Please note that the opening date has changed from 13 January 2021 to 2 December 2020!
02 December - 16 February 2021
Grant for research infrastructure of national interest
The purpose of the grant is to support research infrastructure of national interest. This might refer to national infrastructure, or Swedish participation in international infrastructure.
The grant may be used for investment and operation, and may include costs for coordination, development, construction or upgrading of research infrastructure. It is only possible to apply for grants for the research infrastructures/areas listed in the call text.
Support form: Infrastructure support
Subject area: Research infrastructure
Focus: Research infrastructure of national interest
Applicant: Organisation applicants only
Participating researchers: No participating researchers may be invited to join the application
Grant period: 1-6 years
Start of grant period: No earlier than January 2022
Application period: 2 December 2020 (14.00/2 pm) – 16 February 2021 (14.00/2 pm)
Publication of grant award: No later than December 2021
- New features for this call are that the interview stage has been replaced by supplementary questions to applicants, and that the grant period is 1–6 years.
Specific instructions for the call
In addition to reading the call text, you also need to consult our Guide for applicants.
The following requirements must be fulfilled in order for the organisation to be eligible to apply for the grant. We carry out checks, and reject applications that do not fulfil the requirements.
Framework for the research infrastructure grant
- The purpose of the application shall fulfil the Swedish Research Council’s definition and criteria for research infrastructure of national interest (see under the heading “Focus” below).
- You may only apply for a grant for the infrastructures/areas listed under the heading “Areas/infrastructures the application shall relate to”.
- Applications for a grant for research infrastructure of national interest may be made by one or several Swedish higher education institutions or other Swedish public organisations with research mandates.
- If several organisations participate in the application, they should form a joint consortium. Only one organisation shall be the administrating organisation for the grant.
- Applications for a grant for Swedish participation in an international research infrastructure shall be part of an application for national infrastructure if there is a Swedish node.
- Applications shall include an overall budget that covers the entire grant period. For national infrastructure, the administrating organisation (or consortium) shall contribute co-funding of a minimum of 50 per cent. For international infrastructure, the participating organisations are expected to give comprehensive undertakings that provide Swedish added value from the international membership. This can be in a format other than co-funding, depending on the framework for the operation of the infrastructure.
In addition to the Swedish Research Council’s general terms and conditions for grants Opens in new window. for funds awarded to research and research-supporting activities, special terms and conditions for infrastructure grants also apply (please see the link below).
A central requirement for the development of research and innovation is for researchers to have access to high-class research infrastructure. In order to enable Swedish researchers to use research infrastructure that gives access to the best methods, the best equipment and relevant expertise, the Swedish Research Council works to fund and provide long-term planning for research infrastructure of national interest.
The Swedish Research Council’s definition of research infrastructure of national interest is:
Research infrastructure of national interest is intended to provide resources that enable research by several research teams and on different projects within one or several research fields.
In addition to the definition, the Swedish Research Council applies the following criteria for infrastructure, and funds research infrastructure that:
- enables research of the highest scientific quality, which thereby contributes to the development of society
- is openly accessible primarily to researchers, but also to industry and other relevant actors operating in Sweden. When access is limited, prioritisation shall be made primarily on the basis of scientific quality
- is of broad national interest, which in most cases means that the research infrastructure is used by several research teams and researchers from several research organisations, and that the Swedish Research Council’s funding creates national added value
- has long-term planning for the scientific activities
- has long-term planning for management and control, funding, competence accumulation and development
The applicant for the grant must be a Swedish higher education institution or other Swedish public organisation with a research mandate that has been approved as an administrating organisation Opens in new window. for grants from the Swedish Research Council. The administrating organisation shall be the host organisation for the infrastructure, and is responsible for ensuring the grant is used according to the Swedish Research Council’s terms and conditions. When two or more organisations contribute resources to the infrastructure, they should form a consortium. The infrastructure’s organisation will be assessed based on how fit for purpose it is for the activities.
