Open call

31 January - 05 March 2024

Distinguished professor grant within natural and engineering sciences

The aim of the distinguished professor programme is to create preconditions for the most prominent researchers to conduct long-term, ground-breaking research with great potential for achieving scientific breakthroughs. The grant shall also enable the establishment and build-up of a major research environment of the highest quality around a leading researcher.

Subject area: Natural and Engineering Sciences

Support form: Research environment and collaboration support

Grant form: Distinguished professor grant

Focus: Undirected within natural and engineering sciences

Applicant: Individual researcher who completed a doctoral degree more than 12 years ago.

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

Grant period: 8 years

Grant amount: 4 000 000 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:

  • The former “Publication list” is now known as “Publications and other research outputs” and has a changed structure.
  • There is now a separate field in the application where you are asked to describe how your stated merits confirm your ability to implement the proposed research.
  • Use English in all parts of the application (text fields, appendices, cv-posts etc), with the exception of the Swedish popular science description.
  • Read here for information on project collaboration with researchers in Russia and Belarus.

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 shall be an individual researcher together with their organisation (Swedish higher education institution (HEI), or some other 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 a corresponding foreign degree, awarded 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.

Career age

To apply for a distinguished professor grant, your doctoral degree must have been awarded more than 12 years ago at the deadline for this call, that is to say awarded 5 March 2012 or earlier. 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 at a later date.

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.

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 have already been awarded a project grant

If you have an awarded and ongoing undirected project grant, this amount will be deducted from the standard amount of 4 000 000 SEK per year during the grant period that overlaps your grant awarded under the distinguished professor programme. Please note that if you are awarded a grant under the distinguished professor programme, you will not be able to apply for the Swedish Research Council’s undirected project grants during the grant period.

If you are a researcher recruited under the Swedish Research Council’s call for international recruitment

If you are a researcher recruited under the Swedish Research Council’s call for international recruitment of prominent researchers, you will not be able to apply for a grant under the distinguished professor programme if the grant periods overlap.

Other grants

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.

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 4 000 000 SEK per year. The grant may be used 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
  • 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 will cover any costs in excess of the amount received.

Grant period

The grant period is 8 years, starting in January 2025. The first payment will be made during January 2025 at the earliest.

Reporting and follow-up

Five years after the start of the grant period, an activity report focusing on the state of the establishment and build-up of the research environment shall be submitted to the Swedish Research Council. The activity report shall also include a description of the HEI’s contribution to the research environment, and may result in a reassessment of the amounts awarded for the remainder of the 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
  • A statement on the programme’s importance for the research area, with particular focus on innovation and the potential for a break-through.

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.

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.

Establishment and development plan

The establishment and development plan consists of three separate parts according to the instructions below.

1. 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 6 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.
  • 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.
  • Need for research infrastructure. Specify the project’s need for international and national research infrastructure. If you choose to use other infrastructures 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.
2. Research environment

Describe the proposed research environment and how you, with the support of the HEI, intend to build up and manage it and, if applicable, how you intend to integrate it with any existing environment. Describe also how the research environment described promotes gender equality at the HEI.

The justification may cover a maximum of 8 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately two A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.

3. Added value

Describe the added value the research and environment described will provide for the activities and quality of research within the area at the HEI, in Sweden and internationally. Please focus particularly on the aspects of innovation and potential for research break-throughs.

The justification may cover a maximum of 8 000 characters including blank spaces. This is approximately two A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.

Leadership in research

Describe your documented experience of creating an attractive and creative research environment, and how you have contributed to promoting research excellence, including supervision of doctoral students and postdocs.

The document may cover a maximum of 2 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing and 2.5 cm margins.

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. 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.

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

In this part, the outputs listed under Item 1 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.
3. Relevant non peer-reviewed research outputs from 2016–2024

In this part, the outputs listed under Item 1 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

Please attach a formal letter of support, written in English, from the HEI in question where the research will be carried out. The letter shall be signed by an authorised representative of the HEI, usually the head of the hosting department or equivalent. 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.

The document may cover no more than 2 A4 pages, plus one further page if required for any digital signature, and shall include descriptions of

  • how the HEI intends to support and contribute to the establishment and build-up of the research environment
  • how the HEI intends to manage the research environment in the short and long term.

Please note that we are not asking for a letter of recommendation. The HEI’s undertakings in relation to the resource requirements that follow from the research environment described shall be clearly shown, as shall the HEI’s plans for the development of, and support for, the research environment after the end of the grant period.

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.

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.

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 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 Distinguished professor 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.

In addition to the basic criteria, your application is also evaluated using an additional criterion (Added value) on a 7-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 is the proposed research scientifically important?
  • To what extent is the proposed research relevant in terms of its research questions, the proposed solutions, and in relation to frontiers of research in the field?
  • To what extent is the proposed research of international top quality?
  • Are the ethical considerations for the proposed project properly described and addressed? Does the applicant adequately consider risk/value/suffering and risk for humans, animals, nature and/or society?

Novelty and originality (1–7)

Guiding questions:

  • To what extent does the research proposal demonstrate exceptional novelty and a potential to substantially advance the research field?
  • To what extent does the research proposal contain entirely novel ways and methods to approach scientific issues?
  • To what extent does the research proposal generate or explore new research areas?

Merits of the applicant (1–7)

Guiding questions:

  • To what extent is the researcher internationally recognized and a leader in their research field?
  • To what extent is it probable that the applicant will develop further as a researcher in the coming 10-year period?
  • To what extent has the researcher contributed with exceptional scientific breakthroughs in their previous research?
  • To what extent does the researcher have the ability to attract researchers from various places and establish a creative research environment as well as promoting and fostering excellence in leadership, including the supervision of PhD students and postdocs who also in turn have been successful in research? Is this ability documented from previous research?

Feasibility (1–3)

Guiding questions:

  • To what extent is the choice of research methods, access to equipment, and research infrastructure adequate for the specialisation of the researcher?
  • Regarding the project as a whole, to what extent is the competence in place to carry out the research task?
  • To what extent is the University environment adequate to enable build-up of excellent research?
  • Does the applicant adequately consider relevant legal and formal requirements for the proposed research, such as ethical permits and guidelines?

Added value (1–7)

Guiding questions:

  • To what extent does the applicant convincingly describe how the applicant intends to build and develop the research environment as well as manage it?
  • To what extent are there opportunities for long-term build-up and integration of the research environment in the university's activities?
  • To what extent will the proposed initiative strengthen and enhance the quality of research in this field of research at the University, in Sweden and internationally?
  • To what extent will the proposed build-up of the research environment enhance the potential for research breakthroughs and innovative research?

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.

To top