The call opened 14:00 12 June 2019
The call closed 14:00 27 August 2019
Research project grant Röntgen-Ångström Cluster
The Röntgen-Ångström Cluster (RÅC) is a Swedish-German research collaboration within structural biology and material sciences. The aim of the grant is to strengthen research in materials science and structural biology that uses neutron and/or synchrotron/free-electron-laser radiation and to stimulate the use and/or development of expertise in large-scale research infrastructures currently available or being planned in the geographic area.
Medicine and Health, Research infrastructure, Natural and Engineering Sciences
Individual researcher active in Sweden in collaboration with the German applicant/project leader
At least 1 and up to 10 researchers may be invited to join the application. At least 1 (the German applicant/project leader) but no more than 4 of these must be active in Germany.
Minimum 400 000 SEK per year, maximum 2 000 000 SEK per year
A total of 63 million SEK is allocated for a four-year period
27 August 2019 (14.00/2 p.m.)
Publication of grant award
No later than the start of December 2019
Start of grant period
- Please read and follow the instructions: In addition to this specific call text, you also need to read our Guide for applicants.
- As from spring 2019, you will need to have a data management plan for data generated within the research we award funds for. You must not submit or send it to us with the application for a grant, but according to our general grant terms and conditions, your administrating organisation must confirm that a data management plan will be in place when you start your project or corresponding, and also that the plan will be maintained.
- Read more about grants awarded in previous years
Call text in full
Please note: The following instructions are (unless otherwise stated) addressed to the Swedish applicant (researcher based at a Swedish university or other research institution), also called project leader. The German applicant (collaborating researcher based at a German university or other research institution), also called international project leader, should turn to Projektträger DESY for information on how to apply in the German application system.
The following requirements must be fulfilled in order for you to be eligible to apply for the grant. We carry out checks to ensure ineligible applications are rejected from further processing.
The RÅC research collaboration is enabled by a bilateral agreement between the Swedish and German governments and regularly calls for joint Swedish-German project grant applications. The agreement and its calls for applications are handled by the Swedish Research Council and the Project Management Organization at DESY (Projektträger DESY) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The research applied for must be a collaboration between a Swedish and a German university or research organisation. The project leader in both countries must each submit separate applications to the respective national funding agencies, however, the research plans in each separately submitted application must be identical.
The applications will be jointly evaluated and the funds for each successful application is handled by the respective funding agencies in accordance to their respective rules and regulations. The Swedish Research Council only finances granted research projects hosted by Swedish universities or research organisations, and the BMBF only finances granted research projects hosted by German universities or research organisations.
The research must address materials science or structural biology, and aim for an advanced use of or prepare for the advanced use of one or more of the following research infrastructures: PETRA III, FLASH, BESSY II, MAX IV Laboratory, BER II, ESS and XFEL. Neutron sources that may be used are BER II, ILL, ISIS, FRMII and SNS.
- German-Swedish collaboration on early ESS instrumentation – at least one grant will be awarded for instrumentation project(-s) at one of the first eight instruments to be commissioned at ESS. The intention is to support early science at these instruments and that Swedish and German groups can together make the best use of early science at ESS if they are involved in the instrumentation.
Apart from the above special initiative (related to ESS investments), the remaining funds will be awarded, in approximately equal shares, to research projects in materials science and structural biology that uses neutron and/or synchrotron/free-electron-laser radiation.
The applicant for a research project grant must be an individual researcher. You shall be the project leader and have scientific responsibility for the project. You must set aside adequate time for the project throughout the grant period, with a scope (activity level) that corresponds to at least 20 per cent of a full-time equivalent. You must hold a Swedish doctoral degree or a corresponding foreign degree, awarded no later than the deadline for this call. The degree award date we use is the date you fulfilled all the requirements for a doctoral degree, such as mandatory courses, oral defence and an approved doctoral thesis. For applicants with Swedish doctoral degrees, the award date listed in Ladok applies.