The application shall include one named project leader for the infrastructure. The project leader shall preferably be the manager or have a similar role in the infrastructure, and shall be employed by the administrating organisation at the start of and throughout the grant period, unless the Swedish Research Council approves an exception.
In the event a consortium is backing an application, all consortium members shall confirm their undertakings in the form of letters of support (see also under the heading “What must the application contain?”). To safeguard responsibility relationships between the members of the consortium, the Swedish Research Council requires a consortium agreement signed by the vice-chancellor/head of public agency of all constituent consortium members. The consortium agreement shall be drawn up and be available at the administrating organisation before payment of the grant begins.
Areas/infrastructures the application shall relate to
The areas and infrastructures eligible to apply for a grant to research infrastructure of national interest 2021 are listed here. Please note that we only expect one application per infrastructure/area.
- Infrastructure for digital humanities
- Infrastructure for solar physics
- InfraVis: infrastructure for visualising scientific data
- Context databases (DEMSCORE)
- MOSAIC - instrumentation for ELT
- Ultra-high field MR 7T platform
- Upgrade of the ALICE experiment
- Digital archaeology
- Infrastructure for electron microscopy
- Infrastructure for chemical biology
- Infrastructure for nuclear magnetic resonance
- Infrastructure for protein production
- The Oden ice-breaker
- New instrumentation at DESIREE
Research infrastructure with ongoing infrastructure grants that end in 2021 or 2022
- Infrastructure for research and development of fusion reactors/EUROfusion
- Petra III Swedish node
- REWHARD – Relations, work and health across the life-course - a research data infrastructure
- STR – Swedish Twin Register
- ETF – Evaluation Through Follow-up
- Grants to fund increased Swedish engagement in international infrastructures where Sweden is already a member. A condition is that the international infrastructure’s own processes invite active participation in build-up and operation of the infrastructure, for example by issuing a call for in-kind contributions.
No participating researchers may be included in this application. Any participating organisations and their roles are described in the appendix “Description of the infrastructure and its activities” (see instructions under “Description of the infrastructure and its activities” below).
Costs and grant amounts
The grant may be used for investment in and operation of research infrastructure of national interest, and may include costs for coordination, development, construction or upgrading of the infrastructure. The grant may not be used for research, salaries for doctoral students, grants to education, graduate schools, conference grants, researcher exchanges, travel grants for researchers using the infrastructure, or similar. Nor may the grant be used to fund participation in EU projects, unless this has been specifically agreed.
Research infrastructure with an ongoing infrastructure grant may apply to operate and develop the activities that fall within the framework for the existing grant, that is to say not for upgrades that significantly change the focus and area of operation of the infrastructure.
If the grant relates to Swedish participation in an international infrastructure, costs relating to the Swedish node shall be included as part of the application. For new Swedish membership in an international infrastructure, that is infrastructure where Sweden does not have an ongoing membership, the membership fee shall be included in the amount applied for. For international infrastructure with ongoing Swedish membership, all costs related to the membership, excluding the membership fee, shall be included in the amount applied for. This is because the membership fee continues to be paid by the Swedish Research Council direct to the international infrastructure in question according to a separate international agreement.
Co-funding refers to direct grants from the administrating organisation and any consortium members. Grants from other public and private funding bodies, the EU, other public agencies and direct government appropriations, and also user fees, may be regarded as co-funding.
Existing resources (including depreciation of equipment already acquired) that the administrating organisation and any consortium members make available to the research infrastructure, and also existing grants from the Swedish Research Council, must not be included in the co-funding.
The grant may cover a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 6 years. Any grant period should end in an even year, to match future calls. The first payment will be made in January 2022 at the earliest.
Please refer to the application form in Prisma in parallel with reading the instructions below, which describe the call-specific contents 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 evaluation 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
- The goals and activities of the infrastructure
- Budget and research resources
- Key references
- Letter of support
- Administrating organisation
The information we request under each tab is described below.
List the organisations participating in the application. Participating organisations shall fulfil the Swedish Research Council’s criteria for approved administrating organisations Opens in new window..
