The call opened 14:00 16 January 2019
The call closed 14:00 19 February 2019
Research infrastructure of national interest
The purpose of the grant is to support research infrastructure of national interest. This might refer to national infrastructure, or Swedish participation in international infrastructure. The grant may be used for investment and operation, and may include costs for coordination, development, construction or upgrading of research infrastructure. It is only possible to apply for grants for the research infrastructures/areas listed in the call text.
Research infrastructure of national interest
Organisation applicants only
No participating researchers may be invited to join the application
19 February 2019 (14.00/2 p.m.)
Publication of grant award
No later than December 2019
Start of grant period
No earlier than January 2020
- Please read and follow the instructions: In addition to this specific call text, you also need to read the information in our Guide for applicants.
- Please do not state anybody’s full personal identity number in the application.
- New features of this call are that it is no longer a requirement that a consortium backs the application, that all applicants will now be called for an interview, and that infrastructures with ongoing grants shall describe their activities during the previous grant period in an appendix to the application.
Call text in full
The following requirements must be fulfilled in order for the organisation to be duly qualified to apply for the grant. We carry out checks to ensure unqualified applications are rejected from further processing.
Framework for the research infrastructure grant
- The purpose of the application shall fulfil the Swedish Research Council’s definition and criteria for research infrastructure of national interest, see under the heading “Focus” below.
- You may only apply for a grant for the infrastructures/areas listed under the heading “Areas/infrastructures the application shall relate to”.
- Applications for a grant for research infrastructure of national interest may be made by one or several Swedish higher education institutions or other Swedish public agencies with research mandates.
- If several organisations participate in the application, they should form a joint consortium. Only one organisation shall be the administrating organisation for the grant.
- Applications for a grant for Swedish participation in an international research infrastructure shall be part of an application for national infrastructure if there is a Swedish node.
- Applications shall include an overall budget that covers the entire grant period. For national infrastructure, the administrating organisation (or consortium) is expected to contribute co-funding of a minimum of 50 per cent. For international infrastructure, the participating organisations are expected to give comprehensive undertakings that provide Swedish added value from the international membership. This can be of a nature other than co-funding, depending on the framework for the operation of the infrastructure.
In addition to the Swedish Research Council’s general terms and conditions for grants for funds awarded to research and research-supporting activities, special terms and conditions for infrastructure grants also apply.
Special terms and conditions for infrastructure grants (pdf, 662.9 kB)
A central requirement for the development of research and innovation is for researchers to have access to high-class research infrastructure. In order to enable Swedish researchers to use research infrastructure that gives access to the best methods, the best equipment and relevant expertise, the Swedish Research Council works to fund and provide long-term planning for research infrastructure of national interest.
The Swedish Research Council’s definition of research infrastructure of national interest is:
Research infrastructure of national interest is intended to provide resources that enable research of several research teams and different projects within one or more research fields.
In addition to the definition, the Swedish Research Council applies the following criteria for infrastructure, and funds research infrastructure that:
- enables research of the highest scientific quality, which thereby contributes to the development of society
- is openly accessible primarily to researchers, but also to industry and other relevant actors operating in Sweden. When access is limited, prioritisation shall be made primarily on the basis of scientific quality
- is of broad national interest, which in most cases means that the research infrastructure is used by several research teams and researchers from several research organisations, and that the Swedish Research Council’s funding creates national added value
- has long-term planning for the scientific activities
- has long-term planning for management and control, funding, competence accumulation and development
The applicant for the grant shall be a Swedish HEI or other Swedish public agency that is approved as an administrating organisation by the Swedish Research Council. The administrating organisation shall be the host organisation for the infrastructure, and is responsible for ensuring the grant is used according to the Swedish Research Council’s terms and conditions. It is desirable that more than one organisation backs any individual application, but it is not a requirement. When two or more organisations contribute resources to the infrastructure, they should form a consortium. The infrastructure’s organisation will be assessed based on how fit for purpose it is for the activities.
