08 September - 06 October 2021
Needs inventory of research infrastructure of national interest
The Swedish Research Council carries out a prioritisation of new needs for research infrastructure in a recurrent cyclical process over two years. The first stage of the process consists of a needs inventory, aimed at highlighting areas where the needs for new research infrastructure of national interest are clear.
The outcome of the needs inventory is then used as the basis for the Swedish Research Council’s targeted call for applications for funding of research infrastructure, and is part of the Swedish Research Council’s strategic work with research infrastructure. Please note that the Swedish Research Council does not publish an open call for research infrastructure grants.
Support form: Infrastructure support
Subject area: Research infrastructure
Focus: Needs inventory
Submitted by: Representatives of HEI managements, public authorities with research responsibilities, research funding bodies or researcher groupings
Call deadline: 6 October 2021 (14.00/2 p.m.)
Publication of decision: No later than June 2022
Pdf / Printout
Specific instructions for the call
In addition to reading the call text, you also need to consult our Guide for applicants.
The purpose of the needs inventory is to identify areas where the needs for new research infrastructure of national interest are clear. The proposals sent to the Swedish Research Council shall either cover needs for entirely new research infrastructure, or needs for bringing together and significantly developing existing resources into a research infrastructure where all component parts are of national interest and the bringing together of them results in clear added value for research within the field.
Proposals for needs for more comprehensive development within existing infrastructures with funding from the Swedish Research Council may also be submitted to the needs inventory. The aim of the development shall be to create a comprehensive change to the scientific production, or a significant change to the technical approach. Routine maintenance or gradual improvements may not be included, however.
Needs for new international infrastructure may also be submitted to the needs inventory. This relates to both Swedish participation in the construction of new international infrastructure and Swedish participation in existing organisations.
Please note that the Swedish Research Council does not publish an open call for research infrastructure grants. In order to submit an application under the Swedish Research Council’s targeted call for research infrastructure grants in 2023, the need must first have been identified and prioritised in the needs inventory.
The needs inventory does not cover infrastructure with ongoing grants from the Swedish Research Council, for which the grant period ends later than 31 December 2023. These will have the opportunity to apply for continued grants in the ordinary calls. However, if the application for a continued grant involves needs for more comprehensive development as described above, the application shall be preceded by a proposal in the needs inventory.
Who can submit a proposal?
The needs inventory is open to all higher education institutions (HEIs), public authorities with research responsibilities, research funding bodies and researcher groupings. Proposals submitted shall relate to research infrastructure according to the Swedish Research Council’s definition and criteria (see below), and shall cover one of the needs listed above (that is, a need for new national infrastructure, international infrastructure, or comprehensive development of existing infrastructure).
The proposal shall be drawn up, completed and submitted by you as representative of an HEI, a public authority with research responsibilities, a research funding body, or a researcher grouping. The proposal may include the participating proposers, that is, the persons or organisations backing the proposal.
Please note that you can only access the inventory in Prisma via the following link.
Definition and criteria for research infrastructure
The Swedish Research Council uses the following definition of research infrastructure of national interest:
Research infrastructure of national interest is intended to provide resources that enable research by several research teams and different projects within one or more research fields.
In addition to this, the Swedish Research Council applies the following criteria to clairfy that the type of research infrastructure that is funded shall
- enable research of the highest scientific quality, which thereby contributes to the development of society
- be openly accessible primarily to researchers, but also to industry and other relevant actors operating in Sweden. When access is limited, prioritisation shall primarily be on the basis of scientific excellence
- be 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
- have long-term planning for the scientific activities
- have long-term planning for management and control, funding, competence accumulation and development.
Please refer to the proposal form in Prisma in parallel with reading the instructions below, which describe the specific content of the proposal. More information on what to do in practical terms is available in our Guide for applicants.
Foreign experts may be involved in the assessment of the proposals. To ensure fair and equitable assessment and efficient processing, please therefore complete your proposal in English.
The sections of the proposal form
The form includes the following tabs:
- Descriptive information
- Description of infrastructure need
- Administrating organisation
Descriptions of the specific information requested under each tab follow below.
Please fill in the Swedish and English proposal title, which in this case should a working name that briefly describes the need for new research infrastructure, or, if the infrastructure already exists, the name of the infrastructure. Here you should also state SCB codes and key words (at least one SCB code; state the most relevant code first and at least three key words that describe the need/infrastructure).
The abstract of the infrastructure need in the proposal shall include a brief description of the need that the research infrastructure is expected to meet for research of national interest, and how the need can be fulfilled.
The abstract shall provide a summary guide to the infrastructure need. 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 of an A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Description of infrastructure need
The description of the infrastructure need shall cover a maximum of 4 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing, including any images.