The abstract shall include a brief description of the following:
- the research infrastructure the application relates to, and its specific function within the area
- the infrastructure’s activities and organisation
- the infrastructure’s scientific goals
- what the grant is to be used for
- the national added value the infrastructure is expected to contribute to.
The abstract shall provide a summary picture of the infrastructure’s purpose, activities and the research supported. Please use wording to ensure persons with another subject specialisation can understand the information.
The description may cover a maximum of 2 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately one half an A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Popular science description
Describe the infrastructure in such a way that a person who is not familiar with the subject can understand it. Please use the following items as the starting point:
- Describe the infrastructure’s activities and organisation.
- Highlight the (new) opportunities it offers Swedish research, innovation and societal benefit.
- Explain 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 approve the application, we reserve the right to use the description for information purposes.
The description may cover a maximum of 4 500 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.
Choose the area or infrastructure the application relates to.
Goals and activities of the infrastructure
Describe the ethical issues raised by the infrastructure. You must also describe how you plan to address ethical dilemmas that may arise. Please also state whether the infrastructure activities involve any handling of personal data, or experiments on animals or human subjects. If no ethical issues are raised, please justify this also.
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.
The scientific plan shall consist of a brief but complete description of the infrastructure. It shall cover a maximum of 8 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins, including any images. Note that the key references requested shall be attached to the application, as a separate appendix (see under the heading “Key references” below).
The scientific plan shall be based on the specific area/infrastructure the grant application relates to, and include the following headings and information, listed in the following order:
1. Scientific justification of the infrastructure/overview of the scientific field
- Describe the scientifically prominent research that is enabled through the infrastructure (under the appendix “Description of the infrastructure and its activities” this shall also be linked to the infrastructure’s modules). References shall be shown in the appendix “Key references”.
- Describe how the infrastructure addresses specific scientific and societal challenges, and what positive effects are expected (linked to the Swedish Research Council’s description of the area/infrastructure).
- Describe the long-term impact of the infrastructure on the scientific area.
- Describe the relationship to any other existing national and/or international infrastructure within the area, and why the infrastructure applied for is needed.
- Describe Swedish researchers’ need for the infrastructure (in which way it is of national interest).
- Describe the added value of the infrastructure being organised as an infrastructure of national interest.
- Describe the infrastructure’s user groups and state the following information (for infrastructure that have previously not received a grant from the Swedish Research Council, describe if possible):
- Statistics for the number of academic users (state also the scope divided up per research field, men/women, and HEI/organisation)
- Statistics for users from business, public sector and other non-academic users (state scope, who they are, and for what purpose the infrastructure is used).
- Describe the expected user groups and research fields.
- Describe how the infrastructure contributes in the long term to competence accumulation nationally. Describe the infrastructure’s policy for making available data produced at the infrastructure.
- In the event Swedish researchers are to contribute scientifically to the build-up, upgrading and/or operation of the infrastructure, in kind or similar, for example, please state references that confirm the researchers’ scientific merits (CV with a selection of scientific publications, maximum 20). References shall be shown in the appendix “Key references”.
2. Importance for societal benefit and innovation
Describe how the infrastructure contributes to society as a whole, that is its benefits outside academic research, which includes the Swedish innovation eco-system, the economic effect, and how it contributes to achieving the UN’s global sustainability goals.
- Describe the types of activities in organisations outside academia, such as business or the public sector, that may benefit from the infrastructure and/or the results that arise from its development or use.
- Describe how the infrastructure contributes to promoting Swedish and/or international innovation and societal benefit, and how it can contribute to achieving other societal goals today and in the future. As applicable, provide examples with key references and any patents (list these in the appendix “Key references”).
- When applying for a grant for Swedish participation in an international infrastructure, describe the way in which this could be of benefit to Swedish business that can contribute to the building up or operation of the infrastructure.
Description of the infrastructure and its activities
The appendix may cover a maximum of 15 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing. At least one of these pages shall be used to describe data management (the type of data generated and how it is managed) within the infrastructure and the infrastructure’s need for supporting e-infrastructure. The tables describing data management and e-infrastructure needs shall be attached as a separate appendix (see more under Item 3 below, “Data management and need for supporting e-infrastructure”).