The application shall include one named researcher, who shall be the project leader for the infrastructure. The project leader shall preferably be the manager or have a similar role in the infrastructure, and shall be employed by the administrating organisation at the start of and throughout the grant period, unless the Swedish Research Council approves an exception.
In the event a consortium is backing an application, all consortium members shall confirm their undertakings in the form of letters of support (see also under the heading “What must the application contain?”). To safeguard responsibility relationships between the members of the consortium, the Swedish Research Council requires a consortium agreement signed by the vice-chancellor/head of public agency of all constituent consortium members. The consortium agreement shall be drawn up and be available at the administrating organisation before payment of the grant begins.
Areas/infrastructures the application shall relate to
The areas and infrastructures eligible to apply for a grant to research infrastructure of national interest 2019 are listed here. Please note that we only expect one application per infrastructure/area.
- Infrastructure for experimental research using large animals
- Infrastructure for brain imaging
- Infrastructure for chemical biology
- Infrastructure for metabolomics
- Infrastructure for visualisation of data
- Contextual databases for social sciences
- MEDem Monitor for Electoral Democracy in Europe: inclusion in ESFRI’s roadmap
- National coordination of Swedish research ships
- Swedish participation in Euro-Bioimaging-ERIC
- Swedish participation in European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC-ERIC)
- Swedish participation in European Plate Observing System (EPOS-ERIC)
- Swedish participation in the planning, construction and operation of Aerosols, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure (ACTRIS)
- Swedish participation in Square Kilometre Array (SKA)
- Upgrade of IceCube
Existing research infrastructure
- Biobank Sweden (BIS)
- BioMS – a national infrastructure for biological mass spectrometry
- European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT)*
- Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS Sweden and ICOS-ERIC)
- Infrastructure for integration and accessibility of data within biodiversity informatics
- Institute for Solar Physics (ISF)**
- Ion Technology Consortium
- National Genomics Infrastructure (NGI)
- National infrastructure for microscopy within life sciences (NMI)
- National Bioinformatics Infrastructure Sweden (NBIS and Elixir)
- Nordsim and Vega
- Swedish participation in European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure in Medicine (EATRIS-ERIC)
* Supplement to application awarded in 2017 for grants to the instruments MOSAIC and HiRes
** Also includes participation in European Solar Telescope (EST)
- Grants to fund increased Swedish engagement in international infrastructures where Sweden is already a member, for example in the form of in-kind grants.
For a more detailed description of the areas/infrastructures the application shall relate to, and for any further instructions, please see the link below.
No participating researchers may be included in this application. Any participating organisations and their roles shall be described by the applicant in the appendix “Description of the infrastructure and its operation” in the application (see instructions under “Description of the infrastructure and its operation” below).
Costs and grant amounts
The grant may be used for investment in and operation of research infrastructure of national interest, and may include costs for coordination, development, construction or upgrading of the infrastructure.
If the grant relates to Swedish participation in an international infrastructure, costs relating to the Swedish node shall be included as part of the application for a national infrastructure. For new Swedish membership in an international infrastructure, that is infrastructure where Sweden does not have an ongoing membership, the membership fee shall be included in the amount applied for. For international infrastructure with ongoing Swedish membership, all costs related to the membership, excluding the membership fee, shall be included in the amount applied for. This is because the membership fee continues to be paid by the Swedish Research Council direct to the international infrastructure in question according to a separate international agreement.
Grants may not be used for research. Nor may grants be used for salaries to doctoral students, educational grants or scholarships.
The grant may cover a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 8 years. Any grant period should end in an even year, to match future calls. The first payment will be made in January 2020 at the earliest.
Please refer to the application form in Prisma in parallel with reading the instructions below, which describe the call-specific contents of the application.
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 information
- Infrastructure's objectives and activities
- Budget and research resources
- Key references
- Support letter
- Administrating organisation
Descriptions of the call-specific information requested under each tab follow below.
