The Research Council of Norway (NFR) is allocating a total of NOK 1.96 billion to the funding scheme for independent projects (FRIPRO) with start-up in 2016.
According to NFR’s website, NOK 960 million is being allocated now, with another NOK 1 billion to be allocated for Toppforsk top-level projects at the end of January.
Despite the combined percentage of awarded funding under the FRIPRO-scheme being somewhat lower in this year's allocation round than last year, NMBU has had more applications approved.
At NMBU, five research projects at Basam, IKBM, Noragric and IMT respectively, have had their applications approved. Additionally, three young research talents at IKBM, IMT and INA have been awarded FRIPRO funds, and IMT has further received conference support for a two-year conference.
Last year NMBU was awarded funds for four research projects and two young research talents from FRIPRO. An overview of approved projects and young talents for 2016, 2015 and earlier is available here.
“We have set ambitious targets, and it's incredibly satisfying that NMBU's researchers are doing even better than last year in these prestigious areas,” says NMBU's Rector Mari Sundli Tveit.
This year NMBU has been granted funds in all of FRIPRO's three main categories: Humanities and Social Sciences (FRIHUMSAM), Medicine, Health Sciences and Biology (FRIMEDBIO), and Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Technology (FRINATEK).
Three young research talents
47 young research talents will receive funds for their projects this year. This means that around 16 per cent of applicants are allocated support, according to the Research Council. Three of these are from NMBU:
Morten Kjos, Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (IKBM): “Identification of novel cell cycle proteins in Staphylococcus aureus”
Johan Asplund, Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management (INA): “Functional traits across primary producer groups and their effects on tundra ecosystem processes” (see more on the project at INA)
Rozalia Lukacs, Department of Mathematical Sciences and Technology (IMT): “Development of a new ray model for understanding the coupling between dielectric spheres for photovoltaics with higher efficiency”
Five research projects and conference support
NMBU researchers have also been granted FRIPRO funds for five research projects and a two-year conference.
Stig Jarle Hansen, Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric): “The Jihadist War Economies Project”
Finn-Arne Weltzien, Department of Basic Sciences and Aquatic Medicine (BASAM): “Size-dependent anthropogenic perturbations - from genes to ecosystems and back”
Gustav Vaaje-Kolstad, Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (IKBM): “Discovering novel functions of carbohydrate-active enzymes to unravel novel mechanisms of bacterial virulence”
Philip Pope, Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (IKBM): “Back to basics: simplifying microbial communities to decrypt complex interactions”
Hans J. Overgaard, Department of Mathematical Sciences and Technology (IMT): “Determination of entomological indices to assess dengue transmission, predict dengue outbreaks, and evaluate vector control interventions”
Additionally, Harsha Ratnaweera at IMT has been granted support for a two-year IWA conference, “Development in particle science and separation,” under the FRIPRO category FRINATEK.
A hallmark of quality
“We are pleased that NMBU has made its mark in these programmes, which are very prestigious and difficult to win. It's also particularly pleasing that we will be receiving support for young researchers. It's important for the future that the young make their mark and succeed, and we obviously take great pride in that. It's a hallmark of quality,” Sundli Tveit says.
According to the Research Council of Norway, FRIPRO has seen growth in the national budget for 2016, and the Research Council expects further growth in keeping with the Government's long-term plan for research.
The award limit has also been increased to avoid large future transfers of research funds at each turn of the year. Despite this, the combined allocation ratio for FRIPRO is somewhat lower than last year because the number of considered applications increased by 21 per cent.