Note that the key references requested shall be attached as a separate appendix (see under the heading “Key references” below).
The activities of the infrastructure shall be described with the help of modules, where each module describes a delimited subsidiary part/function of the infrastructure’s activities, such as a database, a piece of equipment, or a measurement station. If both national and international infrastructures are included, these shall be divided up into different modules. Please note that the module “Organisation and leadership” shall always be included.
Describe the modules in text and reference each module to a table or table row in the budget. Please use the budget template provided by the Swedish Research Council for budgeting the activities of the infrastructure (see more under the heading “Budget and research resources” below). In some cases, the modules may be entirely dependent on each other (for example pieces of equipment that form part of a sequential chain of analyses), while in other cases they may be complementary (for example different pieces of equipment that provide opportunities for analysis of a sample using several complementary techniques). Please state how the modules are linked, whether they are dependent on each other and what the dependency consists of.
The appendix should include the following headings and questions:
1. The infrastructure’s organisation and leadership (organisation chart)
This module is mandatory. Describe the infrastructure’s organisation and leadership according to the items below, preferably with the help of an organisation chart.
- Describe the organisations behind the infrastructure and their roles in the leadership of the infrastructure.
- Describe the infrastructure’s strategic, scientific, and operational management, and how it is adapted to the activities at the infrastructure and how it contributes to cost effectiveness.
- Describe why the infrastructure’s organisation form (consortium or not a consortium) is the most appropriate one, and what the organisations that may be included are to contribute. If other organisations with similar activities are not part of the infrastructure, comment on and justify this.
- If the application relates to both a national and an international part, clarify how the various parts relate to each other in terms of operation, budget, organisation and leadership.
- If a national infrastructure is also wholly or in part the Swedish node of an international infrastructure, clarify how the two parts relate to each other in terms of operation, budget, organisation and leadership.
2. The infrastructure’s operation
2.1 Graphic overview
Describe graphically the organisation with the various constituent functions (modules) for different operations.
2.2 Time plan
State a time plan for the activities of the infrastructure, including preparation, construction, installation, development, operation and decommissioning. Attach the time plan in the form of a Gantt chart in a separate appendix. The Gantt chart shall include subsidiary goals and results (deliverables) for the various modules.
Describe the infrastructure’s users and its accessibility policy. If different modules have different users, please divide the information up per module. The Swedish Research Council will follow up the use of infrastructure based on key figures according to the Swedish Research Council’s reporting template.
- Describe how the infrastructure is made accessible for researchers nationally and, as applicable, also internationally. According to the Swedish Research Council’s special terms and conditions for infrastructure grants, in the event the infrastructure offers a limited resource, accessibility shall be based on scientific quality.
- Describe how the infrastructure informs and communicates with current and possible new users.
- Describe how the infrastructure works with advanced user support and education for existing and possible new users. User support/education may include planning of experiments, handling of instruments, choice of experimental analysis methods and data analysis. Describe the current type of support/education and its scope. Describe also how user support may look in the future.
- Describe the infrastructure’s accessibility in terms of waiting times, occupancy and operating time.
- State whether the infrastructure charges user fees. If so, describe how these are calculated and which users are covered by fees. Commercial users or assignment research using the infrastructure shall cover the actual cost of use.
2.4 Construction, development and operation of the infrastructure
Describe the following items for each module:
- Describe the module’s function and link to the infrastructure’s scientific goals.
- Describe both the existing equipment and planned equipment construction/purchases. Include a technical description of the equipment and an estimate of its economic life. New equipment shall be listed in the budget template for the individual module it belongs to. This shall correspond to one or more items in the budget. Existing equipment that the administrating organisation or the consortium makes available shall only be listed in Table 4 in the budget template (see more under the heading “Budget and research resources” below).
