Note! Deadline for this call is extended to 17.00 on June 2 (previous deadline at 14.00).
19 May - 02 June 2020
Project grant for research into coronavirus and COVID-19
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 initiative is a Government mandate aimed at supporting research that can quickly contribute to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and preventing future pandemic outbreaks.
Support form: Project support
Subject area: Clinical Therapy Research, Humanities and Social Sciences, Medicine and Health, Natural and Engineering Sciences
Focus: Coronavirus and COVID-19
Applicant: Individual researchers who are project leaders for grants from the Swedish Research Council or Forte that have not yet ended (information on the grant forms included is shown below). To be eligible to apply, the end date of the availability period for your grant must be 31 December 2020 or later.
Participating researchers: You may not invite any participating researchers in Prisma to this application. Instead, please describe your collaboration partners and their roles in the Project description part of the application.
Grant amount: Minimum 400 000 SEK, maximum 2 million SEK
Budgetary framework: Approximately 30 million SEK. (With reservation for approval by the Riksdag of the Government’s proposal in the Spring Amendment Budget for 2020.)
Grant period: 2020
Application period: 19 May 2020 (14.00/2 p.m.) – 2 June 2020 (14.00/5 p.m.)
Publication of grant award: Preliminary date at the start of July 2020.
- Please read and follow the instructions. In addition to this specific call text, you also need to read our Guide for applicants Opens in new window..
- You will need to have a data management plan Opens in new window. 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 call text, you also need to consult our Guide for applicants Opens in new window..
Open publication of data
If you are awarded a grant, you are expected to publish your research data and research results of relevance to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic with open access as quickly as possible. (Only applies to the data that may be made accessible according to applicable legislation.)
The Swedish Research Council has been mandated by the Government to coordinate the national participation in the European COVID-19 data platform (https://www.covid19dataportal.org). More information on a national data portal where researchers in Sweden can make relevant research data on COVID-19 openly accessible will be published shortly.
Clinical Studies Sweden – regional nodes supporting the work with clinical studies
The collaboration Clinical Studies Sweden consists of six regional nodes, one in each collaboration region. The nodes can provide contacts with relevant regional resources, such as research units, quality register centres, biobanks and cancer centres. The nodes can also give you support in your work in areas such as:
- study protocols, permit applications, data management and statistics
- infrastructures for implementation (such as FITH-Phase-IV and specialist units within primary care and paediatrics)
- training within clinical research methodology (such as GCP and statistics)
- expertise relating to statistics, epidemiology and health economics.
You can find more information about the nodes at kliniskastudier.se External link, opens in new window.. This also includes a step-by-step guide External link, opens in new window. that describes the study process and what you need to consider when conducting a clinical study.
Practical tips and advice relating to register studies
Registerforskning.se External link, opens in new window. has information for those who are planning to use register data in research projects. Here you can also find the metadata tool RUT (Register Utiliser Tool), which offers researchers detailed information at metadata level about the variables used in Swedish registers and biobank sample collections.
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 initiative focuses on research that can reduce the spread and the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and also research aimed at preventing future pandemics. The research may relate to medical devices, treatment methods, medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, transmission, and pathogenesis for COVID-19, but data-driven research and questions relating to epidemiology and public health linked to COVID-19 are also relevant. The research supported shall generate reliable and implementable results within the availability period of the grant (up until 31 December 2021).
To stimulate collaboration and increased sharing of research results within the initiative, the Swedish Research Council plans to conduct a number of activities within the initiative, such as webinars, workshops and conferences. Researchers awarded funds under the call are expected to participate in such activities.
The project grant applicants shall be holders (project leaders) of previously awarded grants from the Swedish Research Council or Forte (The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working life and Welfare). To be eligible to apply, the end date of the grant period or availability period for your grant must be 31 December 2020 or later. You can find information about the requirements for your ongoing grant in the “Approval of terms and conditions” you received from the Swedish Research Counci or Forte. Below is a list of the types of previous grant that are required as the basis for applicants to be eligible to apply.
