03 March - 04 May 2021
Research project grant Röntgen-Ångström Cluster
Röntgen-Ångström Cluster (RÅC) is a German-Swedish research collaboration in structural biology and materials science. The purpose is to strengthen research in materials science and structural biology that uses neutron and synchrotron radiation (also free electron laser radiation), and to stimulate the use and/or accumulation of competence for major research infrastructures that already exist or are planned within the framework for the collaboration.
Support form: Project support
Subject area: Natural and Engineering Sciences
Focus: Röntgen-Ångström Cluster
Applicant: Individual researcher active in Sweden in collaboration with an applicant/project leader in Germany
Participating researchers: A minimum of 1 and maximum of 5 researchers shall be invited to participate. In addition to the mandatory applicant/international project leader from Germany, 4 researchers active in Sweden may be invited to participate in the application.
Grant period: 1-4 year
Grant amount: Minimum 500 000 SEK per year, maximum 2 000 000 SEK per year
Budgetary framework: Approximately 60 million SEK
Start of grant period: January 2022
Application period: 3 March 2021 (14.00/2 pm) – 4 May 2021 (14.00/2 pm)
Publication of grant award: No later than the beginning of December 2021
- As from 2020, you must explain in your research plan how your stated activity level is suited to the implementation of the research project.
- You will need to have a data management plan for data generated within the research we award funds for. You must not send the plan to us, but according to our general grant terms and conditions, your administrating organisation must confirm that a data management plan will be in place when you start your project or equivalent, and also that the plan will be maintained.
Specific instructions for the call
In addition to reading the call text, you also need to consult our Guide for applicants.
Note: Unless otherwise is stated, the following instructions are aimed at the applicant from Sweden (researcher based at a Swedish HEI or other research institution), also known as the ‘project leader’. The applicant in Germany (collaborating researcher based at a German HEI or other research institution), also known as the ‘international project leader’, shall contact Projektträger DESY for information about how to apply in the German application system.
The research must address materials science or structural biology, and aim for an advanced use of or prepare for the advanced use of one or more of the following research infrastructures: PETRA III, FLASH, BESSY II, MAX IV Laboratory, ESS and European XFEL. Studies with and of x-rays using the brilliance and coherence of the new sources will receive priority (other new x-ray sources can be used for preparatory work, such as ESRF after the on-going upgrade, but this has to be motivated in the project description). The aim is to strengthen Swedish-German research expertise to enable optimal use of the new and planned radiation sources such as MAX IV and European XFEL. Neutron sources that may be used are ILL, ISIS, FRMII and SNS.
A particular focus of this funding measure is on projects that support the early use of the ESS, especially through the preparation of initial experiments and sample environments as well as the development of methods and analysis software. Another goal is to strengthen the networking of collaboration partners for commissioning.
Apart from the above special initiative (related to ESS investments), the remaining funds will be awarded, in approximately equal shares, to research projects in materials science and structural biology that uses neutron and/or synchrotron/free-electron-laser radiation.
The applicant must be an individual researcher. You shall be the project leader and have scientific responsibility for the project. The time you set aside for the project (your activity level, that is the percentage of a full-time equivalent) must be suited to the task and its implementation throughout the grant period.
You must hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent foreign degree, awarded no later than the deadline for this call. The degree award date we use is the date you fulfilled all the requirements for a doctoral degree, such as mandatory courses, oral defence and an approved doctoral thesis. For applicants with Swedish doctoral degrees, the award date listed in Ladok applies.
The application must include an ongoing or a new collaboration with researchers and/or research groups active at a university or research institute in Germany. One of the collaborating researchers is the applicant from Germany, hereafter called the ‘German applicant/international project leader’, who must hold the equivalent academic qualifications to the Swedish counterpart. Please note:
- the German applicant/international project leader must submit a separate application, comprising the identical research plan, to the BMBF/PT DESY system easy-Online; this is a legal requirement of the BMBF.
- the Swedish application must be submitted first to obtain a registration number in Prisma. The German application to the BMFB must refer to the registration number given to the Swedish application in Prisma when the call has closed.
Grants from the Swedish Research Council shall be administered by a Swedish HEI or another Swedish 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.
Number of applications and previous grants
The requirements described in this section only apply to applicants (project leaders) from Sweden.
