The call opened 14:00 06 March 2019
The call closed 14:00 09 April 2019
Network grant for international collaboration Swedish Research Links
The purpose of the network grant Swedish Research Links is to establish a network around a specific research idea, aimed at a joint research project. The grant shall support the development of long-term joint research between Swedish researchers and researchers from low income countries and lower middle income countries.
In some cases, support can also be given to build up a network around an existing research project. Calls for proposals are issued within the area of development research, which is financed by the Swedish Government’s development aid funds. The research area shall be relevant to the goals for Sweden’s international development collaboration. Grants are available within all scientific areas. The Swedish Research Council rewards research of the highest scientific quality in national competition.
Research environment and collaboration support
Swedish Research Links
A minimum of 1 and up to 6 researchers may be invited to join the application. At least 1 of these shall be an international project manager.
Maximum 400 000 SEK per year
9 April 2019 (14.00/2 p.m.)
Publication of grant award
No later than January 2020
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 anybody’s full personal identity number in the application.
- All participating researchers and international project managers must register in Prisma, listing all information required, in order to participate in the application. Please therefore make sure to begin this step as soon as possible after the call opens, to avoid any problems with registering the application. No exception will be made from the requirement for all participating researchers to register in Prisma.
- As from spring 2019, you will need to have a data management plan for data generated within the research we award funds for. You must not send the plan to us, 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. Read more about the work on open access to research data.
- 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 unqualified applications are rejected from further processing.
The aim of the call for the network grant Swedish Research Links is to lay the foundation for joint long-term research projects between Swedish researchers and researchers from low income countries and lower middle income countries (see information under “Collaboration countries”). The network grants shall lead to joint applications for research funds from relevant funding bodies, nationally and internationally. The application for a network grant shall be developed jointly by the collaborating partners, be clearly based on mutual benefit and include collaboration of equal value. The grant shall aim to develop a research idea of particular relevance to the fight against poverty and for sustainable development in low income countries and lower middle income countries. This means that the research area shall be relevant to the overarching goal for Sweden’s international development collaboration; to contribute to creating prerequisites for better living conditions for people living in poverty and oppression, and thereby contribute to fair and sustainable global development. The research shall thereby contribute to reaching the goals for Swedish development collaboration.
The call is open to researchers within all scientific disciplines, and covers both basic research and applied research. Research collaboration with a multi- and cross-disciplinary perspective are particularly encouraged. For further information, please see the following documents at the Swedish Government.se:
Within the framework for this grant, low income countries and lower middle income countries according to the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee DAC’s list may be considered for research collaboration (the columns Least Developed Countries, Other Low Income Countries and Lower Middle Income Countries and Territories in the document linked to below).
The applicant for a network grant must be an individual researcher. You shall be the project leader and have scientific responsibility for the research collaboration. You must hold a Swedish doctoral degree or a corresponding foreign degree, awarded no later than the deadline for this call. 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.
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. 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 20 per cent of a full-time equivalent. You do not have to be employed by the administrating organisation at the time of applying.
Number of applications and previous grants
The requirements described in this section only apply to applicants (project leaders).
What grants may I apply for simultaneously from the Swedish Research Council?
You may submit more than one application under this call for the network grant Swedish Research Links, provided the applications relate to different collaborations (collaboration partners and countries). You may be included as a participating researcher in other applications, as long as the applications relate to different collaborations. Other restrictions on the grants you may apply for during the same year are shown in the table below.
Table: Overview of grants you can apply for in the same year (pdf, 460.8 kB)
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 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 conditions” you received from the Swedish Research Council.
You may not apply for this grant if you are the project leader for an ongoing network grant within the same collaboration. If you are the project leader for an ongoing network grant within Swedish Research Links, you may apply for this grant with a new collaboration partner in another country. If you are or have been the project leader for a grant within Swedish Research Links, where the grant period (payment) ends in 2019 or earlier, you may apply for this grant with either the same international partner (provided the application relates to a different project idea), or a new collaboration partner in another country. 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. If you have led previous projects within Swedish Research Links, a scientific report shall also have been submitted for each project ended.
What applies for applications to or grants from other funding bodies?
If your application to the Swedish Research Council relates to the same project idea as a grant you have already been awarded by, or are applying for to another funding body, please describe this.
