15 March - 18 April 2023
Starting grant within educational sciences
The aim of the grant is to give junior researchers the opportunity to establish themselves as independent researchers in Sweden.
Support form: Career support
Subject area: Educational Sciences
Focus: Undirected in Educational Sciences
Applicant: Individual researcher who completed a doctoral degree more than 2 years ago and up to 7 years ago.
Participating researchers: No participating researchers may be invited to join the application.
Grant period: 4 years
Grant amount: Minimum 400 000 SEK per year, max 1 000 000 SEK per year.
Budgetary framework: At least three grants may be awarded
Start of grant period: January 2024
Application period: 15 March 2023 (14.00/2 pm) – 18 April 2023 (14.00/2 pm)
Publication of grant award: No later than the beginning of November 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.
- You must justify in your research plan how your stated activity level (which must be a minimum of 50 per cent of a full-time equivalent) is suited to the implementation of the research project. Furthermore, we also ask you to describe the management of risks or obstacles to the implementation of the research plan.
- To enable the implementation and merits to be assessed, the competence to be contributed by any doctoral students to the project shall be stated in the research plan and/or the justification of the budget.
- Read here for information on project collaboration with researchers in Russia and Belarus Opens in new window.
Pdf / Printout
Telephone hours are weekdays excluding public holidays from 9.00/9 a.m. to 16.00/4 p.m. while the call is open.
Calls educational sciences
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 applicant for a starting grant must be an individual researcher together with their 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) must be suited to the task and its implementation, and must equal at least 50 per cent of a full-time equivalent throughout the grant period.
You must hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent foreign degree, awarded more than 2 years and no more than 7 years before 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 application, but you must be employed at the start of and throughout the grant period and any additional availability period. The employment must equal at least 50 per cent of a full-time equivalent.
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 sending 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 a starting grant, your doctoral degree must have been awarded more than 2 years ago and no more than 7 years ago at the deadline for the call, that is to say awarded no later than 18 April 2021 and no earlier than 18 April 2016. 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 less than 2 years ago or more than 7 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/foundation medical internship (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.Please note that you cannot simultaneously apply for our undirected project grants. Please note also that if you are awarded a starting grant, you will not be able to apply for the Swedish Research Council’s undirected project grants during the grant period.
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 in on the page Several grants simultaneously. Opens in new window.Note that if you are the project leader for an ongoing undirected project grant, you cannot apply for a starting grant. Please note also that you cannot apply for a starting grant if you at any time previously have been awarded and been the project leader for a project grant for junior researchers from the Swedish Research Council.
Note: If you have been the project leader for previous grants from the Swedish Research Council that have ended, a 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
You can apply for a grant for all types of project-related costs, such as
- salaries (including your own salary), however no more than corresponding to the person’s activity level in the project
- running costs (such as consumables, travel including stays at research facilities, publication costs and minor equipment)
- depreciation costs.
The grant amount includes cover of indirect costs as a percentage of the direct costs, according to the model used by your administrating organisation. Grants must not be used for scholarships. If a doctoral student participates, project funds may not be paid out as salary during teaching or other departmental duties.
The minimum amount you may apply for is 400 000 SEK per year, including indirect costs. The maximum amount you may apply for is 1 000 000 SEK per year.
The Swedish Research Council assumes that the administrating organisation will cover any costs in excess of the amount received.
The grant period is 4 years, starting in January 2024. The first payment will be made during January 2024 at the earliest.
Please refer to the application form in Prisma in parallel with reading the instructions below, which describe the call-specific content of the application. More information on what to do in practical terms is available in our Guide for applicants. Opens in new window.
We prefer that you complete your application in English, but you may also use Swedish.
Sections of the application
The application form includes the following tabs:
- Descriptive information
- Research description
- Budget and research resources
- Letter of support
- Administrating organisation
- 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 one 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.
Educational sciences are divided up thematically into main areas. Here you shall state the theme that best describes the focus of the project. A summary of all the areas and themes is available here:
Thematic classificationof the educational sciences field Excel, 13.6 kB, opens in new window.
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 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 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. State also whether the project continues to build on research and scientific results from a grant awarded previously by the Swedish Research Council.
- 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: The project organisation you refer to may be at your own department, or cover several HEIs/environments nationally and internationally. Clarify the competences and roles of yourself and other key persons (including any doctoral students) who are important for the implementation of the project. Explain in particular how the time allocated by you as project leader (that is, your activity level) is suitable for the task, including the relationship with your other research undertakings.
- 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.
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 that 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).
- International and national collaboration: Describe your collaboration with foreign and Swedish researchers and research teams. State whether you contribute to or refer to international collaboration in your research.
Budget and research resources
State the activity level (per cent of a full-time equivalent) of all personnel active within the project, that is, you, any other researchers, doctoral students and other personnel. Please also state the salary you are applying for, for yourself and/or other personnel active within the project, both as a percentage of a full-time salary and as actual annual amounts (including social security contributions). Please state the amounts in Swedish krona, rounded to the nearest 1 000 SEK.
Describe any other costs of the project (premises costs, running costs and depreciation costs). Please state the amounts in Swedish krona, rounded to the nearest 1 000 SEK.
You may include depreciation costs for equipment to be used in the project, provided that
- the equipment has an economic life of at least three years
- the equipment has an acquisition value above a certain amount
- the need cannot be satisfied through use of national or international infrastructure supported by the Swedish Research Council and thereby open to all.
