (antimicrobial resistance). Collaborative projects requiring transnational consortia of at least 3-6 partners among the countries participating in the call.
  • Brain-related research including mental health
    • JPI-JPND (neurodegenerative disease). Collaborative projects requiring transnational consortia of at least 3-6 partners among the countries participating in the call.
    • ERA-NET Neuron (basic, clinical and translational research in disease-related neuroscience). Collaborative projects requiring transnational consortia of at least 3-6 partners among the countries participating in the call.
    • The Human Brain Project
    • Kavli Trust Programme on Health Research (mental health in children and adolescents)
    • Health Cluster Horizon Europe has opportunities for mental health and neurological diseases (among-many other health-related topics). Collaborative projects requiring transnational consortia of at least 3 partners from at least 3 different eligible countries.
    • Civitan Norges Forskningsfond for Alzheimers sykdom supports research on Alzheimer's disease, covering casual factors, prevention, assessment and treatment, and measures aimed at relatives.
  • Chronic diseases
    • Olav Thon Foundation – Support for Nordic research projects in medicine focusing on reparative medicine targeting diseases in the musculoskeletal and peripheral and central nervous system.
    • Novo Nordisk Foundation: awards grants across many areas in science (incl. health science research, with a particular focus on diabetes treatment). The foundation also supports education, sustainability, innovation, and humanitarian initiatives.
  • Personalised medicine
    • ERAPerMed. Collaborative projects requiring transnational consortia of at least 3-6 partners among the countries participating in the call
  • Ageing
    • Active Assisted Living Programme (AAL). Funding to create better quality of life for older people and to strengthen industrial opportunities in the field of healthy ageing technology and innovation.
  • Public health

Open (“bottom-up”) calls, i.e. no pre-defined topic

  • FRIPRO is a programme in The Research Council of Norway funding open, ground-breaking research. It provides funding through several calls from the research council.
  • European Research Council (ERC). Supports individual principal investigators across all career stages (Starting 2-7 years after PhD defence; Consolidator 7-12 years after PhD defence; Advanced 12+ after PhD defence), or a small team of principal investigators (ERC Synergy. 2-4 PIs). Projects are selected on the basis of scientific excellence alone, across all fields (groundbreaking, high-risk/high-gain, new or emerging research fields)
  • European Innovation Council (EIC) Pathfinder. Funding to achieve proof-of-concept of breakthrough technology (TRL 1-4). Two types: Pathfinder “Open” (no-predefined area); Note that there is also a “top-down” version of the Pathfinder called Pathfinder “Challenges”. Collaborative projects requiring transnational consortia of at least 3 partners from at least 3 different eligible countries.
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Funding to support research activities with a strong focus on training equipping researchers with new skills and providing them with an international and inter-sectoral experience. There are four types, covering all career stages: MSCA Doctoral Networks (funding to establish a new network of doctoral students), MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships (individual fellowship for researchers within 8 years of their PhD defence), MSCA Staff Exchanges (international and inter-sectoral mobility of R&I staff) and MSCA-CoFund (co-funding of doctoral and postdoctoral programmes). All calls are “bottom-up” with no pre-defined subject area.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH). The largest funder of biomedical research in the world. Norwegian institutions are eligible to apply to many calls with a US partner.

Personal Grants

From The Research Council of Norway:

From the EU:

  • European Research Council (ERC). Supports individual principal investigators across all career stages (Starting 2-7 years after PhD defence; Consolidator 7-12 years after PhD defence; Advanced 12+ after PhD defence), or a small team of principal investigators (ERC Synergy. 2-4 PIs). Projects are selected on the basis of scientific excellence alone, across all fields (groundbreaking, high-risk/high-gain, new or emerging research fields)
  • MSCA European Fellowships (12-24 months, all Nationalities). Must be within 8 years of PhD defence date.
  • MSCA Global Fellowships (12-24 month stay outside Europe, followed by a 12 month “return phase” to Europe). Applicants must be within 8 years of their PhD defence date.

Other funders:

  • EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship (up to 24 months). Applicants must be within 2 years of their PhD defence.
  • Samarbeidsorganet funds doctoral, postdoctoral and researcher positions. You can also seek funding for running costs, innovation projects and travel grants.
  • FFU Permanent employees of St. Olavs Hospital or NTNU (except Gjøvik and Ålesund) may apply. Must be collaboration between NTNU and the hospital.
  • Stiftelsen DAM is a foundation supporting research on mental and physical health, quality of life and life mastery (basic research is not supported). Funding is available for PhD and Postdoc positions.

