IdeaLab is one of the three calls funded from the Norway and EEA grants 2014–2021 under the Basic Research Programme operated by the National Science Centre in cooperation with the Research Council of Norway. The objective of the programme is to enhance research cooperation between Poland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein and develop research-based knowledge. The IdeaLab call will be carried out according to the ‘sandpit’ method developed by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and used by the Research Council of Norway under the Idélab name. During the workshop participants representing research institutions, NGOs and other public or private institutions will face the challenges for society described in the call announcement. The innovative formula of the workshop supports the development of ground-breaking, interdisciplinary and innovative research project ideas.

Call results

Addressees of the call

IdeaLab is the call for research projects to be implemented jointly by research teams consisting of at least one Polish partner acting as the partnership leader and at least one partner from Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. A scientist with at least a doctorate degree employed by a Polish research organisation will act as the principal investigator in a project implemented under the IdeaLab call. Partnerships may include research institutions, public institutions, NGOs and enterprises.

Thematic scope

The topic of the IdeaLab call ‘Managing threats’ was determined by the Programme Committee for Basic Research with the involvement of experts representing the NCN Council and the Research Council of Norway. The ‘Managing threats’ call concerns challenges arising from complex processes of our times, such as globalisation, technological change, issues of environment and climate change, demographic change, major waves of migration, geopolitical instability and many others, which bring with them uncertainties (implying threats and, in some cases, opportunities) that European societies have to face.


The IdeaLab call is funded under the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2014–2021. The call budget is almost EUR 4.5m. The requested funding for the entire term of project implementation must be between EUR 0.5m and EUR 1.5m. The grant can be used to finance the costs of remuneration and scholarships for the research team, purchase of equipment, materials and services, costs of trips and conferences as well as other project-related costs. The amount of indirect costs is 25% of the funds applied for in the project, including the purchased research equipment, with the exception of subcontracting costs. The eligibility of the incurred expenses expires on 30 April 2024.

Project duration

Projects may last either 24 or 36 months. In justified cases, the project implementation period may be extended up to 12 months, however no longer than by 30 April 2024.

Call procedure

The IdeaLab call consists of three stages:

  1. Individual application for participation in the workshop The applications shall contain information on the qualifications and interests of the candidates. The applications are evaluated by an international panel of experts that may not include scientists from Poland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. Each application will be subject to individual evaluation by at least three experts, based on which the panel of experts will identify the list of workshop participants.
  2. Workshop The objective of the workshop is to develop research project ideas that may be funded under the IdeaLab call. The workshop will take place 21–25 October 2019 in Poland. The experts will first perform individual evaluation to be followed by panel evaluation of the project ideas. As a result of that stage, a project list will be drawn up by the experts with their scores.
  3. Submission of full proposals The project ideas developed during the workshop will constitute the core part of the proposals to be submitted in the call. Consistency of the full proposals with the project ideas will be evaluated by the experts. The ranking list of projects will be approved by the Programme Committee for Basic Research. The funding decisions will be issued by the NCN Director.

Call schedule

  • Call announcement: June 2019
  • Submission deadline for applications to participate in the workshop: August 2019
  • Selection of workshop participants: September 2019
  • Workshop: October 2019
  • Closing deadline for submission of full proposals: December 2019
  • Announcement of results: end of March 2020
  • Contract signature: April – June 2020


Barbara Świątkowska, e-mail:, tel. +48 12 341 9150

Aleksandra W. Haugstad, e-mail:, tel. +47 922 82 462