Applications for consolidator grants are submitted in a two-step process. The following instructions apply to applicants, who have submitted an accepted project outline and who have subsequently received an invitation to provide a full application.
17 June - 25 August 2020
The purpose of the grant is to give the most prominent junior researchers the opportunity to consolidate their research and broaden their activities as independent researchers.
Within the framework of the call, the Swedish Research Council wishes to support researchers who have a scientifically interesting research idea, and who can convert and conduct the research task and thereby move the frontiers of research forward, or fill in existing gaps in knowledge.
Support form: Career support
Subject area: Humanities and Social Sciences, Medicine and Health, Natural and Engineering Sciences, Educational Sciences
Applicant: Individual researcher who has completed a doctoral degree more than 7 years ago and up to 12 years ago.
Participating researchers: No participating researchers may be invited to join the application.
Grant period: 6 years
Grant amount: 2 000 000 SEK per year
Start of grant period: January 2021
Application period, full application: 17 June 2020 (14.00/2 p.m.) – 25 August 2020 (14.00/2 p.m.)
Publication of grant award: No later than the beginning of December 2020
- As from 2020, you must explain in your research plan how your stated activity level is suited to the implementation of the research project.
- You will need to have a data management plan for data generated within the research we award funds for. You must not send the plan to us, 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 equivalent, and also that the plan will be maintained.
Specific instructions for the call
In addition to reading the specific call text, you also need to consult our Guide for applicants.
Applications for consolidator grants are submitted in a two-stage process. These instructions are aimed at those who have submitted an outline application and had this approved, and have thereafter been invited to submit a full application. The contents submitted in your outline application will be transferred over to your full application, and you can only change those sections that the Swedish Research Council instructs you to do.
Compared to the outline application, the full application must include the following:
- a longer list of publications
- a more comprehensive research plan
- if necessary, your updated description of ethical considerations.
Other changes between the outline and full applications than those stated above may only be included if the Swedish Research Council has particularly requested you to make the specific change.
Contrary to what applies to the outline application, the full application must also be signed by an authorised representative of the administrating organisation. See further instructions below.
The following requirements must be fulfilled in order for you to be eligible to apply for the grant. We carry out checks and reject applications that do not fulfil the requirements.
The applicant for a consolidator grant must be an individual researcher. 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 equal at least 50 per cent of a full-time equivalent. You do not have to be employed by the administrating organisation at the time of applying.
To apply for a consolidator grant, your doctoral degree must have been awarded more than 7 years ago and no more than 12 years ago.
Number of applications and previous grants
See the text for the outline application.
You may not invite any participating researchers in this application. Any collaboration partners and their roles shall be described in the research plan (please see instructions under “Research plan” below).
Costs and grant amounts
The amount you may apply for is a standard amount of 2 000 000 SEK per year, including indirect costs. The grant may be used for all types of project-related costs, but must not be used to finance your own salary or for scholarships. An exception applies for researchers within humanities and social sciences and within educational sciences, where the grant may be used to finance up to 50 per cent of your own salary. The Swedish Research Council assumes that the administrating organisation, as the employer responsible, will cover any costs in excess of the standard amount.
The grant period is 6 years, starting in January 2021. The first payment will be made during January 2021 at the earliest.
Three years after the start of the grant period, the project leader shall submit a mandatory report in the form of an oral presentation to the Swedish Research Council. The description shall focus on the scientific advances that the grant has enabled, and on how the researcher’s work has developed, and may result in a review of the amounts for the remaining grant period.
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.
The contents submitted in your outline application will be transferred over to your full application, and you may only change those sections that the Swedish Research Council instructs you to do (see under “Application procedure” at the start of the call text).
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
- Letter of support
- Administrating organisation
- Review panels
- Participants (only administrators in this call)
The information we request under each tab is described below.
In the abstract, please describe in brief the following:
- What is to be done: purpose and aim
- How will the research be carried out: project organisation, time plan and scientific methods?
- What is important about the planned research.
The abstract shall provide a summary picture of 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. This is 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. Explain also 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.
The description may cover a maximum of 4 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately one A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Note: The popular science description must be written in Swedish, unlike the rest of the application.
