17 August - 20 September 2022
Doctoral programme grant within humanities and social sciences: national collaboration
The purpose of the grant for graduate schools in humanities and social sciences is to build up a new research field, strengthen competence within a specific field, or increase collaboration nationally and internationally by contributing to doctoral education. Graduate schools safeguard and strengthen the future supply of competent researchers in the field.
Support form: Research environment and collaboration support
Subject area: Humanities and Social Sciences
Focus: Support for national collaboration
Applicant: Organisation (Swedish higher education institution, HEI)
The coordinator for the graduate school at the host organisation shall be invited to be the project leader for the application by the person responsible for the organisation’s applications.
Participating researchers: At least one further HEI shall join the application. One contact person per participating HEI shall be invited as a participating researcher.
Grant period: 3–4 years
Grant amount: Maximum 2 000 000 SEK per year
Start of grant period: January 2023
Application period: 17 August 2022 (14.00/2.00 pm) - 20 September 2022 (14.00/2.00 pm)
Publication of grant award: No later than the beginning of December 2022
- The grant must not be used to fund doctoral student positions or for scholarships, but only for joint coordinating activities.
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..
In order for a person to access the call and start the application process, they have to be authorised to create organisation applications on the organisation’s Prisma account. If this is not the same person who will be the project leader/coordinator and responsible for completing the application, the project leader/coordinator must be invited to the application once the process has been started (see under the heading “Applicant” below, and under the tab “Participants” in the application form).
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 graduate school
Depending on differing needs and prerequisites, a graduate school may be designed in various ways. To be awarded a grant from the Swedish Research Council, the graduate school must fulfil the following general requirements:
The graduate school shall
- be operated by several Swedish HEIs in cooperation. Cooperation may also be international, and with foreign graduate schools that receive other forms of funding
- collaborate with well-functioning and stimulating research environment/s with international connections
- create a structured range of programmes, with joint courses and seminars of high scientific and educational quality, which have to be nationally, and preferably internationally available
- have a clear organisation and leadership, including a board or governing body with overarching responsibility for quality assurance of the activities of the graduate school in the collaboration with the participating institutions
- have a sufficient national supply of research students
More than half of all Swedish students study subjects in the fields of humanities and social sciences. But the education is spread out across a large number of HEIs, and the research there is often carried out in small environments. This has contributed to there being few students who are studying at research level, which jeopardises the future competence supply of teachers and researchers in higher education.
The Government has mandated the Swedish Research Council to issue a call for funding of national graduate schools, and in this way safeguard and strengthen the competence supply in humanities and social sciences. The graduate schools aim to build up a new research field, strengthen competence within a specific field or discipline, or increase collaboration nationally and internationally by contributing to activities linked to third cycle higher education.
The purpose of this grant is to give departments and HEIs opportunities to arrange joint third cycle higher education courses, invite lecturers or arrange workshops for doctoral students, for example.
The applicant for the grant must be a Swedish higher education institution (HEI) that has been approved as an administrating organisation Opens in new window. for grants from the Swedish Research Council. The HEI shall coordinate the national graduate school, and shall also be responsible for activity reporting and for scientific and financial final reporting of grants awarded. The graduate school shall be operated by no less than 2 HEIs in cooperation.
The application shall include one named researcher, who shall be the coordinator of the graduate school and responsible for coordination and follow-up of studies. The coordinator shall be employed by the administrating organisation at the start of and throughout the grant period and any further additional availability period. The employment must equal at least 20 per cent of a full-time equivalent. The coordinator does not have to be employed at the time of applying. A named representative of each participating HEI shall be listed (see instructions under “Research programme” below), and be included as participating researchers in the application.
Number of applications and previous grants
The 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 awarded, or be a reason for us to reject the application.
There is no limit to the number of applications a single HEI may submit or participate in (this applies to all calls for doctoral programmes in humanities and social sciences in 2022). A single graduate school can, however, only be awarded one grant.
A representative of each HEI participating in the graduate school shall be included as a participating researcher in the application. The participating researchers shall be researchers with a doctoral degree or corresponding competence (not doctoral students), whose scientific competence will be crucial for implementing the proposed graduate school’s activities.
Participating researchers shall provide the necessary information themselves in Prisma, and upload these to the application.
Costs and grant amounts
Grants may be used to fund costs related to the graduate school, such as coordination and courses, and salary for the coordinator. The grant may not be used for research expenses, doctoral student salaries or scholarships.
The maximum grant that can be applied for is 2 000 000 SEK per year, including indirect costs.
The grant amount includes cover of indirect costs as a percentage of the direct costs, according to the model used by the administrating organisation.
The Swedish Research Council assumes that the administrating organisation will cover any costs in excess of the amount received.