The application must include an ongoing or a new collaboration with researchers and/or research groups active at a university or research institute in Germany. One of the collaborating researchers is the German applicant, from further on called German applicant/international project leader, who must hold the equivalent academic qualifications to the Swedish counterpart. Please note:
- the German applicant/international project leader must submit a separate application, comprising the identical research plan, to the BMBF/PT DESY system easy-Online; this is a legal requirement of the BMBF.
- the Swedish application must be submitted first to obtain a registration number in Prisma. The German application to the BMFB must refer to the registration number given to the Swedish application in Prisma when the call has closed.
Grants from the Swedish Research Council shall be administered by a Swedish university or HEI or another Swedish public organisation that fulfils our criteria for administrating organisations. Your organisation must therefore be approved as an administrating organisation for you to apply.
If you are awarded a grant, you must be employed by the administrating organisation at the start of and throughout the grant period and any additional availability period, unless the Swedish Research Council approves an exception. The employment must cover no less than 20 per cent of a full-time equivalent. You do not have to be employed by the administrating organisation at the time of applying.
Number of applications and previous grants
The conditions described in this section only apply to the Swedish applicant (project leader).
What grants may I apply for simultaneously from the Swedish Research Council?
You may only submit one application for this grant under this call. Other restrictions relating to the grants you may apply for in the same year are shown in the table below.
Table: Grants you may apply for simultaneously (pdf, 460.8 kB)
What requirements apply if I already have a grant from the Swedish Research Council?
There are certain restrictions if you are the project leader of a previously awarded grant that is ongoing, that is to say where the grant period (payment period from the Swedish Research Council) overlaps the grant period of the grant this application covers. Please note that the availability period, that is to say the time during which you can draw down the grant awarded, is normally longer than the grant period. Information about the requirements for your previous grant can be found in the “Approval of terms and conditions” you received from the Swedish Research Council. If your ongoing grant is an undirected project grant, or has another focus, you are eligible to apply, provided that your application is for another project concept. If you are the project leader of or co-worker in an ongoing RÅC grant from the call in 2017, you may apply in this call provided that the content is new and does not overlap with the awarded grant. Under any of these conditions, you should clearly describe how the new grant application differs from the previous one in the research plan.
Please see the table below for further information and any restrictions relating to grants you may apply for if you have an ongoing grant.
Table: Grants you may apply for if you have an ongoing grant (pdf, 460.1 kB)
Note: If you have been the project leader for previous grants from the Swedish Research Council that have ended, final financial reports for all of these must have been submitted within the permitted time frame in order for you to apply for a new grant. Please contact your administrating organisation if you are unsure whether all your final reports have been submitted.
What applies for applications to or grants from other funding bodies?
If your application to the Swedish Research Council relates to the same project idea as a grant you have already been awarded by, or are applying for to another funding body, please describe this.
Besides the required German applicant/international project leader, other researchers who are active in Sweden or Germany and who are connected to the project may be invited as participating researchers to the application. These are researchers with a doctoral degree or corresponding competence, whose scientific competence will be crucial for the implementation of the proposed research.
At least 1 and a maximum of 10 researchers (including the international project leader) may be invited to participate in the application. They shall provide the required CV information themselves in Prisma, and upload these to the application.
Any further participating partners and their roles shall be described in the research plan (please see instructions under “Research plan” below).
Costs and grant amounts
The grant may be used to fund all types of project-related costs, such as:
- salaries (including your own salary), however no more than corresponding to the person’s activity level in the project
- operating costs (such as consumables, travel including stays at research facilities, publication costs and minor equipment)
- depreciation costs.
Grants may not be used for scholarships. If a doctoral student participates, project funds may not be paid out as salary during teaching or other departmental duties.
The minimum amount you may apply for is 400 000 SEK per year, including indirect costs. The maximum amount you may apply for is 2 000 000 SEK per year.
You may apply for a grant to cover a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 4 years, starting from January 2020.
Please refer to the application form in Prisma in parallel with reading the instructions below, which describe the call-specific content of the application. More information on what to do in practical terms is available in our Guide for applicants.
Foreign experts are involved in the scientific assessment of the applications. To ensure fair and equitable assessment and efficient processing, please therefore complete your application in English.
