How to get funding from the Research Council of Norway
In 2022, Alexander Willén received NOK 8 million in funding through the Researcher Project for Young Talents. Read his tips about the application process.
This year’s application deadline for project funding (FRIPRO) is approaching. On 1 February, the Research Council opens applications for the Researcher Project for Young Talents.
The funding gives young researcher talents under the age of 40 the opportunity to pursue their ideas and lead a research project, and it applies to all topics and thematic areas.
NOK 20 million to NHH
The competition for funding from the Research Council is fierce, but some manage to make it through the eye of the needle. Two out of the eighty-two who received project funding in 2022 were professor at the Department og Economics and researchers at FAIR.
- Sissel Jensen received NOK 12 million through the Ground-breaking Research scheme (FRIPRO) for the project ‘Management Practices and Gender Gaps: Mechanisms behind the Gender Gap in Career Progression (MAP-GAP)’.
- Alexander Willén received NOK 8 million through the Researcher Project for Young Talents (FRIPRO) for the project ‘Firm Power, Worker Power, and the Structure of Labor Markets.’
Willén, who is associated with FAIR, was promoted to professor in the summer of 2021. His areas of expertise include labour market economics, economics of education and public economics.
Here are Willén’s five tips on how to write a good application:
- Don’t make your proposal too technical and make it easy to read – your application will be assessed by people who are not experts in your particular field, so make sure that it’s understandable.
- If you get a rejection, don’t despair – you can always try again next year. It’s common for funding proposals to be rejected, even if the proposed research is good.
- Reach out to your network, far and wide, to get as many people to read your application as possible – ask colleagues to read it and give harsh criticism. It’s better to be criticised now than to be rejected later.
- Think big – originality and the ability to push the ‘state-of-knowledge’ are the keys to a successful application.
- Apply the common thread to a big main concept – the project should develop an ambitious research portfolio around a central area, and it’s important that it’s thoroughly considered and coherent.
‘An honour they believed in our idea’
‘It’s of course an honour that the Research Council believed in our idea. We have a very exciting research agenda that can now be realised thanks to this allocation,’ says Willén.
The research project for which he has received funding is about the power dynamic between employer and employee. The power of employers is growing and employees are not joining unions as much as before. The shift in the balance of power is now affecting employees’ job opportunities and risks. From a larger societal perspective, the changes to the balance of power could affect economic efficiency and equity.
‘The funding give us the opportunity to employ more researchers, start new international collaborations and collect more data. Such an award puts us in a much better position to answer the questions we are not only passionate about but believe are of great benefit to society,’ Willén concludes.