15 March - 18 April 2023
International postdoc within development research
The purpose of the grant is to give newly qualified researchers with a doctoral degree from a Swedish higher education institution (HEI) the opportunity to expand their networks and their competences by working abroad under secure employment conditions. The grant is also intended to promote the quality and renewal of Swedish research.
International postdoc grants in development research are funded by the Government’s development aid funds, and the research shall be of particular relevance to the fight against poverty and for sustainable development in least developed countries.
Support form: Career support
Subject area: Development Research
Focus: Development research
Applicant: Individual researcher who has completed a doctoral degree no more than 2 years ago or will have been awarded a doctoral degree before the start of the grant period, that is, no later than 31 December 2023.
Participating researchers: No participating researchers may be invited to join the application.
Grant period: 18–36 months
Grant amount: 1 150 000 SEK per year, plus a further 50 000 SEK per year in total may be applied for, for one or more accompanying family members
Start of grant period: January 2024
Application period: 15 March 2023 (14.00/2pm) – 18 April 2023 (14.00/2 pm)
Publication of grant award: No later than December 2023
- As from 2023, all who are awarded a career grant must validate their doctoral degrees. If you have a Swedish doctoral degree, you can validate it easily before you send in your application. Read more in Prisma’s user support External link, opens in new window. about how to validate your doctoral degree via Ladok.
- As from 2022, there are guidelines for study registration and result reporting for clinical studies funded by the Swedish Research Council. This means that information about the study shall be registered in a public study register, and that a summary of the results shall be published in the register. Further information about the guidelines is available here. Opens in new window.
- Read here for information on project collaboration with researchers in Russia and Belarus. Opens in new window.
Pdf / Printout
Digital Information Meeting
Time: 21 March at 10.00–11.00
There will be a presentation of the grant form and you as an applicant will have the opportunity to ask questions about the call and the application process.
More information and registration External link, opens in new window.
Telephone hours are weekdays excluding public holidays 9.00-15.00 up to the call deadline.
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..
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.
The goal of the call for international postdoc in development research is to strengthen Swedish research of the highest quality with particular relevance to the fight against poverty and for sustainable development in least developed countries.
Development research shall contribute to knowledge about the causes and consequences, and possible solutions of poverty. It shall contribute to knowledge about sustainable development and links between sustainable development and the fight against poverty and other societal challenges in least developed countries and regions. The fight against poverty shall be understood in a multi-dimensional way, and therefore not just as lack of material assets, but also lack of power and influence over the own situation, and as lack of choice, of security, and of respect of human rights.
The Swedish Research Council invites applications from all disciplines and subject areas, such as humanities, behavioural sciences, economics, social sciences, educational sciences, natural sciences, engineering sciences, environmental sciences, urban planning, medicine and health, and also welcomes interdisciplinary projects.
The research funding must only be used in accordance with the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee DAC’s guidelines for what can be classified as aid. The research shall also be of particular relevance to least developed countries, that is be based on phenomena, circumstances and/or challenges that are specific to, or more noticeable in, least developed countries than in other countries. Collaboration and/or other research activities can be conducted also in other countries. The classification of least developed countries follows OECD’s Development Assistance Committee DAC’s list (the column “Least Developed Countries”).
OECD’s Development Assistance Committee DAC’s list External link, opens in new window.
Follow-up of our funding of development research
Development research is financed through Swedish development aid funds and is reported to the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee DAC. To enable this, you must state which of the 17 sustainable development goals External link, opens in new window. is/are relevant for your application, or if none of them is relevant. For the same reason, you must also classify your application according to the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee DAC’s policy markers External link, opens in new window.. The classification does not affect the assessment of your application.
Here you can read more about how the Swedish Research Council reports the use of development aid funds Opens in new window..
The applicant for an international postdoc grant must be an individual researcher together with their organisation (a Swedish higher education institution, HEI, or other 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 must have been awarded a doctoral degree at a Swedish higher education institution (HEI) or at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (EUI) External link, opens in new window. no more than 2 years before the deadline for this call. If you have not yet been awarded your doctoral degree, you can still apply, provided you will have completed a doctoral degree before the start of the grant period, that is before 31 December 2023.
