PublISHED ON 30 April 2018

UpDATED ON 02 July 2019

How we fund research infrastructure

The Swedish Research Council funds research infrastructure of national interest within all fields of science. Here you can read how the process works – from our inventory of needs for new research infrastructure, via our call for proposals, to the grant decision. The whole process takes around two years.

1. We inventory the needs

Every two years, the Swedish Research Council conducts an inventory to capture new needs for research infrastructure of national interest. The proposals we are looking for shall relate to:

  • Needs for entirely new research infrastructure.
  • Needs for bringing together and significantly developing existing resources into a research infrastructure. All component parts shall be of national interest, and the bringing together of them shall result in clear added value for research within the field.
  • Needs for comprehensive development within existing infrastructures with funding from the Swedish Research Council. The aim shall be to create a significant change to the scientific production or the technical approach. Routine maintenance or gradual improvements shall not be included.
  • Needs for new international research infrastructure – both needs for Swedish participation in the build-up of new international research infrastructure and for Swedish membership of existing research infrastructure.

The inventory is aimed at higher education institutions, public authorities with research responsibility, research funding bodies and researcher teams.

Once the inventory is completed, we start our assessment and prioritisation of the proposals.

2. We assess and prioritise the proposals

The Swedish Research Council’s Council for Research Infrastructures (RFI) has three advisory groups and one e-infrastructure committee that review and prioritise the proposals from the needs inventory. Ahead of the assessment, the groups consult the Swedish Research Council’s scientific councils and committees involved. They also conduct a dialogue with the Universities’ Reference Group for Research Infrastructures (URFI).

The proposals for new needs for research infrastructure are assessed based on their scientific quality and strategic/national value. They are divided up into seven categories, from A1 to X, where A1 covers areas with the highest priority. A description of the high priority areas (Categories A1–A3) are presented in the appendix to the Swedish Research Council’s guide to research infrastructure.

It is only the areas in Category A1 that may be considered in the next call. Other areas may be considered only after the next needs inventory. The proposals must then be resubmitted.

A1

Relevant for consideration as infrastructure of national interest, ready for call.

A2

Relevant for consideration as infrastructure of national interest, but funding currently not prioritised by the Swedish Research Council.

A3

Relevant for consideration as infrastructure of national interest, not ready for call.

3. We issue a call for grant proposals

The Council for Research Infrastructures, RFI, decides on which high priority areas (A1) will go forward to the next stage – the call for proposals for research infrastructure. The fact that an area has been categorised as A1 is therefore a prerequisite, but not a guarantee, for being included in the call.

It is also possible to apply for a grant for research infrastructure that already has an ongoing grant that is ending during the same or next year as the call. These research infrastructures are listed in the appendix to the Swedish Research Council’s guide to research infrastructure.

Apply for a grant for national research infrastructure

If you are applying for a grant for national infrastructure, it is desirable, but not a requirement, to represent a consortium including several higher education institutions or other organisations. You can apply for a grant for a maximum of eight years, and the Swedish Research Council can contribute up to 50 per cent of the overall budget.

Apply for a grant for international research infrastructure

If you are applying for a grant for international infrastructure, you do not have to represent a consortium. However, we still prefer that several higher education institutions contribute with a major engagement. This can make the membership of the international research infrastructure more valuable to Swedish research.

Please read the call text for more specific instructions.

Time plan

Autumn year 1, odd years – needs inventory

The Swedish Research Council gathers in proposals to inventory the needs for new research infrastructure.

Spring year 2 – prioritising the proposals from the inventory

RFI decides which proposals will be prioritised, based on the needs inventory.

Autumn year 2 – publication of list of prioritised research infrastructure

We publish the appendix to the Swedish Research Council’s guide to research infrastructure, which includes detailed descriptions of the areas and research infrastructures given the highest priority.

The appendix also includes information on the research infrastructures with ongoing grants that are entitled to apply under the upcoming call. RFI makes the decision on what to include in the call.

Spring year 3 – call for proposals

The call opens.

Autumn year 3 – grant decision

RFI decides which research infrastructures will receive a grant.
The Swedish Research Council carries out another needs inventory – and then the process starts again.

