Open call

31 January - 05 March 2024

Consolidator grant within natural and engineering sciences

The purpose of the grant is to give the most prominent junior researchers the opportunity to consolidate their research and broaden their activities as independent researchers. Within the framework of the call, the Swedish Research Council wishes to support researchers who have a scientifically interesting research concept, and who can convert and conduct the research task and thereby move the frontiers of research forward, or fill in existing gaps in knowledge.

Subject area: Natural and Engineering Sciences

Support form: Career support

Grant form: Consolidator grant

Focus: Undirected within natural and engineering sciences

Applicant: Individual researcher who has completed a doctoral degree more than 7 years ago and up to 12 years ago.

Participating researchers: No other researchers may be invited to join the application.

Grant period: 5 years

Grant amount: 2 000 000 SEK per year

Start of grant period: January 2025

Application period: 31 January 2024 (14.00/2 pm) – 5 March 2024 (14.00/2 pm)

Publication of grant award: No later than the beginning of December 2024

Please note:

Pdf / Printout

Contact

Telephone hours are weekdays excluding public holidays 9.00–16.00 up to the call deadline.

Distinguished professor and Consolidator grant

ansokrp@vr.se

08-546 44 044

Specific instructions for the call

In addition to reading the call text, you also need to consult our Guide for applicants.

Contents:

Requirements for applicants

The following requirements must be fulfilled for you to be eligible to apply for the grant. We carry out checks and reject applications that do not fulfil the requirements.

Applicant

The applicant for a consolidator 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). 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 hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent foreign degree, awarded more than 7 years and no more than 12 years before the deadline for this call.

You shall be the project leader and have scientific responsibility for the research activities described. 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 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 further 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 verify your doctoral degree before the grant can be paid out. If you already have a Swedish doctoral degree, you can easily verify it before submitting your application. Read more in Prisma’s user support on how to proceed. External link.

Career age

To apply for a consolidator grant, your doctoral degree must have been awarded more than 7 years ago and no more than 12 years ago at the deadline for the call, that is to say, awarded no later than 5 March 2017 and no earlier than 5 March 2012. For applicants with Swedish doctoral degrees, the issue date of the degree listed in Ladok applies. You will not be able to complete your application if your doctoral degree was awarded less than 7 years ago or more than 12 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 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:

  • 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 holiday leave 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 is found on the page Several grants simultaneously.

Note that you may apply for an undirected project grant at the same time as a consolidator grant, but if both applications are successful, you must choose between the grants.

If you are awarded a consolidator 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 overlaps the 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 is found on the page Several grants simultaneously.

Please note that if you are awarded a consolidator grant and have an ongoing undirected project grant, this amount will be deducted from the standard amount of 2 000 000 SEK per year during the grant period that overlaps your awarded consolidator grant. Please note also that you cannot apply for a consolidator grant again if you at any time previously have been awarded and been the project leader for such a grant from the Swedish Research Council.

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.

Participating researchers

You may not invite any participating researchers to 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 is paid out in a standard amount of 2 000 000 SEK per year. The grant may be used for all types of project-related costs, such as

  • salaries, however no more than corresponding to the person’s activity level in the project, and for you, as project leader, always up to a maximum of 50 per cent of a full-time equivalent salary
  • premises
  • 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 Swedish Research Council assumes that the administrating organisation, as the employer responsible, will cover any costs in excess of the standard amount.

Grant period

The grant period is 5 years, starting in January 2025. The first payment will be made during January 2025 at the earliest.

Halfway through the grant period (middle of 2027), you must submit an interim report to the Swedish Research Council. The report shall focus on the scientific advances that the grant has enabled and how your research activities have developed, and may result in a review of the amounts for the remaining grant period.

What must the application contain?

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.

The information we request under each tab is described below.

Descriptive information

Abstract

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 briefly the different projects and their relationship 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.

Deductible time

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.

Research description

Ethical aspects

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.

Ethical considerations

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 that you have identified?
  • 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 (women/men). Read more about sex and gender perspectives in research content.

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.

