The call opened 14:00 22 August 2018
The call closed 14:00 25 September 2018
The purpose of the grant is to give newly qualified researchers with a doctoral degree from a Swedish university the opportunity to expand their networks and their competences by working abroad under secure employment conditions.
Type of call
Career support funding
Humanities and Social Sciences, Artistic Research, Medicine and Health, Natural and Engineering Sciences, Educational Sciences
Individual researcher who has completed a doctoral degree no more than two years ago.
No participating researchers may be invited to join the application.
1 050 000 SEK per year
Publication of grant award
Beginning of December 2018
Start of grant period
Call text in full
The following criteria must be fulfilled in order for you to be eligible to apply for the grant. We carry out checks to ensure unqualified applications are rejected from further processing.
The applicant for an international postdoc grant must be an individual researcher. You must hold a doctoral degree from a Swedish university or the European university institute (EUI), awarded no more than two years before the deadline for this call.
Grants from the Swedish Research Council shall be administered by a Swedish university or HEI or another Swedish public organisation that fulfils our criteria for administrating organisations. To apply, your organisation must therefore be approved as an administrating organisation.
If you are awarded a grant, you must be employed by the administrating organisation at the start of and throughout the grant period, unless the Swedish Research Council approves an exception. The administrating organisation will decide on the employment format, salary and employment terms and conditions. You are, however, expected to remain employed full-time throughout the grant period, which means that you are employed and pay tax in Sweden during your stay abroad. You do not have to be employed by the administrating organisation at the time of applying.
To apply for an international postdoc grant, your doctoral degree must have been awarded no more than two years ago, that is to say awarded no later than the deadline date for the call and no earlier than 25 September 2016. The degree award date we use is the date you fulfilled all the criteria for a doctoral degree, such as mandatory courses, oral defence and an approved doctoral thesis. 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 more than two years ago.
If your doctoral degree was awarded earlier, you can still apply however, if you have any grounds for deductible time recognised by the Swedish Research Council. The Swedish Research Council’s recognised grounds are parental leave, positions of trust in trade union organisations and student organisations, mandatory service in the total defence forces, illness (own illness or care of close family members), general medical internship (maximum 24 months) or further training/specialist internship for clinically active professionals (maximum 24 months). Please note that we do not accept other employment, unemployment or holidays as deductible time.
If you wish to claim deductible time, you must specify the recognised grounds and time involved in your application (please see instructions under “Descriptive data” below).
We carry out random checks and may request confirmation that supports the grounds for deductible time stated by you.
Number of applications and previous grants
What grants may I apply for simultaneously from the Swedish Research Council?
You may only submit one application for this grant under this call. Other restrictions on the grants you may apply for during the same year are shown in the table below.
What eligibility criteria apply if I already have a grant from the Swedish Research Council?
There are certain restrictions if you are the project leader of a previously awarded grant that is ongoing, that is to say where the grant period (payment period from the Swedish Research Council) overlaps the grant period of the grant this application covers. Please note that the availability period, that is to say the time during which you can draw down the grant awarded, is normally longer than the grant period. Information about the criteria for your previous grant can be found in the “Approval of terms” you received from the Swedish Research Council.
Please see the table below for further information on grants you may apply for if you have an ongoing grant.
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.
You may not include any participating researchers in 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 awarded in a standard amount of 1 050 000 SEK per year, of which 900 000 SEK is for your salary costs and 150 000 SEK for research expenses relating to your stay and the research you will be carrying out (such as consumables, travel including stays at research facilities, and publication costs). The grant amount includes cover of indirect costs. The standard amount relating to salary costs also includes social security contributions. Grants may not be used for scholarships.
The Swedish Research Council assumes that the administrating organisation, as the employer responsible, will cover any costs in excess of the standard amount received.
The grant period is 18–36 months, starting 1 January 2019. The first payment will be made in January 2019 at the earliest.
A condition of the grant is that at least two thirds of the grant period is spent abroad. This time may, however, be divided up into several shorter periods. The mobility condition shall be confirmed by means of a letter of invitation from the foreign host university or corresponding research institution, and a description and justification of your choice of this institution. Both of these must cover the period stated in the application.
You apply electronically in Prisma, which is the application system used by the Swedish Research Council. You create your application in Prisma by filling in the text fields, uploading information from your personal account, and attaching the appendices requested.
To enable you to apply, your organisation must have been approved as an administrating organisation and have created an organisation account in Prisma.
