New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe (NORFACE) is a partnership between fourteen social sciences research councils across Europe was established in 2004, when the network successfully bid for an FP6 award to coordinate activities.

The twelve partners involved are the research councils for the social sciences from Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Canada and Austria participate in NORFACE as associate partners.

This partnership is built on a history of less formal co-operation and joint activities between the Nordic and UK research councils.

NORFACE formalises this existing working relationship and provides a framework and a vision for a durable multi-national strategic partnership in research funding and practice.

NORFACE is an ambitious programme of communication, enquiry, sharing of experience and action.

Over the five project years, the partners will engage in a range of initiatives designed to deliver new levels of co-operative research policy and practice. Research teams in Ireland are collaborating in 5 of the NORFACE funded research projects. 

Call announcement

NORFACE and the Belmont Forum are inviting applications to the new transnational research programme on Transformations to Sustainability (T2S).  T2S will contribute to re-structuring the broad field of sustainability research by placing social science and humanities at the heart of interdisciplinary research in a step change in scale and scope for research programming on this topic. Co-production of knowledge and research problem formulation is considered to be critical to the process of societal transformation. Researchers from social sciences/humanities (SSH) can apply to T2S on behalf of a consortium.

Programme Design

The programme is supported by funding agencies from the following countries: Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia Brussels Federation), Brazil, Chinese Taipei, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the USA.

At least three national research teams, based in three different countries, eligible for the funding from three different T2S funders2 should take part. It is strongly encouraged that consortia contain at least two national research teams eligible for funding from two different EU member states or associated countries and at least one applicant from another country participating in this call in order to be able to take advantage of the funds provided by the European Commission. The eligibility of national teams is subject to national eligibility rules, or to ISSC eligibility rules, as appropriate (see Appendix 1 of the Call for Proposals).

Each consortium should be led by a Main Applicant from social sciences/humanities (SSH) and bring into being integrated teams of scientists from relevant other academic disciplines (e.g. natural sciences, technical and engineering sciences) as appropriate, and engage with societal stakeholders to produce new knowledge and perspectives that can contribute to finding equitable and durable solutions to the challenges of sustainability in specific contexts.

The precise configuration should be determined by the research question and project design. There is no optimum number, and applicants should not add partners for the sake of it. All partners should have a significant role in the research. The added value resulting from transnational cooperation must be addressed in the proposal.

Application process

Proposals to the T2S research programme will be processed in two stages:

  • Outline Proposals are invited with a deadline of April 5, 2017. The Outline Proposals are abridged versions of the Full Proposals. All applicants will receive notification of the shortlisting decisions in June 2017.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a Full Proposal, with a deadline of 12 September 2017.

The total funding available for this T2S programme over a period of three years has been set at a minimum of 13 M€ across the international funding partners. Small and large projects are equally welcome. The total funding requested from the T2S partners must not exceed € 1,500,000 across all participating partners for each project. Projects can last up to 36 months

Call deadline for Outline Proposals: 5th April 2017  

The official Call announcement and application documents are available here.

National Contact Point: Fiona Davis