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Democratic governance in a turbulent age

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 822166

Democratic politics and governance in Europe are facing turbulent times. Party systems have crumbled or been substantially changed and so have citizen attachments to government, political parties and democratic procedures. This sixth NORFACE transnational programme on Democratic governance in a turbulent age offers a timely investigation of the precise nature of this recent turbulence, on how European states can negotiate it and develop strategies to enhance the quality of democratic politics and governance. Researchers from the social sciences were invited to submit an Outline Proposal on behalf of an international consortium by 19 February 2019. After assessment, 46 out of 197 consortia are now invited to submit a Full Proposal by 10 September 2019, 10.00 CEST.

This programme has three major objectives:

  • To develop innovative and excellent research proposals addressing important challenges to democratic governance and politics;
  • To produce added value through the development of European cross-national research collaborations exploring the impacts of variations in social, economic, cultural and political contexts on changes in how democracies work;
  • To identify promising forms of policy innovation and institutional design and explore the conditions for their application in different jurisdictions.

The programme is structured around five of the most important challenges to democratic governance and politics, described in detail in the Programme Text accompanying the Call for Proposals (documents below):

  1. Inequality and redistribution
  2. The evolving politics of threat
  3. The democratisation of information
  4. Shifting identities and representation
  5. The changing authority of institutions

For this Call, specific national or regional eligibility rules apply, as specified in the Call for Proposals. This implies that eligibility may be defined at the individual or organisational level, depending on the country or funding agency.

Who can apply?

Researchers could submit a proposal on behalf of a project team comprised of at least three (3) eligible research partners based in three or more different countries participating in this NORFACE Call. All partners in a project team must have the interest and competence to undertake social science research within the specified topic of the Governance programme.

What can be applied for?

Project teams with three research partners from three different countries participating in this NORFACE Call may request a maximum of € 1.2 million in total across these partners. Project teams with four or more research partners from at least four different countries participating in this NORFACE Call may request a maximum of € 1.5 million total across these partners. Projects can have a duration of up to 36 consecutive months, with a minimum of 24 months. Each research partner may request funding in accordance with the national or regional eligibility rules applicable to them.

Available funding

The NORFACE Governance partners have reserved a total budget for this Call of € 17.6 million. This programme is funded by 21 funding agencies from 19 countries across Europe and the European Commission under Horizon 2020 (grant agreement No 822166).

Funding can be applied for by researchers from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

 Procedure

Applications to the Governance programme are processed in two stages. In the first stage, project teams were invited to submit an Outline Proposal by 19 February 2019, 14.00 CET. Eligible Outline Proposals have been assessed by an Evaluation Panel of international experts and based on the programme’s assessment criteria, 46 out of 197 consortia are selected and invited to submit a Full Proposal by 10 September 2019, 14.00 CEST.

Eligible Full Proposals are submitted for assessment to external reviewers and applicants will be able to comment on the external reviews (rebuttal). The Evaluation Panel then assesses the applications, reviews, and rebuttals, arriving at a list of projects recommended for funding based on the assessment criteria. The NORFACE Network Board expects to make funding decisions and inform applicants in March/early April 2020.

Call documents Full Proposal stage

All details, requirements and instructions for this Call are specified in the following documents. For the Full Proposal stage, the call documents have been updated in accordance with the NORFACE Governance Call for Proposals. In case of updates, this is indicated appropriately per document.

  • Call for Proposals (pdf)
  • Programme Text (pdf)
  • National and Regional Eligibility Requirements (pdf)
  • Application Template – Full Proposal (word)
  • Summary Budget Sheet (xlsx)
  • National / Regional Budget Sheet (xlsx) – per agency
  • Guide on submitting a Full Proposal (pdf)

 For more information, please contact the NORFACE Coordination Office via governance@nwo.nl.

For questions about national or regional eligibility rules, please contact the contact person at your national or regional funding agency mentioned in the Call for Proposals. In case of questions regarding the budget, applicants are strongly advised to consult their national or regional funding agency well before the submission deadline.