Framework for the financing
SFU status is awarded for five years, with the possibility of prolongation for another five years, subject to an interim evaluation after three to four years. Funding for the SFU initiative is decided in the State Budget. Resources are allocated annually to the Centres subject to the previous year’s Centre report and accounts.
The SFU initiative is a top funding initiative. The expectation is that the host institution and the consortium partners, if applicable, specify substantial co-funding, for instance in terms of co-opted staff, Ph.D. students, infrastructure, resources for travel etc.
The budget’s content and layout
The budget must show the financial consequences of the Centre plan and reflect the level of activity and ambition. The budget must show that it is possible to achieve the goals that the Centre has set for itself and hence, fulfil the criteria for the SFU initiative.
The budget should be for the entire five-year period.
Concerning income, the size of the desired grant from NOKUT as well as financial contributions from the host institution, consortium partners (if relevant) and other sources, should be listed. Expected financial contributions from other sources should also be stated.
Both direct and indirect costs should be listed in the budget, so that all the Centre’s costs are shown (cf. TDI-modellen for financing of external research projects, page in Norwegian). What is included in overheads must be shown.
NOKUT does not have a template for budgets in SFU applications apart from the guidelines on this page.
In addition to the budget itself, the applicants must write a motivation for the level of costs. This should not exceed one page in A4 format with font size 12, 1.5 line spacing and margins at 2 cm.
The expert panel has the opportunity to ask for more detailed information, if this is needed for their decision.
What will the budget be used for?
Good budgeting is a sign of quality, and the realism of the budget will be assessed. As part of the application process, the Centre’s budget, including motivation for costs, will be compared with the other applicants’ budgets. The budget is included in the assessment of how the applicant fulfils the criteria for being awarded SFU status.
The expert panel and NOKUT’s board have the possibility of awarding a lower grant than the Centre has suggested if they believe that the Centre’s goals can be achieved with a lower grant.
Future financial accounts shall be collated with the budget for the same period. It is possible to adjust the budget during the Centre period, but the Centre must be able to justify the changes made.