Norwegian version

Strengthens research network between Norway and Ukraine

A picture of a map of Eastern Europe focusing on Ukraine.

With the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Ukrainian state and society face formidable challenges. Contributions from Ukrainian and international researchers are therefore crucial.

– Ukraine will need both actors to contribute to the reconstruction of the country and research-based knowledge about the country for the reconstruction to be as effective as possible, during and after the war, says Aadne Aasland.

He is one of NIBR's foremost Ukraine experts and the initiator behind the network UKRAINETT (, a network for research on Ukraine (see facts below in article).

The Research Council of Norway has now allocated 4.5 million kroner to further develop the network. UKRAINETT+ will be an extension of the network, and will include a separate branch in Ukraine, consisting of universities and research institutions there.

– Ukrainian partners will contribute to research results being presented to and discussed with decision-makers both nationally, regionally and locally in Ukraine. In this way, the research that both Norwegian and Ukrainian researchers carry out can contribute to informed politics and social development, says Aasland.

While UKRAINETT is a network for Ukraine researchers based in Norway, UKRAINETT+ is a three-year project where researchers will focus on networking with other researchers in Ukraine.

A great need for knowledge

The money will also ensure that the researchers in UKRAINETT can continue to contribute with active research dissemination about Ukraine.

– Hopefully this will be a joy for the research environment itself, the administration and others in need of knowledge about Ukraine, or with interest in Ukrainian history, politics, society and culture, says Marthe Handå Myhre.

She is a researcher at NIBR at OsloMet and one of the initiators of UKRAINETT+.

UKRAINETT and UKRAINETT+ does not only strengthen collaboration with researchers in Ukraine, but also collaboration between Norwegian institutions. – Marthe Handå Myhre

Handå Myhre emphasizes that the need for knowledge about Ukraine has not diminished after two years of war and will probably persist for a long time to come.

– Through UKRAINETT+ we will contribute to research environments that are relevant to each other in Norway and Ukraine maintaining contact or getting in contact with each other, she says.

Important research dissemination

Norway has committed to providing substantial support for the reconstruction of the country through the Nansen Support Programme for Ukraine. It totals 75 billion Norwegian kroner and will run over five years. Aasland and Handå Myhre say it is crucial that Norwegian decision-makers and the public see effective use of the Nansen funds.

The dissemination of research results from Ukraine and about Ukraine will therefore be very important.

The new funds from the Research Council of Norway enable not only the dissemination of Norwegian and Ukrainian research, but also meetings between Norwegian and Ukrainian researchers. This will be able to strengthen research cooperation with Ukraine both in the short and long term.

– In Ukraine, we will, in collaboration with our project partners in Kharkiv and Dnipro, also contribute with dissemination activities in Ukrainian for a Ukrainian audience, including Ukrainian authorities, says Handå Myhre.

Collaboration between Norway and Ukraine

– The funds will be used for various dissemination and networking activities, both in Norway and between Norwegian and Ukrainian environments. Among other things, the project will issue newsletters with information about activities and publications, as well as arrange several annual seminars, and create a UKRAINETT podcast.

There will also be an annual Ukraine conference organized by the network and roundtable conferences where research is presented to relevant representatives from Norwegian authorities, say the researchers.

In addition, they will manage a small funding, so Norwegian and Ukrainian researchers can team up to develop project applications for various research programmes.

We hope to establish targeted research programs where Norwegian and Ukrainian institutions can jointly apply for funds for research which can contribute to support Ukraine during the war and the reconstruction of the country. – Aadne Aasland

Targeted research programmes

Handå Myhre is particularly pleased that four Norwegian universities - University of Northern Norway, the University of Bergen, the University of Oslo and OsloMet are collaborating on the project and are responsible for getting started with the different parts of the plans for UKRAINETT+.

– In this way, UKRAINETT and UKRAINETT+ not only strengthen collaboration with researchers in Ukraine, which is a main goal of the project, but also collaboration between Norwegian institutions. I am very much looking forward to collaborating further with colleagues in Ukraine and Norway, she says.

Aasland says that in Ukraine the establishment of the network is already well underway.

While the Kazarin University in Kharkiv and the research institute Operatyvna Sotsiologija in Dnipro will coordinate the activity in Ukraine, the network already involves a significant number of Ukrainian partners that Norwegian research environments have previously collaborated with. The network will also be open to new partners.

– We hope to establish targeted research programs where Norwegian and Ukrainian institutions can jointly apply for funds for research that can contribute to support Ukraine during the war and the reconstruction of the country, says Aasland.

About the UKRAINETT Network

UKRAINETT is a network of researchers and experts in Norway with an interest in and knowledge about Ukraine. The network is also intended to be a hub for Ukrainian researchers and academics who are currently in Norway due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The network:

  • Promotes research and teaching about Ukraine at Norwegian universities and research institutions
  • Is an arena where researchers share and discuss their own research on Ukraine with each other
  • Is a gathering point for Ukrainian researchers who flee to Norway as a result of Russia's invasion
  • Maintains a dialogue with and provides research-based input to Norwegian decision-makers, public administration, and civil society organizations engaged in Ukraine
  • Helps to strengthen the dissemination of Ukrainian research to the public
  • Aims to organize an annual Ukraine conference on a relevant topic

UKRAINETT now has nearly 80 members and has established a steering group with representatives from various Norwegian universities and research institutions where Ukrainian researchers in Norway are also represented. UKRAINETT is coordinated by the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR) at OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University.


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