Please state any longer interruptions in your active research time after your doctoral degree caused by any of the grounds recognised by the Swedish Research Council. Please state the interruption calculated as a full-time equivalent and rounded up into full calendar months. Please see the recognised grounds for deductible time under the heading “Career age” in the call text for the outline application.
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 justification may cover a maximum of 4 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately one A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
The research plan shall be forward-looking and consist of a brief but complete description of the research task. It shall cover a maximum of 10 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins, including references and any images.
The research plan must include the following headings and information, listed in the following order:
- Purpose and aims: State the overall purpose and specific aims of the research project.
- State-of-the-art: Summarise briefly the current research frontier within the field or 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 the impact the project may have 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. If no preliminary results exist, please state this too.
- Project description: Describe the project design under the following headings:
- 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.
- Project organisation: Clarify the contributions of yourself and any other researchers and/or key persons to the implementation of the project, including a description of competences and roles in the project. Explain in particular how the time allocated by you (that is, your activity level) as project leader is suitable for the task, including the relationship with your other research undertakings.
Provide the following information also. If a heading is not relevant to your application, please state this under the heading.
- Equipment: Describe the basic equipment you and your team have at your disposal for the project.
- Need for research infrastructure: Specify the project’s need for international and national research infrastructure. In the first instance, you should use the research infrastructures supported by the Swedish Research Council, which are open to all. If you choose to use other infrastructures instead, please justify this need (also applies for local research infrastructure).
- International and national collaboration: Describe your collaboration with foreign and Swedish researchers and research teams. State whether you contribute to or refer to international collaboration in your research.
- Other applications or grants: If you are applying for or intend to apply for other grants from the Swedish Research Council, please clarify the relationship between the projects. 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 idea (from you or another researcher).
Budget and research resources
Please state your activity level (per cent of a full-time equivalent) in the project. Your activity level as project leader must correspond to no less than 50 per cent of a full-time equivalent.
The grant is a standard amount and you therefore do not need to enter any budget applied for in the application form.
Justification of the budget applied for
Describe briefly the primary costs you intend to cover within the framework for the grant budget. The description may cover a maximum of 4 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately one A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Please state your or any other researcher’s funding for the project over and above what is applied for in this application. Please state the amounts in Swedish krona, rounded to the nearest 1 000 SEK.
Applicant’s publication list
Please attach your publication list drawn up according to the headings and information below. The list shall cover a maximum of 5 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins.
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 equivalent that are published or accepted for publication at the time of applying. The author name 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 10 publications of greatest importance to your application.Describe how you contributed to each publication, and its relevance to the research project described (maximum 4 lines per publication). Highlight your name in bold in the author list.
2. Relevant publications from 2012–2020 In this part, the publications listed under Item 1 shall also be included if they have been published during the period in question. 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
3. Other scientific output, such as invited speeches, lectures, etc.
Letter of support
The formal letter of support from your administrating organisation shall be signed by the head of the home department or equivalent where you will be doing your research. Your (the applicant’s) name shall be stated clearly, as well as the name and function/position of the person writing the letter of support.
Please note that the letter of support forms an important part of the assessment of your application.
The document may cover no more than 2 A4 pages. The letter of support shall be written in English, and shall include the following headings and information. Please do not include any additional information.
- the applicant’s research programme and how this relates to research already in progress at the department
- the applicant’s scientific independence
- how the applicant can contribute to the department’s activities based on their scientific and teaching competence.
Commitment of the hosting department
Information on/Description of:
- the applicant’s employment format and financing of the employment over the next 10-year period
- how the department will fulfil the applicant’s need for premises, equipment and other infrastructure
- the HEI’s/department’s career plan for the applicant during and after the grant period. The plan shall include goals and activities for how the applicant can continue acquiring scientific merit, and develop their leadership and their teaching competence.
By signing the application in Prisma, the administrating organisation confirms these undertakings.
Please state the administrating organisation and project site.
The scientific review of your full application will be conducted by the same review panel as reviewed your outline application.
Here you as applicant may invite participating administrators to your application.
Under this tab, please upload your relevant CV information from your personal account in Prisma.
The following information (where available) must always be included in your CV:
- Education: First, second and third cycle higher education and specialist degrees.
