The call opened 14:00 23 January 2019
The call closed 14:00 26 February 2019
Distinguished professor grant
The aim of the distinguished professor programme is to create conditions for the most prominent researchers to conduct long-term, ground-breaking research with great potential for achieving scientific breakthroughs. The grant shall also enable the establishment and build-up of a major research environment of the highest quality around a leading researcher.
Research environment and collaboration support
Humanities and Social Sciences, Medicine and Health, Natural and Engineering Sciences, Educational Sciences
Individual researcher who completed a doctoral degree more than 12 years ago.
No participating researchers can be invited to join the application.
5 million SEK per year
A maximum of 10 grants will be awarded
Publication of grant award
No later than the beginning of December 2019
Start of grant period
- Please read and follow the instructions: In addition to this specific call text, you also need to read our Guide for applicants.
- Please do not state your own or anybody else’s full personal identity number in the application.
- New for this call is that that the publication list may cover a maximum of 8 pages.
- As from spring 2019, you will need to have a data management plan (DMP) for data generated within the research we award funds for. You must not submit or send it to us with the application for a grant, but according to our general grant terms and conditions, your administrating organisation must confirm that a data management plan will be in place when you start your project or corresponding, and also that the plan will be maintained.
- The call for the distinguished professor programme is issued every two years. Read more about grants awarded in previous years.
Call text in full
The following requirements must be fulfilled in order for you to be eligible to apply for the grant. We carry out checks to ensure ineligible applications are rejected from further processing.
The applicant must be an individual researcher. You shall be the project leader and have scientific responsibility for the project. You must set aside adequate time for the project throughout the grant period, with a scope (activity level) that corresponds to at least 50 per cent of a full-time equivalent. You must hold a Swedish doctoral degree or a corresponding foreign degree, awarded more than 12 years before the deadline for this call (please see “Career age”).
Grants from the Swedish Research Council shall be administered by a Swedish HEI or another Swedish public organisation that fulfils our criteria for administrating organisations. Your organisation must therefore be approved as an administrating organisation for you to apply.
If you are awarded a grant, you must be employed by the administrating organisation at the start of and throughout the grant period and any additional availability period, unless the Swedish Research Council approves an exception. The employment must equal at least 50 per cent of a full-time equivalent. You do not have to be employed by the administrating organisation at the time of applying.
To apply for a distinguished professor grant, your doctoral degree must have been awarded more than 12 years ago at the deadline for the call, that is to say awarded 26 February 2007 or earlier. The degree award date we use is the date you fulfilled all the requirements 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 at a later date.
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 requirements 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 dispose 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 and conditions” you received from the Swedish Research Council.
If you have already been awarded a research project grant:
If you have an awarded and ongoing undirected project grant, this amount will be deducted from the standard amount of 5 million SEK during the grant period that overlaps your awarded grant within the distinguished professor programme. Please note that if you are awarded a grant under the distinguished professor programme, you will not be able to apply for the Swedish Research Council’s undirected project grants during the grant period.
If you are a researcher recruited under the Swedish Research Council’s call for international recruitment:
If you are a researcher recruited under the Swedish Research Council’s call for international recruitment, you will not be able to apply for a grant under the distinguished professor programme.
Please see the table below for further information and any restrictions relating to 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 can not invite 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 in a standard amount of 5 million SEK per year, including indirect costs, and may fund all types of research-related costs, such as
- salaries (including your own salary, however no more than corresponding to your activity level in the project)
- running costs (such as consumables, travel including stays at research facilities, publication costs and minor equipment)
- depreciation costs.
Grants may not be used for scholarships. If a doctoral student participates, project funds may not be paid out as salary for the period when the doctoral student is teaching.
The Swedish Research Council assumes that the administrating organisation will cover any costs in excess of the amount received.
The grant period is 10 years, starting in January 2020. The first payment will be made in January 2020 at the earliest.
Reporting and follow-up
Five years after the start of the grant period, an activity report focusing on the state of the establishment and build-up of the research environment shall be submitted to the Swedish Research Council. The activity report shall also include a description of the HEI’s contribution to the research environment, and may result in a reassessment of the amounts awarded for the remainder of the grant period.
Please refer to the application form in Prisma in parallel with reading the instructions below, which describe the call-specific content of the application. More information on what to do in practical terms is available in our Guide for applicants.
Foreign experts only are involved in the scientific assessment 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
- Establishment and development plan
- Budget and research resources
- Letter of support
- Administrating organisation
- Review panels
- Participants (only administrators in this call)
Descriptions of the call-specific information requested under each tab follow below.
The abstract shall include a brief description of the following:
- what is to be done
- how the research is to be carried out: project organisation, time plan and the scientific methods to be used
- what is important about the planned research
- a statement on the programme’s importance for the research area, in particular with reference to innovation and the potential for a break-through.
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).
Establishment and development plan
Describe the ethical issues raised by your 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 you have 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 justify this.
Establishment and development plan
The plan shall consist of a brief but complete description of the research task, and also a justification of the added value of the planned research environment in the short and long term. The focus of the plan shall be forward-looking. The plan shall cover a maximum of 10 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing, including references and any images.
