Note! Deadline for this call is extended to April 7.
05 February - 07 April 2020
Research project grant for digitisation and accessibility of cultural heritage collections
The purpose of the project grant is to give researchers the freedom to formulate by themselves the research concept, method and implementation, and to solve a specific research task within a limited period. The focus of this grant aims to promote digitisation of and accessibility to cultural heritage collections, primarily within humanities and social sciences, but also within other scientific fields of great value to research. The Swedish Research Council rewards research of the highest scientific quality in national competition.
Support form: Project support
Subject area: Humanities and Social Sciences
Focus: Digitisation and accessibility to cultural heritage collections
Applicant: Individual researcher
Participating researchers: Up to 6 researchers may be invited to join the application
Grant period: 1-5 years
Grant amount: Minimum 400 000 SEK per year
Start of grant period: January 2021
Application period: 5 February 2020 (14.00/2 p.m.) – 7 April 2020 (14.00/2 p.m.)
Publication of grant award: No later than the beginning of November 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.
Specific instructions for the call
In addition to reading the call text, you also need to consult our Guide for applicants Opens in new window..
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 purpose of the priority area is to use a specific research question to promote data driven research focusing on digitisation and accessibility of cultural heritage collections; that is to say collections of tangible and intangible expressions of human impact. By digitising and making accessible our cultural heritage, important issues within the cultural heritage area can be explored, at the same time as the cultural heritage is made accessible for future research and new analyses. The priority area is broad, and aimed at researchers active within all fields of humanities and social sciences, but also within other scientific fields. Applications for collaborative projects between researchers and cultural heritage institutions in a broad sense, with emphasis on method development aimed at answering the research question, are particularly welcome.
The call aims to strengthen research environments in Sweden focusing on digitisation and accessibility of cultural heritage collections, and to reinforce the collaboration between researchers and cultural heritage institutions. Please contact the cultural heritage institutions you wish to collaborate with in good time, to ensure that the plans are feasible within the framework of the project. Your project description must also clearly describe these contacts under the heading “International and national collaboration”. The projects within the priority area may vary in methodological focus, for example conversion of analogue material, integration of parallel collections, development of meta data, strengthening information infrastructure and so on, all for the purpose of making the material available for research. The call therefore aims to create knowledge and methods of high quality in collaboration between different institutions. The project must, however, have a key research question.
As one ambition of the programme is to increase collaboration and competence within the research field, the Swedish Research Council appointed coordinators for it at the beginning of 2019. They arrange special seminars and other activities. Researchers awarded funds within the programme are expected to participate in such activities.
The investment in digitisation and making cultural heritage collections accessible is based on a Government mandate, and the programme is a collaboration between the Swedish Research Council, Stiftelsen Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) and the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities. It will be coordinated by a joint coordinator.
The applicant for a project grant must be an individual researcher. You shall be the project leader and have scientific responsibility for the project. The time you set aside for the project (your activity level, that is the percentage of a full-time equivalent) must be suited to the task and its implementation throughout the grant period.
You must hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent 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.
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 Opens in new window.. Your organisation must therefore be approved as an administrating organisation for you to apply. The administrating organisation must sign your application in Prisma no later than 7 calendar days after the deadline for this call.
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 from this requirement. The employment must equal at least 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 requirements described in this section only apply to applicants (project leaders).
What grants may I apply for simultaneously from the Swedish Research Council?
You may only submit one application for this grant under this call. On the other hand, you may apply for an undirected project grant or a project grant with a different focus (in 2020, examples are Artistic research or Development research), but for another project concept. You may apply for this grant at the same time as you apply for a research environment grant. A prerequisite for both being granted is, however, that the research project grant application is not part of the application for the research environment grant. If the Swedish Research Council assesses that a project grant application is part of an application for a research environment grant, and both applications are successful, then the amount awarded for the research environment grant may be reduced. Other restrictions on the grants you may apply for during the same year are shown in the table below.
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 an ongoing grant, that is to say where the grant period (payment period from the Swedish Research Council) overlaps the grant period of the grant the application relates to. Please note that the availability period, that is to say the time during which you have the right to use your grant, is normally longer than the grant period. You can find information about the requirements for your grant in the “Approval of terms and conditions” you received from the Swedish Research Council. You can apply under this call even if you are already a project leader for an ongoing project grant, provided your ongoing grant has a different focus and a different project concept.
If you are the project leader for an ongoing research environment grant, you may submit an application under this call, provided that the project grant application is not part of the research environment grant.
The table below shows information and other restrictions on the grants you may apply for if you already have an ongoing grant.
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 concept as a grant you have already been awarded by, or are applying for to another funding body, please describe this.
You may include up to 6 participating researchers in your application. Participating researchers are other researchers with a doctoral degree or equivalent competence, whose scientific competence will be crucial for the implementation of the planned research. They do not have to be employed by a Swedish HEI.
Participating researchers shall provide the necessary information themselves in Prisma, and upload these to the application. Any further collaborating partners and their roles shall be described in the research plan (please see instructions under “Research plan” below).
Costs and grant amounts
You can apply for a grant for 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
- running costs (such as consumables, travel including stays at research facilities, publication costs and minor equipment)
- depreciation costs.
Grants must 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.
You may apply for a grant for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years, starting in January 2021. The first payment will be made during January 2021 at the earliest.
For grants awarded over 4 years or longer, the following applies: No later than 31 March 2023, the project leader shall submit a report focusing on collaboration with cultural heritage institutions, added value of the project’s focus on digitising and making accessible cultural heritage collections and an updated data management plan. If the results do not correspond to the prerequisite that the award of the grant was based on, the grant amounts for the remaining grant period may be reviewed.
