PublISHED ON 30 April 2018

UpDATED ON 05 February 2019

How we fund research infrastructure

To apply for a grant to research infrastructure, an organisation first has to make a proposal in the Swedish Research Council’s needs inventory, which we carry out every two years. If we give high priority to the proposal, it can then be included in our call for grants. The whole process from the needs inventory to a decision on grants takes around two years.

1. We inventory the needs

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

  • Needs for entirely new research infrastructure.
  • Needs to gather together and significantly develop smaller resources that already exist today, so that they together can form a national research infrastructure.
  • Needs for major upgrades of existing research infrastructure in operation. 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 construction 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. We would prefer each need to consist of a well-developed proposal backed by several universities or other organisations.

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 Infrastructure, RFI, has three advisory groups and one e-infrastructure committeeopens in new window that review and prioritise the proposals from the needs inventory. The 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.

The advisory groups assess the scientific, strategic and national impact of the various proposals for research infrastructure, and how feasible they are. Before the assessment, the groups consult the Swedish Research Council’s scientific councils and committeesopens in new window involved. They also conduct a dialogue with the Universities’ Reference Group for Research Infrastructures, URFI.

The proposals are divided up into seven categories

The proposals are divided up into seven categories, from A1 to X, where A1 is assessed as having the greatest priority. Descriptions of the high priority areas (A1, A2 and A3) are presented in the appendix to the Swedish Research Council´s guide to research infrastructure.

It is only the areas in Category A1 in the appendix that may be considered in the next call. The areas assessed as A3 may be considered only after the next needs inventory, and must then submit a new proposal. 

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 will go forward to the next stage – the call for grant applications 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 may also be 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 universities 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 for each grant.

Time plan

Autumn year 1, odd years – needs inventory

The Swedish Research Council gathers in proposals to create an inventory of the research infrastructure needed.

Spring year 2 – prioritising the proposals

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

Autumn year 2 – publication 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 we have 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 calls to issue.

Spring year 3 – call for grant proposals

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 makes an inventory of needs of research infrastructure in Sweden. The purpose of the inventory is to capture proposals for new national needs for research infrastructure. The proposals we are looking for shall relate to:

    • Needs for entirely new research infrastructure.
    • Needs to gather together and significantly develop smaller resources that already exist today, so that they together can form a national research infrastructure.
    • Needs for major upgrades of existing research infrastructure in operation. 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 construction 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. We would prefer each need to consist of a well-developed proposal backed by several universities or other organisations.

    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 Infrastructure, RFI, has three advisory groups and one e-infrastructure committeeopens in new window that review and prioritise the proposals from the needs inventory. The 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.

    The advisory groups assess the scientific, strategic and national impact of the various proposals for research infrastructure, and how feasible they are. Before the assessment, the groups consult the Swedish Research Council’s scientific councils and committeesopens in new window involved. They also conduct a dialogue with the Universities’ Reference Group for Research Infrastructures, URFI.

    The proposals are divided up into seven categories

    The proposals are divided up into seven categories, from A1 to X, where A1 is assessed as having the greatest priority. Descriptions of the high priority areas (A1, A2 and A3) are presented in the appendix to the Swedish Research Council´s guide to research infrastructure.

    It is only the areas in Category A1 in the appendix that may be considered in the next call. The areas assessed as A3 may be considered only after the next needs inventory, and must then submit a new proposal. 

    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 will go forward to the next stage – the call for grant applications 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 may also be 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 universities 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 for each grant.

  4. Time plan

    Time plan

    Autumn year 1, odd years – needs inventory

    The Swedish Research Council gathers in proposals to create an inventory of the research infrastructure needed.

    Spring year 2 – prioritising the proposals

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

    Autumn year 2 – publication 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 we have 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 calls to issue.

    Spring year 3 – call for grant proposals

    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

    To apply for a grant to research infrastructure, an organisation first has to make a proposal in the Swedish Research Council’s needs inventory, which we carry out every two years. If we give high priority to the proposal, it can then be included in ...