Note! Deadline for this call is extended to 18 August.
29 April - 18 August 2020
Research time for clinicians within the infection area: Resistance to antibacterial and antifungal drugs
The purpose of the grant is to give clinically active researchers the opportunity to conduct relevant research within the infection area, focusing on resistance to antibacterial and antifungal drugs, and to develop independent research in parallel with developing their clinical competence.
Support form: Career support
Subject area: Medicine and Health
Focus: Infection and antibiotics
Applicant: Individual researcher who completed a doctoral degree maximum 7 years ago, and is clinically active during minimum 30 per cent of a full-time equivalent.
Participating researchers: No participating researchers may be invited to join the application.
Grant period: 12 months of full-time research, allocated over the period the grant is available (3 years)
Grant amount: 2 000 000 SEK
Start of grant period: January 2021
Application period: 29 April 2020 (14.00/2 p.m.) – 18 August 2020 (14.00/2 p.m.)
Publication of grant award: No later than the end of December 2020
- A new feature of this call is that you may apply for a grant both for basic clinical research and for more applied research relating to infections caused by bacteria or fungi.
- 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 must describe whether sex and gender perspectives are relevant for your research and, if so, in which way you will use such perspectives. How sex and gender perspectives are managed in the research project will form part of the assessment of scientific quality. Read more under the heading “Research description” and on our website.
- 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.
Pdf / Printout
Specific instructions for the call
In addition to reading the specific call text, you also need to consult our Guide for applicants.
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 Swedish Research Council invites clinically active researchers within areas such as infection, laboratory or general medicine, odontology, surgery, paediatrics, oncology and healthcare hygiene to apply for funds for research time and research in the field of infection, focusing on resistance to antibacterial and antifungal medicines.
The call is made within the framework for the national research programme on antibiotic resistance, which is a Government mandate to the Swedish Research Council. This call supports both basic and applied clinical research to increase knowledge of how infections caused by bacteria or fungi shall best be diagnosed and treated, and how the emergence and spread of resistance to antibacterial and antifungal medicines can be avoided and prevented. The research shall be clinically based and assumes access to healthcare structures and resources. This is the third call within the area, and the call may possibly be repeated and/or grants awarded may be extended at a later stage.
Clinical research into infections caused by bacteria or fungi is needed in order to increase knowledge of how these infections shall best be diagnosed and treated. You can also apply for a grant to develop or evaluate measures to avoid or prevent these infections from arising or spreading, for example through rational use of antibacterial and antifungal medicines, or improved working methods within healthcare, including healthcare hygiene procedures. The call may also support research into new diagnostic methods, biomarkers for monitoring therapies, and the development of new therapeutic strategies during surgery or the treatment of diseases, aimed at optimising or reducing the use of antibacterial or antifungal medicines. As guidance, the Swedish Public Health Agency in collaboration with PLATINEA (Platform for Innovation of Existing Antibiotics) has inventoried the knowledge gaps and needs for scientific studies that exist in the field of antibiotics use. Basic research into the development of new medicines against bacteria and fungi may only be supported, if in a clinical phase.
The applicant must be an individual researcher, who is employed within health and medical care during the grant period (for example a physician, hospital chemist, nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist or dentist), or employed at a Swedish HEI and also clinically active for at least 30 per cent of a full-time equivalent. The purpose is to enable research on a part-time basis in parallel with you developing your clinical skills within the operation where you are employed. The position is intended as a step in the career for persons in the process of establishing themselves as independent researchers. 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 a corresponding foreign degree, awarded no more than 7 years before the deadline for this call.
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. 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.
The grant for 12 months of research time shall be combined with clinical employment within health and medical care corresponding to no less than 30 per cent of a full-time equivalent. It is up to the individual researcher, clinic/healthcare principal and the administrating organisation to agree on how the research and clinical activities shall be divided up over the year. Please note that you must describe your clinical position in the application.
At the deadline date, you must not be a professor, adjunct professor or senior lecturer.
To apply for a grant for research time for clinicians, your doctoral degree must have been awarded no more than 7 years ago, that is to say awarded no later than the deadline date for the call and no earlier than 26 May 2013. The degree award date we use is the date you fulfilled all the criteria 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. You will not be able to complete your application if your doctoral degree was awarded more than 7 years ago. An exception applies if there are grounds for deductible time after your doctoral degree award that have affected your ability to gain merit as a researcher.
The Swedish Research Council’s recognised grounds are parental leave, positions of trust in trade union organisations and student organisations, mandatory service in the total defence forces, long-term illness (own reported illness or care of child/close family member), general medical internship (maximum 24 months) or further training/specialist medical internship for clinically active professionals (maximum 24 months). Please note that we do not accept other employment, unemployment or holidays as deductible time.
If you wish to claim deductible time, you must specify the recognised grounds and time involved in your application (please see instructions under “Descriptive information” below).
We conduct sample checks. This means that we might request a certificate in evidence of your grounds for deductible time.
Number of applications and previous grants
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 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 ongoing grant in the “Approval of terms and conditions” you received from the Swedish Research Council.
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 idea as a grant you have already been awarded by, or are applying for to another funding body, please describe this.
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 grant is paid out in a standard amount of 2 000 000 SEK, of which 1 000 000 SEK is for your salary costs during the 12 months of research time and 1 000 000 SEK to cover research expenses (which may include all types of project-related costs, such as salaries for participants, premises, running costs and depreciation costs). The grant amount includes cover of indirect costs. The standard amount relating to salary costs also includes social security contributions. Grants may not be used for scholarships.
The Swedish Research Council assumes that the administrating organisation, as the employer responsible, will cover any costs in excess of the standard amount received.
