NMBUs internal funding for international travel

NMBU strives for increased international cooperation, and grants funding to international stays. A prerequisite is that the stay will take place at an international university or research institution of high esteem. The funding stretches to appx. 3.5 million NOK every year, given that there are budgetary decision allowing for it from the university board. 

International travel grant for academic staff on sabbatical leave

  • Deadline for applications: 1 November yearly. There is only one application deadline per calendar year.
  • Academic staff in a permanent position at a NMBU Faculty may apply for international travel grant.
  • The deadline 1 November 2022 applies if you plan to stay abroad during the autumn semester 2023 or during spring semester 2024. 
  • Awarding the grant prerequisites granting a sabbatical leave by the faculty (dean). Guidelines for sabbatical leave at NMBU may be found in the right margin.
  • A maximum of two stays at different institutions may be granted. The institutions in question must be approved by the faculty.
  • Applicants must in the application document collaboration with the research community in question.
  • A travel grant can be granted for a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 10 months.
  • The funds can be used for travel and living expenses. Please see further down for rates to be used when calculating the budget.

International travel grants for PhD candidates and Postdoctoral fellows in NMBU recruitment positions ("KD-stipendiater"), and residents

PhD candidates and Postdoctoral fellows in NMBU’s recruitment positions ("KD-stipendiater"), and residents, may apply for international travel grants to fund stays abroad. The budget year 2022, approx. 1.7 MNOK is available. These funds are divided into two calls, of which part 1 applicants (going abroad autumn 2022) had a deadline 1 November 2021, and part 2 applicants (going abroad spring 2023) has a deadline 2 May 2022.

The criteria for international travel grants for PhD Candidates and Postdoctoral fellows in NMBU recruitment positions, are as follows:

  • The call with the deadline 2 May 2022 concerns applicants who are planning an international stay abroad during the spring semester 2023
  • The call with the deadline 1 November 2022 concerns (budget year 2023 and) applicants who are planning an international stay abroad during the autumn semester 2023. 
  • Awarding the grant prerequisites approval of the international leave by the faculty (dean) and the supervisor.
  • A maximum number of stays at two different institutions of high international esteem may be granted. The institutions in question must be approved by the faculty.
  • Applicants must document the collaboration in the application.
  • A travel grant can be granted for a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 6 months.
  • If there are other alternative sources of funding, application shall be made to that source. If an application for funding for travel and living expenses from sources other than NMBU is accepted, the grant from NMBU will be reduced.
  • The funds can be used for travel and living expenses. Please see further down for rates to be used when calculating the budget.
  • At the time of submission of the grant application, the applicant must not have lived or worked for more than 12 months over the past three years in the country where the international host institution is located.

Are you employed in a recruitment position?
The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research (Norwegian abbreviation: "KD") grants, as of 1 January 2022, 174 recruitment positions at NMBU. These positions are divided into 3 categories, and they are divided between the seven Faculties of NMBU according to specific guidelines for NMBU recruitment positions. Read more about the "KD"-financed recruitment positions here (only available in Norwgian). 

If you 
- are a PhD candidate or a Postdoctoral fellow 
- are employed by one of the 7 NMBU Faculties, and thus receive a salary from this Faculty
- don't know whether you are employed in a "recruitment position":

Ask your main supervisor or your scientific advisor (alternatively the head of administrative matters at your NMBU Faculty) about the funding source for your position. 

How to apply for travel grants (all groups of applicants)

Please fill in the e-application form (login with Feide): https://nettskjema.no/a/internationaltravelgrant2022, and include aims for the stay and a budget. You may save your answers and continue the application process later, whenever needed.

Applications from permanent employed academic staff must contain the following attachments:

  • confirmation from the faculty (dean) that the sabbatical leave is granted
  • formal invitation from the host institution(s) with description of existing / planned collaboration.

Applications from PhD candidates, Postdoctoral fellows and residents, must contain the following attachments:

  • confirmation from the faculty (dean) and the main supervisor that the international leave is approved
  • CV with the publication list, mobility, clinical work and institutional duties
  • formal invitation from the host institution(s) with description of existing / planned collaboration.

