Clinical research is a prerequisite for knowledge-based, equal healthcare. It makes it possible to develop and evaluate medicines and other forms of therapy on evidence-based grounds. For this reason, clinical research must be an integral part of health and medical care activities.
Clinical research cannot be isolated from other medical research. It is based on translational research: in other words, there is mutual exchange between basic research, the health of the individual (the patient) and various research infrastructures within healthcare. Issues identified within healthcare form a starting point; treatment or diagnosis of a certain disease, for example. The objective is to enable research results to be applied in healthcare more quickly.
We fund clinical research
Clinical therapy research
The Swedish Research Council funds clinical therapy studies together with Sweden's regions. We issue calls for funding for clinical therapy research every year. To be awarded funding, therapy studies must be based on needs in health and medical care. These studies are also expected to lead to benefits for patients and society within a relatively short period of time.
The Swedish Research Council's Committee for Clinical Therapy Research decides which applications will receive funding.
Medicine and Health
The Swedish Research Council also uses calls in the fields of health and medicine to fund clinical research other than research relating to therapy studies. Every year, we announce a number of grants for half-time researchers in a clinical environment Within the scope of special Government initiatives, we also issue calls for grant within healthcare research and research in the fields of psychiatry, ageing and health, and infection and antibiotics, for example (link to the call page.
The Swedish Research Council's Scientific Council for Medicine and Health decides which applications will receive funding.
We coordinate and support clinical research prerequisites
The Swedish Research Council has established a collaboration between Sweden's six healthcare regions in order to coordinate, support and develop prerequisites for clinical studies. Better coordination means that clinical studies can be implemented more effectively. This also allows more patients to participate in them, no matter where they live in Sweden.
Within the scope of this collaboration, which goes by the name of Clinical Studies Sweden, the various healthcare regions have each appointed a collaboration function, a regional node. These nodes assist with national collaboration and help to reinforce the prerequisites for the conduct of clinical studies within the region in question.
The Swedish Research Council's Committee for Clinical Studies decides on the general focus of the collaboration and is responsible for the funding allocated for its development. Our clinical studies unit works to support and develop the collaboration within Clinical Studies Sweden.
The Swedish Research Council runs a website – registerforskning.se – that describes how researchers can use register data in their research. We provide information on the rules that govern the use of register data in research, and we have also developed a tool that makes it easier to search registers and analyse the meanings of the variables in the registers. This tool goes by the name of Register Utiliser Tool (RUT) (link).
Swedish Research Council is working together with the Council for Register Data and other important stakeholders to improve the accessibility of register data for research purposes.
Infrastructure with links to clinical research
The Swedish Research Council helps to fund the Biobank Sweden biobank infrastructure. The aim of Biobank Sweden is to make it easier for researchers to access biological samples and the data linked to those samples. The Swedish Research Council helps to fund a number of research infrastructures linked directly and indirectly to clinical research and life sciences.
Cooperation network for collective competence
The Swedish Research Council aims to support national cooperation networks for clinical research linked with health and medical care. The aim is to increase the exchange of knowledge and combine all competence in the field of clinical research – researchers' competence, the competence found within health and medical care, among patients and users, and in industry.
ALF is an abbreviation for an agreement between national government and seven regions. This agreement regulates matters such as the amount of state funding received by the regions to help with the training of doctors, implementation of clinical research and development of health and medical care.
The Office for ALF at the Swedish Research Council provides administrative support to the national steering group for ALF and coordinates the Swedish Research Council's evaluations of clinical research in the regions covered by the ALF agreement.
Statistics and follow-up
The Swedish Research Council, via the Office for ALF, is responsible for collecting and reporting on follow-up statistics on clinical trials in the regions covered by the ALF agreement. These statistics shall provide a general overview, contribute to the development and provide background material for future ALF evaluations. In parallel with this, we have also been tasked with ensuring access to statistics relating to clinical studies taking place in Sweden outside the ALF agreement.