General information about overlaps between applications and grants
Your application must not cover costs for purposes that are already funded by the Swedish Research Council or any other funding body. Overlaps with other grants or applications may impact on the grant amount you are awarded, or be a reason for us to reject your application.
What grants may I apply for simultaneously from the Swedish Research Council?
You may only submit one application for this grant under this call. The table below shows information and restrictions on the grants you may apply for during the same year.
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 restrictions on the grants you may apply for if you already have an ongoing grant. Please note that If you are the project leader of or participating researcher in an ongoing RÅC grant from the call in 2019, you may apply under this call provided that the project concept is new and does not overlap with the ongoing grant. Under any of these conditions, you should clearly describe how the new grant application differs from the previous one in the research plan.
Note: If you have been the project leader for previous grants from the Swedish Research Council that have ended, final financial reports for all of these must have been submitted within the permitted time frame in order for you to apply for a new grant. Please contact your administrating organisation if you are unsure whether all your final reports have been submitted.
What applies for applications to or grants from other funding bodies?
If your application to the Swedish Research Council relates to the same project concept as a grant you have already been awarded by, or are applying for to another funding body, please describe this.
Besides the required German applicant/international project leader, up to 4 other researchers who are active in Sweden and who are connected to the project may be invited as participating researchers to the application. Participating researchers are other researchers with a doctoral degree or equivalent competence, whose scientific competence will be crucial for the implementation of the planned research.
Participating researchers shall provide the necessary information themselves in Prisma, and upload these to the application. Any further collaborating partners and their roles shall be described in the research plan (please see instructions under “Research plan” below).
Costs and grant amounts
You can apply for a grant for all types of project-related costs, such as
- salaries (including your own salary), however no more than corresponding to the person’s activity level in the project
- running costs (such as consumables, travel including stays at research facilities, publication costs and minor equipment)
- depreciation costs.
Grants must not be used for scholarships. If a doctoral student participates, project funds may not be paid out as salary during teaching or other departmental duties.
The minimum amount you may apply for is 500 000 SEK per year, including indirect costs. The maximum amount you may apply for is 2 000 000 SEK per year.
You may apply for a grant for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 4 years, starting in January 2022. 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 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
- Administrating organisation
The information we request under each tab is described below.
In the abstract, please describe in brief the following:
- What is to be done: purpose and aims
- How the research will be carried out: project organisation, time plan and scientific methods
- What is important about the planned research
The abstract shall provide a summary picture of the purpose and implementation of the research. Please use wording to ensure persons with another subject specialisation can understand the information.
The description may cover a maximum of 1 500 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately one third of an A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Popular science description
Describe the project in such a way that a person who is not familiar with the subject can understand it. Describe what is to be done, and why. Explain also in what way the new knowledge may be important.
The popular science description is an important tool when we inform about the research funded by the Swedish Research Council. If we grant your application, we reserve the right to use the description for information purposes.
The description may cover a maximum of 4 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately one A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Note: The popular science description must be written in Swedish, unlike the rest of the application.
Describe the ethical issues raised by your project or corresponding. You must also describe how you plan to address ethical dilemmas that may arise. Please justify why the research should be carried out against the background of the ethical issues you have identified. How do your research questions and expected results measure up in relation to the ethical issues? Please also state whether the research involves any handling of personal data, or experiments on animals or human subjects. If no ethical issues are raised, please justify this.
The justification may cover a maximum of 4 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately one A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
The research plan shall be forward-looking and consist of a brief but complete description of the research task. It shall cover a maximum of 17 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins, including references and any images.
Please note that the German applicant/international project leader must submit an identical joint research plan to the BMBF/PT DESY system.
The research plan must include the following headings and information, listed in the following order:
- Purpose and aims: State the overall purpose and specific aims of the research project.
- State-of-the-art: Summarise briefly the current research frontier within the field or area covered by the project. State key references.
- Significance and scientific novelty: Describe briefly how the project relates to previous research within the area, and the impact the project may have in the short and long term. Describe also how the project moves forward or innovates the current research frontier.
- Preliminary and previous results: Describe briefly your own previous research and pilot studies within the research area that make it probable that the project will be feasible. If no preliminary results exist, please state this.