You may only include the proportion of depreciation costs that corresponds to the use of the equipment in the proposed project, and you may not include depreciation costs for equipment that is wholly funded by other grants. Please contact your administrating organisation for information about what is included in local research infrastructure, acquisition values or how to calculate depreciation costs.
Total cost of the project
Prisma will automatically add up your budget items in a table. The total amount you are applying for shall also include indirect costs. You will have to add these to the table yourself. Here you can also add any additional costs that the project entails (for which you are not seeking funding under this call).
Indirect costs follow the model that your administrating organisation uses. Please contact your administrating organisation if you have any questions about what constitutes indirect and direct costs.
Justification of the budget applied for
Describe briefly the primary costs you intend to cover within the framework for the grant budget. The description may cover a maximum of 4 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately one A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Please state your or any other researcher’s funding for the project over and above what is applied for in this application. Please state the amounts in Swedish krona, rounded to the nearest 1 000 SEK.
Applicant’s publication list
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.
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.
- 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. Write “Part of PhD thesis” in bold in brackets for the publications included in your doctoral thesis.
- Relevant publications from 2015–2023: 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: 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
Letter of support
The formal letter of support from your administrating organisation shall be signed by the head of the home department or equivalent where the planned research will be conducted. Your (the applicant’s) name shall be stated clearly, as well as the name and function/position of the person writing the letter of support.
Please note that the letter of support is an important part of the assessment of the application, and that we are not asking for a letter of recommendation.
The document may cover no more than 2 A4 pages, plus one further page if required for any digital signature. The letter of support may be written in Swedish or English, and shall contain the following headings and information. No further information shall be included. You can download a template for the letter of support here. Word, 38.4 kB, opens in new window.
The letter of support shall include a description of
- how the applicant’s research plan contributes to the department’s research environment, and how the applicant contributes to the department’s scientific activities
- the applicant’s terms and conditions of employment and funding of the employment during the grant period
- how the applicant’s need for premises, equipment and infrastructure for conducting the planned research will be fulfilled
- the plans the department has to facilitate the applicant’s continued scientific career.
By signing the application in Prisma, the administrating organisation confirms these undertakings.
Please state the administrating organisation and project site.
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 be included in your CV:
- Education: First, second and third cycle higher education and specialist degrees.
- Work: Current employment (including employment form) and longer relevant employment held, postdoctoral visits (also included as employment if relevant), research exchanges relevant to the research described and any longer interruptions in the research that have impacted on your opportunity to gain merit as a researcher.
- Merits and awards: Docentship/associate professorship, supervisees (postdoctoral and doctoral students; state the number of persons in each category and list the names of the up to 10 most relevant to you), up to 10 of your most relevant grants awarded in competition, up to 10 of your most relevant prizes and awards, and up to 20 other merits relevant to the application.
- Intellectual property rights: For example, patents and open access computer programs developed by you; state up to 10 of your most relevant.
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 starting grant within educational sciences is assessed by a specialised subject review panel where the members are Nordic researchers.
At least three members review and grade your application individually. If extra competence is needed, your application might also be evaluated by an additional, external, reviewer. The entire review panel then meets at a review panel meeting to discuss and prioritise the applications, and to make a proposal for a decision to the Committee for Educational Sciences.
Review panel 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 purpose of using several components is to achieve a multi-faceted evaluation. In addition to the basic criteria, your application is also evaluated based on the additional criterion Relevance for the call. The criteria are assessed on a seven-grade scale, except for Feasibility and Relevance for the call, which is assessed 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 guidance for you when you write your application.
Scientific quality of the proposed research (1–7)
- Is the proposed project clear, well-justified, and convincing?
- To what level of quality are the research summary, problem definition, and design implemented/described?
- In what way are the choices of theory, data/material, analysis method, infrastructure, equipment and field work suitable for answering the questions?
- Are the ethical considerations for the proposed project properly described and addressed? Does the applicant adequately consider risk/value /suffering for humans, animals, nature and/or society?
- How are issues relating to sex and gender perspectives justified and handled in the research plan?
Novelty and originality (1–7)
- In what way does the project have the potential to generate new fundamental questions, new knowledge and new focuses for research?
- Does the project show signs of innovative application of existing methods/technologies in new areas?
- Does the project show signs of use of new technologies, methods and ways of analysing data?
Merits of the applicant (1–7)
- How significant is the applicant’s scientific production, impact, and other merits in a national and international perspective relative to the research area, the application and the applicant’s career stage? Here, the emphasis should be on scientific achievements after the doctoral degree.
- What is the applicant’s scientific competence within the research area of the application?
- Has the applicant shown the ability to work independently?
- Is the project practically and technically feasible?
- Is the time plan realistic?
- Does the project have access to personnel, infrastructure and other necessary resources?
- Is the project budget realistic in relation to the project’s purpose and design?
- Does the host institution’s support letter show that they support the applicant’s project?
- Does the applicant adequately consider relevant legal and formal requirements for the proposed research, such as ethical permits and guidelines?
Please observe that it is important that the project budget in relation the aim and design of the project is weighed into the assessment of Feasibility.
Relevance to the call (1–3)
- Does the application concern a starting grant within educational science?
- Is the application relevant to the call in other respects?
Overall grade (1–7)
The above subsidiary criteria are weighed together into an overall grade (1-7). Normally, the scientific quality of the application should be given the most weight in the overall assessment. The criteria novelty and originality and merits may only in exceptional cases outweigh weaknesses in scientific quality, and then only minor weaknesses.
It is a prerequisite for being awarded a grant within educational science that the proposal is feasible, and that the applicant has a solid and relevant competence for the purpose.