How applications for grants to infrastructure are assessed

Three different bodies with differing perspectives on research infrastructure take part in the assessment of grant applications. It is the Council for Research Infrastructures (RFI) that makes the decision on which applications are awarded grants.

Research infrastructure funded by the Swedish Research Council shall be of national interest, be scientifically justified, openly accessible to research and have long-term funding and an organisation that is established with Swedish higher education institutions.

Three different bodies assess the applications based on these aspects. Based on the documentation from the various bodies, RFI then makes the decision on which applications are awarded grants.

An international panel contributes a global perspective

An international panel reviews each application based on scientific, organisational and technical criteria, but also on how the application relates to e-infrastructure and on the budget. The panel has 10–12 international members, who are experts within different scientific fields. Together, they have a broad perspective on research infrastructure and can put the Swedish applications into a larger, global perspective.

The scientific councils and committees give a written statement on the value to Swedish research

The Swedish Research Council’s scientific councils and committees involved review the applications within their respective areas, and give a written statement on the scientific and strategic value of the applications to Swedish research.

RFI’s advisory groups weigh in national strategic aspects

The Swedish Research Council’s Council for Research Infrastructure, RFI, has three advisory groups and one e-infrastructure committee that review and prioritise the applications based on the statements from the international panel and their own scientific and organisational considerations. They have a reviewing role, and in particular weigh in various national strategic aspects in their assessment. The process also includes an interview, when the applicants have the opportunity to explain any unclear points in the application.

The advisory groups are appointed by RFI and consist of researchers who are well informed on research infrastructure issues within a specific field, such as registers and databases, observatories and measuring platforms, high technology laboratories and e-infrastructure.

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