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Announcement of project funds from the Fram Centre’s Arctic Ocean Flagship for 2021

We hereby invite applications for project funding from the Fram Centre’s Arctic Ocean flagship for 2021. All project proposals shall be based on the flagship’s scientific program, “Scientific program 2016-2020 for the Flagship Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean, Technology and Governance “.

Applications for continuation of ongoing projects

A significant part of the scientific program is being addressed by ongoing, multi-year projects. Note that the continuation of these ongoing projects presupposes that the projects document satisfactory progress and production in accordance with the plan given in the original application and that future allocations for the flagship will be large enough.

Based on the current portfolio of ongoing multi-year projects, the guidelines in the scientific program and the evaluation of the flagship, applications are invited for the continuation of the following multi-year projects:

Sea ice, ecosystem and models:

•         PHOTA (Physical drivers of ice algal HOTspots in a changing Arctic Ocean)

·       AMUSIC (Automatic Multisensor remote sensing for Sea Ice Characterization)

·       ATWAIN (Long-term variability and trends in the Atlantic Water inflow region)

·       AOMOD (Mesoscale physical and biogeochemical modelling of the ocean and sea-ice in the Arctic Ocean)

·       FADE (Ice-Free Arctic Ocean: Dead end or new opportunities)

·       Barents Sea harp seals in a changing Arctic


Development of new economic activity:

•         PRISMAS (Delivering policy-relevant knowledge about past and projected change, risk and safety of maritime activities around Svalbard)

Management regimes and international cooperation:

•         PolarICE (Implementation, Compliance and Enforcement of the Polar Code)

•         BBNJ-II (Assessing the implications of a global treaty on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction for ecosystem-based governance in the Arctic Ocean)

Applications for new projects starting in 2021

We invite new project proposals for a small projects / project development and medium-sized projects, which include significant elements that contribute to the scientific program’s goal of developing new technologies that support research areas in the flagship or contribute to reducing risks from industrial activities in the AO. The flagship has resources to fund either one new medium-sized project or two new small projects in 2021.

It is desirable to increase focus on the deeper parts of the Arctic Ocean and we therefore encourage project proposals that involve the interior Arctic Ocean or that link ongoing projects to the interior Arctic Ocean. Project proposals can be linked to existing initiatives such as The Nansen Legacy and projects that plan the use of the new the ice-going research vessel Kronprins Haakon (see https://toktsystem.imr.no/calendars). Applications related to other parts of the scientific program will also be reviewed.

Type of projects that can be supported

The scientific plan outlines three categories of projects for which support can be obtained from the flagship. However, as the scientific plan and structure of the flagships will be revised during 2021 it will only be possible to apply for new single-year projects this year.  On the basis of previous years’ funding from the Ministry of Climate and the Environment, we suggest a financial framework for smaller and medium sized projects that can be completed during 2021.

Medium-sized projects: Support from the flagship will usually be additional funding for other ongoing projects. The purpose will be to ensure focus on issues that are relevant to the Arctic Ocean Flagship. Projects in this category in 2021 can receive support of up to NOK 300,000.

Small projects / project development: Projects in this category should contribute to the development of currently immature project ideas, so that support can be sought for larger projects in the future. These projects could also increase publication from previous projects, or in other ways helps to fulfil the flagship’s objectives. Projects in this category can receive support of up to NOK 150,000.

Requirements for the applications

For new projects, we ask for complete project proposals with a schedule and budget that covers the entire project period. The financing plan shall account for any funds from sources other than the Fram Centre, including self-financing. The budget must show the planned distribution of funds between the project partners, and there must be a reasonable distribution of funds and project work between these. Medium-sized project proposals must have at least three partner institutions from the Fram Centre. Smaller and development project proposals with only two partner institutions will be considered if this is justified in the application. For university partners in the Fram Centre, faculties are considered distinct partners as long as at least one other Fram Centre partner participates in the project and the individual faculties’ academic contributions are clearly defined in application.

Funding through the flagship can be combined with other sources to create larger projects if the flagship’s contribution is clearly defined. Funds can be applied for to arrange writing meetings with the aim of writing larger applications based on previous or ongoing projects in the flagship.

Projects that have been evaluated in other contexts must attach these evaluations. Note that we do not know the framework for next year’s award, and that final distribution between research topics and projects depends on the framework provided by the Ministry of Climate and Environment (KLD) and the flagship’s goal of having a portfolio of projects that cover all the topics described in the science program.

Assessment criteria

The management documents for the Fram Centre provide the following assessment criteria:

• Relevance for government policy and with regard to the flagship’s scientific program

• Scientific quality

• Cooperation across the institutions in the Fram Centre, external partners, international cooperation

• Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary Link to higher education

• Dissemination

We point out that scientific quality is assessed by external, independent peers. This part of the assessment is given great weight, and projects must at least achieve an overall grade of 4 -‘Good ‘(on a scale from 1 to 7) to be eligible for support.

Please note that an overview of submitted applications (title, partners, amount applied for) will be published and awards on iFram.no.

The flagship wants to increase attention to the results that allocated funds give. In applications for continuation of multi-year projects, it is important that an overview of results is provided listing publications, doctoral degrees, applications for additional external funding and possibly other relevant documentation. Projects that receive support from the flagship (both existing and new) must also deliver one popular science summary of plans and (for ongoing projects) important findings. All publications and presentations that show the results of the project work shall make the Fram Centre’s contribution visible.

Contracts for projects that are awarded funding will include a clause that the researchers undertake to practice good research practice in line with research ethics guidelines for science and technology, prepared by the National Research Ethics Committee for Science and Technology (NENT) and / or the National Research Ethics Committee for the Social Sciences and Humanities (NESH).


The application must be submitted via the electronic application portal of the Fram Centre which is located at here. If you do not already have a username and password this is created on first use.

Initiated, multi-year projects

Already initiated projects must submit a short version of the application for 2021 with an updated budget and revised plans / deliveries, with reference to the original project plan. Projects will not automatically receive the sums they have requested in the original application.

The application deadline is 15 November

The flagship management can be consulted when preparing proposals, for example to have the relevance assessed or tips for possible project partners in the Fram Centre. The flagship management consists of Paul Dodd (paul.dodd@npolar.no), Hans-Kristian Hernes (hans-kristian.hernes@uit.no) and Tore Syversen (tore.syversen@sintef.no).

Further progress plan:

Review of the applications will start as soon as the application deadline has expired. New suggestions for medium-sized projects will be sent for external evaluation which provides a basis for assessment of the flagship management. The flagship aims to send proposals for 2021 to the Ministry of Climate and Environment (KLD) on 15 January 2021.

The Ministry informs the flagship about funding for 2021 by 15 February. The flagship then determines how much funding can be allocated to each project. Finial announcements can be expected at the beginning of March.

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