List the organisations participating in the application. Participating organisations shall fulfil the Swedish Research Council’s criteria for approved administrating organisations.
The abstract shall include a brief description of the following:
- the research infrastructure the application relates to, and its specific function within the area
- the infrastructure’s activities and organisation
- the infrastructure’s scientific goals
- what the grant is to be used for
- the national added value the infrastructure is expected to contribute to.
The abstract shall provide a summary guide to the infrastructure’s purpose, activities and the research supported. Please use wording to ensure persons with another subject specialisation can understand the information.
The description may cover a maximum of 2 000 characters including blank spaces (approximately half an A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing).
Popular science description
Describe the infrastructure in such a way that a person who is not familiar with the subject can understand it. Please use the following items:
- Describe the infrastructure’s activities and organisation.
- Highlight the (new) opportunities it offers Swedish research, innovation and societal benefit.
- 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 approve the 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).
Choose the area or infrastructure the application relates to.
Goals and activities of the infrastructure
Describe the ethical issues raised by the infrastructure. Also describe the plan on how to address ethical dilemmas that may arise. Please also state whether the infrastructure activities involve any handling of personal data, or experiments on animals or human subjects. If no ethical issues are raised, please justify this.
The scientific plan shall consist of brief but complete description of the infrastructure, and shall cover a maximum of 8 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing, including any images. Note that the key references requested shall be attached to the application, as a separate appendix under the tab “Key references”.
The scientific plan shall be based on the specific area/infrastructure the grant application relates to, and include the following headings and information, listed in the following order:
1. Scientific justification of the infrastructure/overview of the scientific field
- Describe the scientifically prominent research that is enabled through the infrastructure (under the appendix “Description of the infrastructure and its operation” this shall also be linked to the infrastructure’s modules). References shall be shown in the appendix “Key references”.
- Describe how the infrastructure addresses specific scientific and societal challenges, and what positive effects are expected (linked to the Swedish Research Council’s description of the area/infrastructure (pdf, 666.7 kB).
- Describe the long-term impact of the infrastructure on the scientific area.
- Describe the relationship to any other existing national and/or international infrastructure within the area, and why the infrastructure applied for is needed.
- Describe Swedish researchers’ need for the infrastructure (in which way it is of national interest).
- Describe the added value of the infrastructure being organised as an infrastructure of national interest.
- Describe the relationship to any other existing national and/or international infrastructure within the area, and why the infrastructure applied for is needed.
- Describe the infrastructure’s user groups and state the following information (for infrastructure that have previously not received a grant from the Swedish Research Council, describe if possible):
- Statistics for the number of academic users (state also the scope divided up per research field, men/women, and HEI/organisation)
- Statistics for users from business, public sector and other non-academic users (state scope, who they are and for what purpose they use the infrastructure)
- Describe new expected user groups and research fields.
- Describe how the infrastructure contributes in the long term to competence accumulation nationally. Describe the infrastructure’s policy for making available data produced at the infrastructure.
- In the event Swedish researchers are to contribute scientifically to the build-up, upgrading and/or operation of the infrastructure, in kind or similar, for example, please state references that confirm the researchers’ scientific merits (CV with a selection of scientific publications, maximum 20). References shall be shown in the appendix “Key references”.
2. Importance for societal benefit and innovation
- Describe the types of activities in organisations outside academia, such as business or the public sector, that may benefit from the infrastructure and/or the results that arise from its development or use.
- Describe how the infrastructure contributes to promoting Swedish and/or international innovation and societal benefit, today and in the future. As applicable, exemplify with key references and any patents (shown in the appendix “Key references”).
- When applying for a grant for Swedish participation in an international infrastructure, describe the way in which this could be of benefit to Swedish business that can contribute to the building up or operation of the infrastructure.