The establishment and development plan shall consist of four sections, under separate headings in the following order:
1. Research plan
Describe summarily the plan for the research to be conducted at the HEI within the framework for the grant (this part of the establishment and development plan may form a maximum of 5 of the total 10 A4 pages). The research plan shall include a description of all following sections:
- Purpose and aims
- Significance and scientific novelty
- Project description
- Need for and access to equipment and infrastructure
- International and national collaboration
2. Research environment
Describe the proposed research environment and how you, with the support of the HEI, intend to build up and manage it and, if applicable, how you intend to integrate it with any existing environment.
3. Added value
Describe the added value the research and environment described will provide for the activities and quality of research within the area at the HEI, in Sweden and internationally. Please focus particularly on the aspects of innovation and potential for research break-through. A description of potential risks and the management of these shall also be included.
4. Gender equality aspects
Give an account of how the described research environment will promote gender equality at the HEI.
Leadership in research
Describe your documented experience of creating an attractive and creative research environment, and how you have contributed to promoting research excellence, including supervision of doctoral students and postdocs.
The document shall cover a maximum of 2 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
Budget and research resources
Please state your activity level (per cent of a full-time equivalent) in the project. Your activity level as project leader must correspond to no less than 50 per cent of a full-time equivalent.
The grant is a standard amount and you therefore do not need to enter any budget applied for in the application form.
Justification of the budget
Describe briefly the primary costs you intend to cover within the framework for the grant budget. 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).
Please state any other funding for the planned research environment during the period, over and above what is applied for in this application. Please state rounded amounts in SEK.
Applicant’s publication list
Please attach your publication list drawn up according to the headings and information below. The list shall cover a maximum of 8 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
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 shall be identical to that of the published work. The application cannot be supplemented with publications after the deadline for the call.
- Selection of publications: List the maximum 10 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.
- Relevant publications from the last 8 years: Sort the publications, with your name highlighted in bold in the author list, under each heading (publication type) in the following order:
- 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
Letter of support
Please attach a formal letter of support from the HEI in question where the research will be carried out. The letter shall be signed by an authorised representative of the HEI, for example the head of the hosting department, or equivalent. The applicant’s name shall be stated clearly, as well as the name and function/position of the person writing the letter of support.
The document may cover no more than 2 A4 pages, and must include a description of
- how the HEI intends to support and contribute to the establishment and build-up of the research environment
- how the HEI intends to manage the research environment in the short and long term.
The HEI’s undertakings in relation to the resource requirements that follow from the research environment described shall be clearly shown, as shall the HEI’s plans for the development of, and support for, the research environment after the end of the grant period.
By signing the application in Prisma, the administrating organisation confirms these undertakings.
Please state the administrating organisation and project site.
Please propose the review panel or panels (in priority order) that you wish to carry out the scientific assessment of your application. The final allocation of applications is determined by the Swedish Research Council.
Here you as applicant may invite participating administrators to your application. Please note that participating researchers may not be invited 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: First, second and third cycle higher education and specialist degrees.
- Work: Current employment (including employment form) and longer relevant employments, postdoctoral visits (also included as employment 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: Docentship/associate professorship, supervisees (postdoctoral and doctoral 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.
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 evaluation criteria stated below. The Swedish Research Council promotes gender equality and mobility in research.
Your application is evaluated by one of three review panels with broad skills in their respective subject areas and consisting of international reviewers. Each review panel’s work is led by a Swedish Chair. As an applicant you suggest in what review panel your application should be assessed.
At least three members review and grade your application individually. If necessary, statements from external experts may also be obtained. 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 ahead 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 (Scientific quality, Novelty and originality, Merits of the applicant, Feasibility). The purpose of using several components is to achieve a multi-faceted evaluation. The criteria are assessed on a seven-grade scale, except for feasibility, which is assessed on a three-grade grade scale. In addition to the basic criteria, your application is also evaluated using an additional criterion, Added value, on a 7-grade scale, where the build-up of the environment is being evaluated, its potential and the added value of this.
Only applications that are assessed to be of very high quality based on all criteria will be considered for funding within the initiative.
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. Note that all criteria are weighted equally in the overall assessment.
Scientific quality of the research (1–7)
- Is the proposed research scientifically important?
- Is the proposed research relevant in terms of its research questions, the proposed solutions, and in relation to frontiers of research in the field?
Novelty and originality (1–7)
- Does the research proposal demonstrate exceptional novelty and a potential to substantially advance the research field?
- Does the research proposal contain entirely novel ways and methods to approach scientific issues?
- Does the research proposal generate or explore new research areas?
Merits of the applicant (1–7)
- Is the researcher internationally recognized and a leader in his/her research field?
- Is it probable that the applicant will develop further as a researcher in the coming 10-year period?
- Has the researcher contributed with exceptional scientific breakthroughs in his/her previous research?
- Does the researcher have the ability to attract researchers from various places and establish a creative research environment as well as promoting and fostering excellence in leadership, including the supervision of PhD students and postdocs who also in turn have been successful in research? Is this ability documented from previous research?
- Is the choice of research methods, access to equipment, and research infrastructure adequate for the specialisation of the researcher?
- Regarding the project as a whole, is the competence in place to carry out the research task?
- Is the University environment adequate to enable build-up of excellent research?
Added value (1-7)
- Does the applicant convincingly describe how the applicant intends to build and develop the research environment as well as manage it?
- Are there opportunities for long-term build-up and integration of the research environment in the university's activities?
- Will the proposed initiative strengthen and enhance the quality of research in this field of research at the University, in Sweden and internationally?
- Will the proposed build-up of the research environment enhance the potential for research breakthroughs and innovative research?
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.