- Describe the module’s need for other resources, such as personnel, premises, etc. State in both the text and the budget whether parts of the operation have been awarded grants from the Swedish Research Council or another funding body, and what parts of the operation are covered in this application. This shall correspond to one or more items in the budget. If making accessible research data resulting from research at the infrastructure requires investment or otherwise creates costs for the infrastructure, this should be described here.
Please state how the modules are linked, whether they are dependent on each other and what the dependency consists of. State how the modules interact to achieve the scientific goals.
2.5 Interaction with other infrastructures
As applicable, describe what other national infrastructures exist in the area.
- What sort of collaboration exists between these and the infrastructure covered in this application?
- What sort of delimitation exists between similar and/or potentially overlapping infrastructures?
As applicable, describe what similar international infrastructures exist.
- What sort of collaboration exists between these and the infrastructure covered in this application?
- What opportunities exist for Swedish researchers to use the other international infrastructure?
2.6 Risk analysis
Describe the uncertainty factors that exist in conjunction with the infrastructure’s development/goals, for example in terms of time plan, recruitment, budget, etc. Describe also the measures that may be taken to minimise the risks.
3. Data management and need for supporting e-infrastructure
At least one page of the appendix shall be used to describe data management (the type of data generated and how it is managed) within the infrastructure.
- Describe whether the infrastructure has a data policy and data management plan in place or planned, and whether/how the operation works with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable).
- Describe the infrastructure’s technical solutions for e-infrastructure, and which supporting e-infrastructure will be used. “Supporting e-infrastructure” refers to access to network connection and computer resources for large-scale computation and store. State specifically whether, and if so how, the infrastructure manages personal data and other sensitive data.
- Describe the infrastructure’s access to and development of advanced user support and user tools, such as training, specific software, databases and similar, required for the infrastructure’s operation (that is, to conduct experiments and to collect, manage, and process data at the infrastructure).
- Describe future needs for and challenges within e-infrastructure for the research infrastructure, and how the operation plans to address these.
In cases where the e-infrastructure only requires normal office equipment or existing data networks, please state this.
Tables E1 and E2 (below) shall be used to plan and budget for the e-infrastructure needs. The costs in Table E2 shall also be included in the budget. Please attach the tables in the format stated below in a separate appendix. The appendix may cover no more than 2 A4 pages.
Calculation (state suitable unit of measurement)
Storage (state suitable unit of measurement)
Advanced user support, linked to calculation and storage (shown as full-time equivalents)
Network (state suitable unit of measurement)
Advanced user support, linked to calculation and storage (SEK)
Software, databases, etc (SEK) (however not costs relating to office IT)
When planning and budgeting, please note the following:
- The e-infrastructures Sunet, SNIC and SND do not provide free-of-charge services to other research infrastructures.
- The e-infrastructure needs of researchers analysing data produced at the infrastructure shall not be included in this application.
- The Swedish Research Council does not fund long-term data storage that is assessed as falling within the archiving responsibility of the HEIs.
The Swedish Research Council recommends that services relating to networks and large-scale computer resources for calculating and storage shall be provided by one of the national infrastructures Sunet, SNIC and/or SND. Applicants are responsible for producing a plan for their needs. Consultation with Sunet, SNIC and/or SND should then take place as soon as possible to enable a reasonable cost estimate for the needs described to be included in the application. Consultation with Sunet is done via firstname.lastname@example.org, consultation with SNIC via email email@example.com, and consultation with SND via firstname.lastname@example.org. In all cases, please write “RFI application” in the subject line of the email. If an applicant wishes to use another service provided than those above, this shall be justified in the application. Applicants are then responsible themselves for producing a Sunset reasonable cost estimate.
For infrastructure with ongoing grants
Existing infrastructures applying for continued grants from the Swedish Research Council shall attach a description of the activities during the previous grant period compared to what parts were awarded a grant in the application on which the grant was based, that is what was completed and what was not. Any changes shall be justified.
The appendix may cover a maximum of 3 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Budget and research resources
Amount applied for
State the amount applied for from the Swedish Research Council for each year (the amounts shall correspond to what is stated in the budget template to be attached to the application, see under the heading “Budget” below). Please state the amounts in Swedish krona, rounded to the nearest 1 000 SEK. The amounts applied for are added up in the table showing the total grant amount applied for for the infrastructure.