For most items in Prisma, there is a user manual describing all the steps, as well as answers to FAQ. Please refer to these when filling in your application. If you cannot find the answer to your technical question, you may contact our Technical Support. It may take one to two working days to get an answer.
Please avoid stating your own or anybody else’s full personal identity number in the application except where specifically requested.
Creating a personal account in Prisma
Before you apply, you must create a personal account in Prisma, where you can save your personal and CV data. The information only needs to be entered once, and can thereafter be supplemented or changed as required. As most of the Swedish Research Council’s calls employ foreign reviewers, please use English when entering any descriptive text in you CV data. You can also input your publications for future use. Please note that no publications can currently be uploaded from your account to the application form. This is because the publications function is under development and not yet used in the Swedish Research Council’s calls. You should therefore submit your publication list as an attached PDF file instead (please see instructions under “Publications” below).
Please allow plenty of time to create your personal account. The applications you register in Prisma will be linked to your personal account.
Any participating administrators must also create their own personal accounts in Prisma, and confirm their participation in the application before the deadline of the call.
Some text fields can be formatted, which means that the font, alignment and font size can be changed in these fields, and that tables and symbols can be inserted. If you insert text written using a word processing program (such as Microsoft Word), you may need to use the tools in Prisma to adjust the formatting after insertion. Images cannot be included in the text fields, however. We recommend that you use the fonts Arial, Calibri or Verdana.
All text fields have a limit on the number of characters, and this is illustrated by a character counter. If you use too many characters, the application cannot be registered.
Attached documents and appendices
You will need to attach an appendix to some fields as instructed. You can only attach documents in PDF format, and the appendix must consist of one file only. If the appendix is made up from several documents, they must therefore be merged into a single file. All appendices are limited as to file size and number of pages. You will not be able to register your application with an appendix that exceeds the stated maximum size.
Both you as applicant and an authorised representative of the administrating organisation shall sign the application electronically in Prisma. Please see further information under “Registering the application” below.
Please refer to the application form in Prisma in parallel with reading the instructions below.
Foreign experts are involved in the scientific evaluation of the applications. To ensure fair and equitable assessment and efficient processing, please therefore complete your application in English.
Sections of the application
The application form includes the following tabs:
- Descriptive data
- Research description
- Budget and research resources
- Administrating organisation
- Review panels
- Participants (only administrators in this call)
Descriptions of the information requested under each tab follow below. Mandatory information is marked with an asterisk (*) in Prisma.
Under this tab, please fill in the Swedish and English project title, project period (number of months), and select SCB codes and keywords. Please also mark the subject area to which your application relates. Please also fill in any deductible time, the abstract and popular science description, and state the host institution and host country for your stay, as instructed below.
State the country and the host HEI and department where you will be spending your stay abroad.
The abstract shall include a brief description of
- what is to be done: purpose and aim
- how the research will be carried out: project organisation, time plan and the scientific methods to be used
- what is important about the planned research
- the added value of your research being carried out at the selected host institution abroad.
The abstract shall provide a summary guide to 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 (approximately one third of an A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing).
Popular science description
Describe the project in such a way that a person who is not familiar with the subject can understand it. Describe what is to be done and why, and explain in what way the new knowledge may be important.
The popular science description is an important tool when we inform about the research funded by the Swedish Research Council. If we grant your application, we reserve the right to use the description for information purposes.
Note: The popular science description must be written in Swedish, unlike the rest of the application.
The description may cover a maximum of 4 500 characters including blank spaces (approximately one A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing).
Please state any interruptions in your active research time after your doctoral degree caused by any of the grounds recognised by the Swedish Research Council. The interruption shall be calculated as a full-time equivalent and be rounded up into full calendar months. Please see the recognised grounds for deductible time under the heading “Career age” above.
Under this tab, please attach your research plan and describe any ethical considerations.
Your application shall describe the ethical issues raised by the project or corresponding. 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 identified. How do your research questions and expected results measure up in relation to the ethical issues? Please also state whether the research involves any handling of personal data, or experiments on animals or human subjects. If no ethical issues are raised, please state this.
Please attach your research plan in PDF format. The research plan shall consist of a brief but complete description of the research task. The focus of the research plan shall be forward-looking, and it shall cover a maximum of eight page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing, 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 goals of the research project.
- State-of-the-art: Summarise briefly the current research frontier within the field/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 its importance in the short and long term. Describe also how the project moves forward or innovates the current research frontier.
