Call for UiO:Energy Convergence Environments 2020/2021

UiO:Energy aims to fund two Convergence Environments in the 2020/2021 call.

These Convergence Environments shall strengthen collaboration across the university, and contribute to increased coordination and synergy between researchers and relevant external stakeholders within the field of sustainable energy and the energy transition.  

On this page you will find all relevant information regarding the 2020/2021 call. Read more about the information meeting, submission of sketches and the full call. Please note that this web page will be updated as the process progresses and the call and evaluation process is finalized.

Timeline

September 15th - Information meeting and speed dating event
Presentation from information meeting
October 30th - Deadline for submitting sketches and suggestions for experts
November 1st – Full application form opens
February 25th 2021 – Deadline for full applications
Q1 2021 - Evaluation and feedback to applicants (week 9-15), interview/presentations to evaluation panel (May 5th and 6th)
Q2 2021 - UiO:Energy Convergence Environments awarded (week 19)


Full call

The call for full applications for UiO:Energy Convergence Environments is now open. All applicants that have submitted a sketch application are eligible.

Deadline for full application is February 25th 2021

The full application form, including word template, can be found here:

Full application

Goals

Each UiO:Energy Convergence Environment should:

  • Advance sustainable energy research at UiO, while being in line with UiO:Energy’s mandate and match at least one of UiO:Energy’s four main research areas (see Requirements)
  • Bring together UiO researchers from different disciplines around a common theme, enhancing collaboration and interdisciplinarity
  • Interact with relevant partners and stakeholders both nationally and internationally
  • Increase UiO’s impact and visibility related to green value creation and the decarbonisation of the energy sector, and thus contribute to mitigating climate change
  • Recruit, educate and develop young researchers within a cross-disciplinary environment

Requirements

  • The UiO:Energy Convergence Environments must be developed within one or several of UiO:Energy’s four main research areas:
    • Energy Transition and Sustainable Societies
    • Energy Systems
    • Carbon Capture and Storage
    • Materials for Energy
  • Must be in line with UiO:Energy’s program platform (in Norwegian) and mandate
  • Should address societal challenges that are too complex for a single discipline, related to the energy transition challenge and involve partners from at least three departments/centres and two faculties/centres
  • Should include active collaboration with relevant stakeholders in the development of the proposal, in the proposed activities and in governing the Convergence Environment. The proposal must briefly describe how this will be structured and ensured
  • Active collaboration with relevant international research groups is encouraged
  • Own-contributions should be clearly shown in the total budget
  • Plan for recruitment positions and their affiliation
  • Group leader has to be employed at UiO

Funding and organization

UiO:Energy aims to establish a total of 3 Convergence Environments. One pilot will start in 2020, while the two other Environments will be announced and awarded in 2020/21 (this call). Each group will receive funding over a period of four years, including a total of 3-6 PhD positions and an annual allowance of 200 000 NOK to cover various other costs. UiO:Energy will fund each Convergence Environment with up to 4M NOK additional funding for recruitment positions over a period of four years. It is a prerequisite for the establishment of Convergence Environments that UiO:Energy can secure the necessary number of recruitment positions from UiO centrally and/or from participating Faculties/Centres. This is part of stage 2 in the application process.

The proposing Departments/Centres are expected to support the development of the Convergence Environments, and they should be in line with the participating parties’ internal priorities and strategy. One Department/Centre must be the formal host for each Convergence Environment. UiO:Energy aims at providing premises where collaborative parties can meet at least monthly to assess progress and future development, but this may also be provided by the participating units.

The proposing units may contribute with some own-funding, this should be clearly shown in the total budget (in the full application).

Funding from UiO:Energy in combination with recruitment positions from participating parties may be used to the following strategic activities:

  • Clusters of recruitment positions PhD or PostDocs (3-6), please specify number of positions, relevant discipline/s, level and timeline.
    • The PhD/PostDocs candidates will be employed by the departments and will attend their respective PhD programs
    • The candidates can have a fourth year for teaching, used strategically by UiO:Energy. The applicants should propose relevant activities for the fourth year such as teaching on relevant courses, activities aimed at enhancing innovation in relevant collaborating industry or public sector, the establishment of new start-up companies or the like. If appropriate, the fourth year may also be used by a department who then needs to finance this year as part of their own contribution
  • Activities related to promoting internal and external collaborations such as
    • Seminar series
    • Workshops
    • Public debates
    • Exchange/visits to/from existing or potential external research partners
  • Development of new educational programs/courses (financed partly by UiO:Energy, partly by the relevant dept/centres), please note that once the new educational offerings are up and running, UiO:Energy will not provide annual support for running expences
  • Development of new educational courses
  • General managerial costs

The Convergence Environment will report to UiO:Energy annually.