- Work: Current employment (including employment form) and longer relevant employment held, postdoctoral visits (also included as employment if relevant), research exchanges relevant to the research described and any longer interruptions in the research that have impacted on your opportunity to gain merit as a researcher.
- Merits and awards: Docentship/associate professorship, supervisees (postdoctoral and doctoral students; state the number of persons in each category and list the names of the up to 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 up to 20 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.
Scientific quality is the fundamental criterion when the Swedish Research Council allocates grants to research. Your application is evaluated in competition with the other applications on the basis of the following evaluation criteria.
Your application is evaluated by a review panel within respective area of science, where the members are international researchers and the panel chair is a Swedish researcher.
The applications will be assessed in a two-step process, where the applicant in the first step submits an outline application. At least three members review and grade your outline application individually. All outline applications will receive one grade and a prioritisation whether the outline application should be accepted for further review or not. Applicants whose outline application has the highest rating will be invited to submit a full application to be reviewed in the second step. In this step the full application is evaluated according to the Swedish Research Council’s assessment criteria below. Statements from external experts may be used in part of the process. The entire review panel then meets at a review panel meeting to discuss and prioritise the applications, and finally to make a proposal for a decision to the Director General. The full applications receive an individual final statement that reflects the review panel’s discussion and overall assessment of the scientific quality of the application.
Evaluation criteria and guiding questions
For the outline application, the evaluation of the scientific quality of your application is made using the criterion below. The criterion is assessed on a seven-grade scale.
Overall scientific quality of the outline application (1-7)
- Does the outline application identify interesting scientific questions? Are those questions put into a scientific context that shows that it addresses a clear knowledge gap or advance the frontiers of research?
- Has the applicant previously shown the ability to formulate independent and relevant scientific questions based on the merits and record of accomplishment?
For the full application, the evaluation of the scientific quality of your application is made based on four basic criteria (Scientific quality of the proposed research, Novelty and originality, Merits of the applicant, Feasibility). The purpose of using several components is to achieve a multi-faceted evaluation. The criteria are assessed on a seven-grade scale, except for feasibility, which is assessed on a three-grade grade scale.
For each criterion, there are guiding questions to support the panel members’ evaluation of your application. These can also function as guidance for you when you write your application.
Scientific quality of the proposed research (1–7)
- Is the proposed project relevant in terms of its research questions, the proposed solutions, and in relation to frontiers of research in the field?
- Is the proposed research scientifically important?
- 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?
- To what extent are the design of the project and its questions of the highest scientific quality?
Novelty and originality (1–7)
- Does the project have the potential to significantly advance the frontiers of the research field or fill in clear knowledge gaps within the research field?
- Does the project generate or explore new research areas?
- Does the proposed project define new, interesting scientific questions? Does the project contain entirely novel ways and methods to approach scientific issues?
- To what extent does the project show a clear progression and new thinking in relation to previous research?
Merits of the applicant (1–7)
- Are the researcher’s scientific merits adequate in relation to the research field that the application concerns, and that are necessary in order to realize the research task?
- Of what merits are the scientific qualifications and production relative to the career age and previous active research time?
- How significant is the applicant’s scientific productivity, impact and other merits in a national and international perspective, in relation to the research area? Is the researcher internationally recognized and a leader in her/his research field, or show the potential to become so?
- Has the applicant shown the ability to work in new (international) research environments, for instance during postdoctoral work?
- Does the researcher have the ability to establish a creative research environment through her/his research leadership?
- Is the choice of research methods, access to equipment, and research infrastructure adequate for the research project topic?
- Considering the project as a whole, is there sufficient competence in place to carry out the research task?
- 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?
- Does the host institution’s support letter show that there is need for the applicant’s competence and an explicit interest in the suggested research direction in a broader sense? Does the host institution’s support letter show that the research environment is the right one for the applicant and for carrying out the research project? Is there a long-term plan for the applicant and the applicant’s field of research at the host institution?
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 for the review panel’s assessment, the scientific quality of the proposed research and the merits of the applicant are the two most important criteria. Novelty and originality should also be considered in the assessment, but should be given lower weight than the quality of the project and the merits of the applicant. The feasibility shall be weighed into the overall rating of the application if it deviates from the grade “Feasible”.