RELIGHT – Research ExceLlence and Innovation in Global HealTh

RELIGHT has been created to assist research groups in advancing their Global Health agenda through project development support. The overall aim is to lift already strong research groups at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Oslo (UiO) and encourage their success in obtaining external funding for reaching the status of research and innovation excellence. 

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Illustration: Øystein Horgmo, UiO

The Research ExceLlence and Innovation in Global HealTh (RELIGHT) programme, supported by the Faculty of Medicine at UiO, aims to assist established research groups in becoming global leaders in their fields and, thereby, reaching the status of ‘research and innovation excellence.' The assistance is given through seed funding directed at positioning external funding applications. The following reports have been submitted by the awarded 2019-2021 RELIGHT Research Groups and indicate their progress and focus areas:


Aim of the call

RELIGHT will award project development support for three years, which will facilitate capacity towards receiving external funding. Successful applicants should aim for obtaining funding within the schemes such as Centres of Excellence (SFF - the Norwegian Research Council), EU Horizon 2020 or equivalent, in Norway.

Funding can be used for:

  • Expenses for partner search/establishment of project consortium;
  • “frikjop” of staff for project planning and preparation of project proposal;
  • external assistance and consulting;
  • travel expenses, etc.

Funding procedure

  • three applications for 2019 and three applications for 2022 will be selected based on criteria described below;
  • each group will receive 300.000 NOK for each 3-year period, 100 000 NOK per year over 3 years;
  • successful groups can re-apply.
2019 2020 2021  2022  2023


3 groups funded 300.000 NOK


3 groups funded 300.000 NOK 

Who can apply?

  • UiO or OUS affiliates (faculty, hospital, postdoctoral fellows) belonging to established research groups and aspiring to be excellent researchers in global health;
  • at least one person in the group must be employed at UiO;
  • groups of which the PI or Co-PI is working at the Faculty of Medicine, UiO, will have an advantage;
  • a person can be part of different applying groups, but can only hand in one application as the leading applicant.

Buffalo, boy, lake
(Photo: Pixabay)
The application process

*The 2021 call is open.

  1. Submit your application with a description of your past and ongoing research and a future plan for the research progress. Complete the application form and send to Remember the cover page, budget and CV of the project leader. Please send all documents in one PDF. Deadline: 1 October 2021.
  2. Review of applications based on selection criteria by an advisory team.
  3. The nominated candidates for the next call will be announced in late 2021.

Benefits of selected groups

  • 300.000 NOK over a period of three years supporting the research group financially and increasing competitiveness for external funding;
  • special invitations to an annual conference for RELIGHT groups, giving the opportunity to present their research;
  • be a priority focus group of the Centre for Global Health and getting access to its global health network. 

The RELIGHT advisory panel

The RELIGHT advisory panel is led by the Centre for Global Health and consists of a team of administrative and scientific experts from outside the Faculty of Medicine at UiO and international partners. 

Following an administrative pre-screening, the advisory panel will decide on the selection of groups, provide strategic and research guidance to the RELIGHT programme and groups who are involved in the programme. It will assist in selecting and organising training and seminars to assist the groups in their goal to become global leaders in their field.

Evaluation criteria by the advisory team

The advisory team will evaluate the applicants with the following criteria:

  • Research excellence: academic and other relevant expertise with the capacity to become future leaders within their field of Global Health;
  • Innovation: contribution to academic advancement and addressing inter-diciplinary global health challenges;
  • Sustainability and scalability: potential to expand research capacity by demonstrating eligibility and competitiveness for substantial external funding applications;
  • Leadership: a strong team environment and cohesion within the group working towards common goals;
  • Global Partnership: working collaborations with partners, especially in the Global South;
  • Global Health Impact: research focus tackling major Global Health challenges of our time and contributing towards achieving the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.
Published Oct. 3, 2018 1:29 PM - Last modified Sep. 14, 2021 11:52 AM