09 May - 09 June 2022
Project grant for research collaboration between Korea and Sweden
The purpose of the grant is to fund Swedish researchers collaborating with Korean researchers within three different research areas relating to the COVID-19 pandemic: post-COVID syndrome, global COVID-19 mitigation and pandemic preparedness. The initiative is focused on research into remaining or late-onset symptoms following COVID-19 infection (post-COVID syndrome) as well as development of methods, products and strategies for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and pandemic preparedness.
The grants are financed by the Swedish Research Council, and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), on the principal of reciprocity and parity.
Support form: Research environment and collaboration support
Subject area: Medicine and Health
Focus: Korea-Sweden: Joint research collaborations on
- Research within post-COVID syndrome
- Global COVID-19 mitigation
- Preparedness for future pandemics
Applicant: Individual researcher who participates as the Swedish project leader in a joint collaboration with a project leader in Korea. Only researchers at an administrating organisation approved by the Swedish Research Council may apply.
Grant period: 15 months
800 000 SEK for the Swedish project leader for the entire grant period.
100 000 000 KRW for the Korean project leader for the entire grant period.
4 000 000 SEK in total (for Swedish participation)
500 000 000 KRW in total (for Korean participation)
Start of grant period: October 2022
Application period: 9 May 2022 (14.00/2p.m.) -9 June 2022 (14.00/2p.m.)
Publication of grant award: No later than the end of September 2022
- The call is administered in parallel by the Swedish Research Council and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). A joint application from the Korean and Swedish partners shall be submitted by the Swedish partner to the Swedish Research Council and by the Korean partner to NRF External link, opens in new window..
- The Swedish principle of public access to official records applies to all research applications submitted to the Swedish Research Council.
- You will need to have a data management plan Opens in new window. for data generated within the research we award funds for. You must not send the plan to us, but according to our general grant terms and conditions, your administrating organisation must confirm that a data management plan will be in place when you start your project or equivalent, and also that the plan will be maintained.
- Please note also that if you are awarded a grant, you are expected to publish your research data and research results of relevance to the COVID-19 pandemic with open access as soon as possible. Determining which data can be published with open access shall always be based on applicable legislation. Please use the national COVID-19 data portal External link, opens in new window. to make your data accessible when possible.
Specific instructions for the call
In addition to reading the call text, you also need to consult our Guide for applicants.
The call is administered by the Swedish Research Council in parallel with the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). A joint application from the Korean and Swedish partners shall be submitted by the Swedish partner to the Swedish Research Council’s application system Prisma. The Korean researcher shall be involved in the planning of the collaboration and the elaboration of the application.
Please note that the Korean researcher shall submit a parallel application to NRF according to the instructions given at the NRF website External link, opens in new window..
The Swedish researcher is responsible for ensuring the application submitted in Prisma is complete and corresponds to the application submitted to NRF, that is to say the application form is correctly filled in, the correct appendices are attached and the information requested has been provided according to the instructions. Please only submit material specifically requested. We do not accept any additional information after the deadline, except when we specifically ask for it.
The evaluation will be performed in parallel by a panel of experts in Sweden selected by the Swedish research council and in Korea by experts selected by the National research foundation of Korea.
The Swedish Research Council makes the grant decisions for Swedish participants. Shortly after the grant decision has been made, a notice of the grant awards will be published on the Swedish Research Council’s website. You will thereafter find a notice of the decision on your application in your personal account in Prisma, under the tab “Applications and grants”.
The grants are financed by the Swedish Research Council, and NRF, on the principal of reciprocity and parity.
Please note that the instructions provided below concerns the Swedish applicant’s application in the Swedish Research Council’s application system Prisma.
The following requirements must be fulfilled in order for you to be eligible to apply for the grant. We carry out checks, and reject applications that do not fulfil the requirements.
Please note that “Swedish” and “Korean” in this call text refer to the researcher’s country of affiliation and not nationality.
This call funds joint research projects on any or several of the three subfocuses below. Eligible researchers are invited to present joint proposals, and will ensure that each country provides balanced contributions and scientific inputs.
This call focuses on
- Post-COVID syndrome: This syndrome (also known as long COVID or Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, PASC) includes signs and symptoms that develop during or after COVID-19 infection, continue for more than 12 weeks, and cannot be explained using any alternative diagnosis. The initiative focuses on translational research that answers to the knowledge gaps in health and medical care about remaining or late-onset symptoms following COVID-19 infection (post-COVID syndrome). The knowledge gaps include pathogenesis, risk factors, symptomatology, diagnosis, therapeutic treatment, care and rehabilitation of patients with post-COVID syndrome.