Review process

The full applications to UiO:Energy Convergence Environments will be evaluated by experts (week 9-15) within the relevant fields in combination with the members of the UiO:Energy Strategic Advisory Board (if necessary). The evaluations will be made available to the applicants (week 15). The proposals will be invited to present their research projects to a panel composed of members of UiO:Energy Scientic Advisory Board, the UiO:Energy Board and the UiO:Energy management (week 18). Finally, based on the applications and the presentations, the UiO:Energy Board will  grant funding to two UiO:Energy Convergence Environments (week 20).

Assessment criteria for experts and review panel:

The evaluation of the full applications has three main components:

  1. Academic quality and originality (9-10 excellent; 7-8 very good; 5-6 good; 1-4 not satisfactory for funding)
    Suggested evaluation points
    1. To what extent is the proposed research ambitious with a potential to achieve groundbreaking results?
    2. To what extent does the proposed research address important research challenges and are the objectives beyond the current state-of-the-art (e.g. novel concepts and approaches, development of novel methodology or development across disciplines)?
    3. Are the suggested research methodologies appropriate to achieve the research goals?
    4. To what extent does the project contribute to recruitment, education and development of young researchers within a cross-disciplinary environment of high quality?
  2. Feasibility of the proposed Convergence Environment (9-10 excellent approach, timeline, resource allocation, team and organisation; 7-8 very good feasibility; 5-6 good feasibility – but some areas of improvement, please comment if possible; 1-4 insufficient feasibility)

Suggested evaluation points

  1. Is the combination of scientific elements put forward appropriate and crucial to address the scope and complexity of the described goals of the Convergence Environment?
  2. Is the proposed timeline realistic?
  3. Is the proposed use of resources sufficient, appropriate, and well justified?
  4. To what extent is the track record of the project leader and team characterized by the ability to conduct this Convergence Environment and achieve the ambitions described under point 1?
  1. Added value of the proposed Convergence Environment including societal relevance (9-10 excellent scientific and societal relevance – to the research field, UiO and the society at large; 7-8 very good relevance; 5-6 good relevance, but some areas have room for improvement; 1-4 insufficient relevance)
    Suggested evaluation points
    1. To what extent does the Convergence Environment address a societal challenge that requires an interdisciplinary approach?
    2. How and to what extent will the project increase the University of Oslo’s impact and visibility related to green value creation and/or decarbonisation of the energy sector, and thus contribute to mitigate climate change?
    3. How and to what extent will relevant stakeholders and international partners be involved in the Convergence Environment?
    4. Are there plans for attracting additional external funding?

Each component shall be graded on a scale from 0-10. The reviewers are also asked to provide comments to each evaluation criteria, as well as an overall assessment for each application. The overall grade, should be given approximately according to a weighting of 50% academic quality and originality, 25% feasibility and 25% added value.

Sketches

Deadline has passed, no further applications will be accepted.

Information about submission of sketches

All parties interested in submitting a full proposal for UiO:Energy Convergence Environments must submit a sketch of a project proposal. The sketches will be handled administratively by UiO:Energy. There are four main purposes the sketches and the feedback will serve:

  • Ensure that projects that do not fulfill formal criteria or are not in line with the UiO:Energy mandate and programme platform gets the appropriate feedback before a lot of work is been put into a final application
  • Provide guidance to applicants of other relevant researchers/partner at UiO and avoid duplication of ideas from different applicants; ensure that (partially) overlapping project ideas that should talk to each other get that information
  • Provide UiO:Energy with information on planned recruitment positions in each application so that we can do our best to help secure as many of them as possible from the relevant units
  • Provide UiO:Energy with information on possible experts for the evaluation of the full proposals

 

The sketch form can be found here:

Sketch

Information regarding sketch application form:

  • About recruitment positions:
    • All Convergence Environments must include at least three recruitment positions (PhD, PostDoc and/or Researcher level)
    • Each project may use up to 4 MNOK of UiO:Energy funding to finance recruitment positions in the project. The UiO:Energy funds may only be used to finance new recruitment positions (not for funding of man-years/months for permanently employed researchers at UiO). 
    • UiO:Energy will do our best to assist the applicants in securing recruitment positions (funding) from relevant participating units at UiO. In order to do so, we need an overview of all planned recruitment positions in the Convergence Environment.
    • Fill out the provided template with detailed information regarding all planned recruitment positions. Upload the file as an attachment to your sketch
  • About suggestions of experts for the evaluation of the full proposals:

    The full applications will be evaluated by scientific experts, detailed information about the evaluation process will come at a later stage. All applicants are asked to suggest at least two scientific experts for the evaluation, though UiO:Energy may also choose to use referees that are not proposed by the applicants.

Evaluation of sketches

  • The sketches will serve as tools for a working group organised by the UiO:Energy management to secure the necessary recruitment positions in order to realise the proposed projects. Each applicant will receive a brief comment with recommendations. The sketches will not go through a qualitative scientific evaluation. For more information on the sketches, see below. 

 

Published Nov. 13, 2020 9:58 AM - Last modified Aug. 2, 2021 10:35 AM