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 is inviting applications to its new transnational research programme on Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course: structures and processes (DIAL). The main focus of this research programme will be on understanding the dynamics of inequalities as they unfold over the life course, casual processes in relation to these inequalities, the impact on social cohesion and the identifications of opportunities for policy interventions.

Programme design

Each project team must be composed of at least three research teams consisting of eligible researchers based at universities or research institutes in three or more different NORFACE countries participating in this Call.

Partners from the following countries have committed to the NORFACE DIAL programme: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Please note: The participation of Czech Republic and France in this Call is to be confirmed. More information on the participation of the Czech Republic and France will be posted on the NORFACE website as soon as possible.

Application process

Applications to the NORFACE research programme will be processed in two stages: outline and full proposals stage. In the first stage, Outline Proposals are invited with a deadline of mid-March 2016. Applicants invited to the second stage will receive a notification inviting them to submit a Full Proposal. The total funding requested from NORFACE must not exceed € 1,500,000 across all participating partners.

The funding available for this major trans-national programme over a period of three years has been set at a minimum of 15 M€. EC support may also be available for this programme. More information about this additional funding will be available before the evaluation of the Full Proposals.

Call deadline: 30 March 2016 (12PM GMT/13.00PM CET)

The official Call announcement and application documents are available here.

Information session 

The Irish Research Council hosted an information session on the DIAL call on Thursday, 4 February, 2016 in the Royal Irish Academy.  The agenda and presentations are available to download here:


IRC NORFACE DIAL information session Linda Connolly

IRC NORFACE DIAL information session Allen White

IRC NORFACE DIAL information session Maria O’Brien


National Contact Point: Maria O’Brien