- Project description: Describe the project design under the following headings:
- Theory and method: Describe the underlying theory and the methods to be applied in order to reach the project goal.
- Time plan and implementation: Describe summarily the time plan for the project during the grant period, and how the project will be implemented.
- Project organisation: Clarify how you and any participating researchers will contribute to the implementation of the project. Explain in particular how the time allocated by you (that is, your activity level) as project leader is suitable for the task, including the relationship with your other research undertakings. Describe and explain the competences and roles of the participating researchers in the project, and also any other researchers or equivalent who are important for the implementation of the project.
- 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 infrastructure instead, please justify this need (also applies for local research infrastructure).
- Exploitation plan: Describe in a few sentences the project’s economic prospect of success, scientific and/or technical prospect of success and the ability to extend the project towards further scientific and economic development.
- Joint budget: State a joint applied budget for the total grant period for the Swedish and the German partners according to the template below. The budget for each partner shall correspond to the amounts presented in the Prisma application form (see below under the heading “Budget and research resources”) and EASY-online, respectively. Present all numbers in EUR, where 10 SEK = 1 EUR. Please also provide a brief justification of each cost in the budget plan stated.
Table1. Example of joint budget plan
German partner 1
German partner 2
German partner 3
Personnel (researchers) (FTE)
Personnel (non-researchers) (FTE)
Provide the following information also. If a heading is not relevant to your application, please state this under the heading.
- Equipment: Describe the basic equipment you and your team have at your disposal for the project.
- International and national collaboration: Describe your own and the team’s collaboration with Swedish, German and/or other foreign researchers and research teams.
- Other applications or grants: If you are applying for or intend to apply for other grants from the Swedish Research Council, please clarify the relationship between the projects. This applies also if you are receiving ongoing grants from the Swedish Research Council with grant periods that wholly or partly overlap with the grant you are now applying for. You should also justify why you are submitting one or several further applications. Describe also the relationship with other applications to or grants from other funding bodies for the same project concept (from you or another researcher).
Budget and research resources
Please note that the following instructions for filling out budget and research resources concerns the Swedish part of the research budget and are to be filled out by the Swedish applicant in Prisma.
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 about what constitutes indirect and direct costs.
Justification of the budget applied for
Justify briefly each cost applied for in your budget. The description may cover a maximum of 4 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately one A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Please state your or any other researcher’s funding for the project over and above what is applied for in this application. Please state the amounts in Swedish krona, rounded to the nearest 1 000 SEK.
Attach the publication lists of all researchers in the project (applicant, international project manager and participating researchers) joined together into a single file. The list for each researcher shall include the 10 publications that are the most relevant to the research described, and shall cover a maximum of 1 A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins. The name of the researcher in question shall be highlighted in bold and also be included in the page header of each list.
Please only include articles or equivalent that are published or accepted for publication at the time of applying. The author name order shall be identical to that of the published work. The application cannot be supplemented with publications after the deadline for the call.
The publications shall be of the types: Peer-reviewed original articles, conference contributions, edited volumes, research review articles, books and book chapters, and other publications including popular science books/presentations.
Please state the administrating organisation and project site.
Here you shall invite the participating researcher(s) and any participating administrators to your application.
You must separate the German applicant/international project leader from the other participating researchers invited by marking this in the table in the application form.
Under this tab, please upload your relevant CV information from your personal account in Prisma. Participating researchers must upload their own CV information to the application.
Swedish project leader/applicant and any other Swedish researchers:
The following information (where available) must always be included in each CV:
- Education: First, second and third cycle higher education and specialist degrees.
- Work: Current employment (including employment form) and longer relevant employment held, postdoctoral visits (also included as employment if relevant), research exchanges relevant to the research described and any longer interruptions in the research that have impacted on your opportunity to gain merit as a researcher.
- Merits and awards: Docentship/associate professorship, supervisees (postdoctoral and doctoral students; state the number of persons in each category and list the names of the up to 10 most relevant to you), up to 10 of your most relevant grants awarded in competition, up to 10 of your most relevant prizes and awards, and up to 20 other merits relevant to the application.
- Intellectual property rights: For example, patents and open access computer programs developed by you; state up to 10 of your most relevant.
German applicant/international project leader:
The German applicant shall only upload their doctoral degree and their current employment from their personal Prisma account.