Frequently Asked Questions and Response
Question: The announcement states, "Two new centers will be funded by a total of 25 MNOK over a five-year period," which could potentially be interpreted as the two centers receiving a combined total of 25 million NOK. Is this interpretation correct?
Answer: No. It is intended that each center may receive up to 25 MNOK over a five-year period.
Question: What is the official policy on including research time for permanent academic staff as an in-kind contribution in the application?
Answer: The policy stipulates that research time for permanent academic staff cannot be considered as an in-kind contribution in the application process. For the Principal Investigator's (PI) leadership role within the centre, up to 20% of the PI's working hours may be accounted for as an in-kind contribution.
Question: Is it permissible for collaborating partners to finance a portion of the required 40% co-financing?
Answer: The university's own contribution may be financed through financial contributions from institutions other than the host institution. However, in-kind contributions are not permissible for this purpose.
Question: Can funds from ongoing or existing EU and Research Council of Norway projects be included in the own contribution, assuming the activities in these projects are aligned with the planned activities of the center?
Answer: No, this is not permissible.
Question: How should one interpret the requirement of "40% of the total budget"? For example, does 40% of 25 MNOK equate to 10 MNOK?
Answer: The contributing institution is required to provide 40% of the total budget. This equates to 16.67 MNOK (25 MNOK + 16.67 MNOK = 41.67 MNOK; 41.67 MNOK x 0.4 ≈ 16.67 MNOK).
Question: Is it mandatory to apply for 25 million NOK from VISTA, or is there an option to apply for a lesser amount, subsequently requiring reduced co-financing?
Answer: Institutions are at liberty to apply for a lesser amount than the stipulated 25 million NOK.
Question: Is it possible for universities to budget using the TDI model, similar to the practice with the Research Council of Norway?
Answer: Yes, the TDI model can be employed. However, should the TDI model be deemed unsuitable for the specific type of research intended for the center, consideration should be given to alternative budgeting models.
Question: The website states that it [the application] is sent to “experts of high international standing”. Does this mean industry experts or academic experts?
Answer: The applications will be evaluated by to two expert panels, one for each theme, consisting of four-five academic experts from institutions outside of Norway.