Data management plan
As collecting, processing and making data accessible shall form a significant part of the project (or corresponding), your application must include a data management plan. The purpose is to safeguard future reuse of research data by others than those participating in the project. This means that research data should be published within a reasonable time, and be made accessible through relevant national and/or international data coordination organisations.
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 Opens in new window..
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
- Data management plan
- Administrating organisation
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 the research will be carried out: project organisation, time plan and scientific methods to be used
- 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.
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 goals 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.
- 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 how you and any participating researchers will contribute to the implementation of 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. Describe and explain the competences and roles of the participating researchers in the project, and also any other researchers or equivalent who are important for the implementation of the project.
Provide the following information also. If a heading is not relevant to your application, please state this.
- 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 Opens in new window., 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 own and the team’s 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 concept (from you or another researcher).
Describe how your project is relevant for the focus of digitisation and accessibility of cultural heritage collections (see the definition in the introduction to the call text) and how the project promotes the development of this field.
The description may cover a maximum of 4 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately one A4 page in Arial, font size 11.
Budget and research resources
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 the amounts in Swedish krona, rounded to the nearest 1 000 SEK.
Describe any other costs of the project (premises costs, running costs and depreciation costs). Please state the amounts in Swedish krona, rounded to the nearest 1 000 SEK.
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 above a certain amount
- the need cannot be satisfied through use of national or international infrastructure supported by the Swedish Research Council and thereby open to all.
You may only include the proportion of depreciation costs that corresponds to the use of the equipment in the proposed project, and you may not include depreciation costs for equipment that is wholly funded by other grants. Please contact your administrating organisation for information about what is included in local research infrastructure, acquisition values or how to calculate depreciation costs.
Total cost of the project
Prisma will automatically add up your budget items 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 that the project entails (for which you are not seeking funding under this call).
Please contact your administrating organisation if you have any questions abut what constitutes indirect and direct costs.
Justification of the budget applied for
Justify briefly each cost applied for in your 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
Participating researchers’ publication lists
Attach all participating researchers’ publications lists joined up into one file. The list for each researcher shall include the 10 publications that are the most relevant to the research described, and shall cover a maximum of one A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins. The name of the researcher in question shall be highlighted in bold and also be included in the page header of each 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.
The publications shall be of the types: Peer-reviewed original articles, conference contributions, edited volumes, research review articles, books and book chapters, and other publications including popular science books/presentations.
Data management plan
Please attach your data handling plan here. You can download a template for the data management plan plus information on how to complete it here Word, 61.1 kB, opens in new window..
Please state the administrating organisation and project site.
Here you may invite other participating researchers and administrators to your application.
Under this tab, please upload your relevant CV information from your personal account in Prisma. Any participating researchers must upload their own CV information to the application.
The following information (where available) must always be included in each 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 where the members are international researchers.
The members of the panel review and grade your application individually. The entire review panel then meets at two review panel meetings to discuss the applications. Prior to the spring meeting, each application is reviewed by three panel members. A certain proportion of the applications with the lowest grades are screened out at the spring meeting. These applications will not be the subject of further discussion, which gives room for more detailed discussion and prioritisation of the applications of higher quality, which have a reasonable chance of being funded. Prior to the autumn meeting all remaining applications are reviewed by each panel member. At the meeting the review panel prioritise the applications and finally make a proposal for a decision to the Scientific Council for Humanities and Social Sciences.
The applications screened out in the first step will after the decision has been made receive a final statement that includes which grades the applications received. The other applications receive a more detailed final statement that reflects the review panel’s discussion and overall assessment of the scientific quality of the application.
Evaluation criteria and guiding questions
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.
In addition to the basic criteria, your application is also evaluated using an additional criterion (Relevance) on a 7-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)
- To what extent is the design of the project, including its scientific questions, of the highest scientific quality?
- To what extent is the project description sufficiently clear and systematic, for example in its definition of the research problem, any hypotheses and methods, and the summary of previous results within the research area?
- To what extent is the proposed research method suitable for the purpose of the project?
- To what extent are the methods for any data collection and analysis well described and suitable?
Novelty and originality (1–7)
- To what extent does the project address new interesting scientific questions within the research area?
- To what extent does the project have the potential to increase knowledge within the research area in a significant way? (Examples are new concepts and theories, approaches and methods and/or new data.)
- To what extent does the project show a clear progression and new thinking in relation to previous research?
- What potential does the project have for scientific and societal impact?
Merits of the applicant (1–7)
- To what extent do the project participants have sufficient research experience and expertise within the area the application relates to?
- To what extent have the project participants displayed an ability for independent and creative scientific work?
- How good are the project participants’ scientific production, impact and other merits in a national and international perspective, in relation to the research area and the applicant’s career age?
- To what extent do the project participants have the relevant and supplementary merits required to carry out the research task?
- To what extent does the applicant (in the event the application includes doctoral students) have any experience of supervising doctoral students?
- To what extent is the design of the project realistic, including the time plan?
- Is there access to materials, equipment, research infrastructures and other resources required for the implementation of the project?
- Have the permits required to implement the project been obtained, or is there a statement on how these permits are applied for?
Used only for assessment of feasibility of applications for Research project grant for digitisation and accessibility of cultural heritage collections.
- To what extent is the suggested Data Management Plan realistic?
- To what extent is the proposed handling, structuring, storage and publication of data (research data and/or cultural heritage data) as described in the Data Management Plan, adequate for the implementation of the project?
- To what extent is the data (research data and/or cultural heritage data) produced within the project available for future research after the project time has ended?
- To what extent is the collaboration as described in the project plan, adequate for the implementation of the project?
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.
Used only for assessment of feasibility of applications for Research project grant for digitisation and accessibility of cultural heritage collections.
- To what extent is the proposed research task relevant to the call, and to what extent does the proposed research task advance the state of the art of digitisation and accessibility of cultural heritage collections?