Sections of the application
The application form includes the following tabs:
- Descriptive information
- Research description
- Budget and research resources
- CV (full cv of all German participating researchers only)
- Administrating organisation
- CV (all participants)
Descriptions of the call-specific information requested under each tab follow below.
The abstract shall include a brief description of the following:
- what is to be done: purpose and aim
- how the research will be carried out: project organisation, time plan and the scientific methods to be used
- what is important about the planned research.
The abstract shall provide a summary guide to the purpose and implementation of the research. Please use wording to ensure persons with another subject specialisation can understand the information.
The description may cover a maximum of 1 500 characters including blank spaces (approximately one third of an A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing).
Popular science description
Describe the project in such a way that a person who is not familiar with the subject can understand it. Describe what is to be done and why, and explain in what way the new knowledge may be important.
The popular science description is an important tool when we inform about the research funded by the Swedish Research Council. If we grant your application, we reserve the right to use the description for information purposes.
Note: The popular science description must be written in Swedish, unlike the rest of the application.
The description may cover a maximum of 4 500 characters including blank spaces (approximately one A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing).
Please indicate whether the project relates to the special initiative described above.
Describe the ethical issues raised by your project or corresponding. You must also describe how you plan to address ethical dilemmas that may arise. Please justify why the research should be carried out against the background of the ethical issues you have identified. How do your research questions and expected results measure up in relation to the ethical issues? Please also state whether the research involves any handling of personal data, or experiments on animals or human subjects. If no ethical issues are raised, please justify this.
The research plan shall consist of a brief but complete description of the research task and also the joint budget. The focus of the research plan shall be forward-looking, and it shall cover a maximum of 17 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing, including references and any images.
Please note that the German applicant/international project leader must submit an identical joint research plan to the BMBF/PT DESY system.
The research plan shall include the following headings and information, listed in the following order:
- Purpose and aims: State the overall purpose and specific goals of the research project.
- State-of-the-art: Summarise briefly the current research frontier within the field/area covered by the project. State key references.
- Significance and scientific novelty: Describe briefly how the project relates to previous research within the area, and its importance in the short and long term. Describe also how the project moves forward or innovates the current research frontier.
- Preliminary and previous results: Describe briefly your own previous research and pilot studies within the research area that make it probable that the project will be feasible. State also if no preliminary results exist.
- Project description: Describe the project design, including the following items:
- Theory and method: Describe the underlying theory and the methods to be applied in order to reach the project goal.
- Time plan and implementation: Describe summarily the time plan for the project during the grant period, and how the project will be implemented, including work packages, milestones and time schedule in a Gantt-chart. Responsible person for work packages must be named.
- Project organisation: Clarify the contributions of yourself and any participating researchers to the implementation of the project. Describe and explain the competences and roles of the participating researchers in the project, and also any other researchers or corresponding who are important for the implementation of the project.
- Need for infrastructure: Specify the project’s need for international and national infrastructure. Specify also the need for local infrastructure, if depreciation costs for this is included in the application. Read more about research infrastructure supported by the Swedish Research Council.
- Exploitation Plan: Describe in a few sentences the project’s economic prospect of success, scientific and/or technical prospect of success and the ability to extend the project towards further scientific and economic development.
- Joint budget: State a joint applied budget for the total grant period for the Swedish and the German partners according to the template below. The budget for each partner shall correspond to the amounts presented in the Prisma application form (see below under the heading “Budget and research resources”) and EASY-online, respectively. Present all numbers in EUR, where 10 SEK = 1 EUR. Please also provide a brief justification of each cost in the budget plan stated.
Provide the following information also. If a heading is not relevant to your application, please leave it blank.
- Equipment: Describe the basic equipment you and your team have at your disposal for the project.
- National and other international collaboration: Describe your own and the team’s collaboration with Swedish, German and/or other foreign researchers and research teams.