Swedish Research Council: Project grant, Starting grant, Grant for half-time research position in a clinical environment, Consolidator grant, Distinguished professor grant, Research environment grant.
Forte: Project grant, Junior researcher grant, Programme grant.
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.
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.
Number of applications and previous grants
You may only submit one application for this grant under this call. There are no limitations relating to other grants you may hold or apply for simultaneously.
You may not invite any participating researchers in Prisma to this application. Instead, please describe your collaboration partners and their roles in the Project description (please see instructions under “Brief project description” 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 (the proportion that corresponds to the use of the equipment in the proposed project).
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, including indirect costs. The maximum amount you may apply for is 2 000 000 SEK.
The grant period is 2020.
The first payment will be made no earlier than August 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 Opens in new window..
Foreign experts conduct 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
- Administrating organisation
- Participants (only administrators in this call)
The information we request under each tab is described below.
Previously awarded grant
Please state the funding body, registration number, grant period and availability period for your previously awarded grant.
In the abstract, please describe in brief the following:
- What is to be done: purpose and aims
- How the research will be carried out: project organisation, time plan and scientific methods
- How the planned research can contribute to mitigating the spread and the effects of COVID-19.
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.
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 2 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately ½ A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Brief project description
The project description shall consist of a brief description of the research task, focusing on how the project can quickly be started and address the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic entail. It shall cover a maximum of 3 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins, including references and any images.
The project description must include the following headings and information, listed in the following order:
- Purpose and aims: State briefly the purpose and specific aims of the research project. Describe why the question is urgent in relation to COVID-19.
- Project description and scientific novelty: Describe briefly how the project relates to previous research in the area, whether it addresses any specific and significant knowledge gaps. Describe how the research will be conducted: theory and method, time plan and implementation and also project organisation. Justify how your role as project leader is suitable for the task, including the relationship with your other research undertakings.
- Preliminary and previous results: Describe briefly your own previous research and in what way it can facilitate the implementation of the new research task. If no preliminary results exist, please state this.
- Relevance and impact: Explain how the project, during the availability period of the grant (no later than 31 December 2021) can result in reliable and implementable results that can contribute to mitigating the spread and the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. State also whether the project may result in additional long-term advantages, such as increased preparedness for or prevention of future pandemics.
- Dissemination of results: Describe how the results will be communicated/disseminated in order to have quick impact on society.
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. If you have received funding from other national COVID-19 initiatives, you must also specify here the relationship to the project applied for, in terms of project idea, implementation and budget. Please justify particularly why you need additional funding. The description may cover a maximum of 2 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately ½ 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. Specify particularly funding from other national COVID-19 initiatives. Please state the amounts in Swedish krona, rounded to the nearest 1 000 SEK.
Please state the administrating organisation and project site.
Here you as applicant may invite participating administrators to your application.
Your application is assessed in competition with the other applications on the basis of the following assessment criteria.
Your application will be assessed by a team of international researchers with expertise within the subject area of the call.
At least three reviewers assess and grade your application individually. The reviewers’ assessments are weighed together for a final prioritisation of the applications, which forms the basis for the decision by the Director General of the Swedish Research Council.
Assessment criteria and guiding questions
The assessment of the scientific quality of your application is made based on the Swedish Research Council’s criteria scientific impact and relevance. The criteria are evaluated on a three-grade scale.
For each criterion, there are guiding questions to support the panel members’ assessment of your application. These can also function as guidance for you when you write your application.
Scientific impact (1–3)
- Will the results of the project fill a significant knowledge gap?
- Does the project have the potential to deliver reliable and implementable results that are beneficial to patients and/or society within the availability period of the grant (until 2021-12-31)?
- Are the project organisation, the selected methods, and the availability of equipment and infrastructure adequate for the proposed project?
- Is the budget requested reasonable for the implementation of the proposed project?
- Does the proposal have a clear plan for dissemination of the results in order to quickly impact society and/or health care?
Relevance to the call (1–3)
- Is the project aimed at mitigating the spread and/or the effects of the ongoing covid-19 pandemic?
- Could the project if successful lead to additional long-term benefits such as increased preparedness or prevention of future pandemics?