Funding relevant for early career stage researchers

  • EMBO Postdoctoral Fellowship (up to 24 months). Applicants must be within 2 years of their PhD defence.
  • MSCA European Fellowships (12-24 months, all Nationalities). Must be within 8 years of PhD defence date.
  • MSCA Global Fellowships (12-24 month stay outside Europe, followed by a 12 month “return phase” to Europe). Applicants must be within 8 years of their PhD defence date.
  • Three-year Researcher Project with International Mobility (24 months outside Norway, followed by a 12 month “return phase” to Norway). Applicants must be within 7 years of their PhD defence.
  • RCN Young Research Talents is a call from The Research Council of Norway aimed towards researchers 40 years or younger, 2-7 years after their PhD (time subtractions may apply). It includes funding for open “bottom up” research and a variety of thematic areas (top down).
  • ERC Starting Grant. Funding to support individual principal investigators to establish their own research group at an early stage in their career (2-7 years after PhD defence). Projects are selected on the basis of scientific excellence alone, across all fields (groundbreaking, high-risk/high-gain, new or emerging research fields)

Innovation

  • European Innovation Council (EIC) Pathfinder. Supports early stage development (TRL 1-4) of radical new technologies based on high-risk/high-gain science-towards-technology breakthrough research. Two types: Pathfinder “Open” (no-predefined area); Pathfinder “Challenges” (specific themes).
  • European Innovation Council (EIC) Transition. Funding to validate and demonstrate technology (TRL 4 to 5/6) & develop market readiness. Single applicants or small consortia (2-5 partners). Must build on results from a EIC Pathfinder, FET or ERC PoC project. Two types: Transition “Open” (no-predefined area); Transition “Challenges” (specific themes).
  • European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator. Funding to scale up innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones. Single applicants (start-ups and SMEs). Two types: Accelerator “Open” (no-predefined area); Accelerator “Challenges” (specific themes).
  • ERC Proof-of-Concept. Funding for ERC grant holders to establish proof of concept of an idea that was generated during their ERC-funded project.
  • Active Assisted Living Programme (AAL). Funding to create better quality of life for older people and to strengthen industrial opportunities in the field of healthy ageing technology and innovation. Supports projects that create market-ready products and services for older people.
  • Health Pilot – Main Call for Proposals: From the Research Council of Norway. They will finance innovation processes that can increase sustainability in health and care services and stimulate value creation in Norwegian trade and industry. The goal is to develop good solutions that reach patients and citizens more quickly while at the same time creating benefits and value in the private and public sectors. Awards 15 - 25 million NOK.
  • Qualification Project (former Milestone Project) (RCN) The purpose of a qualification project is to do the initial investigations into the commercial potential of research results that aim to clarify which course to pursue as regards the direction of research, technology development or strategic decisions. The call is open for applications from all thematic areas.
  • Proof-of-Concept Project: (RCN) The funding must be used to reduce technological risks and increase the commercial application of results from publicly funded research projects. The project can be at levels 2–7 on the Technology readiness level (TRL) scale used in the EU. The call is open for applications from all thematic areas.
  • NTNU discovery main project: Biannual calls to provide support to develop an idea. A DOFI must be delivered to NTNU TTO before applying.
  • NTNU discovery pilot project for employee/student The purpose of a pilot project is to establish a basis for further development of an idea that could lead to funding of a main project through Discovery or attract other sources of funding. Employees may apply for a grant of up to NOK 200,000. Grants of up to NOK 75,000 are available to students. A DOFI must be delivered to NTNU TTO before applying.

Mobility grants

Shorter term (12 months):

Longer term (≥12 months):

Networking/capacity building

  • COST Actions. Large networks of transnational consortia on all fields of research. Funds activities like organisation of meetings, training schools and short-term scientific missions, to promote global networking of nationally-funded research. COST Actions are open and inclusive: you may request to join an existing action to expand your own network.
  • Regional and thematic EU networks. RCN-funded networks to promote the participation of Norwegian entities in Horizon Europe.
  • INTPART is the Research Council of Norway’s International partnerships for excellent education, research and innovation. The goal is to develop world-class research groups through long-term international cooperation.
  • Peder Sather Grant Program: funding to promote research collaboration between UC Berkeley and Norwegian universities. Funding is available to support networking activities like workshops, mini-conferences and exchanges, but also research activities such as pilot studies or the collection and analysis of data.
  • EEA grants: funding from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein (“donor states”) to strengthen bilateral relations with 15 beneficiary countries in Southern and Eastern Europe. Each beneficiary country manages and publishes calls for proposals on a variety of subject areas. The grants may cover research, education, capacity building or networking
  • Clinical Academic Groups (CAG) – funding from Samarbeidsorganet to strengthen cooperation between the clinicians and researchers addressing a specific, regional health challenge

