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The Norwegian Ministry of Defence program for financing research on security and defence policy

Support is given to research on topics that are relevant for the MoD and the Norwegian Armed Forces.

Since 1994, the Norwegian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has provided funding for research projects related to defense and security policy. Support is given to research on topics that are relevant for the MoD and the Norwegian Armed Forces. In general, the MoD issues grants to 12-month research projects and to Norwegian PhD candidates.

Funding for the 12-month research projects is based upon a selection following a call for proposals, announced by the MoD annually. Normally the call for proposals goes out in the fall. Grants are awarded based upon an open competition among Norwegian and international researchers and institutes/institutions. Applications are considered and selection is made based upon specific assessment criteria, which are updated annually. These criteria indicate what thematic areas the MoD will focus on for the following year.

Who can apply?

Funding may be awarded to Norwegian and international institutions, institutes, think tanks, universities and other organizations that conduct relevant research on security and defence policy issues.

Call for proposals for 2019

The MoD announces its call for proposals for 2019. In general, only applications for one-year projects will be considered. Projects that are approved for funding are to be finalized and submitted to MoD no later than November 23, 2018. The MoD has a limited budget, and normally only a relatively small proportion of proposals are approved. Over the past few years each project has on average been awarded between 400.000 and 800.000 NOK, depending on the project's scope.

For 2019 the MoD will continue to look at the possibility of supporting a small number of projects that go beyond 12 months, i.e. 2-3 years. The annual amount for these projects will be smaller than the sums indicated above. In these cases it will be a prerequisite that the applying institution provides its own funding that matches or exceeds the amount received by the MoD. This must be clearly stated in the application. However, as a general rule, the MoD will continue to prioritize proposals for 12-month projects.

General information about grants

The grant money must be used on research activity related to the project that has been awarded the funding. This includes expenses such as salary, literature, seminar and conference attendance, travel, field work etc. Overhead expenses are to be kept to a strict minimum.

The following general criteria apply to project proposals/research grants from MoD:

  1. Relevance for Norwegian security and defence policy, through increasing understanding and insight into current and future security challenges.
  2. Relevance for our knowledge about the nature of the international security framework, and how this influences Norway's international position and security.
  3. Relevance for building knowledge and competency in the Norwegian security and defence research establishment regarding state and non-state actors, as well as shifting geopolitical constellations.
  4. Relevance for the developments with regards to Law of Armed Conflict and/or other legal issues related to military operations.
  5. Relevance for increased knowledge and insight into the changing nature of security challenges (state, societal and human security dimensions) and possible implications for the Armed Forces.
  6. Relevance for our understanding of the fundamental drivers and dynamics that influence Norwegian security and defence policy.
  7. Relevance for informing the public debate in Norway on security and defence.
  8. Relevance for concept and doctrine development in the Norwegian Armed Forces.

The following specific criteria apply to project proposals/research grants from MoD for 2019

  1. Burden-sharing as a security policy challenge in NATO
  2. Long-term development trends in transatlantic seccurity and defence relations, including Canada's engagement in European security policy
  3. CSDP and Brexit; implications for European security policy
  4. Security policy challenges related to use of autonomous systems and drones
  5. Security policy challenges in relation to using space for military purposes
  6. Cyber as a security policy challenge to democratic processes
  7. Employing defence and security sector capacity building in conflict-prone countries as an alternative to western peace operations

The above specific criteria will be used in assessing the project proposal applications for 2019. The criteria are not listed in order of priority.

Applicant requirements

The applicant must be affiliated with an institution or institute with which the researcher has an employment relationship, for the duration of the project period. The research project shall be written in either English or one of the Scandinavian languages (Norwegian, Swedish, Danish). The researcher must meet academic/scholarly standards, and the MoD's reporting regulations must be met.

The application shall have a realistic level of ambition, a clearly stated proposition/hypothesis and a project synopsis not exceeding 8 pages. The application shall furthermore contain a proposed budget, the bio of the applicant (including a list of previous publications), as well as the name and identity of eventual partners/collaborators involved in the project.

Compliance and accountability

The researcher must report to the MoD on the progress and results of the project work when requested. The MoD reserves the right to use final reports and publications free of charge, for internal purposes. The project is also expected to submit to the MoD a short policy paper that describes the conclusion of the research project. The conclusion shall include an account of potential implications for Norwegian security and defence policy. Upon receiving project approval, there is usually a dialogue with the MoD, in order to ensure that MoD expectations and requirements are clearly communicated and taken into consideration. Furthermore, the researcher is expected to present project findings to the MoD during or shortly upon completion of the project. This is typically conducted in the form of an informal briefing for the MoD policy department and other MoD representatives.

If the grant funds are not spent in accordance with budget guidelines and criteria, or the objectives are not met, this will influence the researcher/institution's opportunities to receive grants in the future. The Norwegian Office of the Auditor General can perform audits to ensure that grant funds are spent in accordance with the intentions for the project.


The MoD's practice for funding security and defence policy research is continually evaluated. As a result, there may be changes to procedures, criteria and guidelines from one budget year to the next.

Deadline for project proposals for 2019

The final deadline for submitting project proposals for 2019 is by Friday November 23, 2018.

The MoD will conduct a thorough assessment and consideration of applications. Applicants can expect a response by the end of December 2018.


Applications shall be sent by e-mail to the following address:

[email protected]

When sending the application, a copy should be sent to Senior Advisor Ingjerd Kroken – [email protected]

Questions or queries regarding applications should also be addressed to Ms. Kroken at the above e-mail address.

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