- Global COVID-19 mitigation: The COVID-19 outbreak continues to comprise a public health emergency of international concern. The initiative focuses on alleviating the spread of COVID-19 and improving the ability of the public health and medical establishment to react and reduce the bearing of COVID-19 on society. Research may relate to development of methods (e.g. machine learning) to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19, disease modelling, design of sampling and testing strategies, drug design and repurposing, vaccine development, preclinical and clinical studies as well as development of other mitigation strategies.
- Preparedness for future pandemics: The threat from large outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases is one of the topmost global challenges for humankind. The initiative focuses on the development of methods and products to be more prepared for pandemic outbreaks and improve patient safety. Research may relate to development of novel technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence and biosensors) for early screening of infected patients and enabling treatment, development of vaccines, drugs, delivery systems, diagnostics, technologies for better personal protection equipment for infection control and development of other strategies for pandemic preparedness.
The Swedish applicant
The Swedish applicant for the project grant must be an individual researcher in a joint research collaboration with a project leader in Korea.
You apply together with your organisation (a Swedish higher education institution (HEI) or another Swedish organisation that fulfils our criteria for administrating organisations for Swedish Research Council grants Opens in new window.). We must have approved your organisation 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.
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. For applicants with Swedish doctoral degrees, the award date listed in Ladok applies.
You do not have to be employed by the administrating organisation at the time of applying, but you must be employed 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.
Number of applications and previous grants
The requirements described in this section only apply to Swedish applicants (project leaders).
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. There are no other restrictions regarding applying for other grants 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.
If you already have an ongoing grant, then further information about the grants you may apply for are shown on the page “Several grants simultaneously Opens in new window.”. Please note that if you are the project leader for an ongoing project grant, this must have a different focus and relate to a different project concept for you to be able to apply.
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.
You may not invite any participating researchers in this application. Any collaboration partners and their roles shall be described in the research and collaboration plan (please see instructions under “Research and collaboration plan” below).
Costs and grant amounts
The grant covers the Swedish and Korean budgets separately. The part of the grant covering the Swedish budget costs will be financed by the Swedish Research Council and the part of the grant covering the Korean budget costs will be financed by NRF.
Grants may be applied for to finance all types of project-related costs, such as salaries (including salary, however no more than corresponding to the activity level in the project), premises, running costs (such as consumables, travel including stays at research facilities, publication costs and minor equipment), and depreciation costs. Grants may 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 grant is awarded in a standard total amount of 800 000 SEK, including indirect costs.
For rules and regulations regarding costs and grant funding for the Korean project leader, please see the NRF website External link, opens in new window..
The grant period for the Swedish part is 15 months with an additional 12-month availability period. For Korean partners, please see NRF website.
The first payment to both parties is planned for October 2022.
Please refer to the application form in Prisma in parallel with reading the instructions below, which describe the call-specific content of the application to the Swedish Research Council. More information on what to do in practical terms is available in our Guide for applicants Opens in new window..
Since this is an international collaboration project call and the application is made in parallel in Sweden and Korea, and will be evaluated by both Swedish and Korean experts, please submit the application in English.
Sections of the application
The application form in Prisma contains the following tabs:
- Descriptive information
- Research description
- Budget and research resources
- CV (Korean project leader)
- Relevance for the call
- Administrating organisation
- Participants (only administrators in this call)
- CV (Swedish applicant)
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 aim
- How the research will be carried out: project organisation, time plan and scientific methods
- What is important about the planned research: the impact and the added value of the collaborative research
The abstract shall provide a summary picture of the purpose and implementation of the research activities within the collaboration. 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. Do this by answering the following questions:
- What is the research about?
- Why is it important to research this?
- In what way may the new knowledge be important?
The description may cover a maximum of 2 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately half an A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing. The popular science description is important when we inform about the research funded by the Swedish Research Council.
Note: The popular science description must be written in Swedish, unlike the rest of the application.
Other applications or grants
Describe the relationship between the different projects if
- you are applying for or intend to apply for other grants from the Swedish Research Council
- you are receiving an ongoing grant from the Swedish Research Council with a grant period that wholly or partly overlaps with the grant you are now applying for
- there are applications or grants relating to the same project concept/purpose from the Swedish Research Council or other funding bodies (from you or another researcher).