  1. 1. Needs inventory

    1. We inventory the needs

    Every two years, the Swedish Research Council conducts an inventory to capture new needs for research infrastructure of national interest. The proposals we are looking for shall relate to:

    • Needs for entirely new research infrastructure.
    • Needs for bringing together and significantly developing existing resources into a research infrastructure. All component parts shall be of national interest, and the bringing together of them shall result in clear added value for research within the field.
    • Needs for comprehensive development within existing infrastructures with funding from the Swedish Research Council. The aim shall be to create a significant change to the scientific production or the technical approach. Routine maintenance or gradual improvements shall not be included.
    • Needs for new international research infrastructure – both needs for Swedish participation in the build-up of new international research infrastructure and for Swedish membership of existing research infrastructure.

    The inventory is aimed at higher education institutions, public authorities with research responsibility, research funding bodies and researcher teams.

    Once the inventory is completed, we start our assessment and prioritisation of the proposals.

  2. 2. Prioritising

    2. We assess and prioritise the proposals

    The Swedish Research Council’s Council for Research Infrastructures (RFI) has three advisory groups and one e-infrastructure committee that review and prioritise the proposals from the needs inventory. Ahead of the assessment, the groups consult the Swedish Research Council’s scientific councils and committees involved. They also conduct a dialogue with the Universities’ Reference Group for Research Infrastructures (URFI).

    The proposals for new needs for research infrastructure are assessed based on their scientific quality and strategic/national value. They are divided up into seven categories, from A1 to X, where A1 covers areas with the highest priority. A description of the high priority areas (Categories A1–A3) are presented in the appendix to the Swedish Research Council’s guide to research infrastructure.

    It is only the areas in Category A1 that may be considered in the next call. Other areas may be considered only after the next needs inventory. The proposals must then be resubmitted.

    A1

    Relevant for consideration as infrastructure of national interest, ready for call.

    A2

    Relevant for consideration as infrastructure of national interest, but funding currently not prioritised by the Swedish Research Council.

    A3

    Relevant for consideration as infrastructure of national interest, not ready for call.

  3. 3. Call

    3. We issue a call for grant proposals

    The Council for Research Infrastructures, RFI, decides on which high priority areas (A1) will go forward to the next stage – the call for proposals for research infrastructure. The fact that an area has been categorised as A1 is therefore a prerequisite, but not a guarantee, for being included in the call.

    It is also possible to apply for a grant for research infrastructure that already has an ongoing grant that is ending during the same or next year as the call. These research infrastructures are listed in the appendix to the Swedish Research Council’s guide to research infrastructure.

    Apply for a grant for national research infrastructure

    If you are applying for a grant for national infrastructure, it is desirable, but not a requirement, to represent a consortium including several higher education institutions or other organisations. You can apply for a grant for a maximum of eight years, and the Swedish Research Council can contribute up to 50 per cent of the overall budget.

    Apply for a grant for international research infrastructure

    If you are applying for a grant for international infrastructure, you do not have to represent a consortium. However, we still prefer that several higher education institutions contribute with a major engagement. This can make the membership of the international research infrastructure more valuable to Swedish research.

    Please read the call text for more specific instructions.

  4. Time plan

    Time plan

    Autumn year 1, odd years – needs inventory

    The Swedish Research Council gathers in proposals to inventory the needs for new research infrastructure.

    Spring year 2 – prioritising the proposals from the inventory

    RFI decides which proposals will be prioritised, based on the needs inventory.

    Autumn year 2 – publication of list of prioritised research infrastructure

    We publish the appendix to the Swedish Research Council’s guide to research infrastructure, which includes detailed descriptions of the areas and research infrastructures given the highest priority.

    The appendix also includes information on the research infrastructures with ongoing grants that are entitled to apply under the upcoming call. RFI makes the decision on what to include in the call.

    Spring year 3 – call for proposals

    The call opens.

    Autumn year 3 – grant decision

    RFI decides which research infrastructures will receive a grant.
    The Swedish Research Council carries out another needs inventory – and then the process starts again.

Questions about the financing of research infrastructure

infrastruktur@vr.se

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  1. How we fund research infrastructure

    The Swedish Research Council funds research infrastructure of national interest within all fields of science. Here you can read how the process works – from our inventory of needs for new research infrastructure, via our call for proposals, to the gr...