- Preliminary and previous results: Describe briefly previous research and pilot studies within the research area that make it probable that the project will be feasible. State too if no preliminary results exist.
- Project description: Describe the project design, including the following items:
- 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.
- Project organisation: Clarify the contributions of yourself and any other researchers to the implementation of the project, including a description of competences and roles in the project.
- Results: Describe the results you expect from the project.
- Independent line of research: If you are working or will be working in a larger group, please clarify how your project relates to the other projects in the group. If you are continuing a project that was wholly or partly started during your doctoral or postdoc studies, you must also describe the relationship between your project and the research of your former supervisor.
Provide the following information also. If a heading is not relevant to your application, please leave it blank.
- Equipment: Describe the basic equipment you have at your disposal for the project.
- Need for infrastructure: Specify the project’s need for international and national infrastructure. Specify also the need for local infrastructure, if depreciation costs for this is included in the application. Read more about research infrastructure supported by the Swedish Research Council.
- Other applications or grants: If you are applying for or intend to apply for other grants from the Swedish Research Council, the relationship between the projects shall be clarified. This applies also if you are receiving ongoing grants from the Swedish Research Council with grant periods that wholly or partly overlap with the grant you are now applying for. You should also justify why you are submitting one or several further applications. Describe also the relationship with other applications to or grants from other funding bodies for the same project concept (from you or another researcher).
Budget and research resources
Please state your activity level (per cent of a full-time equivalent) in the project. We assume that your activity level as project leader corresponds to a full-time equivalent during the grant period.
The grant is a standard amount and you therefore do not need to enter any budget applied for in the application form.
Under this tab, please attach your publications list in PDF format, drawn up according to the headings and instructions below. The list shall cover a maximum of five page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
1. Selection of publications: List the maximum five publications of greatest importance to your application. For each publication, please state how you contributed to it, and its relevance to the research project described (maximum four lines per publication). Highlight your name in bold in the author list. State “Part of PhD thesis” in bold in brackets for the publications included in the doctoral thesis.
2. Total number of publications: Sort the publications, with your name highlighted in bold in the author list, under each heading (publication type) in the following order: State “Part of PhD thesis” in bold in brackets for the publications included in the doctoral thesis.
- Peer-reviewed original articles
- Peer-reviewed conference contributions, the results of which are not included in other publications.
- Peer-reviewed edited volumes
- Research review articles
- Peer-reviewed books and book chapters
- Other publications including popular science books/presentations
Note: Please sort the publications under each heading in reverse chronological order, so that the latest publication is at the top of the list. Please only include articles or corresponding that are published or accepted for publication at the time of applying. The author order in the publication list shall be identical to that of the published work. The application cannot be supplemented with publications after the deadline for the call.
Here you shall attach to each field the appendices requested, in PDF format.
Invitation from the administrating organisation
Please attach an invitation covering no more than two A4 pages from the Swedish HEI where you will be employed, showing that you are welcome to carry out your planned research there.
The invitation shall be addressed to you as applicant, cover the period shown in this call and include the following:
- a description of the current research and subject knowledge of the research team in question
- a description of your future role in the research team
- the planned start and end dates of your employment at the Swedish HEI.
By signing the application in Prisma, the administrating organisation confirms this undertaking.
Invitation from host department abroad
The appendix shall include information on the host department abroad and a formal invitation from the host department showing that you are welcome to carry out your planned research there. The information and invitation shall cover a maximum of two A4 pages in total. You may include a maximum of two A4 pages per invitation in the event you will be staying at more than one host department abroad.
The information on the host department shall apply for the period shown in this call and shall include the following:
- the time period/periods of your stay at the host department abroad
- the contact person at the host department abroad (first name, last name, telephone number and email address).
- the faculty of the host department and the postal address (in the order university/institute, department, address).
The invitation from the host department abroad shall cover the period shown in this call and include the following:
- a presentation of the host department
- a description of the current research and subject knowledge of the research team in question
- the research team’s reason for receiving you
- your role in the research team.
The invitation shall be addressed to you as the applicant by the head of department of equivalent of the host department abroad where the research will be carried out, and also include his/her name and contact details.
Description and justification of the host department chosen
The appendix shall cover no more than one A4 page, and shall include the following:
- your description of how the research at the host department abroad relates to the research at the Swedish department
- your justification of your choice of host department abroad and a description of your opportunities to develop your skills as a researcher.
