Projects: “The Underpinnings of Nordic Societal Security”

NordForsk, together with the Academy of Finland, Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB), Research Council of Norway, Swedish Civil Contingencies (MSB) and Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS) is issuing a call under the Nordic Societal Security Programme.


NordForsk, together with the Academy of Finland, Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB), Research Council of Norway, Swedish Civil Contingencies (MSB) and Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS) is issuing a call under the Nordic Societal Security Programme.

The Nordic Societal Security Programme is a multidisciplinary research programme that aims to generate new knowledge about what is required to ensure safety and security in the Nordic countries. Today's societal security challenges are transboundary by nature, and there is much to be gained from Nordic and international collaboration in this field.

Thematic framework

In international comparisons the Nordic societies are known for high levels of trust in other people, in public institutions and in the rule of law. The Nordic countries are also well known for a robust and inclusive governance model, which includes strong traditions of peaceful resolutions of societal and political conflicts. They are often characterised as pragmatic, adaptive and open to influences from abroad. These societal features have underpinned democratic governance, egalitarian principles and social cohesion. This classic image of the Nordic countries has been challenged by several new elements and trends in recent years. More knowledge is needed about the changing preconditions, framework and measures for societal security.

In this call, the programme will fund research projects that seek to examine the relationships between various aspects/components of the Nordic models of society on the one hand and effective and legitimate arrangements for societal security on the other. More specifically, the programme wishes to explore if and how various aspects of the Nordic models of society, regulations and institutions, (e.g. from democratic governance to policies in the fields of criminal justice, education, social welfare etc.), contribute to secure societies.

Further, this call is seeking research projects that address how the Nordic countries react to various forms of extremism, including religious, political, violent and non-violent manifestations.

Proposals may be submitted for empirically or theoretically based projects that offer new knowledge or novel explanations or analyses of direct consequences and long-term implications for societal security. The programme will give priority to comparative studies, either of the Nordic countries and/or between the Nordic countries and the rest of the world. The following priority research themes have been identified:

  • Various Nordic institutions and their approaches to security threats such as extremism.
  • The relationships between various aspects/components of the Nordic governance model and resilience in terms of societal security.

Applications can address one or both of the priority research themes in the proposal.

The thematic framework guiding this call for proposals is described in the NordForsk Policy Paper on Societal Security in the Nordic Countries, chapter 3. All applicants are encouraged to consult the policy paper. NordForsk encourages involvement of young researchers and international cooperation, especially with the Baltic countries. When relevant, end-users should be involved in the preparation and design of the project.

Project duration

Applicants should apply for funding for three years, from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2021

Available budget

The total funding requested per proposal must not exceed NOK 9.5 million across all participating partners. The funding available for this transnational call is NOK 28.5 million.

Financial framework

The call for proposals is funded through a common pot provided by the funding partners of the Nordic Societal Security Programme, which currently are: NordForsk, Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection (Norway), Research Council of Norway, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (Sweden), Icelandic Centre for Research (Iceland) and Academy of Finland (Finland). Funding will be granted for Nordic research collaboration as specified in the proposal. Project funding may be used to fund researchers and research groups at academic institutions and research institutes in the Nordic countries and the autonomous areas. The funding may also be used for collaboration with non-Nordic researchers and research groups. Partner institutions from non-Nordic countries must fund their own participation, but travel and accommodation costs may be covered.