Description of the infrastructure and its activities
The appendix may cover a maximum of 17 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing. At least one of these pages shall be used to describe data management (the type of data generated and how it is managed) within the infrastructure and the infrastructure’s need for supporting e-infrastructure. Tables describing the data management and e-infrastructure needs shall be attached to this appendix, and may cover a maximum of 2 pages. See more below under “Data management and need for supporting e-infrastructure”. Note that the key references requested shall be attached as a separate appendix under the tab “Key references”.
The activities of the infrastructure shall be described with the help of modules, where each module describes a delimited subsidiary part/function of the infrastructure’s activities, such as a database, a piece of equipment, or a measurement station. If both national and international infrastructures are included, these shall be divided up into different modules. Please note that the module “Organisation and leadership” shall always be included.
Describe the modules in text and link each module to a table or table row in the budget. Please use the budget template provided by the Swedish Research Council for budgeting the activities of the infrastructure (see more under “Budget”). In some cases, modules can be entirely dependent on each other (for example pieces of equipment that form part of a sequential chain of analyses), while in other cases they may be complementary (for example different pieces of equipment that provide opportunities for analysis of a sample using several complementary techniques). Please state how the modules are linked, whether they are dependent on each other and what the dependency consists of.
The appendix should include the following heading and questions:
1. The infrastructure’s organisation and leadership (organisation chart)
This module is mandatory. Describe the infrastructure’s organisation and leadership according to the items below, preferably with the help of an image.
- Describe the organisations behind the infrastructure and their roles in the leadership of the infrastructure.
- Describe the infrastructure’s strategic, scientific and operational leadership and the long-term plan for how these will be developed.
- If the infrastructure is organised as a consortium, describe why this is the most appropriate organisation form, and what the organisations included are to contribute. If other organisations with similar activities are not part of the consortium, comment on and justify this.
- If the application relates to both a national and an international part, clarify how the various parts relate to each other in terms of operation, budget, organisation and leadership.
- If a national infrastructure is also wholly or in part the Swedish node of an international infrastructure, clarify how the two parts relate to each other in terms of operation, budget, organisation and leadership.
2. The infrastructure’s operation
2.1 Graphic overview
Describe graphically the organisation with the various constituent functions (modules) for different operations.
2.2 Time plan
State a time plan for the activities of the infrastructure, including preparation, construction, installation, development, operation and decommissioning. Attach the time plan in the form of a Gantt chart. The time plan shall include subsidiary goals and results (deliverables) for the various modules.
Describe the infrastructure users and its accessibility policy. If different modules have different users, please divide the information up per module. The Swedish Research Council will follow up the use of infrastructure based on key figures according to the Swedish Research Council’s reporting template.
- Describe how the infrastructure is made accessible for researchers nationally and, as applicable, also internationally. According to the Swedish Research Council’s special terms and conditions for infrastructure grants, accessibility shall be based on scientific quality.
- Describe how the infrastructure informs and communicates with current and possible new users.
- Describe how the infrastructure works with advanced user support and education for existing and possible new users. User support/education may include planning of experiments, handling of instruments, choice of experimental analysis methods and data analysis. Describe the current type of support/education and its scope. Describe also how user support may look in the future.
- Describe the infrastructure’ plan for gender equality in use.
- Describe the infrastructure’s accessibility in terms of waiting times, occupancy and operating time.
- State whether the infrastructure charges user fees. If so, describe how these are calculated and which users are covered by fees. Commercial users or assignment research using the infrastructure shall cover the actual cost of use.
2.4 Construction, development and operation of the infrastructure
Describe the following items for each module:
- Describe the module’s function and link to the infrastructure’s scientific goals.
- Describe both the existing equipment and planned equipment construction/purchases. Include a technical description of the equipment and an estimate of its economic life. New equipment shall be listed in the budget template for the individual module it belongs to. This shall correspond to one or more items in the budget. Existing equipment the administrating organisation or the consortium makes available shall only be shown in Table 4 of the budget template (see more under the heading “Budget and research resources”).
