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SFF: Senter for fremragende forskning / Centre of Excellence

The Research Council of Norway are planning the next call for Centre of Excellence (SFF V) with application deadline 18 Nov 2020.

The Centers of Excellence work with ambitious ideas and complex issues. The goal is concentrated, focused and long-term research at a high international level, with research education and international cooperation as important sub-goals. The SFFs have the possibility of support for up to 10 years.



  • As soon as possible: Inform IE faculty about initiatives
  • 13.12.2019: Registration of initiatives to the IE faculty
  • From January 2020: Internal support process for IE initiatives
  • Early May 2020: The RC will announce the call
  • 18.11.2020: Application deadline phase 1
  • September 2021: Application deadline phase 2 (34 applications will be selected to pass from phase 1 to phase 2)


  • The centre leader must
    • have demonstrated scientifically very high-quality research and scientific break-though,
    • have experience in research leadership; e.g. with larger projects;
  • The planned research must be of scientifically very high quality and with potential for scientific break-though.

Assessment criteria for SFF IV provides more detailed useful information (and only smaller changes are expected for SFF V)

Be aware

  • Initiative takers that do not yet comply with the criteria for a centre leader, should partner with an experienced researcher that is qualified as a centre leader.
  • Female centre leaders are valued by the Research Council. To be recognized she must function as the centre leader at least 50% of the life-time of the centre.

Register own SFF initiative

  1. Inform as soon as possible the IEs Research and Innovation Coordinator by e-mail to Register the initiative by completing the SFF registration template (lenke) and send it the latest 13 December 2019 to

When registering an SFF initiative, the basic research idea must be described with a clear reference to the state-of-the-art and with rationales demonstrating how this will move the research front. An overview of the scientific qualifications and research leadership qualifications of the centre leader and of other scientific leaders must be provided. You also have to explain why the planned research must be conducted by a centre and not just by cooperation between individual groups. Cross-disciplinary research may be an argument.

Register participation at initiatives hosted by other faculties or institutions

  1. Inform IE faculty as soon as possible via the ShareForm.
  2. Changes in or additional information after submission of the form, should be send by e-mail to
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