The grant may cover a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 4 years, starting in January 2023. The first payment will be made during January 2023 at the earliest.
The coordinating HEI shall submit a report to the Swedish Research Council no later than 28 February 2024, stating how the graduate school has developed and the result of the admission of doctoral students to the graduate school. If the results do not correspond to the preconditions that the grant was based on, the grant amounts may be reviewed.
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
- Research description
- Budget and research resources
- Administrating organisation
The information we request under each tab is described below.
The abstract shall include a brief description of the following:
- the focus of the graduate school
- the organisation planned
- the significance to the research area
The text shall provide an overview of the purpose and implementation of the graduate school. 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 activities of the graduate school 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 graduate school will support research in humanities and social sciences.
The popular science description is important when we inform about the research funded by the Swedish Research Council.
The text must be in Swedish and 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.
The research programme shall consist of a brief but complete description of how the graduate school will be designed. It shall cover a maximum of 10 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins, including references and any images.
The research programme must include the following headings and information, listed in the following order:
- Objective: Describe the theme and focus of the graduate school.
- Research environment: Describe the research environment/s supporting the graduate school. Describe the environment/s in terms of focus and management, and the focus of research in progress. Describe in particular how the environment/s may contribute to the development of the graduate school.
- Programme description: Summarise the planned educational activities of the graduate school, and describe the recruitment basis.
- Organisation: Describe in detail how the graduate school will be organised and administrated (courses offered, seminars, course development, coordinating, study follow-up, work allocation between supervisors, examiners and course providers). Describe also the planned dimensioning of the graduate school in terms of number of doctoral students.
- Significance: Describe the national graduate school’s plan to achieve the aim of strengthening the national recruitment base and quality, in order to support research in humanities and social sciences. The description shall describe in particular how you intend to develop network build-up in the area (for example by linking postdocs to the education, mentor programmes, etc.).
- National coordination: Describe the other Swedish HEIs that are participating in the operation of the graduate school, and list the person/s (name, position, organisational unit) who will be responsible for this participation at each HEI. Describe summarily the planned allocation of roles, tasks and responsibilities for the operation of the persons participating (including the coordinator), and what specific competences each participant will contribute.
- International and other national collaboration: Describe the collaboration with Swedish and foreign research environments and/or other graduate schools.
Report the following under separate headings if relevant to your application:
- Equipment: Describe the basic equipment relevant to the programme that the graduate school has at its disposal.
- Need for research infrastructure: Specify the graduate school’s need for international and national research infrastructure. If you choose to use other infrastructure than those supported by the Swedish Research Council Opens in new window., and that are thereby open to all, you must justify this (also applies to local research infrastructure).
Budget and research resources
State the activity level (per cent of a full-time equivalent) of all personnel active within the operation of the graduate school, that is to say the project leader/coordinator, other researchers responsible for participation in the graduate school at other HEIs, and other personnel.
Please also state the salary applied for, for the project leader/coordinator or other personnel active within the graduate school, 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 (premises costs and running 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 operation, 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 fulfilled by using national or international research infrastructure supported by the Swedish Research Council and open to all.
Only include the proportion of depreciation costs that corresponds to the use of the equipment in the proposed operation. Depreciation costs for equipment that is wholly financed via other grants may not be included.
Total cost of the graduate school
Prisma will automatically add up the budget items listed in a table. The total amount applied for shall also include indirect costs. These shall be added to the table by the applicant (project leader/coordinator). Here, the applicant (project leader/coordinator) shall add any other costs arising for the graduate school (for which you are not seeking funding in this application).
Justification of the budget applied for
Justify briefly each cost applied for in the budget stated. 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 any other funding of 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.
Project leader’s/Coordinator’s publication list
Please attach the publication list drawn up according to the headings and information below. The list shall cover a maximum of 5 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins.
Sort the publications under each heading in reverse chronological order, so that the latest publication is at the top of the list. Please only include articles or equivalent that are published or accepted for publication at the time of applying. The author name order shall be identical to that of the published work. The application cannot be supplemented with publications after the deadline for the call.
1. Selection of publications: List the 10 publications of greatest importance to the application. For each publication, please state how the researcher contributed to it, and its relevance to the graduate school described (maximum 4 lines per publication). Highlight the researcher’s name in bold in the author list.
2. Relevant publications from 2014–2022: Sort the publications, with the researcher’s name highlighted in bold in the author list, under each heading (publication type) in the following order:
- Peer-reviewed original articles
- Peer-reviewed conference contributions, the results of which are not included in other publications.
