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Application categories - guidelines

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Application categories: PhD grant, postdoctoral fellowship, and open project support.  

Application access: Employees with a doctorate, minimum a 20 % position at an eligible institution and main position within the region.  

Award period:  3 years – 100 % or 6 years – 50 % for PhD grants and postdoctoral fellowships. 3 years for the category open project support.  

Award amount:  An annual award for PhD grants and postdoctoral fellowships (1 363 000 kr for 2025). 

The application amount for open project support is 1-3 mill. kr. per year.  

Latest possible start date:  1st December 2025.  

If the start date for the project is later than 1st January 2025, this must be stated in the application form. The date can be edited in the drop-down menu to the left of the project title in the form.  

Project manager – requirements 

The PI (applicant) is professionally responsible for the day-to-day operations and implementation of the project.  

The PI must have a PhD and be employed in at least a 20 % position at the applicant institution from the application deadline and throughout the project period. In addition, the PI’s main position must be within the region. The main position may be in the health sector or other sectors.  

PIs who meet the formal requirements above have the opportunity to submit one additional application as external PI for a doctoral or postdoctoral grant at a non-university hospital in the region.   

The PI must be the main or co-supervisor for potential PhD candidates on the project. It is expected that the guidelines for the main and co-supervisor at the relevant university are followed.  

If the requirements above are met, the PI can apply for support for their own postdoctoral grant in the postdoctoral grant category or their own research grant in the open project support category.  

Candidates for PhD grants, postdoctoral fellowships and research fellowships 

Applications that include doctoral, postdoctoral and/or research grants must be submitted without named candidates if the application is not the PI’s own grant application. The names of the candidates must be submitted to Helse Sør-Øst RHF as soon as the candidates have been employed. 

All the candidates must be employed and have their main physical workplace at the applicant institution for the entire project period, with the exception of any research stays abroad.  

PhD grants must, as a general rule, have a duration of three full years (FTEs). The grant can be taken out as a 50 % or 100 % doctoral position in the project.  

Doctoral grants of a shorter duration (min. one year) are only awarded if the candidate has already started his/her doctoral work without funding from other sources or has only received internal funds equivalent to up to two year's work from the applicant institution. If this is the case, these funding arrangements must be explained in the project description.  

Helse Sør-Øst RHF does not provide support to candidates who have already completed a doctorate or who have received other doctoral grants from Helse Sør-Øst RHF or other funding sources in the past. The doctoral grant cannot be shared by several candidates. 

Helse Sør-Øst RHF awards a lump sum for this category which includes salary costs, indirect costs and operating costs. For 2025, the rate is NOK 1 363 000 for doctoral grants. It is not possible to apply for additional operating funds in this category. 


Please note: The postdoctoral scholarship must have a duration of three years full-time equivalents (FTEs). The postdoctoral scholarship can be taken out as a 50 % or 100 % postdoctoral position in the project.    

Helse Sør-Øst RHF funds only one postdoctoral scholarship per candidate. 

The dissertation must be approved before the candidate is employed in the postdoctoral position.The appointment must also be in accordance with the applicant institution's own rules on postdoctoral positions. The postdoctoral award cannot be shared by several candidates.  

Helse Sør-Øst RHF awards postdoctoral grants as an annual round sum . The grant includes salary costs, incl. indirect costs and operating costs. For 2025, the rate is NOK 1 363 000 for a postdoctoral grant. It is not possible to apply for additional operating costs in this category. 


The purpose of this application category is to provide scope for funding of a larger researcher-initiated project of high scientific quality.  

Funding and duration 

In the open project support category, applications can total 1-3 million NOKs per year up to 3 years. Note that the budget must be within the given annual total for the category.  

After the project has commenced the PI is at liberty to apply to Helse Sør-Øst RHF to convert 100 % positions to minimum 50 % positions, and to extend the project period to six years.   


All applications for open project support must have a complete budget, which corresponds to the project's aims and content. Support can only be applied to cover actual costs that are necessary for the implementation of the project.  

In the application form, a detailed budget must be drawn up within the given annual framework (NOK 1-3 million per year). The budget must show how the costs are distributed among different cost types during the project period, and additional information must be provided about each cost element.  

Please note! The budget must cover the calendar years 2025, 2026 and 2027, even if the project starts after 1st January 2025. 

The project's total budget must be made visible in the project description. It must be clearly stated what is Helse Sør-Øst RHF's contribution and what is financed by other funding sources.  

The budget is included in the review process of the application. 

Budget elements 

In the open project support category funding is available for: 

  • positions (PhDs, postdoctoral and researcher positions)  
  • other research/support personnel  
  • operating costs 

Necessary research services can be purchased externally based on hourly rates, and this should be made visible in the budget and explained in the application. 