The consortium is expected to contribute a significant amount of its own financing in addition to the NordForsk funding it receives. The contribution from the consortium partners must be documented in the budget specified in the application form.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for funding from the Nordic Societal Security Programme, the following conditions must be met:

  • Proposals must be submitted electronically through NordForsk Application Portal no later than 20 September 2017 14:00 CEST.
  • All proposals must be written in English and follow the structure set out in the application form available on the NordForsk application portal.
  • The research project must include cooperation commitments from institutions in at least three Nordic countries
  • The Project Leader must be based in one of the countries funding the Nordic Societal Security Programme: Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
  • An individual may only be listed as Project Leader for one project proposal under this call. An individual listed as Project Leader in one proposal may however have other roles in other grant applications.
  • Researchers and research groups must be based at institutions of higher education, other research institutions, public or private enterprises or other organisations with a strong research focus.
  • The proposal must have a signed Letter of Intent from each partner.
  • The project must have binding institutional commitment from at least three Nordic countries. Nordic is defined as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland Islands. Letters of Commitment signed by a person authorised to take on financial commitments on behalf of the institution for the entire duration of the project are required from all partners.
  • Proposals must include an overall budget detailing the expected costs for the project and a specification of how these costs will be distributed among the different funding sources, including funding sought from NordForsk.
  • Any own contribution from the project partners to (cash and in-kind) to the project must be documented.

Applications that do not fulfil the above criteria will not be processed.

In addition, the applications must include:

Submission of applications

  • The application form is based on the eligibility criteria and evaluation criteria stated below, and can be found in its complete form at NordForsk Application Portal. In order to access the application form, you must register as a user at NordForsk Application Portal and create a draft application.
  • Applicants must ensure that the application contains sufficient and consistent information for evaluation. Incomplete applications and applications that do not use the application form will be rejected. No attachments are allowed, unless specifically requested in the application form. In order to be able to submit the application form, the Project Leader must register as a user on the portal and create a draft application. The Project Leader must submit the application form and the annexes on behalf of the research consortium.
  • Important note: Applicants should take into account that their proposals will be read by an evaluation panel with broad-based membership that may include both academic and non-academic experts.

Assessment criteria

All eligible proposals will be assessed in light of the following criteria:

  • Scientific quality of the research proposal
  • Quality of the research teams
  • Relevance to the theme of the call
  • Feasibility and rigour of the project plan in relation to proposed resources (human resources, budget, schedule)/ Value for money
  • Expected results and research impact
  • Contribution to Open Science
  • Gender perspectives of the research and organisation
  • Nordic Added Value

Processing of Proposals

The process of evaluating the proposals will be administered by NordForsk. Only applications that meet all the conditions set out under the heading "eligibility criteria" above will be included in the evaluation procedure. The evaluation procedure leading up to a funding decision is the following:

  • Eligibility: Proposals will be examined to check eligibility and adherence to the requirements of this call. Only applications which meet all the conditions set out in this call text will be eligible and will be included in the evaluation procedure.
  • Peer review: Eligible proposals will be submitted for evaluation to external, independent referees for peer-review.
  • Programme Committee: The Programme Committee will make a final funding recommendation based on the peer review evaluation and strategic considerations.
  • Funding decision: Based on the recommendation from the Programme Committee, The NordForsk Board will make a final funding decision in winter 2017/18.

Funding administration

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the funding decision, and NordForsk will sign contracts with the host organisations of the approved Project Leaders shortly thereafter. This contract will set out the specific funding rates and details in accordance with NordForsk Standard Terms and Conditions of Contract.

The grant will be disbursed to the host institution, and a consortium agreement regulating the rights and obligations of the various institutions/partners involved in the project must be signed.

Implementation of the project will be monitored via annual progress reports comprising a progress report and a financial report. A final report must be submitted to NordForsk by no later than three months after the completion of the funding period.

The Project Manager shall be responsible for and support the implementation of human resource strategies for researchers in line with the basic principles of the EU Charter for Researchers and the EU Code for the Recruitment of Researchers.

The funding decision will be announced in winter 2017/2018. NordForsk will contact the main applicants regarding the outcome.

Max applied amount NOK 9.5 million

Contact person
Kaisa Vaahtera - Senior Adviser
Contact person Kaisa Vaahtera
Senior Adviser
Work +47 911 48 694
Facts about the call
NOK 25 million
Application expired
20.09.2017 - 14:00 CET