Under this tab, please state the administrating organisation and project site. The administrating organisation is the organisation that administers the grant awarded and is responsible for it according to the conditions set. The project site is the organisational unit where the project is carried out. Normally, the administrating organisation and project site correspond to the HEI and the department where the project leader is employed.
To allow you to link your application to an administrating organisation, the organisation must have an approved account in Prisma. Please contact your administrating organisation and ask it to apply for an organisation account with the Swedish Research Council if it does not already have one.
If your project site is not listed in Prisma, please contact the person responsible for the organisation account at your administrating organisation. You will not be able to finalise the registration of your application if the project site is missing.
Under this tab, please request the review panel or panels (in priority order) that you wish to carry out the scientific evaluation of your application. The final allocation of applications is determined by the Swedish Research Council.
Here you as grant applicant may invite other participating administrators who can help you to input and edit information in your application. Please make sure you use the correct email address linked to the person’s Prisma account. You may invite participating administrators who do not already have an account in Prisma, but in order to participate in your application they must register their own personal accounts in Prisma. All participating administrators must accept the invitation before you can finalise the registration of your application.
Please note that you may not invite any participating researchers in this application.
Under this tab, please upload your relevant CV information from your personal account in Prisma.
The following information, where available, must always be included in your CV, taking into account the stated limitation in numbers:
- Education: Third cycle education (year of doctoral degree, discipline/subject area, HEI, thesis title and supervisor), first and second cycle higher education and specialist degrees.
- Work: Current employment (including whether permanent or not) and longer relevant employment, postdoctoral visits (also included as employments if relevant), research exchanges relevant to the research described and any longer interruptions in the research that have impacted on your opportunity to gain merits as a researcher.
- Merits and awards: Supervisees (doctoral students and students; state the overall number of each category and list the 10 most relevant to you), up to 10 of your most relevant grants awarded in competition, up to 10 of your most relevant prizes and awards, and up to 20 other merits relevant to the application.
- Intellectual property rights: For example, patents and open access computer programs developed by you; state up to 10 of your most relevant.
Registering the application
The tab “Check and register” shows a summary of the fields in your application that you need to adjust in order to register it (such as mandatory fields not filled in, text fields with too many characters, or discrepancies from limits on the possible project period). The registration of your application is not finalised until you click on the “Register” button.
Please make sure you use the preview function before registering your application.
Note: Everybody you have invited in your application must accept the invitation before you can register the application. If an invitation is not accepted, it must be deleted.
The registered application can thereafter be found in your personal Prisma account in the tab “Applications and grants”, under the menu choice “Applications”. Until the deadline for the call, you may de-register, amend and re-register your application again as necessary.
It is your responsibility to ensure the application is complete, that is to say the application form is correctly filled in, the correct appendices are attached and the information requested has been provided according to the instructions. Please only submit material specifically requested. We do not accept any additional information after the deadline, except when specifically requested.
When you register the application, it is signed by you as project leader. To ensure the application is deemed complete and included in the review process, an authorised representative of the administrating organisation also has to sign the application. The representative is normally the head of the department where the research will be carried out, but this is dependent on your administrating organisation’s structure.
The applicant’s signature confirms that
- the information in the application is correct and complies with the Swedish Research Council’s instructions
- secondary occupations and commercial ties have been reported to the administrating organisation and that nothing has emerged that breaches good research practice
- the permits and approvals required have been obtained before the research is started, such as permits from the Swedish Medical Products Agency or approval from an ethical review board or an ethical committee on animal experiments
- the applicant will comply with all other conditions applicable to the grant.
The signature of the administrating organisation confirms that
- the research or research-supporting activities described can be given room at the administrating organisation during the period and to the extent stated in the application
- the applicant will be employed by the administrating organisation during the period covered by the application
- the administrating organisation approves of the budget in the application
- the administrating organisation will comply with all other conditions applicable to the grant.
The above points shall have been discussed by the parties before the representative of the administrating organisation approves and signs the application.
Note: The authorised representative of the administrating organisation must sign the application in Prisma no later than one week (seven calendar days) after the call deadline date in order for the application to be considered further in the review process.
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.
Your application is evaluated by a review panel where the members are Swedish and international researchers.
At least three members review and grade your application individually. The entire review panel then meets at a review panel meeting to discuss and prioritise the applications, and finally to make a proposal for a decision to the Director General.
