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NOVA Master's Course > €5,000 - Open Call 2019

In the Open Call 2019, approved courses that meet the requirements will receive a total lump sum of €10,000, which is a flat rate, plus €1,000 for administration. Incentive grants of €2,000 for Nordic cooperation and for courses held within thematic priorities set by the NOVA Board may also be available.

NB! At a board meeting on 3 June 2019, the NOVA Board decided that a new version of NOVA should be implemented from 2020. The third round of the NOVA Open Call 2019 is cancelled as the future model for the NOVA collaboration is not decided. Please find more information on the process here.

NOVA supports master’s level courses in specific areas where Nordic cooperation can add particular value. It is possible to apply for financing of master’s courses exceeding €5,000, as well as course series on the master’s level. Digital courses are part of the funding scheme.

Thematic priorities for the NOVA Open Call 2019:

  • Soil science
  • One Health - animal science and veterinary medicine
  • Ecosystems and bioeconomy
  • Sustainable resource management

Applications in other fields are also welcome.

The NOVA Board prioritises courses with a Nordic dimension and added value. Please read more in the sections "how to apply" and "requirements" below.

If you wish information on relevant cooperation partners at other NOVA institutions, please contact the NOVA Secretariat or the local NOVA coordinators.

The NOVA Board encourages that NOVA courses are held at BOVA institutions. According to the cooperation agreement between NOVA and BOVA, the BOVA host shall in these cases participate in the course arrangements. Please contact the local BOVA coordinator of the institution with which you wish to cooperate for further information and for contact information for possible teachers with whom to cooperate.

How to Apply
Only applications submitted in NOVA's online application system will be accepted. The application must be submitted by the deadline to home institution stated in the list below. The application has small explanatory texts that will guide you through the process. The application must be complete before submission. Please find the link to the application form in the margin. NB! The NOVA Board will only review complete applications that meet NOVA's requirements and are in accordance with NOVA's regulations.

Local Approval
After you have submitted the application, your local NOVA coordinator will receive access to it for local evaluation. He/she may contact you for questions or clarifications. When your application has been approved by your home institution, the local coordinator will submit it to NOVA. Please see more detailed information on the application process here.

Deadlines Open Call 2019

Application deadline to home institution

Application deadline to NOVA

Board’s approval

Course implementation

18 Feb.

4 Mar.

25 Mar.

Autumn 2019 or 2020

29 Apr.

13 May

4 Jun.


18 Oct.

1 Nov.

22 Nov.



Nordic Dimension and Added Value
For courses that the NOVA Board reviews, the most important evaluation criterion is how well the course promotes the Nordic dimension as defined in the NOVA Strategy. This should be shown qualitatively, not quantitatively. Criteria that will be taken into account therefore include the items listed below, and applicants must clearly address these:

  1. Does the topic fit with NOVA’s Strategy and is it in accordance with the priorities, if any, set by the Board.
  2. Does the course/project provide postgraduate students with high-quality education in fields where the critical mass in one country alone would be too small, or fields with a specific Nordic dimension, defined by, e.g., geographical, climatic or cultural commonalities?
  3. What is the added value of the course/project? Does it, for example, promote the exchange of best practices in teaching and discipline know-how between teachers?

Decision on the grants will be communicated as soon as possible after the board meetings.

Please report any problems or errors to the NOVA Secretariat: secretariat[at]


  • Main requirements: There shall be joint Nordic planning of NOVA courses/activities and other projects and a clear added value of organising courses/activities and other projects in the NOVA Network. All activities financed by NOVA must be research based.
  • NOVA strongly encourages that NOVA activities are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
  • The head applicant is responsible for the application and is in charge of the course. He/she must be a member of the academic staff at one of the NOVA member institutions.
  • Course implementation: 2019
  • Course length:
    • On-site Master’s course: minimum five days and preferably not more than two weeks (plus a distance learning part, if appropriate).
    • Digital course: can include an on-site module in addition to the digital module, but it is not required.
  • Total minimum number of students: 10 qualified and registered NOVA and BOVA students. If not obtained, the course should be cancelled.
  • The course must have qualified and registered students from at least two NOVA institutions or at least one NOVA institution and one BOVA institution.
  • The course organiser is responsible for selecting a cancellation policy that aims to reduce the risk of financial loss.
  • Courses that receive a considerable amount of external funding through NOVA (e.g. from SNS) can receive funding from NOVA even though the number of NOVA students is too low.
  • The course organiser must contact the NOVA Secretariat if it faces difficulties attracting enough students.