In all cases, you should also justify why you are submitting one or several further applications. If there are no other applications or grants, please state so. The description may cover a maximum of 2 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately half an A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Legal and formal requirements
The national ethical regulations/legislation which are the strictest, shall apply for the research collaboration as a whole. State whether the research covers the handling of personal data, or experiments on animals and/or studies involving humans.
If the research covers any of the above, you must also describe/state the approvals and permits your research project requires, and how you plan to obtain these. Describe any other permits that affect your application, such as whether parts of the research will be done in a country other than Sweden. If no approvals or permits are needed, please state so.
The description may cover a maximum of 2 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately half an A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Reflect on the ethical issues that may arise for your project, and describe these. 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. Examples of issues to reflect on:
- How do your research questions and expected results measure up in relation to the ethical issues?
- What (direct) risks (physical, mental, or integrity) will research persons or animals be exposed to?
- What long-term risks may arise from the research? Is there any risk that the research may be used in a way that is detrimental to animals, nature/the environment, or society (whole or parts of the same) in other respects?
- Is the research expected to contribute to other values over and above the knowledge gain? If so, to whom?
- How do you weigh up the risks (in particular short-term risks) against the value (which is often more long-term) of the research?
If no ethical issues are raised, please justify this. 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.
Sex and gender perspectives
Please state whether sex and gender perspectives are applicable in your planned research collaboration, and justify your decision. Please note that we are not asking for information about the composition of the research team (men/women).Read more about sex and gender perspectives in research content Opens in new window..
The following applies:
- If you answer “Yes”: Justify your answer, and describe also how you take account of sex and gender perspectives in the research plan. If you have stated that sex and gender perspectives are applicable, but still choose not to include them in your research plan, you will need to justify this here.
- If you answer “No”: Please justify your answer.
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.
Research and collaboration plan
The research and collaboration plan shall be forward-looking and consist of a brief but complete description of the joint research task. It shall cover a maximum of 3 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins, including references and any images.
The research plan must include the following headings and information, listed in the following order: Please note that all partners (both the Swedish and Korean researchers) shall all be involved and responsible for the research and collaboration plan.
- Purpose and aims: State the overall purpose and specific aims of the research collaboration.
- 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.
- 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 concerning travel, joint seminars and workshops, joint publications, etc. and how the project will be implemented.
A. Research areas/Sub focus
Describe how your project is relevant for the sub focus areas: Post-COVID syndrome, Global COVID-19 mitigation, and Preparedness for future pandemics (see the full definition under the heading “Focus” above).
Please note that the relevance to the research area constitutes an absolute requirement for this call.
B. Added value from the research collaboration (complementarity)
Please describe how the expertise and capacity of the participating researchers and HEIs cooperate to benefit the quality of the research. How will the collaboration generate mutual added value to the research of the applicants? In which ways is the collaboration based on equal participation and how will it lead to mutual exchange of knowledge? In the event the gender balance among the project participants is unequal, please explain how this will not impact negatively on the quality of the research.
The description may cover a maximum of 4 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately one A4 page in Arial, font size 11.
Budget and research resources
State the activity level (per cent of a full-time equivalent) of all personnel active within the Swedish project, that is to say the project leader, participating researchers and any other researchers and other personnel.
Joint budget plan
Please attach the joint budget plan containing the information below. The document shall cover a maximum of 3 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins.
A. Joint budget
State a joint budget for the total grant period for the Swedish and the Korean partners according to the template below. The Swedish partner’s budget shall be presented in SEK and the Korean partner’s budget shall be presented in KRW.
B. Justification of the budget applied for
Please provide a brief justification statement for each item in the proposed project budget.
C. Other funding
Please state your or any other researcher’s funding for the project over and above what is applied for in this application. Indicate the type of grant, status, funding source, grant awardee/project leader, funding period and the relevant amounts according to the example below.
Type of grant
Grant awardee/Project lead
Total amount (SEK och KRW)
3 000 000 SEK
50 000 000 KRW
CV (Korean project leader)
Attach the CV of the Korean researcher (project leader). The CV must not exceed 2 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins.
The following information must be submitted in each CV under the numbered headings below, in the given order (leave not applicable fields empty):
- Higher education qualification(s): year, subject field and HEI
- Doctoral degree or equivalent: year, discipline/subject field, HEI title of the theses and the name of the doctoral supervisor.
- Postdoctoral positions: year and location.
- Qualification required for appointments as a docent
- Current position: term of appointment and research portion
- Previous positions and period of appointment: type of position and appointment periods.