You do not have to be employed by the administrating organisation at the time of application, but you must be employed at the start of and throughout the grant period and any additional availability period. The administrating organisation will decide on the employment format, salary and employment terms and conditions. You are, however, expected to remain employed full-time throughout the grant period, which means that you are employed and pay tax in Sweden during your stay abroad.
The Swedish Research Council does not usually allow exceptions from the employment requirement due to circumstances that mean the administrating organisation cannot employ you for posting abroad, for example if you are already living in the host country at the time of employment. If national regulations in the host country requires employment with an employer in the country in question, however, we may allow an exception from the employment requirement.
Please note that before you send in your application to the Swedish Research Council, you need to check with your administrating organisation, for example the HR function, whether it is possible for you to be employed and stationed abroad.
Read more about the regulations governing public agency personnel working outside Sweden on the Swedish Agency for Government Employer’s website (in Swedish) External link, opens in new window..
Note: If you are awarded a grant, you will have to validate your doctoral degree before the grant can be paid. If you have a Swedish doctoral degree, you can validate it easily before you send in your application. Read more in Prisma’s user support External link, opens in new window. about how to validate your doctoral degree via Ladok.
To apply for an international postdoc grant, your doctoral degree must have been awarded no more than 2 years ago, that is to say awarded no earlier than 18 April 2021. For applicants with Swedish doctoral degrees, the award date listed in Ladok applies. You will not be able to complete your application if your doctoral degree was awarded more than 2 years ago. An exception applies if you have not been in paid employment for (a) long period(s) after being awarded your doctoral degree, and and this has affected your ability to gain merit as a researcher (“deductible time”).
The Swedish Research Council’s approved grounds for deductible time are a minimum of one month’s consecutive absence due to one of the following reasons:
- parental leave
- position of trust in a trade union or student organisation
- mandatory service in the total defence force
- long-term illness (own reported illness or care of child/close family member)
- general medical internship/BT foundation period (maximum 24 months full-time work), or further training/specialist medical internship for clinically active professionals (maximum 24 months full-time education/work).
Please note that we do not accept other employment, unemployment or holidays as deductible time.
If you wish to claim deductible time, you must specify the recognised grounds and time involved in your application (please see instructions under “Descriptive information” below).
We conduct sample checks. This means that we might request a certificate in evidence of your grounds for deductible time.
Number of applications and previous grants
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. Further information about the grants you may apply for during the same year are shown in on the page Several grants simultaneously Opens in new window.. You can apply for this grant even if you are simultaneously applying for our other grants for international postdoc, but if you are awarded one of these grants and choose to accept it, your application under this call will not be further considered. Note also that if you are applying for a project grant in development research and both applications are approved, then you must choose between the grants.
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 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 in on the page Several grants simultaneously. Opens in new window.
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 plan (please see instructions under “Research plan” below).
Costs and grant amounts
The grant amount is a standard amount of 1 150 000 SEK per year. The grant may be used to cover your salary, housing during your stay abroad, and additional costs coverage according to URA’s rules or corresponding costs for you and your accompanying family members. Maximum 150 000 SEK of the grant may be used for costs related to your research (such as equipment, consumables and publication costs). The grant amount includes cover of indirect costs and also includes social security contributions. Grants must not be used for scholarships.
A further total of 50 000 SEK may be applied for, for accompanying family members (spouse/partner and under-age children). The standard amount for accompanying family is the same, irrespective of the number of accompanying family members. The standard amount for accompanying family may be used as additional costs coverage according to URA’s rules for accompanying family members who are not self-supporting or corresponding costs.
The Swedish Research Council assumes that the administrating organisation, as the employer responsible, will cover any costs in excess of the standard amount.
The grant period is 18–36 months, starting in January 2024. Your project must begin within 6 months from the start of grant period. The first payment will be made during January 2024 at the earliest.
A condition of the grant is that at least two thirds of the grant period is spent abroad, of which at least one third in a least developed country or lower middle income country according to OECD’s Development Assistance Committee DAC’s list (columns “Least Developed Countries”, “Low Income Countries” and “Lower Middle Income Countries and Territories”).
OECD’s Development Assistance Committee DAC’s list External link, opens in new window.
You must confirm that you fulfil the mobility condition by attaching a letter of invitation from the foreign host university or equivalent research institution, and also a description and justification of your choice. Both documents must cover the period stated in the application.