As a two-year pilot, courses that are approved during the period 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2019 and meet the criteria regarding number of students above, will receive a total lump sum of €10,000, which is a flat rate, plus €1,000 to cover administration. All administration must be covered within that amount. In addition, courses in fields prioritised by the NOVA Board in the Open Call, will receive an incentive grant of €2,000. If there are teachers employed at Nordic higher education institutions teaching the course from at least four different Nordic countries, the course will receive an incentive grant of €2,000. The amount is to be spent freely on the project with the exception of administration.

If there are available resources remaining from the NOVA grant, it is encouraged to use them towards networking in connection with the course (in line with the NOVA Strategy 2018-2021*).

The pilot will be evaluated, based on the students’ evaluation of the course quality, financial concerns and NOVA’s course budget, but other factors may be taken into consideration.

NB! For the financing of NOVA master’s courses, the course leader is advised to check whether Nordplus support is available through the NOVA-BOVA-Nordplus Network either for the course or for teacher and student travel and mobility. Please note that a course will not receive funding for the same cost from both NOVA and Nordplus.

Non-NOVA Students

  • Students and others not registered at a NOVA member institution are welcome to take the course if place is available.
  • NB! Not all students at Aarhus University, the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland are NOVA students. All the students at these universities who do not fall in the category of being a NOVA student, should be identified as “other Nordic non-NOVA student”. Please see the list of NOVA units at the bottom of this page.

Grant and Administration in Short
(Detailed information is available in the regulations.)

  • Grant
    • Providing that the course meet the criteria regarding number of students, the course will receive the grant from NOVA.
    • The disbursed amount will be the amount approved by the NOVA Board.
  • Course Administration
    • The head applicant and the head of the hosting department/faculty must sign an administration acknowledgement form concerning the economy and the administration of the course.
    • The head applicant is responsible for administering the course.
    • Student admission to the course shall be handled in accordance with local procedures.
    • During the course, the course leader should submit 3-4 pictures from the course as well as a short text explaining the pictured activities to the NOVA Secretariat. This will be published on the NOVA Facebook page.
    • On the last day of the on-site course or last day of the digital course, all students should fill in NOVA's online student evaluation.
    • The students should receive a NOVA diploma and a transcript of records or course certificate from the NOVA institution organising the course.
  • Disbursement and Report
    • The final report is submitted on NOVA’s online reporting system. This mainly consists of commenting on the student evaluation, giving a self-evaluation, and filling in NOVA's financial report template, including a student matrix.
    • The final report shall be submitted within the deadline stated in the administration acknowledgement, 3 months after the end of the on-site course/end of the digital course. NOVA adheres to a very strict policy for reporting deadlines.
    • The grant will be disbursed after the end of the course and after the final report has been submitted to and has been accepted by NOVA.
    • An advance disbursement of up to 60% of the maximum grant can be requested when the list of enrolled students is finalised, but it is not guaranteed.

Additional Information
*As explained in NOVA's Strategy 2018-2021 and in the details to the Strategy, NOVA continues as a platform for networking for students, teachers and researchers, and thus ensures Nordic competitiveness in research and education within and outside the Network. NOVA has increased focus on fostering networks for the creation of new and existing PhD courses. With a view to enhancing the utilisation of NOVA as a vehicle for increased research activity and cooperation, at both the Nordic and the global level, the organisation of researcher meetings, workshops or seminars in connection with courses is encouraged. Course organisers can invite international experts to teach courses and facilitate NOVA courses in cooperation with other international groups.

 Please see NOVA's regulations for detailed information on the funding model, requirements, processing of applications and instructions for grant holders.

Published 21. January 2019 - 14:48 - Updated 14. June 2019 - 10:27