Not all expenses will be covered

  • Allocation of funds for stays abroad will be calculated according to the rates published by the Research Council of Norway (please see below).
  • Travel expenses to be covered: one return trip per visiting institution and a maximum of two institutions.
  • The travel grant is meant to cover "extra costs" connected to the stay abroad, i.e. travel costs and accomodation. 
  • The travel grant is not meant to cover clothing and food expenses, i.e. expenses you would have had also "when at home". Daily expenses must - as usual - be covered by your NMBU salary.
  • Funding will not be allocated for course fees, conferences, “bench fees” or operating expenses.

Rates to be used to calculate the budget for international stays

The rates to be used in the application, are the same as the Norwegian Research Council rates.

  • Living expenses:
    21 000 NOK per month for single persons
    37 000 NOK per month for a family

  • Travel expenses:
    Describe approx. travel expenses such as flight/bus/train tickets in a table.

Alternative financing sources?

The NMBU Research Committee has decided that if there are alternative sources of funding, application shall be made to that source. If an application for funding for travel and living expenses from sources other than NMBU is accepted, the grant from NMBU will be reduced. Reference is made to the Guidelines you will find in the right margin.

The Research Council Fellow base EURAXESS provides a good overview of other sources of funding for research stays abroad. 

This link leads to an article (in Norwegian) that lists several financial sources to enhance international mobility.

How the application will be handled

Applications submitted within the deadline will be handled by the NMBU Research Department within 4-6 weeks. 

Basic principles - applications from PhD candidates, Postdoctoral fellows and residents: 

  • If the received applications amount to a sum larger than the budget, grants will be reduced and the principle that "as many as possible applications should be granted" will be used.
  • The number of months covered may be reduced to divide the funds between the applicants.

Applications from permanent employed academic staff will be prioritised based on the following criteria, in given order:

  1. Researchers on a sabbatical leave applying for an international travel grant for a first time will be prioritised for funding allocation. Researchers who have not applied for an international travel grant during the last two qualifying periods are considered as a first-time applicant.
  2. Principle "as many as possible applications should begranted" will be used. If there are more applications than thebudget covers, travel grants can be shortened beyond the maximum stay of 10 months.
  3. Under otherwise equal conditions, female applicants are given priority for award.

The allocation of funds are to be approved by the NMBU Director of Research ahead of the response you receive on your application.  

Payment in advance

80% of the grant is paid in advance ahead of the journey for international stays. This payment enables you to order and pay e.g. tickets and accommodation, without having to use your private bank account savings.

You may receive the advance payment as soon as the exact date for your departure from Norway, and your return to Norway, is decided.

You have to issue and send an "In advance payment form" by e-mail to Kirsten Ranheim Berg, at the NMBU Finance Department. You will find this form in the right margin. How to fill in the "In advance payment form". You do not have to sign the form, neither to collect any attestation/approval from anyone.

NMBU is required to link an in advance payment to the exact period of staying abroad. This is why you will not be eligible of the advance payment as long as the period of your stay abroad is approximate. 

The remaining 20% will be paid on return after the final report and final disbursement form is delivered and has been approved (see below).

While you are abroad

It is of greatest importance that you keep all relevant receipts concerning "extra" running costs (i.e. travel and accomodation) while you are abroad. These receipts must be sent to the NMBU Finance Department's Kirsten Ranheim Berg, together with the final disbursement form within one month after your return to Norway. When the final disbursement form is delivered and reviewed, the remaining 20% of your grant will be paid.

After your return to Norway

To be eligible of receiiving the remaining 20%, and keeping the 80% you have been paid in advance, you must hand in a final report and final disbursement form after returning to Norway.

1. Final report: The final report should be filled in electonically within one month after your return to Norway. The link to the final report e-form can be found here (login with Feide): https://nettskjema.no/a/finalreport

2. Final disbursement form: The final disbursement form (available in the right margin) and original receipts must be physically sent to Kirsten Ranheim Berg (NMBU Finance Department) within one month after your return to Norway.