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.
International 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 (apart from the popular science description, which you must write in Swedish).
Sections of the application
The application form includes the following tabs:
- Descriptive information
- Research description
- Budget and research resources
- Administrating organisation
- Review panels
- Participants (only administrators in this call)
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 planned research in such a way that a person who is not a researcher 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 popular science description is important when we inform about the research funded by the Swedish Research Council.
The text must be in Swedish and 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.
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.
Please state any longer interruptions in your active research time after your doctoral degree caused by any of the grounds recognised by the Swedish Research Council. Please state the interruption calculated as a full-time equivalent and rounded up into full calendar months. Please see the recognised grounds for deductible time under the heading “Career age” above.
State the country and the foreign host organisation and department where you will be spending your stay abroad. State also the number of months you intend to spend at the host department. You may state more than one host country/host department.
The first host country stated must fulfil the requirement of being a least developed country, low income country or lower middle income country according to OECD’s Development Assistance Committee DAC’s list (columns “Least Developed Countries”, “Low Income Countries” and “Lower Middle Income Countries and Territories”).
OECD’s Development Assistance Committee DAC’s list External link, opens in new window.
State the names of your supervisor/representative at the administrating organisation and the foreign host department. If your project is located at several host departments, please state the names in the same order you stated the host departments.
Global goals for sustainable development
State which of the 17 sustainable development goals (according to Agenda 2030) your project is linked to in particular, or if none of them is relevant. Further information is available under the heading “Follow-up of funding of development research” at the beginning of the call text.
State the countries that the project is relevant for. The information is used for reporting and statistical purposes.
Policy markers OpenAid
State to what extent your project focuses on each policy marker area. You can find a link to a description of the policy markers under the heading ”Follow-up of our funding of development research” at the beginning of the call text.
Legal and formal requirements
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.
Further information is available on the page Conducting ethical research Opens in new window..
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, 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”: Please 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.
The research plan shall be forward-looking and consist of a brief but complete description of the research task. It may cover a maximum of 8 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:
- 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. Describe also any crucial risks or obstacles that may impact on the implementation, and your plan for managing these.
- Project organisation: Clarify the contributions of yourself and any other researchers and/or key persons to the implementation of the project, including a description of competences and roles in the project.
- Independent line of research: If you are working or will be working in a larger group, please clarify how your project relates to the other projects in the group. If you are (continuing) working in the same team as your doctoral or postdoc supervisor, or if you are continuing a project that wholly or partly started during your doctoral or postdoc studies, you must also describe the relationship between your project and the research of your former supervisor.
- Security situation in collaboration country: If you are planning to carry out research activities or fieldwork in countries or regions that the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs is advising against travelling to (including work travel), please describe how you are planning your research visit to and work in the country in view of the security situation. Read more about the countries the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs is advising against travelling to on the website of the Swedish Government Offices (in Swedish). External link, opens in new window.
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.
- Need for research infrastructure: Specify the project’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).
Research projects in development research shall be of particular relevance to the fight against poverty and for sustainable development in least developed countries (for further information, please see under the heading “Focus” above). Therefore, describe clearly how the research and its questions are based on phenomena and challenges relating to poverty/the fight against poverty and for sustainable development, and how poverty and other sustainability challenges depend on each other; how and why the research is of particular relevance to least developed countries and for people living in poverty. Describe how the project can contribute new knowledge with the potential to contribute to improving conditions for people living in poverty and under oppression and to promote sustainable development specifically in least developed countries and regions. Present possible ways and means for your research to have impact and/or be put to use, in the short or long term, and formulate these as possible “pathways to impact” for your research. Describe also whether the questions are relevant for least developed countries other than the specific country/countries included in the study.
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.
Budget and research resources
Please state your activity level (per cent of a full-time equivalent) in the project. We assume that your activity level as project leader corresponds to a full-time equivalent during the grant period.
The grant is a standard amount and you therefore do not need to enter any budget applied for in the application form.
Grant for accompanying family
Please state if you are applying for the standard grant for accompanying family members. See the section on “Costs and grant amounts” above for further information.