- Peer-reviewed edited volumes
- Research review articles
- Peer-reviewed books and book chapters
- Other publications including popular science books/presentations
Participating researchers’ publication lists
Attach all participating researchers’ publication lists joined together into a single file. The list for each researcher shall include the publications (maximum 10) that are the most relevant for the graduate school, and shall cover a maximum of 1 A4 page. 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 type 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 location of the graduate school.
Under this tab, the person invited to be the project leader/coordinator may in turn invite participating researchers and participating administrators to the application.
Under this tab, the project leader/coordinator shall upload the relevant CV information from their personal account in Prisma. Participating researchers must upload their own CV information to the application.
The following information, where available, must always be included in each CV, taking into account the stated limitation in numbers:
- Education: First, second and third cycle higher education and specialist degrees.
- Work: Current employment (including whether permanent or not) and longer relevant employment, postdoctoral visits (including whether employment or not), research exchanges relevant to the research described and any longer interruptions in the research that have impacted on the researcher’s opportunity to gain merits as a researcher.
- Merits and awards: Docentship/associate professorship, supervisees (postdoctoral and doctoral students; state the overall number of each category and list the 10 most relevant), up to 10 of the researcher’s most relevant grants awarded in competition, up to 10 of the researcher’s 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 the researcher; state up to 10 of the most relevant.
Scientific quality is the fundamental criterion when the Swedish Research Council allocates grants to research. Your application is evaluated in competition with the other applications on the basis of the following evaluation criteria.
Your application for Doctoral programme grant within humanities and social sciences is evaluated by an interdisciplinary review panel where the members are international researchers.
At least three members review and grade your application individually. The review panel chair shall identify applications that require external review as early as possible, and shall propose which reviewers to be used in consultation with the review panel members. The entire review panel then meets at a review panel meeting to discuss and prioritise the applications, and finally to make a proposal for a decision to the Scientific Council for Humanities and Social Sciences.
Following the grant decision, all applications receive a final statement that includes the review panels’ grading of the application. The applications that have been discussed in more detail at the panel meeting receive an individual final statement which, in addition to the grades, also contains a summary of the review panel’s discussion and joint assessment of the scientific quality of the application.
Evaluation criteria and guiding questions
The evaluation of the scientific quality of your application is made based on four basic criteria (Scientific quality of the proposed graduate school, Novelty and originality, Merits of the applicant, and Feasibility). The purpose of using several components is to achieve a multi-faceted evaluation. The criteria are assessed on a seven-grade scale, except for feasibility, which is assessed on a three-grade grade scale.
In addition to the basic criteria, your application is also evaluated using two additional criterion (Research environment, and Internationalisation) on a seven-grade scale.
For each criterion, there are guiding questions to support the panel members’ evaluation of your application. These can also function as guidance for you when you write your application.
Scientific quality of the proposed graduate research (1–7)
- To what extent do the goals, contents and organisation of the graduate school contribute scientific added value to third cycle education within the field in question?
- To what extent does the planned educational offer, with joint courses, seminars and supervision, support a high level of scientific theoretical and methodological quality in the third cycle education?
- To what extent does the graduate school contribute to developing the doctoral students’ basic scientific competence? Does the model for the third cycle education and the structure of the educational offer secure a high level of educational quality in the teaching and supervision?
Novelty and originality (1–7)
- To what extent do aspects of the goals, contents and organisation of the graduate school contribute to strengthening the originality and developing innovation in the doctoral students’ scientific work?
Merits of the applicant (1–7)
- What experience do the project managers and participating researchers have of leading and conducting third cycle education?
- Do both the applicant and the participating researchers have good merits within their respective fields?
- To what extent does the overall competence contribute to high quality in third cycle education?
- In what way does the organisation and leadership of the graduate school safeguard quality in the implementation? How do each of the participating departments contribute to the graduate school?
- How is the competence of supervisors secured?
- Has the applicant shown that there is a sufficient national supply of (potential) doctoral students? How is access to personnel, infrastructure and other necessary resources secured?
- Is the budget of the graduate school realistic in relation to its goals, contents and organisation?
Research environment (1–7)
- To what extent is the focus of the graduate school based on relevant and up-to-date research of high quality?
- To what extent does the research at the participating HEIs complement each other in terms of relevant and up-to-date research of high quality?
- How is the doctoral students’ participation in suitable research environments at the participating HEIs secured?
- To what extent do the participating HEIs’ international collaborations contribute to anchoring the third cycle education in well-established international research within the field in question?
- How can the graduate school contribute to building up international networks for the doctoral students?
Overall grade (1–7)
The above subsidiary criteria are weighed together into an overall grade, which reflects the review panel’s joint evaluation of the application’s scientific quality. The overall grade is not the same as an average grade or a summary of the subsidiary evaluations; instead, it shall reflect the scientific quality of the application as whole.