- Other applications or grants: If you are applying for or intend to apply for other grants from the Swedish Research Council, the relationship between the projects shall be clarified. This applies also if you are receiving ongoing grants from the Swedish Research Council with grant periods that wholly or partly overlap with the grant you are now applying for. You should also justify why you are submitting one or several further applications. Describe also the relationship with other applications to or grants from other funding bodies for the same project concept (from you or another researcher).
Budget and research resources
Under this tab, please list personnel costs, other costs and any other funding of the project. Please note that the following instructions for filling out budget and research resources concerns the Swedish part of the research budget and are to be filled out by the Swedish applicant in Prisma.
State the activity level (per cent of a full-time equivalent) of all personnel active within the project, that is to say yourself, any other researchers and other personnel. Please also state the salary you are applying for, for yourself and/or other personnel active within the project, both as a percentage of a full-time salary and as actual annual amounts (including social security contributions). Please state rounded amounts in SEK.
Describe any other costs of the project (premises costs, operating costs and depreciation costs). Please state rounded annual amounts.
You may include depreciation costs for equipment to be used in the project, provided that
- the equipment has an economic life of at least three years
- the equipment has an acquisition value exceeding a certain amount (please contact your administrating organisation for information about the amount that applies to your department)
- the equipment needs for your proposed project cannot be satisfied through use of national or international infrastructure supported by the Swedish Research Council and therefore open to all.
You may only include the proportion of depreciation costs that corresponds to the use of the equipment in the proposed project. You may not include depreciation costs for equipment that is wholly financed via other grants. Please contact your HEI for information about what is included in local research infrastructure, acquisition values or how to calculate depreciation costs.
Prisma will automatically add up your budget items listed in a table. The total amount you are applying for shall also include indirect costs. You will have to add these to the table yourself. Here you can also add any additional costs covered by the project (for which you are not seeking funding under this call).
Please contact your HEI for information on what constitutes indirect and direct costs.
CV (German researchers)
Please attach the CV of the German applicant/international project leader and any other German participating researchers, each comprising no more than 2 A4 pages.
Please note that the publication list(s) shall be included under the separate “Publications” tab below.
Under this tab, please attach your and the participating researchers’ publication lists to the respective fields (Swedish and German participants sorted separately). Each list must comprise no more than 5 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Please sort the publications under each heading in reverse chronological order, so that the latest publication is at the top of the list. Please only include articles or corresponding that are published or accepted for publication at the time of applying. The author order shall be identical to that of the published work. The application cannot be supplemented with publications after the deadline for the call.
1. Selection of publications: List the maximum 10 publications of greatest importance to your application. For each publication, please state how you contributed to it, and its relevance to the research project described (maximum four lines per publication). Highlight your name in bold in the author list.
2. Relevant publications from the last 8 years: Sort the publications, with your name highlighted in bold in the author list, under each heading (publication type) in the following order:
- Peer-reviewed original articles
- Peer-reviewed conference contributions, the results of which are not included in other publications.
- Peer-reviewed edited volumes
- Research review articles
- Peer-reviewed books and book chapters
- Other publications including popular science books/presentations
Please state the administrating organisation and project site.
Here you invite the German applicant, any other participating researchers, or participating administrators to the application. The German applicant represents the German part of the research collaboration is distinguished from other participating researchers by you giving her/him the status of international project leader in the table provided in the application form. You may assign full editing rights to the international project leader.
Under this tab, please upload your relevant CV information from your personal account in Prisma. Participating researchers must upload their own CV information to the application.
Swedish project leader/applicant and any other Swedish researchers:
The following information, where available, must always be included in each CV, according to the stated limitation in numbers:
- Education: First, second and third cycle higher education and specialist degrees.
- Work: Current employment (including employment form) and longer relevant employment, postdoctoral visits (also included as employments if relevant), research exchanges relevant to the research described and any longer interruptions in the research that have impacted on your opportunity to gain merits as a researcher.
- Merits and awards: Docentship/associate professorship, supervisees (postdoctoral and doctoral students; state the overall number of each category and list the 10 most relevant to you), up to 10 of your most relevant grants awarded in competition, up to 10 of your most relevant prizes and awards, and other merits relevant to the application.