- Describe the module’s need for other resources, such as personnel, premises, etc. State in both the text and the budget whether parts of the operation have been awarded grants from the Swedish Research Council or another funding body, and what parts of the operation are covered in this application. This shall correspond to one or more items in the budget. If making accessible research data resulting from research at the infrastructure requires investment or otherwise creates costs for the infrastructure, this should be described here.
Please state how the modules are linked, whether they are dependent on each other and what the dependency consists of. State how the modules interact to achieve the scientific goals.
2.5 Interaction with other infrastructures
As applicable, describe what other national infrastructures exist in the area.
- What sort of collaboration exists between these and the infrastructure covered in this application?
- What sort of delimitation exists between similar and/or potentially overlapping infrastructures?
As applicable, describe what similar international infrastructures exist.
- What sort of collaboration exists between these and the infrastructure covered in this application?
- What opportunities exist for Swedish researchers to use the other international infrastructure?
2.6 Risk analysis
Describe the uncertainty factors that exist in conjunction with the infrastructure’s development/goals, for example in terms of time plan, recruitment, budget, etc. Describe also the measures that may be taken to minimise the risks.
3. Data management and need for supporting e-infrastructure
At least one page of the appendix shall be used to describe data management (the type of data generated and how it is managed) within the infrastructure.
- Describe whether the infrastructure has a data policy and data management plan in place or planned, and whether/how the operation works with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable).
- Describe the infrastructure’s technical solutions for e-infrastructure, and which supporting e-infrastructure will be used. “Supporting e-infrastructure” refers to access to network connection and computer resources for large-scale computation and storage. State specifically whether, and if so how, the infrastructure manages personal data and other sensitive data.
- Describe the infrastructure’s access to and development of advanced user support and user tools, such as education, specific software, databases and similar required for the operation of the infrastructure (that is, to conduct experiments and collect, handle and process data at the infrastructure).
- Describe future needs for and challenges within e-infrastructure for the research infrastructure, and how the operation plans to address these.
In cases where the e-infrastructure only requires normal office equipment or existing data networks, please state this.
Tables E1 and E2 shall be used to plan and budget for the e-infrastructure needs, and shall be included in the appendix according to the format below. The costs in Table E2 shall also be included in the budget. The tables are included in the maximum number of appendix pages.
Calculation (state suitable unit of measurement)
Example: need for calculation capacity. For calculation capacity, state number of CPU hours and any requirements for specific technical solutions.
Storage (state suitable unit of measurement)
Example: For storage needs, state how much data needs to be stored, what type of storage is needed (hard disk, tape, etc.), for how long data will be stored, and the approximate annual increase in storage capacity.
Advanced user support, linked to calculation and storage (shown as full-time equivalents)
Network (state suitable unit of measurement)
Example: Network capacity, including type of capacity requested and geographic location. State specifically whether foreign connections are needed.
Advanced user support, linked to
calculation and storage (SEK)
Software, databases, etc (SEK) (however not costs relating to office IT)
When planning and budgeting, please note the following:
- The e-infrastructures Sunet, SNIC and SND do not provide free-of-charge services to other research infrastructures.
- The e-infrastructure needs of researchers analysing data produced at the infrastructure shall not be included in this application.
- The Swedish Research Council does not fund long-term data storage that is assessed as falling within the archiving responsibility of the HEIs.
The Swedish Research Council recommends that services relating to networks and large-scale computer resources for calculating and storage shall be provided by one of the national infrastructures Sunet, SNIC and/or SND. Applicants are responsible for producing a plan for their needs. Consultation with Sunet, SNIC and/or SND should then take place as soon as possible to enable a reasonable cost estimate for the needs described to be included in the application. Consultation with Sunet shall be conducted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with SNIC via email to email@example.com and with SND via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In all cases, please write “RFI application” in the subject line of the email. If an applicant wishes to use another service provided than those above, this shall be justified in the application. Applicants are then responsible themselves for producing a reasonable cost estimate.
