Great interest for bilateral research cooperation in Estonia
The Estonian programme for bilateral research cooperation has received more than 170 applications, a number that far exceeds expectations.
"Given that the call was open for projects in all academic disciplines, we did expect a high number of applications, but this many applications is still overwhelming,” says Alexandra Witczak Haugstad, senior advisor at the Norwegian Research Council. The council is the donor programme partner for all programmes for bilateral research under the current funding period.
Several measures have contributed to the great interest in the programme, among other things, a matchmaking event was held prior to the launch of the programme in September 2012. In addition, funding for preparatory visits was made available through the Estonian scholarship programme, which in Estonia is implemented jointly with the research programme.
“Despite the fact that the deadline was rather short, eleven Estonian and eight Norwegian researchers took advantage of this opportunity and participated in preparatory visits," explains Haugstad.
The programme for bilateral research cooperation is operated by the Estonian Research Council. The council is now reviewing the applications to check if all formal requirements have been met. Three international experts will also review the applications based on the criteria outlined in the guide for evaluators. The decision regarding which projects will receive funding is expected to come in early August.
Partnerships with Norwegian institutions are mandatory under research programme, and in total more than 100 Norwegian entities were involved in the applications. The University of Bergen, the University of Stavanger, the University of Oslo, the University of Tromsø, Bioforsk, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) were the institutions involved in the highest number of applications.