Grants requiring collaboration with industry or the public sector

  • Collaborative Project to meet Societal and Industry-related Challenges Research organisations can apply in binding cooperation with actors from public sector entities, NGOs, trade and industry or other private organizations.
  • Regionale forskningsfond (Trøndelag) Funding to support research addressing the challenges and needs of companies and municipalities in Trøndelag. Universities and research organisations may apply only in collaboration with regional small or medium-sized enterprises, municipalities or municipal enterprises. The research problem to be addressed must be rooted in the company’s or municipality’s needs.
  • Innovative Health Initiative (IHI): collaboration between academia and European life sciences industries. IHI’s core objective is To translate health research and innovation into tangible benefits for patients and society, and ensure that Europe remains at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary, sustainable, patient-centric health research. The draft topics are announced for 2022 with deadlines expected in the autumn.
  • Researcher Project for Technological Convergence Related to Enabling Technologies: The goal is to achieve radical new technological development across the enabling technologies through projects that endeavour to help to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and resolve major societal challenges. 12 - 20 million NOK.

Infrastructure

  • RCN INFRA is The Research Council of Norway's call for infrastructures of national importance. Funding ranges from 2 to 200 million NOK.
  • Research Infrastructure – Horizon Europe: funding to establish European Research Infrastructures that provide resources and services for research communities to conduct research and foster innovation.

Centre Applications

  • K.G. Jebsen is a private foundation that funds Norwegian research centres in translational medicine. A maximum of 4.5 million NOK over a period of 5 years
  • SFF is The Research Council of Norway’s scheme for Centres of Excellence
  • SFI is The Research Council of Norway’s scheme for Centres of Research-based Innovation. 50 to 96 million NOK for 5 to 8 years
  • FKB is The Research Council of Norway’s scheme for Centres for Clinical Treatment Research. A maximum of 160 million NOK over a period of 8 years

Education-related calls

  • Erasmus+ Cooperation Partnerships: The aim is to exchange best practices, develop collaboration networks, and increase the quality and relevance of educational offerings through internationalization. There must be at least 3 partners from partner countries in the Erasmus+ scheme.
  • Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education: The aim is to collaborate on modernization and internationalization of higher education in partner and programme countries. There are three different types of capacity building projects: fostering access to cooperation in higher education, partnerships for transformation in higher education, and structural reform projects. The composition of project consists of at least 2 programme countries with one higher education institution in each country, as well as one partner country with two higher educational institution. In total, there must be an equal number of partner institutions from program and partner countries.
  • Erasmus+ Alliances for Innovation: The aim is to create innovate educational offerings that promote innovation and entrepreneurship. This call includes research. Minimum 8 partners.

Erasmus projects must be registered in NTNU’s International Office’s registration portal before submitting the application. For more information, see the International Office’s Erasmus+ wikipage. If you are considering to apply for an Erasmus+ application through the MH faculty, please contact Siri Elisabeth Haug for support.

  • UTFORSK is a call that targets collaboration with Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, China, South-Africa, South-Korea and USA. The aim is to develop and carry out joint educational activity, increase student mobility, integration of education and research, as well as strengthen the connection to the world of work.
  • INTPART is the Research Council of Norway’s International partnerships for excellent education, research and innovation. The goal is to develop world-class research groups through long-term international cooperation with partners in Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, China, and South-Africa, South-Korea and USA. The number of applications NTNU can send is limited, meaning that an internal process is run each year and only pre-approved proposals can be sent to the RCN.
  • EEA grants is funding from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein (“donor states”) to strengthen bilateral relations with 15 beneficiary countries in Southern and Eastern Europe. Each beneficiary country manages and publishes calls for proposals on a variety of subject areas. The grants may cover research, education, capacity building or networking
  • Nordplus is a mobility, network and project partnership programme for education (bachelor’s and master’s level) in the Nordic and Baltic countries. An application must consist of at least three institutions from three different Nordplus countries. Main call will be published 1st November 2022.
  • NORDHED is Norad’s North-South-South university partnership programme for projects on capacity development in higher education and research.
  • Samarbeidsorganet funds education-related projects target towards strengthening the quality, relevance, and capacity in study programmes with practical training.
  • Increased work-relevance in higher education is a HK-dir grant that funds projects that lead to increased work-relevance for educational programmes, increase students’ learning and meet the needs of future employers. New call planned in 2023.
  • Pilot scheme for practical training in municipalities for health and social studies The call for 2022 will be published in April.

As a general tip, do become a member of scientific societies in your subject area: they often have funding opportunities! Various unions (e.g. the Norwegian Nurses Organisaton - Sykepleierforbund) sometimes also have funding opportunities for research available to their members.

Various Foundations associated with NTNU also distribute funding on a yearly basis. Several of these foundations are related to medicine and health. These opportunities are announced via UNIFOR.