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Payment of stipends

A stipend as a rule refers to a payment made to someone who through a competition has won the right to receive funding earmarked for a special purpose. Most stipends paid by UiO are taxable.

Prerequisites for payment

  • All stipend payments require a grant allocation letter to the recipient of the stipend.
  • The local unit prepares a budget as the basis of the allocation of the stipend. If the basic amount shows a surplus, the stipend shall be divided into a taxable component and a non-taxable component.
  • Payment vouchers (odt) (Norwegian) with the grant allocation letter and budget must be submitted to the Payroll Office.
  • The stipend holder must document expenses incurred with the original receipts and must prepare an accounting overview. The local unit must check the accounting overview and inform the Payroll Office if there is a tax-liable component.
  • In connection with trips, the stipend and travel funding are paid to employees as a travel advance in the payroll system. These must be settled by the Payroll Office.

How are stipends taxed?

  • Legislation: All income derived from work is taxable, cf. section 5 paragraph 1 of the Taxation Act ( (Norwegian). Income derived from work includes salary, fees, holiday pay and other remuneration derived from work within and outside the contractual relationship. Other remuneration includes stipends and similar payments, cf. section 5 paragraph 10 first sentence litra a of the Taxation Act ( (Norwegian).
  • Main rule: The salary component of a stipend is taxable together with any surplus (difference between the total amount and approved reimbursements of outlay). Outlay reimbursements must be documented in the usual manner.
  • Criteria for tax liability include the purpose of the stipend, the amount of the stipend, documentation of expenses and the stipend recipient’s affiliation with UiO.
    • Stipends for employees are as a rule liable for tax. If additional expenses can be documented, it is normally only the surplus that is taxed.
    • Stipends for students and others are normally exempt from tax. Please note that if a performance in return is required from the stipend recipient, he/she shall be considered as an employee. A stipend granted after the final examination is also subject to tax if the stipend is designed to contribute significantly to covering the recipient’s living expenses during the stipend period.
  • Stipends from external sources: Assessment for tax purposes is not dependent on the stipend’s funding source.

Read more about tax liability under specific types of stipend below.

More about the disbursement of specific types of stipend

Travel grant

Stipends used to cover travel expenses, including additional costs in connection with the trip. A stipend covering participation at conferences will be normally considered as a travel grant.

Employees at UiO

  • Travel grants must be seen as prior approval of costs in connection with a trip. In practice a travel grant for an employee is processed as reimbursement for travel under the provisions of the Government travel allowance scale for domestic travel and the Government travel allowance scale for travel abroad ( (Norwegian).
  • The travel grant will as a rule be remunerated as a travel expenses claim, but in some specific cases as a travel advance. The application for a travel advance must include an overview of estimated expenses
  • Travel grants disbursed by UiO will be paid when a travel expenses claim is submitted. Any excess amount must be repaid, otherwise it will be registered as a tax-liable stipend. Please note that employer’s contributions will apply to any portion of the stipend registered as subject to tax.
  • As a main rule a trip for which a stipend is given will be regarded as an official trip. As a result it will not be possible to cover subsistence costs that are higher than the rates given in the government travel allowance scales.

Students and others

  • Travel grants for students are also remunerated as a travel expenses claim  or as a travel advance. An application for a travel advance must include an overview of the estimated costs of the trip.
  • If the travel expenses claim shows a surplus, this will be regarded as expenses covering private living costs. The recipients will then be regarded as ‘employees’ and the surplus amount will be processed as a tax liable stipend.
  • Note that the employer’s contributions will apply to any portion of the stipend registered as subject to tax. Thus there is a risk that UiO will incur higher costs than what has been received in stipend funding. If this is the case, employer’s contributions must be covered by basic funding. To reduce this risk it is advisable that large stipends are disbursed in several portions.

Education grant

  • Stipends that are used for education, for example payment of course fees, material etc. This can also include trips and living expenses during the programme of study
  • Education grants are exempt from tax for UiO’s employees but any surplus is taxable. The Tax Administration has stipulated special rules for the use of education grants ( (Norwegain).
  • For students, as a main rule grants awarded in connection with university education are not liable for tax in the period up to the final examination.

RCN grant

Stipends that are awarded on application and granted by the Research Council of Norway (RCN). Several different types are included under the RCN umbrella. For all of these, in addition to the salary component, any surplus is taxable.

