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Regional research networks – funding for 2024

Helse Sør-Øst RHF is announcing a call for applications with funding for the establishment of two regional research networks as a strategic tool to strengthen efforts within streamlining/personnel-saving technology and decentralized clinical studies. The research networks must create good collaborative relationships, contribute to skills development, better coordination and facilitation of research within these subject areas beyond what can be achieved by a single research group alone.

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The call is focused to the following two areas: 

  • Streamlining/personnel-saving technology 

    The Board of Helse Sør-Øst RHF has decided to prioritize research funds to a regional research network within streamlining/personnel-saving technology (cf. 040-2023). The aim is to increase competence, share knowledge and collaborate to establish a competitive research area for the future. 

This aim is based on the Health Personnel Commission's conclusion, which states that by 2040, there must be fewer employees per patient in the health services. The report also indicates that research should be promoted on mechanisms for managing digital development and interactions with a focus on simplifying work processes, health logistics and patient safety. The establishment of a research network should support this aim, and thematically the network should be geared towards knowledge-driven machine learning, artificial intelligence, digital twin technology, knowledge representation, language technology and the development of new architectures for handling large amounts of data. 

  • Decentralized clinical studies 

    The Board of Helse Sør-Øst RHF has set aside research funds to follow up on the National Action Plan for Clinical Studies (cf. 129-2022) with the aim of increasing the number of clinical studies and clinical trials as an integrated part of patient treatment. The establishment of a regional research network within decentralized clinical studies is a strategic effort to reach this aim. 

There is a great need to develop systems and solutions for the digitization and decentralization of clinical studies in order to achieve the goals set out by the government. It is, among others, necessary to better facilitate the use of digital tools (digital consent, electronic consultations, electronic systems for data collection, wearables), so that clinical trials can be carried out fully or in part where the patient is and not centralized to a hospital. A research network within decentralized clinical studies shall aim to establish a knowledge base on new possibilities for carrying out clinical trials and in this way contribute to facilitating easier patient inclusion and greater equality in this offer. 

Requirements and guidelines 

All guidelines in the ordinary call for regional research funds also apply to the call for funds for targeted regional research networks. 
In addition, the following requirements apply to network applications: 

  • The research network must consist of actively participating research environments at four or more hospitals/healthcare institutions in the region, of which at least two from non-university hospitals. 
  • User participation should be included at a strategic level (e.g. in a reference group) and/or in collaborative projects associated with the network.
  • Sykehuspartner should be invited to participate in the research network to ensure good dialogue with the regional ICT service provider. 
  • The core of the network must be in Helse Sør-Øst. However, the network can also collaborate with universities/colleges in the region, as well as other research groups nationally and internationally in order to bring together the necessary expertise.  

Note! Collaboration on one joint multicentre trial is not considered a regional research network.  

Organization of regional research networks 

The research network must have a network manager (applicant) and a core environment with overall responsibility for management, coordination and operation of the network activities. 
The network should also consider having a reference group that includes researchers with specialist expertise in the area and user representatives. 

Goal setting and tasks 

A targeted regional research network will contribute to: 

  • increased regional research collaboration within the subject area in question 
  • increased competence through, among others, knowledge transfer between participating research environments
  • increased interdisciplinary collaboration between several professions
  • increased research production of high quality (measured e.g. by publication, citations, etc.)
  • increased competitiveness (obtaining external/international research funding, etc.)
  • better resource utilization and greater critical mass 

 Network activities and tasks:

  • Facilitate research collaboration regionally/nationally/internationally
  • Arrange strategic and professional seminars, meetings and/or courses for its members that contribute to collaboration and skills development
  • Collaborate on the utilization of relevant infrastructure and technology
  • Facilitate user participation in the research associated with the network
  • Create website with information about the network and its activities
  • Facilitate applications for larger, competitive research funds from other funding sources 

Funding and duration 

Helse Sør-Øst RHF awards up to 2 million NOKs per year for up to three years to each of the two regional research networks. 
Regional research networks can apply for support for: 

  • Administration and coordination of the research network (coordinator)
  • Network activities 

There is no opportunity to apply for funds for the general operation of research projects, scientific positions or the purchase of equipment. 

Application form and assessment 

A link to the application form, templates and other relevant documents associated with the call can be found on the website for the ordinary call for regional research funds. Please note that a separate form must be used in eSøknad for regional research network applications. 
Applications for regional research networks will be evaluated by a strategic committee within Helse Sør-Øst RHF. 

Mandatory documents to applications for regional research networks 

All documents must be converted to pdf format before uploading in eSøknad . The network description is uploaded as a separate file, while all other attachments must be collected in a common pdf file. 
Only requested attachments must be submitted. Additional attachments will not be considered. 
Format requirements for CV, list of publications and project description: A4 format, min. 2 cmmargins, single line spacing, font equivalent to Arial 11 pt or Times New Roman 12 pt. For references and tables, 9 pt font can be used. 
Note! The application must be completed in English. All attachments must also be in English. 

Attachments  Requirements Format requirements
Resumes   CVs for the network manager and key collaboration partners from each healthcare organization/hospital in the network must be attached. 
See template proposal for CV
Each CV must be max. 2 pages and written in English. 
Publication lists  Publication lists for the network manager and key collaboration partners from each healthcare organization/hospital in the network must be attached.  Each publication list must consist of relevant publications, and must not exceed three pages.  
Description of the network  See template for description of the network.  The description of the network must be written in English . It must be at m max. 10 pages including figures, tables and reference list.


Last updated 6/5/2023