NordForsk Call for Proposals on Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities in Nordic countries

Deadline: 4 June 2019

NordForsk has issued a call for proposals under the Nordic Research Programme on Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities.

The overarching aim is to address challenges of urban and regional life in cities of all sizes through thorough analysis, and use of essential knowledge for successful implementation.

The call encourages interdisciplinary cooperation between different research fields from socio-economic sciences and humanities to natural sciences and engineering and to health sciences. The call will help expand capacity in the Nordic research communities, and increase cooperation between researchers and research communities in the Nordic countries, as well as between researchers and the users of research, such as public authorities, city networks, and relevant private sector actors.

The programme seeks to develop innovative and interdisciplinary analyses and methods in studies of urban development smart cities and use of essential knowledge for successful implementation.

Program Perspectives

The Program has two overarching perspectives:

  • Integration of different dimensions of urban sustainability in the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Co-production – a means of expanding research activities to bridge gaps between knowledge, understanding, and action


The programme focuses on the following targeted themes:

  • Challenges to basic human needs (e.g. water, food, renewable energy, waste management, and fossil-free transport systems) and scaling of their integrated solutions
  • Inclusiveness and equal opportunities as preconditions for human well-being and sense of identity
  • Heritage, decision structures and planning processes
  • Physical, mental, and economic barriers, segregation and urban structures
  • Global change (including climate change) and local urban life
  • The balance of powers and shared understanding in urban planning and housing

All proposals must address two or more of the targeted themes. The overarching perspectives and individual themes are further elaborated in the Programme Memorandum, and applicants are advised to carefully read this document.

Funding Information

The total budget for the call is NOK 50 million, and the maximum funding amount that may be sought per project is NOK 12.5 million. Four research projects are expected to be funded. Funding will be granted for up to four years.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for funding, the following conditions must be met:

  • The research project must include partners from research performing organisations in at least three Nordic countries. Nordic countries are defined here as Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland Islands.
  • The host institution (Project Owner) for the research project must be a research preforming organisation based in one of the countries co-funding the call: Finland, Norway, Sweden.
  • The project leader must be a qualified researcher at the host institution.
  • A researcher may only serve as a project leader for one application under this call. However, research institutions may be affiliated with more than one application.
  • Researchers and research groups must be based at institutions of higher education, other research institutions, or other organizations with a strong research focus.
  • The proposal must include a signed Letter of Commitment from each partner institution. Letters of Commitment must be signed by a person authorized to take on financial commitments on behalf of the institution for the entire duration of the project.
  • The proposal must address two or more of the targeted themes and indicate which in the checklist of the application form.

How to Apply

  • To access the application form, the Project Leader must register as a user at the NordForsk Application Portal.
  • The proposal must contain all supporting documents as requested below:
    • NordForsk proposal form as specified in application portal.
    • Research plan (max ten pages, including references).
    • An overall budget detailing the expected costs for the project.
    • A specification of how the costs will be distributed among the different funding sources, including funding sought from NordForsk. The project partners’ own contribution (cash and in-kind) to the project must be documented (see instructions in the application portal).
    • CV, including a short list of max 10 publications (max three pages for Project Leader and max one page for each key researcher).
    • Description of research teams, gender balance in the project consortium (standard template) Please consult the NordForsk’s guidelines on gender policy.
    • Letters of Commitment.
  • All proposals must be written in English.

For more information, please visit

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