For infrastructure with ongoing grants
Existing infrastructures applying for continued grants from the Swedish Research Council shall attach an appendix covering a maximum of 3 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing, with a description of the activities during the previous grant period compared to what parts were awarded a grant in the application on which the grant was based, that is what was completed and what was not. Any changes shall be justified.
Budget and research resources
State the amount applied for from the Swedish Research Council for each year (the amount shall correspond to what is stated in the budget appendix below). State amounts in integers of Swedish kronor. The amount applied for is added up in the table showing the overall cost for the infrastructure.
Note that 2020 is given as an automatic start year in the form. If the application concerns a grant which will have the first payment 2021 this shall be given in the attached budget template (see under “Budget”)
Attach the budget for the infrastructure in Excel format. Use the budget template (excel, 19.2 kB) supplied by the Swedish Research Council and state amounts in integers of Swedish kronor. Please note that we are requesting an overall budget for the infrastructure. This means that all income shall be shown in the application, such as grants applied for from the Swedish Research Council, grants from the administrating organisation and any consortium members, grants from other funding bodies and user fees. The overall cost for build-up, operation, etc. of the infrastructure shall also be shown in the budget, including indirect costs. For an explanation of types of cost, please see the tab “Explanation of types of cost” in the budget template.
All costs in the application budget must be clearly linked to the modules described under heading “2.1 Construction, build-up and operation of the infrastructure”, under “Description of the infrastructure and its activities” above.
The following headings (Table 1, Table 2, etc.) refer to tables shown in the budget template.
Table 1. Summary: Costs
State the total costs for each module. Each line in the table shall correspond to the total line for each module budget across all types of cost.
Table 2. Summary: Income – grants
In Table 2.1, state the grant amount applied for from the Swedish Research Council.
The other budget lines in Table 2 show how much the administrating organisation and any consortium members intend to contribute to the infrastructure. Each participating organisation’s grant shall be summarised here across all types of cost.
Please state also other expected grants to the infrastructure over and above the direct grants from the Swedish Research Council and consortium members. These may be grants from other public and private funding bodies, the EU, and/or other public agencies.
Table 3. Summary: Income – user fees
State any user fees divided up per module.
The overall expected income for the infrastructure (Tables 2+3) shall correspond with the overall expected costs (total lines for “Table 1 Summary: Costs”).
Tables for the individual modules
- Please state all the costs for each module. Existing resources made available to the infrastructure by the administrating organisation or consortium shall not be included. Examples of such existing resources may be existing equipment, databases or other long-term activities made accessible nationally via the infrastructure (the expected value of these may be stated in “Table 4 Summary: Existing resources made available by participating organisations”).
- The costs shall be reported according to the SUHF model, but may be calculated differently for differing participating organisations. The Swedish Research Council does not need to know the details of how the indirect costs are calculated.
- Costs attributable to purchases, development, construction, installation and, as applicable, destruction of equipment shall always be reported as scientific equipment.
All costs for education and supporting e-infrastructure shall be shown clearly, but applicants may choose whether the costs shall be included in existing modules or form modules of their own. Each budget line shall be attributable to its respective module in the appendix “Description of the infrastructure and its activities”.
The total for each module is then transferred to Table 1.
Table 4. Summary: Existing resources made available by participating organisations
- Existing resources refers primarily to existing equipment and databases within the administrating organisation/consortium that is made nationally accessible by being made available to the infrastructure. They may also refer to other activities that the administrating organisation/consortium wishes to make nationally accessible.
- The administrating organisation/consortium members choose themselves whether they want to state a value for the existing resources, and how to calculate that value. It is not necessary for the resources to have been paid for originally by the administrating organisation/consortium members.
- Describe what the existing resources consist of, how they are made available to the infrastructure and what they contribute to the infrastructure. Do this under the description of the respective module in the appendix “Description of the infrastructure and its activities”.