Research plan

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: Clarify the contributions of yourself and any other researchers and/or key persons (including any doctoral students) to the implementation of the project, including a description of competences and roles in the project. Explain in particular how the time allocated by you (that is, your activity level) as project leader is suitable for the task, including the relationship with your other research undertakings.

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, 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.

Description of merits

Describe how the merits you state in your CV and list of publications and other research outputs confirm your competence as project leader and scientifically responsible for implementing the proposed research activities. 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.

Publications and other research outputs

Please attach your 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 outputs under each heading in reverse chronological order, so that the latest published work 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. You cannot supplement the application with outputs after the deadline for the call.

1. Bibliometric information

Please state the following:

  • total number of peer-reviewed original articles
  • total number of citations of the peer-reviewed original articles
  • i10 index (overall, not limited to the last 8 years)
  • the database used for the above citation data

Please note: The Swedish Research Council has a restrictive attitude towards evaluation of individuals based on bibliometrics. The citation data stated will only be used as part of an overall assessment carried out by subject specialists.

2. Selection of research outputs

List the 10 publications or other outputs that are the most important for confirming your competence as project leader and scientifically responsible for implementing the proposed research activities. Describe how you contributed to each output, and its relevance to the research project described (maximum 4 lines per output). Highlight your name in bold in the author list/corresponding.

3. Relevant peer-reviewed research outputs from 2016–2024

In this part, the outputs listed under Item 2 shall also be included if they were published during the period in question. Sort them with your name highlighted in bold in the author list/corresponding under headings (type of output) in the following order:

  • Original articles
  • Conference contributions, the results of which are not included in other publications
  • Edited volumes
  • Research review articles
  • Books and book chapters
  • Artistic work
  • Other outputs that do not fit under any of the headings above. Please note that intellectual property rights shall be shown in the CV section of the application.
4. Relevant non peer-reviewed research outputs from 2016–2024

In this part, the outputs listed under Item 2 shall also be included if they were published during the period in question. Sort them with your name highlighted in bold in the author list/corresponding under the respective headings (type of output) in the following order:

  • Artistic work
  • Publications including popular science books/presentations
  • Preprints
  • Other outputs that do not fit under any of the headings above. Please note that intellectual property rights shall be shown in the CV section of the application.

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 you will be doing your research. 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 shall be written in English, and shall include the following headings and information. No further information shall be included. You can download a template for the letter of support here. Word, 40.2 kB.

Applicant’s profile

Description of:

  • how the applicant’s research programme fits into the research environment (research already in progress at the department)
  • the applicant’s scientific independence, how the applicant can contribute to the department’s activities (research and education) based on their scientific and teaching competence.

Commitment of the hosting department

Information on/Description of:

  • the applicant’s type of employment and funding of the employment throughout the grant period
  • how the department will fulfil the applicant’s need for premises, equipment and other infrastructure in order to carry out the planned research.
  • the HEI’s/department’s plan for facilitating the applicant's continued scientific qualifications as well as the development of their leadership and teaching competence.

By signing the application in Prisma, the administrating organisation confirms these undertakings.

Budget and research resources

Please state your activity level (per cent of a full-time equivalent) in the project. Your activity level as project leader must correspond to no less than 50 per cent of a full-time equivalent.

The grant is a standard amount and you therefore do not need to enter any budget applied for in the application form.

Explanation 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.

Other funding

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.

Administrating organisation

Please state the administrating organisation and project site.

Review panels

Please request 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:

Participants

Here you may invite any participating administrators to your application.

CV

Under this tab, please upload your relevant CV information from your personal account in Prisma. The information/merits shall confirm your competence as project leader and scientifically responsible for implementing the proposed research activities.

The following information (where available) must always be included in your CV:

Education

First, second and third cycle higher education and specialist degrees.

Work

  • Current employment (including employment form)
  • Longer relevant employments
  • Post-doctoral visits (also state as employments if applicable)
  • Researcher exchanges of relevance to the research described
  • Any longer interruptions in the research that have impacted on your opportunity to gain merit as a researcher.

