FSK-8005 Funding your research: why and how (3 ECTS)

Funding your research is a course designed to provide PhDs and postdocs with basic skills in research proposal writing and an understanding of how proposals are evaluated. This course will provide insight into the process of writing a (successful) research proposal and is recommended for PhD candidates in their third or fourth year. Two major sources of funding that are covered specifically are the EU and the Research Council of Norway.

The High North Academy’s philosophy is learning by doing, and to obtain the ECTS for this course PhD students need to work on their own ‘real’ proposal. To be allowed to participate in the course, participants are asked to submit a one-page draft of their research idea, which they will develop into a research proposal during the course. The course starts with three days of lectures and practical exercises, followed by a month where participants are asked to work on their own proposal draft. The second part of the course is reserved for the oral presentations of all proposals, where a panel of experts provide instant feedback on each proposal. Every course participant will be asked to be an opponent for one of their peers` proposals. This feedback should be used to improve the final proposal draft that is submitted as home exam at the end of the course. The exam forms a solid basis for a future, real proposal.

Part 1: assignment prior to course lectures
A draft of your research idea (one page max.) must be submitted on Canvas two weeks before course start. More details will be announced on Canvas.

Part 2: Course lectures and individual work
Three days of theory and small exercises, followed by one month of individual work. The core lectures are given by Michaela Aschan (UiT – BFE) and Petter Olsen (NOFIMA), both with extensive experience on external funding (see examples here). Students will use what you have learned during the first days of the course to make the backbone of their own proposal and work on it individually until part 3.

Part 3: Presentation your own proposal
Finally, two days are spent on presentations. Student send their proposal draft and the power point presentation of it to an appointed opponent. Every course participant has to present and explain the contents of their own proposal during this last part of the course. They will get get instant feedback on their work and can use this to finalize their proposal for the course exam.

To be eligible for the exam, the student need to complete the pre-work, have at least 80% attendance at lectures, present their own proposal idea and be an opponent of one proposal from a class mate.
Course participants are expected to submit a proposal draft as home exam for this course. 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.

Course schedule:
The course consists of 2 parts; first part will be in week 41: 10. – 12.10.2022 and the second part will be in week 45: 10. – 11.11.

Registration for the course via StudentWeb for PhD students from UiT  and SøknadsWeb for PhD students from other Norwegian universities. Please check the UiT course catalogue for more information regarding the course registration.


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