Note: Existing personnel and indirect costs that are part of the infrastructure’s core activities are part of the administrating organisation’s/consortium’s co-funding and shall be specified within the budget for the respective module.
Existing resources do not count as co-funding.
Explanation of the budget
The appendix may cover a maximum of two A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
The appendix may include a maximum of 20 key references (references to publications, CVs and patents) for the application, and may cover a maximum of three pages. Use headings to mark which key references correspond to a specific question in the call text. Begin each heading with an asterisk (*) according to the example: *Example of key references describing scientifically prominent research enabled by the infrastructure”.
Attach letters of support (confirmation of undertakings) from any consortium members, including centre formations, such as SciLifeLab. A template for letters of support can be found here (word, 21.1 kB).
Under this tab, please state the project site. The administrating organisation is the organisation hosting the infrastructure, and is filled in automatically when the application is created. The project site shall be the department or corresponding organisational unit that has main responsibility for the infrastructure.
Here the person invited to be the project leader for the application may invite participating administrators who can help to input and edit information in the application. Please note that participating researchers may not be invited in this application.
The Swedish Research Council supports research infrastructure of national interest. The infrastructure should be both scientifically well motivated, give access to high quality research and have a long-term funding and organisation supported by Swedish universities and higher education institutions. These different aspects are evaluated in the review of applications for infrastructure grants 2019.
The Council for Research Infrastructure (RFI) funds construction and operation of research infrastructure.
All applications except for “Supplementary grant” (see below) are reviewed both by an international review panel and the advisory groups of RFI. The international review panel consists of experts with a broad perspective on research infrastructure and can put the Swedish applications into a larger, global perspective. The advisory groups of RFI reviews the applications within their respective research field with their main role to assess the strategic aspects for Swedish research.
Also the Swedish Research Council’s three scientific councils reviews the applications within their respective areas and give a written statement on the scientific and strategic value of the applications to Swedish research.
As a part of the review process, all applicants will be called for a short interview during the period 10-20th of June.
The evaluation of applications for “Supplementary grant” (applied for within the call for “Research infrastructure of national interest”), is made by the advisory panels to RFI.
RFI then takes a decision, based on the materials from above described review process, on initiating dialogues with the infrastructures that they intend to support. The names of these infrastructures are published during the month of October. Thereafter the Swedish Research Council has a dialogue with each administrative organisation of the infrastructures intended to be supported, on among other things the content of the modules and follow-ups of the activities of the infrastructure. Based on the dialogues, the Swedish Research Council takes a final decision with decided funding level and specific conditions for the granted infrastructures. All who have applied for a grant will receive the individual final statement of RFI via e-mail. The other final statements will be published in our application system Prisma.
The framework of the call needs to be fulfilled for the organisation to be eligible to apply for the grant. We will carry out controls in order to ensure that applications that do not adhere to the eligibility criteria are rejected from further processing. If the application is not designed according to the instructions this will be weighted into the assessment of the application.
Evaluation criteria and guiding questions
The evaluation of applications for grants to “Research infrastructure of national interest” is made based on nine criteria. The purpose of including different aspects is to obtain a comprehensive evaluation. Criteria marked with an asterisk are used for evaluation of applications for “Supplementary grant”. The criteria are assessed on a seven-grade scale, except for national interest, socio-economic impact and e-infrastructure, which are assessed on a three-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.
National interest (1-3)
- To which extent does the infrastructure fulfil, or has the potential to do so in the near future, the Swedish Research Council’s criteria for research infrastructures of national interest?
Ethical considerations* (text only)
- Where applicable, comment on any ethical considerations that have not been adequately dealt with in the application.
Scientific impact* (1-7)
The criteria is used for assessing the scientific impact of the infrastructure.
- Does the proposed research infrastructure answer to the need stated in the call?
- Does the research infrastructure provide state-of-the-art capabilities for advancing research?
- Is there a sufficiently broad and sustainable scientific user base/potential users?
- How does the research infrastructure compare to similar facilities in other countries and/or international facilities?