You can apply for a grant to cover 12 months of full-time research, to be allocated over the three-year period the grant is available, starting in January 2021.
The first payment will be made no earlier than December 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
- Letter of support
- Administrating organisation
- 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 aims
- How the research problem will be studied in a summary project design, including patient sample, choice of variables, data collection and analysis methods, and time plan. Please use PICO (population/intervention/control/outcome) for controlled studies
- How the research relates to your clinical work
- What the direct patient benefit is from 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 1/3 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 1 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” above.
The grant shall be combined with clinical work in Sweden, corresponding to at least 30 per cent of a full-time equivalent, in a position such as a physician, hospital chemist, nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist or dentist. Describe in what way you fulfil this requirement and what your clinical work involves. As applicable, please also state who your employer is/will be within health and medical care.
The description may cover a maximum of 750 characters including blank spaces in Arial, font size 11.
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 also.
The justification may cover a maximum of 4 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately 1 A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Sex and gender perspectives
Please state whether sex and gender perspectives are applicable in your planned research, and justify your decision. Please note that we are not asking for information about the composition of the research team (men/women). Read more about sex and gender perspectives in research content.
The following applies:
- If you answer “Yes”: Justify your answer, and describe also how you take account of sex and gender perspectives in the research plan (see further instructions under “Research plan”). If you have stated that sex and gender perspectives are applicable, but still choose not to include them in your research plan, you will need to justify this here.
- If you answer “No”, and thereby do not consider that sex and gender perspectives are applicable for your planned research, you do not need to justify your decision.
The justification may cover a maximum of 4 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately 1 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 4 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, and provide brief background information and justification for the project. Clarify the primary question.
- State-of-the-art: Summarise briefly the current research frontier within the field or area covered by the project and, as applicable, the current clinical practice. 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 or the current clinical practice.
- 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. State also whether the project contributes further to research and scientific results from a grant awarded previously by the Swedish Research Council.
- 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.
- Independent line of research: If you are working or will be working in a larger group, please clarify how your project relates to the other projects in the group. If you are continuing a project that was wholly or partly started during your doctoral or postdoc studies, you must also describe the relationship between your project and the research of your former supervisor.
- 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).
Classification according to the national research programme’s strategic research agenda
Please classify the project focus by theme, based on the strategic research agenda of the national research programme on antibiotics resistance (in swedish).
Relevance for the focus
Describe how your project is relevant for the focus (see the definition under the heading “Focus” above) 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 1 A4 page in Arial, font size 11.
Budget and research resources
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 1 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
Letter of support
The appendix covering a maximum of 1 A4 page shall include information about your clinical position (job title and employer) and percentage employment (minimum 30 per cent), and certify that working hours will be freed up for the research project in question. The name and contact details of the clinic manager or corresponding signing the certificate shall be stated.
Please note that the letter of support forms an important part of the assessment of your application. The letter must therefore be written in English.
Please state the administrating organisation and project site.
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 specialised subject review panel where the members are Swedish and international researchers.
At least three members review and grade your application individually. 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 Scientific Council for Medicine and Health.
A certain proportion of the applications with the lowest grades from the members’ individual reviews are screened out in the beginning of the review panel meeting. These applications will not be the subject of discussion, which gives room for more detailed discussion and prioritisation of the applications of higher quality, which have a reasonable chance of being funded.
The applications screened out only receive an overall grade and a standardised final statement after the decision is made. The other 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
The evaluation of the scientific quality of your application is made based on four basic criteria (Novelty and originality, Scientific quality of the project, 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 to the call) on a three-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 project (1–7)
- In what way will the project advance the understanding of how infection diseases caused by drug-resistant bacteria and fungi, best be diagnosed, treated and how to reduce or prevent their emergence and spread, e.g. by antibiotic and anti-fungal stewardship or improved clinical practice, including medical hygiene practices?
- Is the definition of the problem and proposed solutions clear, convincing and compelling?
- Does the study design, its research questions and hypotheses, meet the standards of highest scientific quality?
Novelty and originality (1–7)
- Does the project extend or challenge current understanding, opinion or practice in its field?
- Is the project built on a unique combination of ideas, preliminary data, and different methodologies to create novel approaches to address the question at hand?
- Is there potential for creation of new knowledge, novel technologies, or new directions for research and advancement of the field?
Merits of the applicant (1–7)
- How does the applicant’s academic qualifications and achievements relate to his or her career stage and active time for research?
- Does the applicant have sufficient clinical and research experience, expertise, level of independence and scientific network for implementation of the proposed project?
- Will the applicant combine research and clinical duties with time for visits at international institutes?
- Is the general design, including the time frame, realistic for implementing the proposed project?
- Are the materials, methods, experimental models, and when appropriate, patient cohorts adequate and well adapted to the hypothesis or research question?
- Are the resources needed well defined and at place?
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.
Additional assessment criterion
For the call an additional assessment criterion, “Relevance to the call”, is used. The three-grade rating scale shall be used for this criterion. The “Relevance” criterion must not be weighed into the overall grade. Instead, it is to be weighed into an application’s ranking in relation to others. Thus, an application can be of high relevance, but low scientific quality (or vice versa). The following additional guiding questions have been adapted for use in the Research time for clinicians call:
- Does the project have the potential to provide new knowledge of disease mechanisms and factors that affect emergence or spread of infectious diseases or antimicrobial resistance?
- Does the project have the potential of advancing the field with regard to treatments and/or interventional procedures for conditions that occur due to infections and antimicrobial resistance?
- Will the research findings from project have translational impact on healthcare practice of prevention and treatment of infections or antimicrobial resistance?