For national infrastructure, the administrating organisation shall guarantee co-funding of a minimum of 50 per cent of the total budget. The total budget shall be stated in the budget template attached.
Please note that 2022 is preselected as the starting year in the form in Prisma and in the budget template. If the application is for a grant with a start date for payment in 2023, this must be stated in the budget template attached.
Attach the budget for the research infrastructure in Excel format. Use the budget template supplied by the Swedish Research Council and state costs in thousands of Swedish krona (KSEK).
Please note that we are requesting a total budget for the infrastructure. This means that all income shall be shown in the application, such as grants applied for from the Swedish Research Council, grants from the administrating organisation and any consortium members, grants from other funding bodies and user fees. The overall cost for investment in and operation of the research infrastructure shall also be shown in the budget, including indirect costs related to personnel costs. For an explanation of types of cost, please see the tab “Explanation of types of cost” in the budget template.
All costs in the application budget must be clearly linked to the modules described under heading “2.4 Construction, development and operation of the infrastructure”, under the heading “Description of the infrastructure and its activities” above.
The following headings (Table 1, Table 2, etc.) refer to tables shown in the budget template.
Table 1. Summary: Costs
State the total costs for each module. Each line in the table shall correspond to the total line for each module budget across all types of cost.
Table 2. Summary: Income – grants
Line 2.1 shows the amount of funding applied for from the Swedish Research Council.
The other budget lines in Table 2 show how much the administrating organisation and any consortium members intend to contribute to the research infrastructure. Each participating organisation’s grant shall be summarised.
Please state also other grants to the research infrastructure over and above the direct grants from the Swedish Research Council and consortium members. These may be grants from other public and private funding bodies, the EU, other public agencies and/or direct government appropriations.
Table 3. Summary: Income – user fees
State any user fees divided up per module.
The overall estimated income for the research infrastructure (Tables 2+3) shall correspond with the overall estimated costs (total lines for “Table 1 Summary: Costs”).
Tables for the individual modules
- Please state all the costs for each module. Existing resources (including depreciation of equipment already acquired) made available to the research infrastructure by the administrating organisation or consortium shall not be included. Examples of such existing resources may be existing equipment, databases or other long-term activities made accessible nationally via the research infrastructure (the estimated value of these may be stated in “Table 4 Summary: Existing resources made available by participating organisations”).
- Indirect costs relating to personnel costs shall be reported according to the SUHF model, but may be calculated differently for differing participating organisations. Please contact the HEI administrators for information about the local calculation model. Only indirect costs relating to personnel costs shall be included in the budget.
- Costs attributable to new purchases, development, construction, installation and, as applicable, destruction of equipment shall always be reported as scientific equipment.
Costs for user training and in-service training of personnel at the research infrastructure, as well as supporting e-infrastructure shall be shown clearly, but applicants may choose whether the costs shall be included in existing modules or form modules of their own. Each budget line shall be attributable to its respective module in the appendix “Description of the research infrastructure and its activities”.
The total for each module is then transferred to Table 1.
Table 4. Summary: Existing resources made available by the applicant
- Existing resources refer primarily to existing equipment and databases within the administrating organisation/consortium that is made nationally accessible by being made available to the research infrastructure. They may also refer to other resources that the administrating organisation/consortium wishes to make nationally accessible. Existing resources do not count as co-funding.
- The administrating organisation/consortium members choose themselves whether they want to state a value for the existing resources, and how to calculate that value. It is not necessary for the resources to have been paid for originally by the administrating organisation/consortium members.
- Describe what the existing resources consist of, how they are made available to the research infrastructure, and what they contribute to the research infrastructure. Do this under the description of the respective module in the appendix “Description of the research infrastructure and its activities”.
Note: Existing personnel who are part of the research infrastructure’s core activities shall be reported within the budget for the respective module.