- Are there any other cost-efficient alternatives that would satisfy the identified need (i.e. that would make the proposed research infrastructure less urgent)?
- Where applicable, can the Swedish research community contribute with any specific competence that is needed to develop the infrastructure/research area?
Socio-economic impact* (1-3)
The criteria is used for assessing the infrastructure’s contribution to society, i.e. its ability to provide benefits that are utilised outside fundamental academic research.
- Which are the main potential beneficiaries outside of academia?
- Return of investments: Which are the opportunities for Swedish enterprise and innovation in the design, construction or provision of services towards the infrastructure?
- Directly applicable solutions: Are there parts of the technical development, the engineering and/or the software solutions that are of direct societal or commercial use?
- Non-academic long-term benefits: How are the possibilities provided by, or the results derived from, the infrastructure potentially beneficial for society and/or innovation?
Implementation, leadership and organisation (1-7)
The criteria is used for assessing the implementation and organisation of the infrastructure. For international infrastructures, the proposed organisation of the Swedish national coordination and Sweden’s role within the international organisation should also be assessed.
- Is the proposed implementation plan appropriate and feasible?
- Is the management structure appropriate and are the responsibilities of the partners clearly defined?
- Does the organisation possess the necessary competence concerning scientific/strategic aspects and management?
- Is the support from the partners, both in terms of funding and personnel, relevant, at an appropriate level and sufficiently secured?
- Will present and potential future users be appropriately served in terms of availability of resources, support functions and communication of necessary information?
- Are the potential risks properly assessed?
- Where applicable, are relevant collaborations with other infrastructures sufficiently described?
Consortium (text only)
The criteria is used for assessing whether organisation as a consortium is sufficient for the fulfilment of the needs stated in the call.
- Is there a need for the infrastructure to be organised as a consortium?
- If yes, are the relevant stakeholders within the area involved in the management of the infrastructure and/or are there less relevant partners involved that could be excluded?
The criteria is used for assessing whether the data management and policy are in line with international standards and if the e-infrastructure (hardware and software) needs are properly addressed.
- Does the infrastructure have an appropriate data policy and plan for data management in place?
- Are the technical solutions for e-infrastructure appropriate? E.g. access, analysis, active data storage and data management.
- Is there sufficient support for users in terms of software, user-specific tool development, and database solutions at the infrastructure or collaborating partners?
- Is there readiness to handle the growing need for e-infrastructure and related support functions in the coming 5-10 years?
- Where applicable, has the infrastructure consulted and coordinated with other infrastructures to ensure that necessary e-infrastructure is available for its users? E.g. SNIC, Sunet, SND.
Prioritisation between functionalities/modules (text only)
Suggest a prioritisation between different proposed activities/functionalities of the infrastructure, i.e. between modules, as well as within each module. Consider how each module contributes to the scientific goals and if the budget for each module is reasonable and cost effective.
For each module please state one of the following:
- Core - The module is a crucial component for the infrastructure to meet the needs identified in the call. Without this module the proposed infrastructure cannot be established and/or operated.
- Highly Relevant - The module contributes significantly to meet the identified needs and is very important for the scientific impact of the proposed infrastructure. Although it is not crucial for establishing and/or operating the infrastructure, it is highly recommended to be financed.
- Relevant – The module is a relevant component that contributes to meet the needs within the research area. However, the module is not a prerequisite for the functioning and/or for the scientific impact of the infrastructure and should be given lower priority compared to the Core and Highly Relevant modules.
- Less relevant – The module does not bring significant benefits, is unlikely to be widely used and/or there are other existing, more adequate and/or cost efficient solutions.
Overall grade and final comment* (1-7)
Make a non-numerical compilation of the criteria above, resulting in a final grade (1-7), and give a summary statement of the application, which acknowledges the most important aspects. Please also comment on any significant benefits, obstacles or risks with the infrastructure, not already listed above, which need to be addressed.