FSK-8005 Funding your research: why and how

Funding is essential for those who want to continue doing research. This course will provide insight into the process of writing a (successful) research proposal, and how proposals are evaluated. Two major sources of funding that are covered specifically are the EU and the Research Council of Norway.

HNA’s philosophy is learning by doing, and to obtain the ECTS you need to work on a ‘real’ proposal. Use what you learned during lectures, and find a relevant call for your project. If no calls are currently available, you may find an old call and structure your proposal according to this. You may follow parts of the course without taking the exam, this applies typically to Postdocs who want feedback and help with own proposals.

Recommended for PhD candidates in their third or fourth year.

Ad notam: remember that you may see sensitive information (novel ideas, etc.), please do not redistribute any material or ideas outside of the course participants.

A draft of your research idea (one page max.) must be submitted to Canvas by 11 Oct 2019.

Five course days (30 Oct – 1 Nov and 28 – 29 Nov 2019):
Three days of theory and small exercises, followed by one month of individual work. Finally, two days are spent on presentations. The core lectures are given by Michaela Aschan (UiT – BFE) and Petter Olsen (NOFIMA), both with extensive experience on external funding (see examples here).

Individual work:
Use what you have learned during the first days of the course to make the backbone of your proposal. Take a look at the proposals available on Canvas, and see how they are structured (e.g. EU vs. RCN).

Send your proposal, presentation and call text to your appointed opponent before 26 Nov 2019 at 23.59 to allow enough time to prepare. When presenting, explain the contents of your proposal to your fellow students and the lecturers and get instant feedback. Each presentation will be ten minutes + ten minutes discussion. Keep the number of slides to max. six: 1) objectives, 2) concept and methodology, 3) ambition, 4) impact (expected and how to maximise), 5) communication activities, and 6) implementation. ‘Objectives’ and ‘Impact’ are among the most important parts, the ‘Methods’ are less important. You will be notified when there are two minutes left, and stopped after ten minutes.

The role of the opponent:
As an opponent, you should suggest improvements to the proposal, point out weaknesses and ask questions after the presentation. The opponent needs to receive the proposal, presentation and call text 26 Nov 2019 23.59, at the latest. We all need time to prepare.

Participants without an own proposal:
Attending the presentations is useful for you as well. Grab the opportunity to see different solutions and ideas, and give the presenters constructive feedback. You will be asked to be the opponent for one proposal.

To be eligible for the exam, you need to complete the prework, have at least 80% attendance at lectures, present your proposal and be an opponent of one proposal. Submit your ´final´ proposal before the deadline 6 Dec 2019 at 12.00. Maximum ten pages, structured according to the given templates in Canvas.  State which funding agency you are targeting, and make sure you cover the elements outlined in the presentation. The grading is pass/fail. A full, ready-to-submit proposal is not expected due to restricted time, but it should be a solid starting point for a future proposal. Ideas will mature, and a modified proposal may be submitted at a later stage or when a relevant call appears.

Read more and register in the course catalogue: https://uit.no/utdanning/emner/emne/629215/fsk-8005

Registration deadline is 1 Sept 2019.


Mentor: an experienced researcher with a similar scientific background giving input to the proposals.
Opponent: a participant with a special responsibility to another participant’s proposal.



Professor Michaela Aschan explains how research proposals are evaluated.
Photo: A. Lynghammar