Applications for research grants are assessed by review panels composed of expert researchers. They assess the scientific quality of the application using four basic criteria:
- Scientific quality of the project
- Novelty and originality
- Merits of the applicant(s)
The first three criteria are assessed according to a seven-grade scale. The criterion of Feasibility is assessed according to a three-grade scale.
For some calls, the basic criteria above are supplemented with specific additional criteria, such as the relevance of the application, the interdisciplinary approach or other factors applying to the call in question. The assessment criteria used, and how they are used, is always specified in the call text.
When all grades are set, the review panel weighs them together to an overall grade – on the scale of 1–7.
Assessment criteria for assessment of the needs inventory
- Scientific relevance
- Strategic and national relevance
- Other aspects important to consider
- Overall assessment
Assessment of the first three criteria are given as free text response, the last criterion, overall assessment, is assessed according to a seven-point grading scale, see below.
In the assessment, the advisory groups place the needs proposal in one of seven categories indicating varying degrees of priority (A1 – X).
A1: Relevant to be considered as infrastructure of national interest and ready for call.
A2: Relevant to be considered as infrastructure of national interest within the Swedish Research Council’s remit, but at the moment not prioritised by the Swedish Research Council.
A3: Relevant to be considered as infrastructure of national interest but not ready for call.
B: Not relevant to be considered as infrastructure of national interest.
C: Not relevant to be prioritised by the Swedish Research Council, because need can be handled within existing national or international infrastructure.
D: Not relevant to be prioritised by the Swedish Research Council, because need does not fall within the Swedish Research Council’s remit and should be funded/handled by another organisation or in a different way.
X: Need cannot be assessed due to incomplete information or unclear description.
The Swedish Research Council uses three different grading scales for the assessment of applications.
Our seven-grade scale
We use this grading scale for assessing both applications for research grants and applications for research infrastructure grants.
7 = Outstanding. Exceptionally strong application with negligible weaknesses
6 = Excellent. Very strong application with negligible weaknesses
5 = Very good to excellent. Very strong application with minor weaknesses
4 = Very good. Strong application with minor weaknesses
3 = Good. Some strengths, but also moderate weaknesses
2 = Weak. A few strengths, but also at least one major weakness or several minor weaknesses
1 = Poor. Very few strengths, and numerous major weaknesses
Our three-grade scale for research grant applications
We use this grading scale only in our assessment of the “Feasibility” criterion:
3 = Feasible
2 = Partly feasible
1 = Not feasible
Our three-grade scale for applications for research infrastructure grants
This three-grade scale is used only for assessing applications for research infrastructure grants based on the criteria Social benefit, E-infrastructure and National interest.
3 = Excellent
2 = Good but with weaknesses
1 = Weak/Insufficient