Mobility grant for PhD Fellows

The Mobility Grant is established to make sure that PhD fellows have equal opportunities for stays abroad during their research education. Through the grant, HVL wishes to stimulate stays abroad in order to both promote international experience for the fellows and to assure high quality in the doctoral programmes.

You can apply for a grant for longer research stays at a research institution abroad. The grant shall support stays where the purpose is to participate in academic activities that will strengthen the applicants PhD project. The stay must contribute to international networking and increase cooperation between HVL and foreign research communities. Read our guidelines for mobility grant for research education. 

About the mobility grant

The mobility must be of a minimum length of 3 months, and you can apply for grants to cover additional expenses for 3 months. The stay must end at least 6 months before the end-date of your  employment. Mobilities that are longer than 3 months will only receive grants for the first 3 months. The rest of the stay must be covered through other sources of funding (Operating funds). 

The scheme will not support shorter stays, like seminars, field work and conferences, as the PhD fellow’s own funds must be used for stays like this (see Guidelines for the use of operating funds). 


  • The applicant must have examined other sources of funding. Other sources of funding may be able to support longer mobilities. The PhD-handbook contains information about different sources of funding for stays abroad
  • It is possible to combine the grant with other grants, for example through the Erasmus+ programme, as long as this does not lead to double funding of the stay.
  • If the your own operating funds are used to extend a mobility abroad that is financed by this grant form HVL, the same guidelines and regulations apply for these funds as well.

Who can apply?

The scheme is primarily intended for HVL-funded PhD Fellows. Grants will not be given to postdoctoral fellows or other groups at HVL. 

PhD Fellows that are funded through the Research Council of Norway (NFR), including “Public Sector PhD” and “Industrial PhD scheme”, must apply to NFR for funding for stays abroad. 

The scheme allows for externally funded fellows employed at HVL to apply, but only if the external source of funding does not support stays abroad. 

Applicants should be employed by HVL. The faculties can make exceptions from this. If the Mobility Grant is to be given to a PhD candidate with an external employer, a special agreement concerning the final assessment must be set up with the employer

What/how much can be covered?

The Mobility grant covers expenses for

  1. travel (cheapest alternative)

  2. extra expenditures / establishing costs from the mobility at the same rates that NFR uses for their grants

Please note that these rates can be used as a starting point for the amount you are applying for and is meant to cover establishing costs and extra expenditures from your stay abroad. Expenditures should not be specified in the application but will need documentation in the settlement of travel expenses. In some cases, HVL can pay out grants that are below the rates set by NFR. 

The Mobility Grant can cover; travel expenses, moving expenses, visa, vaccines, extra expenses accrued in addition to the PhD fellow’s permanent residence in Norway (i.e., mortgage, power, internet) and expenses attached to the journey’s purpose.  

Examples of what the Mobility Grant will not cover; gym memberships, medication, clothes, passports, other equipment the employer is likely to keep, vacations in / from the host country, leisure activities for accompanying children, food, lost income for accompanying spouse/cohabitant.

More comprehensive information about what the grant can be used for can be found in the “Guidelines for travel expenses settlement” 

For the PhD fellow's family, the following applies:

  • A family is defined as a PhD fellow accompanied by a spouse, common-law partner or registered partner and any children. A common-law partner is a person with whom the fellowship-holder has lived in a marriage-like relationship for the past two years or shares a common address.
  • Applicants may seek funding to cover travel costs for a spouse/partner and children under the age of 18, provided that the family members reside together with the PhD fellow for close to or the entire research stay abroad.
  • The mobility grant does not cover travel costs for visits by family members while the PhD fellow lives abroad without his/her family.

AFII administers the payment of Erasmus+ grants and has expertise on tuition fees, visa and more for HVL’s exchange partners. In many cases, using an exchange agreement for your mobility will make the process of finding accommodation easier.

Criteria for distribution

PhD fellows that hand in a complete application are guaranteed support for three months.

  • The Mobility Grant will cover extra expenses during a stay abroad. All extra expenses must be documented with receipts after the mobility ends.

  • Any surplus funds must be repaid to HVL through salary deductions.

  • If the extra expenses are larger than the amount received through the Mobility Grant, the extra cost must be covered through other sources of funding (the PhD Fellow’s operating funds, for example)

  • Applicants are obligated to follow HVLs procedures for “Payment and travel expenses settlement” 

  • Applicants must inform HVL about any other sources of funding they receive before or after the application for the Mobility Grant is handed in.
    • Applicants must use other sources of funding first. The Mobility Grant can be used to cover expenses beyond what is covered by other sources according to the guidelines.

Application procedure

There is no application deadline for the Mobility Grant. An application for the Mobility Grant must be sent in using the application form.  An electronic form will be developed. In the application, the following information must be provided:

  • Host institution, host country and dates for the mobility

  • Academic purpose and planned activities

  • Reasons for the choice of host institution, including the quality of the research environment the applicant will be a part of.

  • Publication plans (may also describe plans for co-publication with researchers at the host institution)

  • Expected academic gains, for the applicant and for HVL

  • Any family members that will accompany the applicant

  • Other sources of funding, if any

  • The amount applied for, based on the budget template below:

The applicant must confirm that:

- he/she knows the guidelines for the Mobility Grant and for Disbursement of grants
- he/she knows that any excess funding will be deducted from salary

The following documents must be attached to the application:

  • Invitation/confirmation from the host institution. The invitation must confirm office space, academic contacts and, if necessary, access to library services.

  • Recommendation from main academic supervisor stating that the mobility is an integrated part of the applicant’s research education

  • Recommendation from the applicant’s personnel coordinator.

The application is sent to the faculty of employment or affiliation for the applicant (the applicant will state this in the application form) through P360 / The applicant will receive a written answer.

Payment of the grant and final assessment after the mobilty

The recipient of the Mobility Grant must use the form  «Utbetaling av utenlandsstipend – forskudd» (form in Norwegian, English version is in progress) for disbursal and for final assessment after the mobility. Note that the form has several sheets.

The recipient of the grant is responsible for completing the form “Utbetaling av utenlandsstipend – forskudd” and for getting it signed by the faculty. The recipient must sign the form and send it to HR-Lønn for disbursement.

Note: The form must be certified at the faculty before it is sent to HR-Lønn. The Mobility Grant is paid out as a one-time payment in advance of the mobility at the same time as the PhD fellow’s salary (Applicants should include in their calculations that it may take up to two months from the application is handed in to the grant is paid out). See the procedures in “Payment and travel expenses settlement”.

As soon as possible, and no more than one month after the end of the mobility, the recipient of the grant must document travel expenses and extra expenses he/she has had through their mobility. This is reported to HR-Lønn in a separate form. Any surplus will be paid back to HVL through deductions in salary.