NMBU Sustainability Arenas 2021-2024

The call for NMBU Sustainability Arenas is a continuation of NMBU's previous scheme of seed-funding for interdisciplinary cooperation for sustainability. NMBU Sustainability Arenas should strengthen competence development and interdisciplinary work in NMBU's academic environments for a period of 4 years. The arenas that will be provided with funding must be interdisciplinary or may be about all topics around sustainability.

The purpose and prerequisites for allocation of funding

The initiative aims to develop 5 new dynamic "Sustainability Arenas" at NMBU. The Arenas are secured a 4-year basic funding of up to NOK 700,000 per year. The NMBU Strategy 2019 – 2023 states: "A number of the complex social challenges must be solved through cooperation between environments with complementary competencies and perspectives. Our researchers and students have solid academic depth in individual disciplines. Simultaneously, their competence must be used to solve problems in cooperation with and across different academic environments – both nationally and internationally.

  1. It is a prerequisite that NMBU Sustainability Arenas become inter-disciplinary.
  2. NMBU Sustainability Arenas must get students active in the work. By agreements with the relevant Deans, the venues must commit to developing and teaching 1-2 relevant courses at the master's/ PhD level. Courses should also be established in the field of post-secondary education (EVU).
  3. NMBU Sustainability Arenas should establish new contacts/cooperation relationships with the outside world such as other universities, institutes, business, organisations, NGOs, local/ central authorities.
  4. NMBU Sustainability Arenas will help to profile and promote NMBU nationally (and internationally) in the work on the "Green Shift". The profile should be solution-oriented, innovative, and can provide "Science Advise" to society in the proceeds.
  5. NMBU Sustainability Arenas will organise open sustainability seminars at NMBU during the project period (minimum one annually). An alternative may also be organising joint seminars for the sustainability arenas in question.
  6. NMBU Sustainability Arenas will facilitate activities that prepare the research communities to seek large external projects. The environments behind the sustainability arenas are expected to apply for Center of Excellence status or a larger interdisciplinary project (SFF, SFI, FME, EU coordinator project etc.) at the latest during the last year of the project period.
  7. NMBU Sustainability Arenas should have an experienced researcher as the manager (project-manager) as well as solid administrative capacity. The arenas must be aware of the diversity and equality perspective in their structure.
  8. Each year, the project manager shall give 1) a concise written report as well as 2) an oral report to the University Management on The sustainability arenas about their performance, progress and economic status. The project is committed to participating in a final seminar for the Sustainability Arenas in 2024.

Who can apply?

Permanently employed staff in academic positions can apply for the establishment of an NMBU Sustainability Arena. It is assumed that the academic activities of the sustainability arenas include academic staff from at least 2 of the NMBU faculties. At the application deadline, the project manager must in a minimum of 80 % employment.

Application requirements

Submission of the application is by filling in and sending an online (Nettskjema) form by 15 January 2021. The Research Rupport Office transfers the application to the NMBU archive system P360 and the document will then be exempt from the public and shielded.

Template for the application (see online form):

  1. Project manager
  2. Title/name of NMBU Sustainability Arena in Norwegian and English
  3. Issue and relevance to the NMBU Strategic Plan 2019-2023
  4. The project's academic objectives, planned research, teaching and innovation activities. Plans for dissemination/external profiling.
  5. Who will collaborate and how?
  6. Project implementation - how should the funds be used?
  7. Project schedule over 4 years
  8. Project budget for 4 years. Please describe total budget including in-kind costs and possible cash from the involved faculties.
  9. Project manager's professional competence as well as description of the partners' competence
  10. Date and signature of Project-manager

The following must be attached to the application:

  1. The CV of project manager with publication list and/or description of artistic work and research from the last 3 years.
  2. A brief joint letter from the deans of the NMBU faculties involved - providing information on the potential to develop the NMBU Sustainability Arena in the academic communities.

Application processing

Evaluation criteria:

  1. Relevance and potential benefit/impact in relation to NMBU Strategy 2019-2023 – Interdisciplinary for sustainability.
  2. Originality
  3. Research-, teaching-, and innovation- activities
  4. Profiling of NMBU nationally
  5. Opportunity to develop internal and/or external long-term interdisciplinary collaboration
  6. Project organisation
  7. The applicants' competence and ability to implement

A jury, consisting of 3 internal and 3 external members shall consider the applications and will nominate according to the criteria given in the announcement. The Research Support Office will be secretariat. The final selection of the NMBU Sustainability Arenas is decided by Rector. The application processing is expected to be completed 28 February 2021.

Documents for Inspiration

  1. "Interdisciplinary and Interdisciplinary Competence at NMBU" (Sæbø, S et al.,2020) (document in Norwegian only).
  2. The UN-report: Global Sustainable Development Report 2019: The Future is Now Science for Achieving Sustainable Development, (United Nations, New York, 2019)
  3. SDG Quality in higher education (Sæbø, S et al.,2020) 
Published 23. September 2020 - 12:50 - Updated 3. June 2021 - 14:53