The Swedish Research Council receives around 6,000 applications every year. Reviewing and assessing these applications is a major and complicated procedure. In order to cope with the scrutiny of the large number of applications, the Council has around 90 review panels covering well-defined academic fields.
The assessment system that the Research Council uses is based on a peer-review system, i.e. a system whereby researchers review other researchers' applications. The system is used world-wide with great confidence by researchers. Both the advantages and disadvantages are generally known and thus able to be handled.
In order to avoid conflicts of interest in review panels, the Research Council has established strict internal guidelines. We also seek to prevent less obvious conflicts of interest. Read more about Conflict of interest.
The basic principle of the preparation process is for all applications to be public. Openness is also applied as far as possible during the preparation procedure itself in order to avoid all suspicion of conflict of interest or of other factors which might call into question the objectivity of the assessment. Read more about openness.
The Swedish Research Council support basic research of the highest academic quality within
all academic fields and ensure renewal in Swedish basic research. Money is allocated to the best researchers and projects.
The Government and Parliament decide how much money the Council can allocate. The total sum is divided into different sections – which determine how much a particular field has to compete for.