Merits and awards

  • Docentship/associate professorship
  • Persons you have supervised (postdoctoral and doctoral students; state the number of persons in each category and list the names of the maximum 10 most relevant)
  • Relevant grants you have received in competition (list maximum 10)
  • Your most relevant prizes and awards (list maximum 10)
  • Any other merits of relevance to the application, such as invitations to lecture, leader assignments, representative assignments, membership of scientific associations and similar.

Intellectual property rights:

For example, patents and open access computer programs developed by you; state up to 10 of your most relevant.

How your application is assessed

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.

Evaluation process

Your application for Consolidator grant in natural and engineering sciences is evaluated by one of four review panels where the members are Swedish and international researchers.

At least three members review and grade your application individually. The assessment is carried out in two stages. After an initial individual assessment, the review panel will agree on a proportion of the applications of the highest quality that will be taken further to the next stage, where they are discussed at a review panel meeting. This provides room for more in-depth discussion and assessment of the applications that are of the highest quality and have a reasonable chance of being funded. The applications to be discussed at the review panel meeting are also assessed by a number of external reviewers. At the review panel meeting, the panel members make a joint weighted assessment, prioritise the applications, and draw up a decision proposal for the Scientific Council for Natural and Engineering Sciences.

Following the grant decision, all applications will receive a statement showing the grades given to the application by the review panel. The applications that have gone through to Stage 2 will receive a statement that, in addition to the grades, also contains a summary of the review panel’s discussion and assessment of the scientific quality of the application.

Review panels:

Here you will find a more comprehensive description of the Swedish Research Council's assessment of applications.

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. The criteria are assessed on a seven-grade scale, except for feasibility, 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)

Guiding questions:

  • To what extent does the proposed research have the potential to significantly advance the boundaries of the research field or fill clear knowledge gaps within the research area?
  • To what extent is the proposed research structured so that it can result in significant progress in addressing these challenges?
  • To what extent is the description of the proposed research sufficiently detailed and of sufficient quality to show that the stated objectives can be achieved?
  • Are the ethical considerations for the proposed research properly described and addressed? Does the applicant adequately consider risk(s) for humans, animals, nature, and society?

Novelty and originality (1–7)

Guiding questions:

  • To what extent are the objectives of the proposed research novel, original and beyond the state of the art?
  • To what extent does the proposed research involve development of novel concepts and approaches, or development between or across disciplines, or novel ways and methods of approaching scientific questions?
  • To what extent does the proposed research explore new areas of research?
  • To what extent does the proposed research define new interesting scientific questions or provide possibilities to generate new areas of research?

Merits of the applicant (1–7)

Guiding questions:

  • To what extent are the researcher's scientific merits adequate in relation to the field of research and sufficient to realize the research task?
  • To what extent do the merits and scientific production relate to career age and previous active research time?
  • To what extent is the researcher internationally recognized and leading in their research field, or to what extent does the applicant show potential to become a leading researcher in the field?
  • To what extent has the researcher demonstrated ability to create a creative research environment through research leadership?

Feasibility (1–3)

Guiding questions:

  • To what extent is the outlined scientific approach feasible considering the degree to which the proposed research is high gain?
  • To what extent is the choice of research methods, access to equipment, and research infrastructure adequate for the proposed research?
  • Considering the entire proposed research, to what extent is there sufficient competence in place to carry out the research task(s)?
  • To what extent does the description in the research plan support the likelihood that the proposed research can be successfully carried out?
  • To what extent is the scope of the proposed research reasonable in relation to the amount applied for?
  • To what extent does the host institution's letter of support show that there is a need for the applicant's skills and an explicit interest in the proposed research direction in a broader sense? Does the letter show that the research environment is adequate and suitable for the applicant to carry out the proposed research? Is there a long-term plan for the applicant and the applicant's research area at the host institution?
  • To what extent does the applicant adequately consider relevant legal and formal requirements for the proposed research, such as ethical permits and guidelines?

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 weighted grade is produced without a predetermined numerical weighting of the basic criteria. As a guide for the panel’s assessment, however, the scientific quality of the proposed research and the merits of the applicant are the two most important criteria. Novelty and originality must also be included in the assessment but given lower weight than the scientific quality and merits. Feasibility is weighed in the weighted grade for the application if it deviates from the grade "Feasible"

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