Greetings from the Department – 02.09.2022

Foto: Eivind Senneset, UiB

Dear all,

Earlier in the week, I sent out an invitation to the permanent academic staff to study draft calls from the EU. It is important for several reasons that we manage to engage more with EU funding. Even before the “crisis” in the Norwegian Research Council (NRC), the signals were clear that there will be a shift from NRC towards the EU in funding Norwegian research. This means that if we want to maintain our research volume, and preferably increase it (because society needs our knowledge), we must be able to mobilize even more towards the EU. Of course, the situation in NRC has actualized such an increased effort towards the EU even more. And of course all the benefits of EU-funded projects come in addition; we become part of large international collaboration networks, we get the opportunity to participate in high-quality interdisciplinary projects, and we contribute to solving the major global challenges linked to climate change effects, energy, value creation from natural resources, conservation of biological diversity, health challenges, territorial conflicts, to name a few. BIO has many strong academic communities that are right in the middle of contributing to all of this. We are very well positioned. My goal is that in the long term we increase our activity towards the EU across the entire breadth of funding mechanisms, both as coordinator and partner. In that way, we will eventually incorporate the EU as a completely natural part of our research funding and activity. UiB and FIA are eventually very well equipped to assist in the establishment process, the writing of applications and also the implementation of established projects.

I know preparing an application can be demanding and time consuming, especially when we are the coordinator. Those who embark on such a process do so for the whole of BIO and we will do what we can to support. This is a team effort. I look forward to hearing from you so that we can start planning, arranging etc. as soon as possible.

To my knowledge, we have so far received one new project from NRC; to Anders Goksøyr. Congratulations Anders. This was very gratifying after persistent and very good efforts over a long period of time to get approval. I am very happy on behalf of Anders, the reseach community and BIO for this.

New things are happening at the moment: As I mentioned earlier, life science research in Norway is to be evaluated by NRC. BIO is of course included. The first thing that happens is that we have to hand in lists of names of people who are part of the various research groups that we have previously reported. After that, more detailed information about the process will follow. The final deadline for submitting self-evaluations for research groups and at department level is 5 December.

I wish you all a very good weekend in the beautiful weather.

Hilsen Ørjan

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