Explanation of the budget
You may explain and comment on the budget as you wish. The appendix may cover a maximum of 2 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Use headings to mark which key references correspond to a specific question in the call text. Begin each heading with an asterisk (*) according to the example: *Example of key references describing scientifically prominent research enabled by the infrastructure”.
The appendix may include a maximum of 20 key references (references to publications, CVs and patents) for the application, and may cover a maximum of 5 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Letter of support
Attach letters of support (confirmation of undertakings) from any consortium members. If several letters of support are to be attached, they must be merged into a single PDF file.
Under this tab, please state the research infrastructure’s project site.
Here the person invited to be the project leader for the application may invite participating administrators. Please note that participating researchers may not be invited in this application.
The Swedish Research Council supports research infrastructure of national interest. The infrastructure must be scientifically justified, openly accessible to research of the highest scientific quality, and have long-term funding and an organisation that is established with Swedish higher education institutions. These different aspects are assessed in the review of applications for grants to infrastructure in 2021.
The Council for Research Infrastructures (RFI) allocates funds to build up and operate research infrastructure.
All applications, with the exception of those for ”additional grant” (see below) are reviewed both by an international review panel and also by RFI’s advisory groups (RÅG). The international review panel consists of experts who have a broad perspective on research infrastructure and can put the Swedish applications into a larger, global perspective. RFI’s advisory groups (RÅGs A, B, C, and e-infra) review applications within each group’s research field. The advisory groups assess the applications in two stages, firstly by reviewing the applications, and secondly by sending out supplementary questions, where applicants have the opportunity to answer the advisory group’s questions.
The Swedish Research Council’s scientific councils and committees also review the applications within their respective areas, and give a written statement on the scientific and strategic value of the applications to Swedish research.
The advisory groups then make a summarising assessment and prioritise the applications, based on the statements from the scientific councils and committees, the international panel, and their own scientific and organisational considerations, as well as various national strategic aspects. The e-infra group discusses e-infra aspects in the applications, which the advisory groups weigh into their assessment.
The assessment of applications relating to “additional grant” (applied for within the framework for “grant to infrastructure of national interest”) is done by RFI’s advisory groups.
Based on the documentation from the review process outlined above, RFI then makes a decision to start dialogues with the infrastructures it intends to support. The names of these infrastructures are published in October. Thereafter, the Swedish Research Council conducts a dialogue with the administrating organisation of each of the infrastructures to be supported, concerning factors such as the content of the modules and follow-up of the infrastructure’s operation. Based on this dialogue, the Swedish Research Council then makes a final decision, including a set amount of funding and special terms and conditions for the infrastructures awarded a grant. All grant applicants will receive a final statement from RFI via email. Other statements will be published in our application system Prisma.
The framework for the call must be fulfilled in order for the organisation to be qualified to apply for the grant. We carry out checks to ensure unqualified applications are rejected from further processing. If an application is not completed according to the instructions, this will be weighed into the assessment of the application.
Assessment criteria and guiding questions
The assessment of applications for “grant to infrastructure of national interest” is done using nine criteria. The purpose of using several components is to achieve a multi-faceted evaluation. The criteria marked with an asterisk are used for assessing applications relating to “additional grant”. The criteria are assessed on a seven-grade scale, with the exception of the criteria for national interest, socio-economic benefit, and e-infrastructure, which are assessed 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.
National interest (1-3)
To what extent does the infrastructure fulfil, or have the potential to fulfil in the near future, the Swedish Research Council’s criteria for research infrastructures of national interest?
Ethical considerations* (text only)
Where applicable, comment on any ethical considerations that have not been adequately dealt with in the application.
Scientific impact* (1-7)
For assessing the scientific impact of the infrastructure, the following aspects should be addressed:
- Does the proposed research infrastructure answer to the need stated in the call?
- Does the research infrastructure provide state-of-the-art capabilities for advancing research?
- Is there a sufficiently broad and sustainable scientific user base/potential user base?
- How does the research infrastructure compare to similar facilities in other countries and/or international facilities?
