FSK-8005 Funding your research: why and how

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

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 Post Docs 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 the course participants.

A draft of your research idea (one page max) must be submitted to Canvas by the end of 11 Oct 2018. Based on this draft, a mentor from a relevant department is appointed.

Five course days (29 – 31 Oct and 28–29 Nov 2018):
Three days of theory and small exercises, followed by one month of individual work. Finally, two days are spent on presentations. The core lecures 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 the first days of the course to make the backbone of your proposal. Take a look at the proposals available in Canvas, and see how they are structured (e.g. EU vs. RCN). When you have a reasonable draft, you may send it to your mentor and ask for input and suggestions. If you need a personal meeting, ask your mentor if she or he has time for that. Make sure your mentor is given enough time to give feedback to your proposal before the presentation!

Send your proposal, presentation and call text to your appointed opponent before 26 Nov 2018 at 23.59. 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 less than 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, ‘Methods’ less important. You will be notified when there are 2 minutes left, and stopped after 10 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 opponents need to receive proposal, presentation and call text 26 Nov 2018 23.59, at latest. We all need time to prepare.

Participants without 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 2018 at 12.00. Maximum 10 pages, structured according to the given templates in Canvas.  State which funding agency you are targeting, and make sure you cover the elements outlined for the presentation. The grading is pass or not passed. 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/564817/fsk-8005?ar=2018&semester=H

Registration deadline is 1 Sept 2018.


Mentor: an experienced researcher with a similar scientific background giving input to the proposals. One round of feedback/physical meeting is expected, as well as mentor being present during ‘their’ presentation.
Opponent: a participant with a special responsibility to another participant’s proposal



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