The following is not permitted:  

  • employment/remuneration of people in other sectors (university/college or institute sector), other health regions or abroad.  
  • to apply for extra remuneration for the project manager or for compensation related to supervision of PhD fellows.  
  • purchase ordinary research support services on an hourly basis to an extent greater than a 20 % position, i.e. more than 30 hours per month, from an institution that is not eligible to apply. This applies to the total scope of the service, regardless of whether it is shared among several people. 


If the application includes a doctoral or postdoctoral grant, these positions should be handled according to the guidelines given for applications within the individual categories. 

 For doctoral positions, the support is given as a lump sum which includes salary costs, indirect costs and operating costs. For postdoctoral and researcher positions in open project support, costs can either be stated as a lump sums or as an indication of actual salary costs for the position in question. For 2025, the lump sum allocation is 1 363 000 NOKs.  

Those employed in doctoral or postdoctoral positions with funding from Helse Sør-Øst RHF should have at least a 50 % position. Names of candidates for such positions are not given in the application, but are reported to Helse Sør-Øst RHF as soon as the positions are filled.  

Please note that there is now a requirement that the term period for both doctoral scholarships and postdoctoral scholarships must correspond to 3 full-time equivalents.  

Appointments as a researcher require that the candidate has a PhD and at least a 20 % position. The researcher must be able to carry out independent research without being subject to supervision. There is no limit to the number of years a researcher candidate can be funded by Helse Sør-Øst RHF, which means that the candidate may have had a researcher position with similar funding previously.  

Other research personnel and support personnel 

It is also possible to apply for funding for other research/support personnel, e.g., technical personnel, research nurses, etc. For each position, the job title, %FTE, salary and duration must be stated in the budget. The need for all positions and their role(s) in the project should be made visible in the project description.  

Positions listed in the budget element research personnel/support personnel financed by Helse Sør-Øst RHF must be employed at the applicant institution.  

Operating assets 

Any operating costs necessary for the implementation of the project may be included in the budget. Examples of such costs may be:  

  • analyses, database solutions, biobank, monitoring, etc. 
  • funds for minor equipment (up to NOK 300,000 in total for the entire project period) 
  • publication costs (up to NOK 50,000 per year) 
  • user participation 
  • ICT access/licenses  

If the project includes recruitment of patients, compensation for recruitment (e.g., using a per patient model) may be included. The cost elements should be explained in the project description regarding the individual cost elements included in the calculation (study nurses, laboratory equipment, etc.) and whether patients are to be recruited from regional institutions other than the applicant institution.   

It is assumed that ordinary costs relating to the operation of laboratories, offices/workrooms and administration are included in calculations of indirect costs (overheads) for positions in the project, and consequently, they should not be included in the budget. 

Mandatory attachments 

The table below shows an overview of all mandatory attachments. You can download the templates for the attachments here:   

The application and attachments must be in English. Norwegian can only be used when the templates are in Norwegian.  

All documents must be converted to pdf format before uploading in eSøknad. The project description is uploaded as a separate pdf file, while all other documents must be collected in one pdf file. Only requested attachments may be submitted. Additional attachments will not be considered.  

Formal requirements 

The project description must be written in English. It must be max. 10 pages including figures, tables and reference list. Format requirements: A4 format, min. 2 cm margins, single line spacing, font equivalent to Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri 11 pt. For references and tables, 9 pt font can be used.  

Each CV must be max. 2 pages and written in English.  

Each publication list must consist of relevant publications, and each list must not exceed 3 pages. Original articles should be listed before other types of scientific publications.  

Format requirements for CV and publication list: A4 format, min. 2 cm margins, font eqivalent to Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri 11 pt.  

Mandatory attachments  Requirements 
Project description  The template for Helse Sør-Øst RHF must be used. 

The CV for the PI must be attached.   

When the project includes a doctoral scholarship, the main supervisor's CV must also be attached if the PI is not the main supervisor.  

In applications for open project support, the CVs for up to 2 other key scientific partners in the project can also be attached. 

Publication list 

A list of publications for the PI must be attached.   

When the project includes a doctoral scholarship, the main supervisor's publication list must also be attached if the PI is not the main supervisor.  

In applications for open project support, publication lists for up to 2 other key scientific partners in the project can also be attached. 

Agreement of intent on collaboration - external PI  If the PI is employed at another application-eligible institution in the region than the non-university hospital from which the application is submitted, an agreement of intent on collaboration must be attached. 
Confirmation of the transfer of PI responsibility  If the PI turns 70 during the project period, a confirmation from the applicant institution stating that PI responsibility will be transferred to another person when this occurs must be attached. 


Last updated 6/5/2024