- Supervision: Doctoral and postdoctoral students that you have supervised in the capacity of main supervisor; (name(s) and years).
- Interruption in research: In this section, you may describe any longer interruption in your active research time, which has affected your qualifications opportunities, e.g. interruptions due to parental leave, medical internships or medical residences (applies to clinically active professionals), positions of trust, or similar circumstances. Specify the extent of each interruption.
- Other information of relevance to the application.
Attach the publication lists drawn up according to the headings and information below (the Swedish applicant and the Korean project leader sorted separately), joined up into one file. The list for each researcher shall cover a maximum of 5 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins.
Please sort the publications in each list 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.
- Selection of publications. List the 10 publications of greatest importance to your application. Describe how you contributed to each publication, and its relevance to the research project described (maximum 4 lines per publication). Highlight your name in bold in the author list.
- Relevant publications from 2014-2022. In this part, the publications listed under Item 1 shall also be included if they have been published during the period in question. Sort the publications, with your 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
- Patents, please state date of registration
- Open access computer programs or databases you have developed
- Other publications including popular science books/presentations
Please state the Swedish administrating organisation and project site.
Here you may invite any participating administrators to the application.
CV (Swedish applicant)
Under this tab, the Swedish applicant shall upload relevant CV information from their personal account in Prisma.
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 20other 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.
Scientific quality is the fundamental criterion the Swedish Research Council (VR) and the National Research Foundation in Korea (NRF) uses when awarding grants.. Your application is evaluated in competition with the other applications on the basis of the following evaluation criteria.
Your application for project grant for research collaboration between Korea and Sweden is evaluated by both Swedish and Korean reviewers. On the Swedish side, there is a review panel where the members are specialized in their subjects.
At least three Swedish panel members review and grade your application individually. The Swedish review panel then meets at a review panel meeting to discuss and prioritise the applications and finally to make a recommendation for a decision. The Swedish and Korean reviewers’ assessments and recommendation of the proposed projects are discussed and the funding decision is then jointly agreed on by the Scientific Council for Medicine and Health at the Swedish Research Council and the National Research Council of Korea.
Evaluation criteria and guiding questions
The evaluation of the scientific quality of your application is made based on five basic criteria (Scientific quality of the proposed research, Novelty and originality, Merits of applicants, Feasibility, Complementarity of the research (the added value and synergy of the research collaboration)). The criteria are assessed on a seven-grade scale, except for feasibility, which is assessed on a three-grade scale.
In addition to the these criteria, your application is also evaluated using an additional criterion (relevance to the call) on a three-grade scale.
For each criterion, there are guiding questions to support the panel members’ evaluation of your application. These can also function as a guidance for you when you write your application.
Scientific quality of the proposed research (1-7)
- Is the project scientifically significant?
- Does the overall design of the project, its research questions and hypotheses, meet the standards of highest quality?
Novelty and originality (1-7)
- Does the project convincingly challenge prevalent opinions and practice?
- Does the application define new, interesting scientific questions?
Merits of applicants (1-7)
- Do the applicants have sufficient research experience, expertise, level of independence and scientific network for implementation of the proposed project?
Feasibility (1-3) e)
- Is the general design, including time schedule, optimal for implementing the proposed project?
Complementarity of the research (the added value and synergy of the research collaboration) (1-7)
- Does the cooperation bring mutual added value to the research; compared to if the partners were not working together?
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 a whole. It is not a condition that the quality concept covers all aspects of the various criteria, nor that they have the same relative weight for all applications. In normal cases, however, a strongly positive evaluation of only one criterion cannot outweigh other weaknesses of an application when weighed together. For International collaboration grants, the Novelty and originality- and Added value and synergy-scores should also be given weight in the overall grade.
Relevance to the call (1-3)
Relevance to the program objectives is evaluated separately from the scientific quality, and is not included in the overall grade. The grant should strengthen knowledge exchange and research collaborations between Swedish and Korean researchers. The research should be of relevance for the focus areas (Post-COVID syndrome, Global COVID-19 mitigation, Preparedness for future pandemics).
Thus, the grade primarily reflects the relevance to development of long-term research partnerships and the general relevance to the objectives stated in the call.
- Does the project concern research of relevance for the focus areas?
- Does the collaborative research contribute to the establishment of new researcher-to-researcher relationships within the field?
- If principal investigators have collaborated before, is the proposed collaboration based on a new interdisciplinary research topic? What were the experiences of that previous collaboration?