- Are there any other cost-efficient alternatives that would satisfy the identified need (i.e. that would make the proposed research infrastructure less urgent)?
- Where applicable, can the Swedish research community contribute with any specific competence that is needed to develop the infrastructure/research area?
Socio-economic impact* (1-3)
An assessment of the infrastructure’s contribution to society, i.e. its ability to provide benefits that are utilised outside academic research, including the UN global sustainable development goals as well as the Swedish innovation eco-system and economic impact. For assessing the socio-economic impact of the infrastructure, one or several of the following aspects should be addressed:
- Long-term benefits: To what extent will the output from the infrastructure benefit society?
- Non-academic usage: Are there possibilities of societal and/or commercial usage of the infrastructure?
- Applicable solutions: Are there technical or other solutions that are directly transferrable to society or industry?
- Direct return of investments: Are there opportunities for Swedish enterprise and innovation in the design, construction or provision of services towards the infrastructure?
Implementation, leadership and organisation (1-7)
An assessment of the implementation and organisation of the infrastructure. For international infrastructures, the proposed organisation of the Swedish national coordination and Sweden’s role within the international organisation should also be assessed. The following aspects should be addressed:
- Is the proposed implementation plan appropriate and feasible?
- Is the proposed organisational structure of the infrastructure adequate to enable cost-efficiency and streamlining of activities?
- Is the management structure appropriate and cost-efficient, and are the responsibilities of the partners clearly defined?
- Does the organisation possess the necessary competence in terms of scientific/strategic aspects and management?
- Is the support from the partners, both in terms of funding and personnel, relevant, at an appropriate level, and sufficiently secured?
- Will present and potential future users be appropriately served in terms of availability of resources, support functions and communication of necessary information?
- Are the potential risks properly assessed?
- Where applicable, are relevant collaborations with other infrastructures sufficiently described?
Consortium (text only)
An assessment of whether organisation as a consortium is appropriate for the fulfilment of the needs stated in the call.
- Is the suggested form (consortium or not) appropriate for fulfilling the needs?
- In case of consortium: Are all organisations relevant for the infrastructure part of the consortium? Are there less relevant partners involved that could be excluded?
An assessment of whether the data management and policy are in line with international standards and whether the e-infrastructure (hardware and software) needs are properly addressed. The following aspects should be addressed:
- Does the infrastructure have an appropriate data policy and plan for data management in place?
- Are the technical solutions for e-infrastructure appropriate? E.g. access, analysis, active data storage and data management.
- Is there sufficient support for users in terms of software, user-specific tool development, and database solutions at the infrastructure or collaborating partners?
- Is there readiness to handle the growing need for e-infrastructure and related support functions in the coming 5-10 years?
- Where applicable, has the infrastructure consulted and coordinated with other infrastructures to ensure that necessary e-infrastructure is available for its users? E.g. SNIC, Sunet, SND.
Prioritisation between functionalities/modules (text only)
Suggest a prioritisation between different proposed activities/functionalities of the infrastructure, i.e. between modules, as well as within each module. Consider how each module contributes to the scientific goals and whether the budget for each module is reasonable and cost effective.
For each module please state one of the following:
- Core - The module is a crucial component for the infrastructure to meet the needs identified in the call. Without this module, the proposed infrastructure cannot be established and/or operated.
- Highly Relevant - The module contributes significantly to meet the identified needs and is very important for the scientific impact of the proposed infrastructure. Although it is not crucial for establishing and/or operating the infrastructure, it is highly recommended to be financed.
- Relevant – The module is a relevant component that contributes to meet the needs within the research area. However, the module is not a prerequisite for the functioning and/or for the scientific impact of the infrastructure, and should be given lower priority compared to the Core and Highly Relevant modules.
- Less relevant – The module does not bring significant benefits, is unlikely to be widely used, and/or there are other existing, more adequate and/or cost-efficient solutions.
Overall grade and final comment* (1-7)
Make a non-numerical compilation of the criteria above, resulting in a final grade (1-7), and give a summary statement of the application, which acknowledges the most important aspects. Please also comment on any significant benefits