Tax information

Research stay grants are in principle taxable. However, if the expense documentation for the grant is attached, e.g. original receipts (whenever possible) for payments/ costs, it will be reported as non-deductible. Relevant expenses are all additional costs incurred in connection with the stay, with the exception of food and clothing.

Salary is reported the same month it is paid, while grants are only reported as non-deductible / taxable grants after your return to Norway. The employee must not report anything directly to the Norwegian Tax Administration. If you have had a reduced tax during your stay abroad, it is important to get a new tax card upon return.

Tax agreement between Norway and USA
There is an "Convention Between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Norway for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and Property".

With reference to Article 15 (1) (a) of this convention, it is stated that:

  • An individual who is a resident of one of the Contracting States, and who is
  • temporarily present in the other Contracting State""for the primary purpose of (...) 
  • (iii) Studying or doing research as a recipient of a grant, allowance, or award from a (...) scientific, (...), or educational organization,
  • shall be exempt from tax by that other Contracting State with respect to amounts described in subparagraph (b)
  • for a period not exceeding five taxable years from the date of his arrival in that other Contracting State. 

Subparagraph (b) states that "The amounts referred to in subparagraph (a) are (i) Gifts from abroad for the purpose of his maintenance, education, study, research, or training;(ii) The grant, allowance, or award;"

This means: if you are encountered in the agreement you will be exempted, both in Norway and in the US, from paying tax on your income including any travel grants you receive while abroad. You must teach or perform research to be excempted from paying tax. An invitation letter from the research organisation or the university you will visit is mandatory documentation. 

In advance of your stay abroad, you must yourself apply for an exemption from paying tax, with reference to the Tax Convention between Norway and the US.

You may enter this Norwegian Tax Administration webpage to apply for a change of your tax deduction card. You must attach the invitation letter to your application before submitting it. 

As soon as the Norwegian Tax Administration has accepted your application, you will receive a tax deduction card showing a lower tax rate. The tax rate will not equal 0%, because while beeing in the US, you still have to pay the Norwegian Social Security Tax (8,2%). Your tax deduction card (the tax rate) will also be adjusted to the fact that it counts for one whole calendar year.

Please be aware that what you get is a preliminary approval. To be eligible of tax exemption, you have to apply for a final approval in connection with filling in your income tax form. The Norwegian Tax Administration's electronic form RF-1150, should be used for this purpose.

Insurance

NMBU is a state-owned enterprise and is therefore a "self-insurer", which means that NMBU is not allowed to take out insurance on behalf of its employees or students. Government enterprises are nevertheless allowed to take out travel insurance for individual trips abroad if the trip is defined as "business trip". Research stays are not defined as a business trip. To be the best possible insured during travel / stay abroad, you must therefore have a private travel and personal injury insurance.

The insurance should at least cover:

  • Accident, house(hold) contents and travel
  • Expenses for hospital stays if you travel outside the EEA area / USA
  • Expenses for home transport in the event of serious injury / death

When traveling to other EEA countries (+ Switzerland), you should keep a valid European Health Insurance Card with you at all times. As the name suggests, the European Health Insurance Card cannot be used outside the EEA or Switzerland. It can also not be used on Svalbard. The health rights you have under the EEA agreement are limited. It is therefore important, no matter where you are going to travel, to have a private travel insurance (in addition to the health insurance card).

Changes due to the corona situation

If you are anable to complete your planned stay abroad / your stay abroad must be postponed due to the corona situation, you must apply to postpone the stay. It is important that you have a dialogue with the dean at your faculty so that you jointly find a good solution for the postponement. The application (an e-mail is sufficient) should be sent to Anna Lewandowska-Sabat (anna.sabat@nmbu.no) with the dean in a copy.

Published 22. December 2015 - 14:34 - Updated 2. May 2022 - 11:06