A certain proportion of the applications with the lowest grades from the members’ individual reviews are screened out in the beginning of the review panel meeting. These applications will not be the subject of discussion, which gives room for more detailed discussion and prioritisation of the applications of higher quality, which have a reasonable chance of being funded.
The applications screened out only receive an overall grade and a standardised final statement after the decision is made. The other applications receive an individual final statement that reflects the review panel’s discussion and overall assessment of the scientific quality of the application.
Evaluation criteria and guiding questions
The evaluation of the scientific quality of your application is made based on four basic criteria (Novelty and originality, Scientific quality of the project, Merits of the applicant, Feasibility). The purpose of using several components is to achieve a multi-faceted evaluation. In addition to the basic criteria, the applications are also assessed using an additional criterion (Internationalisation and research environment).
The scientific quality of the project has the greatest importance when assessing the project, thereafter novelty and originality, and thereafter the merits of the applicant. Internationalisation is of greater importance than feasibility when assessing the project.
The criteria are assessed on a seven-grade scale, except for feasibility, and internationalisation and research environment, which are assessed on a three-grade 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 project (1–7)
An assessment of the quality of the project’s research question and methodology, including its potential for future research.
- How high is the scientific quality in relation to the research frontier in the area?
- Is the project’s question and methodology well described, and well founded?
- How important is the potential result for the research area and for future research?
- Are potential problems and alternative strategies identified and presented?
Novelty and originality (1–7)
An assessment of how well new theories, concepts, methods and questions are implemented and developed.
- Does the project have the potential to significantly advance the frontiers of the research field?
- Does the project include new ways of approaching scientific questions?
- To what extent are existing theories and methods used in an innovative and creative way?
- To what extent does the project investigate new research areas or new questions?
Merits of the applicant (1–7)
An assessment of the applicant’s merits and competence in relation to the proposed project.
- How strong are the applicant’s merits and competence in relation to career age, research area and previous research environment?
- To what degree does the applicant’s previous experience and scientific competence strengthen the project?
An assessment of the feasibility of the proposed project.
- Are adequate resources available for the project’s research question, including supervision and relevant equipment.
- Is the project’s design and choice of method adequate for the project’s implementation and expected result?
- Is the time plan and planning realistic and suitable in relation to the scope of the project?
- Are any ethical questions relating to the implementation of the project addressed in an adequate way?
Internationalisation and research environment (1-3)
An assessment of the opportunities for the applicant to develop their research network and their competence as a researcher.
- To what extent does the foreign host institution seem relevant for the research the application concerns?
- How suitable is the foreign research environment for the applicant’s ability to develop new competences, their research network and their independence as a researcher?
- If the applicant plans to spend time in Sweden, is that time well planned and favourable for the applicant’s ability to develop as a researcher?
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.
When you have registered your application and the call closes (at 14.00/2 pm on the deadline date of the call), the registration of your application is automatically finalised and is given a registration number.
Your registered application is automatically forwarded to the representative of the administrating organisation for signature in Prisma. The application must be signed by the administrating organisation no later than one week (seven calendar days) after the deadline. You will receive an email when the application has been signed.
Thereafter you will find information about the status of the application, registration number and signature of the application in your account in Prisma, under the tab “Applications and grants”.
The scientific evaluation of the application is carried out by active researchers. These peer reviewers evaluate the application in competition with the other applications on the basis of the evaluation criteria set by the Swedish Research Council (read more under “How your application is evaluated”).
If an application is not completed according to the instructions, this will be weighed into the evaluation.
Shortly after the grant decision has been made, a notice of the grant awards will be published on the Swedish Research Council’s website. You will thereafter find a notice of the decision and a final statement on your application in your personal account in Prisma, under the tab “Applications and grants”. The statement consists of a grading and, in some cases, written comments.
The EU ABS Regulation and due diligence declaration: As from 12 October 2015, users of genetic resources (genetic material of actual or potential value) and traditional knowledge relating to genetic resources, obtained after 12 October 2014, shall comply with the EU’s ABS Regulation (No 511/2014) by making a “due diligence declaration”. This applies only to grant recipients. Due diligence entails the user being able to show that the genetic resource was obtained according to applicable legislation in the country in question and that the possible benefit of the genetic resource will be allocated in a reasonable and equitable way.
Exceptions apply to research into: the human genome, plant genetic material included in Appendix 1 to the international agreement on plant genetic resources, pandemic influenza virus and genetic material obtained from international waters. If you have any questions about the regulations and due diligence declaration, please contact Naturvårdsverket.