NORFACE is a partnership between twelve national funding agencies, all of which are networked into their own national research communities. Together, they provide the capacity for significant levels of co-operation and exchange. The partners are committed to an ambitious programme of communication, enquiry, sharing of experience and action. This programme will provide a significant test of the capacity of national science systems to work together across borders and to achieve European synergy and convergence. The twelve agencies are research councils for the social sciences, where the challenges of convergence may be even larger than for the natural sciences. The principal aim is to engage with a substantial process of European convergence in both research policy and research practice. A key characteristicof this work will be its integration within the mainstream of the partner organisations and their associated research communities. The chosen instruments are a set of eight areas of activity, including a co-operative decision making system, new forms of communication between researchers and managers in the twelve countries, new levels of transnational co-operative research, shared analyses of best practice in the different research systems, studies of barriers and joint examination of common policy problems. A further objective is improved cross national research; another is new and durable support arrangements for the funding of research in areas of strategic importance. There is also an explicit objective to build a platform of co-operation which can be extended to other European countries and other fields of science. NORFACE is strategically committed not only to enhancing the development of social sciences within the European Research Area (ERA) but also to underpinning the role and contribution of social sciences in the sustainable and cohesive evolution of a knowledge society in Europe.
Call for proposal
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