The Joint Committee of the Nordic Medical Research Councils was established in 1968.
The chairmanship of the committee rotate among the Nordic member countries at three-year intervals; Sweden was chairing NOS-M from 2016-2019.
NordForsk hosts the secretariat. Contact info:
attn. NOS-M secretariat
Executive secretary Maria Nilsson, Special Adviser
Phone +47 993 80 264
The Swedish Research Council
The Research Council of Norway
Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science
Academy of Finland
The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannis)
The statutes of the Committee were adopted on 22 April 1968. New statutes were adopted at a meeting of the Committee on 17 April 1989 and subsequently approved by the member research councils. The statutes have been further amended on 13 November 1989, 23 April 1990, 21 March 2011, 26 March 2014, and on 17 December 2019.
- The Joint Committee of the Nordic Medical Research Councils is a cooperative body for the medical research councils of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
- The following research councils are represented in the Joint Committee:
The Research Council for Biosciences, Health and the Environment, the Academy of Finland, Finland [i]
The Icelandic Centre for Research, Iceland [ii]
The Research Council of Norway, Norway [iii]
The Scientific Council for Medicine and Health, the Swedish Research Council, Sweden [iv]
The Independent Research Fund Denmark | Medical Sciences, Denmark [v]
- Associate Member of the Joint Committee:
NordForsk is an Associate Member of the Committee. Associate Members have no voting rights.
The medical research councils (or the equivalent organisations) of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are invited to participate as observers (maximum two each) at Committee meetings. In addition, other relevant Nordic institutions, or institutions of relevance to Committee activities, may be invited to participate as observers. Observers have no voting rights.
- The tasks of the Committee are:
To promote information exchange on research and researcher training in the medical sciences;
To provide proposals and recommendations to the member research councils on matters relating to Nordic research activities;
To initiate strategic discussions and strategic initiatives related to medical research of joint interest to the Nordic countries, and to provide input on such matters both at national and international levels;
To promote contact between the individual Nordic countries with regard to participation in international medical research activities;
To promote contact between the Nordic and the Baltic countries with regard to issues related to medical research.
- Each national research council appoints two representatives to the Committee. The member research councils may also appoint deputies. The Committee appoints a chair from among the representatives of the chairmanship to serve a three-year term. The chairmanship rotates among the countries in the following order: Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland.
Representatives of the administrations of the research councils and the Associate Members may take part in the Committee meetings as observers.
In special cases, other representatives of the research councils or external experts may be invited to attend meetings of the Committee to discuss specific questions.
- The Committee meets twice a year. At each meeting the Committee agrees on the date and venue of the subsequent meeting.
Extraordinary meetings may be convened by the chair or upon request of a minimum of four Committee members.
Travel expenses for meeting participants are covered by the individual research councils. Associate Members and observers carry their own costs.
The Committee shall strive to make decisions by consensus. For decisions to be adopted, a quorum comprising representatives of the research councils in a minimum of four of the countries must be present. If consensus is not achieved, each country has one vote. Decisions are approved by a simple majority. In the event of a tie, the committee chair´s vote will be decisive.
- Nordic practice regarding impartiality and disqualification is followed at the meetings of the Committee.
- In the event that a statement about a matter is required before the Committee has been able to discuss it in plenum, this may be done by the chair, presuming the viewpoints of the various research councils have been taken into consideration.
The Committee may delegate to the chair the discretion to pass decisions on matters for which the Committee has the specific responsibility.
- The research councils allocate a funding framework based on a budget proposal submitted by the Committee for the coming year. The amount to be provided by each of the research councils in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden is determined according to a distribution key annually determined by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The budget should include funds to support the chairmanship administratively and to facilitate strategic initiatives.
- The Committee secretariat shall either circulate among the participating countries for a period of three years, or be hosted by an organisation appointed by the Committee. The committee secretary is to be appointed by the research council or organisation hosting the secretariat if the Committee not decides otherwise.
The Committee accounts are administered by the research council or organisation at which the secretariat is located. The Committee’s financial management practices will be audited by the Auditor General of the host country.
- The Committee may nominate members to advisory boards or equivalent groups. In between meetings the chair is mandated to decide on nominations.
- The tasks of the secretary to the Committee are:
In consultation with the chair, to draw up the agenda for and send out notification of the next meeting of the Committee;
To compile background documents for the matters to be dealt with by the Committee, such as lists, summaries and proposals for written standpoints;
To take the minutes (write a report) of the Committee meetings and execute the decisions adopted by the Committee;
To draw up the Committee’s annual report;
To keep the Committee informed about the projects receiving support from the Committee and to maintain contact with the individual research councils;
To maintain contact with the Secretariat to the Nordic Council of Ministers as well as with relevant international bodies involved in research in the medical sciences.
Amendments to these statutes must be adopted by the member research councils.
[i] The Research Council for Biosciences, Health and the Environment (before 2019 the Research Council for Health; before 2019 Medical Research Council).
The Icelandic Centre for Research (formerly the Icelandic Research Council; before that the Division of Biological and Medical Sciences, the Icelandic Council of Science).
The Research Council of Norway (before 2019 the Division for Science; before 2004, Division for Medicine and Health; before 1993, the Council for Medical Research (NAVF)).
The Scientific Council for Medicine and Health, the Swedish Research Council (before 2001, the Swedish Medical Research Council).
[v] The Independent Research Fund Denmark | Medical Science (before 2019 the Danish Council for Independent Research | Medical Sciences; before 2005, the Danish Medical Science Research Council).
NOS-M Statutes 2019