- Intellectual property rights: For example, patents and open access computer programs developed by you; state up to 10 of your most relevant.
German applicant/international project leader and any other German researchers:
The German participants are only required to upload their doctoral degree as well as current employment from the personal Prisma account. The full CV is attached in pdf-format as instructed above under “CV (German researchers)”.
Scientific quality is the fundamental criterion when the Swedish Research Council allocates grants to research. The application is evaluated in competition with the other applications on the basis of the following evaluation criteria.
The application is evaluated by a review panel where the members are Swedish and international researchers.
At least three members review and grade the application individually. The review panel as a whole will meet to discuss, grade and prioritize the applications, and finally to make a proposal for a decision to the Director General at Vetenskapsrådet and to BMBF.
The applications will receive an individual final statement that reflects the review panel discussions and overall assessment of the scientific quality of the application.
Evaluation criteria and guiding questions
The evaluation of the scientific quality of the application will be made based on four basic criteria (Scientific quality of the proposed research, Novelty and originality, Merits of the applicant, Feasibility). The criteria will be assessed on a seven-grade scale, except for feasibility and relevance, which will be assessed on a three-grade grade scale.
In addition to the basic evaluation criteria, the application will also be reviewed regarding Relevance on a 3-grade scale.
For each criterion, there are guiding questions to support the panel member evaluation of the application. These can also function as guidance for you, when you write the application.
Scientific quality of the proposed research (1–7)
- Is the proposed research scientifically significant?
- How does the proposed project relate to the state of the art of the research area?
- Do the scientific questions have the purpose to fill in significant knowledge gaps, and is the project description sufficiently detailed and of sufficient quality to reach, or to approach these objectives in a significant way?
- When applicable, is the proposed development of methods, techniques or instruments of high scientific significance? Does the proposed development allow new scientific questions to be addressed?
- Will the proposed development be made in collaboration with a large-scale facility?
Novelty and originality (1–7)
- Does the proposed project define new, interesting scientific questions?
- Does the proposed project have the potential to substantially increase the knowledge within its scientific area?
- Does the proposed project use new methods and instruments to address important scientific questions?
- When applicable, does the proposed project show a clear progression in relation to the previous research of the applicant?
- If the project includes more than one of the techniques described in the call text (x-ray-scattering and neutron scattering) is this necessary for the project’s success?
Merits of the applicant (1–7)
The assessment should concern the merits of the applicant to perform the proposed project. The assessment of the complementary expertise of the participating researchers is only of relevance for the grading of the feasibility of the project
- Is the applicant a world-leading scientist or whatis the applicant’s potential in becoming a world-leading scientist in this research area?
- What is the applicant’s scientific competence within the research area of the application?
- When applicable, does the applicant have previous experience in the development of experimental or theoretical methods or instruments?
Feasibility of the proposed project (1–3)
- Is the project feasible with the asked for resources?
- Are the available equipment, infrastructure and other resources adequate for the proposed project? Would you suggest any cuts in the investments or staff number?
- Considering the project as a whole, including any participating researcher, does the applicant or project group have sufficient competence to perform the proposed research?
- Does the description in the research plan support the likelihood that the proposed project will be performed successfully?
- Is the scope of the project reasonable in relation to the amount applied for?
Relevance for the Call (1–3)
- Is the project within the scope of the call
- Does the proposed project provide added-value to national or bilateral research communities in the area?
- Does the proposed project demonstrate the benefits of bilateral collaboration?
Overall grade (1–7)
The above subsidiary criteria are weighed together into an overall grade, which reflects the review panel’s joint evaluation of the application’s scientific quality. The overall grade is formed without a pre-determined numerical weighing of the basic criteria.
As a guidance to the review panel’s assessment the relevance to the call, the scientific quality of the proposed research, merits of the applicants and relevance to the call should be given the higher importance. The feasibility shall be weighed into the overall rating of the application if it deviates from the grade “Feasible”.
Other comments and boundary conditions
Guiding questions, (this is not an obligatory field to fill in):
- Are there special conditions the panel proposes?
- Are there special comments that the panel would like to make?