Planned use of the grant
Describe very briefly how you intend to allocate the grant (in percentages) to salary costs (including additional costs for you and any accompanying family), research expenses and indirect costs. Remember to speak to your administrating organisation in good time to find out the percentage that applies for indirect costs in your case, as this varies between different HEIs.
The description may cover a maximum of 500 characters including blank spaces.
Please attach your publication list drawn up according to the headings and information below. The list may cover a maximum of 5 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins.
Please 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 corresponding 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, and your name shall be highlighted in bold. The application cannot be supplemented with publications after the deadline for the call.
1. Selection of publications: List the 5 publications of greatest importance to your application. Describe how you contributed to each publication, and its relevance to your research project (maximum 4 lines per publication). Highlight your name in bold in the author list. State “Part of PhD thesis” in bold in brackets for the publications included in your doctoral thesis.
2. All publications: Sort the publications, with your name highlighted in bold in the author list, under each heading (publication type) in the following order. State “Part of PhD thesis” in bold in brackets for the publications included in your doctoral thesis.
- 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
Invitation from the administrating organisation
The invitation from the Swedish HEI where you will be employed shall show that you are welcome to conduct your planned research there. By signing the application in Prisma, the administrating organisation confirms this undertaking.
The invitation shall be addressed to you as applicant, cover the period shown in this call and include the following two parts:
- how the applicant’s proposed research relates to the research conducted at the department or research team involved
- the applicant’s scientific independence in relation to the department or research team involved
- how the results from the research programme will contribute to the department’s future activities.
Commitment of the administrating organisation
- the planned start and end dates of your employment at the Swedish HEI the applicant’s employment form, and any additional funding or support required to conduct the planned research
- how the HEI/department will fulfil the project’s needs for premises, equipment and other infrastructure
- the department’s plan for how the applicant can continue to develop their scientific career and competence during and after the grant period.
The document may cover no more than 2 A4 pages and shall be written in English. You can download the template for the invitation from the administrating organisation here. Word, 41.4 kB, opens in new window.
Invitation from host department abroad
The appendix shall include a formal invitation from the host department abroad showing that you are welcome to carry out your planned research there. The invitation shall be addressed to you as the applicant from the head of department or equivalent of the host department abroad where the research will be carried out. The name and contact details of the person signing the document shall be included. The invitation shall apply for the period shown in this call and shall include the following:
- the reason for inviting and hosting the applicant
- how the applicant’s proposed research fits into the research and expertise of the department or research team involved
- the applicant’s proposed role in the research team and/or in the department.
In addition, the invitation shall also describe the host department’s undertakings in the form of a description of
- the support required to conduct the proposed research and how this will be provided for the applicant
- how the department will fulfil the applicant’s need for premises, equipment and other infrastructure
- how the research environment will support the development of the applicant’s scientific career, networks and competence.
The invitation shall include information on the host department, including the period/s of the stay/s, and contact person at the host department abroad (first name, last name, telephone number and email address). Please also state the faculty of the host department and the postal address.
The document may cover no more than 2 A4 pages per invitation. In the event you will be staying at more than one host department, the invitations shall joined up into one document. You can download the template for the invitation from the host department abroad here. Word, 40.7 kB, opens in new window.
Description and justification of the host department chosen
The description may cover no more than 1 A4 page and shall include the following:
- A justification of your choice of host department abroad and description of your opportunities to develop your skills as a researcher.
- A justification of your choice of administrating organisation and a description of your opportunities to develop your independence as a researcher.
- A description of how the research at the host department abroad relates to the research at the Swedish department.
Please state the administrating organisation and project site.
Please propose the review panel or panels (in priority order) that you wish to carry out the scientific assessment of your application.
The final allocation of applications is determined by the Swedish Research Council.
Review panels Opens in new window.
Here you as applicant may invite participating administrators to your application.
Under this tab, please upload your relevant CV information from your personal account in Prisma.
The following information, where available, must always be included in your CV, taking into account the stated limitation in numbers:
- Education: First, second and third cycle higher education and specialist degrees. Please note that if you will be completing your doctoral degree after the call has closed, you must provide information about the planned examination during the third cycle higher education you upload to the application.
- Work: Current employment (including whether permanent or not) 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.
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 international postdoc grant within development research is evaluated by a broad, specialised subject review panel where the members are Swedish and international researchers.