The following information shall be included in the description under separate headings, listed in the following order:
- Science case (approximately 2 A4 pages): What are the specific scientific questions that need new or significantly developed research infrastructure? How will the new or significantly developed infrastructure contribute to answering these questions? Describe in summary how the proposed infrastructure/development could promote research of the highest scientific quality and provide opportunities for new scientific discoveries. Describe how the proposal fulfils the Swedish Research Council’s criteria for research infrastructure of national interest.
- User base (approximately ½ A4 page): Describe what research groupings could constitute the potential users, both national and, if relevant, international, and also the overall geographic distribution of the Swedish users.
- Survey of the field (approximately ½ A4 page): State briefly whether there is any existing infrastructure within the research area. If so, what is this, and where is it located? What is the relationship between the described need or the proposed research infrastructure/development and other infrastructure within the area? To what extent could already existing infrastructure meet the described need?
- Implementation (approximately 1 A4 page) What is the current state of the proposed infrastructure/development that could meet the described need? If the infrastructure is not already established, at what stage of planning is it now? What overall steps are required to achieve a completed infrastructure in operation, or completed development of an existing infrastructure? As applicable – describe contacts or collaborations with existing infrastructure.
In order to register the needs proposal, the administrating organisation and project site must be stated. Usually, the administrating organisation and project site correspond to the organisation or the department or corresponding organisational unit where you, as the proposer responsible, are employed.
Please note that proposals in the needs inventory do not need signing by the administrating organisation.
Under this tab, you, as the proposer responsible, may invite other participants to your proposal. Participating researchers/proposers refers to other researchers or representatives of HEIs who may be invited to participate in formulating the proposal. Please note that the number of participants is not weighted into the assessment of a proposal; instead, it is only the description of the infrastructure need that forms the basis for the assessment. A participating administrator is a person who can help you to input and edit information in the proposal.
Participating researchers/proposers shall provide the necessary information themselves in Prisma, and upload these to the proposal. Any further participating partners and their roles shall be described in the description of infrastructure needs (please see instructions under “Description of infrastructure needs” above).
Under this tab, please upload CV information about your current employment from your personal account in Prisma. Any participating researchers/proposers shall themselves upload CV information about their current employment to the proposal. No further CV information is requested.
Your proposal is assessed according to the assessment criteria below.
The scientific and strategic assessment of your proposal is carried out by active researchers within advisory groups (RÅG) to the Council for Research Infrastructures (RFI). In their assessment, they also weigh in views from the Swedish Research Council’s scientific councils, and possibly from relevant committees (ÄRK), and the Universities’ Reference Group for Research Infrastructures (URFI). A final assessment decision is made by RFI.
At least three members from an RÅG scrutinise and grade your proposal individually. The entire RÅG then holds a meeting to discuss and prioritise the proposals. The RÅG may, if considered necessary, request supplementary factual information to reach a more complete assessment of an area. Factual information may be obtained from the proposer or other relevant sources. Each proposal submitted usually consists of an area (of needs), but two or more proposals that are assessed as relating to the same needs may be grouped together, and then together form an area. At the meeting, the RÅG also weighs in views from ÄRK and URFI, whereafter they will submit documentation to RFI. Using RÅG’s documentation, RFI will make a decision in spring 2022 on the final grading of the needs proposals. In conjunction with this, RFI will also make a distinction between the grades A1 and A2, that is, which if the proposals assessed as being of national interest that will be prioritised by the Swedish Research Council.
Following the decision, the proposers will receive a statement including the grading and a summary of RÅG’s and RFI’s discussion and assessment of the needs proposal. In the event several proposals relating to the same needs have been grouped into an area, they will receive the same statement.
The assessment of of your needs proposal is made based on the following criteria: 1. Scientific relevance, 2. Strategic and national relevance, 3. Other important aspects, 4. Overall assessment. The assessment of the first three criteria is only described in text, while the overall assessment is made on the below grading scale.
Assessment criteria RÅG
- Scientific relevance (text only)
- Strategic and national relevance (text only)
- Other aspects important to consider? (text only)
- Overall assessment (grade A-X and text)
A1: The described need could be fulfilled by an infrastructure of national interest and the thematic area is considered ready for call.
(Only RFI: A2: The described need could be fulfilled by an infrastructure of national interest within VR’s remit, but is at the moment not prioritised by VR)
A3: The described need could be fulfilled by an infrastructure of national interest but the thematic area is not considered ready for call.
B: The described need could not be fulfilled by an infrastructure of national interest.
C: Not relevant to be prioritised by VR, because need can be handled within existing national or international infrastructure or should be funded/handled by another organisation or in a different way.
X: Need cannot be assessed due to incomplete information or unclear description.
Questions to ÄRK and URFI
- What is your assessment of the need by Swedish research for the infrastructure described in the proposal? (1 – Great need, 2 – Some need, 3 – Little need)
- How well does the described need for infrastructure of national interest fit into your strategy? (1 – Good fit, 2 – Less good fit, 3 – Doesn’t fit)