Tax liability

  • Even though a stipend is paid in accordance with RCN rates, this does not mean that there is a tax exemption.
  • UiO as an employer is responsible for a correct prior assessment of the processing of tax and employer’s contributions for payments undertaken by UiO.
  • The final tax assessment is given in the tax settlement between the employee and the local tax office.                                                                                       

Tax processing for individual stipends

  • Personal Doctoral Research Fellowship (
    Paid as taxable salary.
  • Personal Post-doctoral Research Fellowship (
    Paid as taxable salary.
  • Personal Visiting Researcher Grant (
    • Visting researcher grant as a general framework grant to cover additional expenses in accordance with fixed rates.
    • If it is necessary to cover salary expenses in addition, normally the host institution will pay this. The RCN can cover such salary expenses, but in this case the visiting researcher’s stay must be part of a large research project, and the application form "Research project" is used.
    • Documentation of the use of the stipend for additional expenses must be provided.
  • Personal Overseas Research Grant (
    • Additional expenses for settling in and living costs (in accordance with fixed rates) and travel expenses.
    • Documentation of the use of the stipend for additional expenses must be provided.
  • Student stipend
    Funding for student grants can be included in a large funding allocation from RCN. The stipend shall cover documented expenses for education and any surplus may be taxed depending on the tax authorities’ assessment. UiO will not normally require payment or deduct tax in advance.
  • Other Support
    These stipends will basically be liable for tax. An assessment must be made in each case before payment.
  • Other Support from other Funders (than the Research Council)
    Some grants are paid by RCN even though they are funded by others. In such cases the Research Council of Norway serves as a ‘letter-box’ for other research-funding institutions. These grants will be treated like other RCN grants as far as tax is concerned.

State stipends

NORAD / NUFU grants

  • These stipends are given for the funding of living costs and programmes of study in Norway, including periods of stay for the purpose of taking a doctoral degree.
  • These doctoral research fellows are not employed at UiO. The stipend rate is such that no liability to pay tax is incurred.


  • Erasmus doctoral research fellows are employed and receive a salary in accordance with the ordinary regulations.
  • They also receive a:
    • Mobility Allowance to cover additional costs incurred through not living in their country of residence. This is disbursed as a non-taxable grant.
      Please note: Recipients of the Mobility Allowance cannot claim the 10 % standard deduction for foreign employees in the tax return (, i.e. they cannot have a tax deduction card in the 7300 and 7400 series.
    • Travel Allowance – an annual travel grant. This is disbursed in accordance with the rules for official trips. Any surplus is treated by UiO as a taxable stipend.

Marie Curie

This is processed in the same manner as an Erasmus grant.

Leif Eriksson

Nordic Council of Ministers

Work-based exchange grants from the Nordic Council of Ministers are exempt from tax, cf. Personnel Handbook for State Employees, point 10.7.3 ( (Norwegian) and PM 2018-17 ( (Norwegian).

Other grants

Various grant schemes that are registered at UiO. As a main rule there is liability to pay tax.

Employees and persons for whom UiO has employer’s liability

Grant payments are subject to direct and indirect taxation for all ‘non-documentable and approved reimbursements of outlay’.

Students and others without an employment contract

Grants are exempt from direct and indirect taxation. Please note: whenever the grant covers subsistence costs it becomes taxable in the same way as for employees.

Individual grants and payment schemes

  • Oslo research
    Grants paid to students are not taxable. If the grant is paid from Oslo research funds to UiO employees, it must be processed as salary. Read more about Oslo research.
  • Internal grants at UiO
    UiO cannot award grants from basic funding. Grant payments are taxed as salary with the exception of approved reimbursement of outlay.
  • Grants based on project funding
    UiO shall not allocate grants based on external funding unless this was agreed in the contract entered into with the project funders.
  • Support from UiO for periods of stay abroad
    Some units have funding schemes for periods of stay abroad. Such support is to be treated as an outlay reimbursement, or if relevant as settlement of an advance payment. Rates and total amounts must be in line with the rates in the Government travel allowance scale for travel abroad ( (Norwegian), and other internal and government regulations.


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Published Apr. 28, 2015 3:01 PM - Last modified Dec. 2, 2019 11:19 AM