At least three members review and grade your application individually. If needed, the reviews of the panel members will be complemented with an assessment from an external reviewer with specialised expertise in the subject of the application. 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 Committee for Development Research.
Review panels Opens in new window.
Following the grant decision your application will receive an individual final statement containing the grades and a summary of the review panel’s discussion and overall assessment of the scientific quality of the application.
Here you will find a more comprehensive description of the Swedish Research Council's assessment of applications Opens in new window..
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 research, Novelty and originality, Merits of the applicant, Feasibility). The international postdoc grants are also evaluated based on the criteria Internationalisation and research environment. 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 an additional criterion (Relevance for the call) 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 research (1–7)
- To what extent are the design of the project and its questions of the highest scientific quality?
- To what extent is the project description sufficiently clear and systematic, for example in its definition of the research problem, its theoretical basis, and the summary of previous results within the research area?
- To what extent is the proposed research design suitable for achieving the aims of the project?
- To what extent are the methods for any data collection and analysis well described and suitable?
- Are the ethical considerations for the proposed project properly described and addressed? Does the applicant adequately consider risk/value/suffering for humans, animals and nature?
- Has the applicant in a satisfactory manner described the possible importance of sex and/or gender for the research project? If not, is there a clear description to why?
- If sex and gender is described as relevant to the research project, has the applicant considered sex and gender in the study design and description of the proposed work, for instance as part of preliminary data, the choice of samples or study population, or data analyses?
Novelty and originality (1–7)
- To what extent does the project extend or challenge current understanding, opinion or practice in its field? (For example, novel concepts or theories, new directions for research and advancement of the field)
- To what extent does the proposed project define new, compelling scientific questions within its scientific area?
- To what extent does the project include use of novel technologies/methodologies, or innovative application of existing methodologies/technologies in a novel way or context?
- To what extent does the project propose a line of research with clear progression and novelty in relation to previous research in the field?
- In what novel way does the proposed project have potential for scientific and/or societal impact in least developed countries?
Merits of the applicant (1–7)
- How strong are the applicant’s merits and competence in relation to career age, research area and previous research environment?
- To what degree does the applicant’s previous experience and scientific competence strengthen the project?
- Do the publications and other scientific achievements of the applicant show the potential for a distinct and independent line of research? Focus is on the most relevant and important reports, with emphasis on quality rather than quantity.
- Does the applicant have a sufficient scientific network for implementing the proposed project?
- Is the general design, including time schedule, optimal for implementing the proposed project?
- Is the environment suitable for carrying out the proposed research, considering supervision, equipment, facilities/infrastructures and other necessary resources and support etc.?
- Are the proposed research methods, infrastructures, experiments and fieldwork appropriate for the implementation of the project?
- Does the applicant adequately consider relevant legal and formal requirements for the proposed research, such as ethical permits and guidelines?
- How is the balance between the project´s feasibility and risks and its potential gains? (high risk/high gain)
Internationalisation and research environment (1-7)
An assessment of the applicant’s possibilities to develop their research network and merits as researcher at the foreign host institution(s).
- To what extent does the foreign host institution(s) seem relevant for the research the application concerns?
- To what extent is the foreign research environment suitable for the applicant’s ability to develop new competences, their research network and independence as a researcher?
- If the applicant plans to spend time in Sweden, is that time well-motivated and is the research environment favourable for the applicant’s ability to develop as a researcher?
Relevance for the call (1-7)
Relevance is a key criterion for assessment of development research. It is assessed separately from scientific quality and is included in the overall grade. Research projects within development research shall have particular relevance to the fight against poverty and for sustainable development in least developed countries.
- Is the research clearly based in questions relating to poverty/the fight against poverty and sustainable development in least developed countries?
- Is it described how poverty and other sustainability challenges depend on each other?
- Does the research concern conditions and challenges that are specific, or of particular importance, to least developed countries?
- Does the research have the potential to contribute to improving conditions for people living in poverty and under oppression in least developed countries specifically?
- Does the research also have the potential to contribute to sustainable development in least developed countries?
- Is there a clearly described idea about, and description of, pathways-to-impact?
- Are the research questions relevant to least developed countries other than the specific country/countries where the study takes place?
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.