Your application shall include a minimum of 1 and maximum of 6 participating researchers/international project leaders, who shall participate in drawing up the application and be involved in the network collaboration as described in the application. The international project leaders shall have a doctoral degree or corresponding competency, and shall be associated with an HEI or research institute in a low income country or lower middle income country. You may choose up to 3 collaboration countries, and each country must be represented by a participating researcher/international project leader, active in the country in question.
In addition to the participating researchers/international project leaders, other researchers linked to the project may also be included as participating researchers, that is to say other researchers with a doctoral degree or corresponding competence, whose scientific competence will be crucial for the implementation of the proposed research. Participating researchers do not have to be employed by a Swedish HEI or – as is the case for the international project leaders – associated with a research institution in an approved collaboration country. A total of up to 6 researchers may be invited to join the application.
Participating researchers shall provide the necessary information themselves in Prisma, and upload these to the application. Any further collaborating partners and their roles shall be described in the research plan (please see instructions under “Research plan” below).
Costs and grant amounts
The grant may be used for costs associated with international network building and collaboration, such as
- research and/or working stays between the collaborating partners
- joint seminars, conferences or workshops aimed at exchanging knowledge and adopting a joint research agenda
- preparation/planning of joint research applications
- joint publications and other joint information dissemination.
Minor project costs (such as equipment and consumables) may also be financed, up to a maximum of 100 000 SEK per year. Grants may not be used for salaries. However, the grant may cover additional costs incurred by the Swedish project leader for subsistence for the international project leader (or participants). Scholarships not intended as an alternative to salary or other forms of study financing for doctoral students may be included in these additional costs. The grant must be used in accordance with the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee DAC’s guidelines for what can be classified as aid.
The maximum amount you may apply for is 400 000 SEK per year, including indirect costs.
The Swedish Research Council assumes that the administrating organisation will cover any costs in excess of the amount received.
You may apply for a grant to cover a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 2 years, starting from January 2020. 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 content of the application. More information on what to do in practical terms is available in our Guide for applicants.
Foreign experts 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
- Research description
- Budget and research resources
- Administrating organisation
- Review panels
Descriptions of the call-specific information requested under each tab follow below.
The abstract shall include a brief description of the following:
- the research questions that you intend to focus on in the collaboration
- what is to be done within the research collaboration
- how the collaboration will be conducted: organisation, time plan and collaboration formats
- the impact of the research collaboration.
The abstract shall provide a summary guide to the purpose and implementation of the collaboration. 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 collaboration and the research idea 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 collaboration and the research idea 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).
List the 1–3 collaboration countries planned for the application.
Global goals for sustainable development
State which of the 17 global goals for sustainable development (according to Agenda 2030) your project is linked to in particular.
Policy markers OpenAid
Applications within development research shall be classified according to a number of policy markers, and therefore you must also state to what extent your project focuses on each policy marker area. You can find a description of the policy markers via the link below.
Please note that neither the link to the sustainability goals nor the classification impacts on the evaluation of your application, but are only aimed at facilitating better follow-up of the Swedish development aid funds that finance development research and are reported to the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee DAC.
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.
The collaboration plan shall consist of a brief but complete description of the collaboration planned for the parties in the network (two or more). It shall cover a maximum of 6 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing, including references and any images.
The research plan shall include the following headings and information, listed in the following order:
- Purpose and aims: Describe summarily the purpose (developing a joint research project) and other specific goals for the collaboration project.
- Research idea: Make a summary of the research theme and the research questions planned to be in focus for the project, how gender aspects will be included in the project idea (where applicable), and describe your own and others’ previous research and any preliminary results within the research area. State key references.
- Significance and scientific novelty: Describe briefly how the collaboration project relates to previous research within the area, and its importance to the research area in the short and long term. If the network is not intended to develop new research projects, but to construct a network around existing research, the application must state forceful grounds for why this is of great importance for development research and/or Swedish development collaboration.
- Network description and mode of cooperation: Provide a summary of the planned work including the following sections:
- Theory and method: Describe the underlying theory and the methods to be applied in order to reach the project goal, and how gender aspects (where applicable) will be included in the project idea.
- Time plan and implementation: The time plan should provide an overview of the collaboration and a plan for submitting joint research applications, travel, joint seminars, workshops, preparations/planning of joint research applications, and information dissemination. A brief description of project activities, such as workshops and seminars, should be included.
- Project organisation: Clarify the contributions of yourself and the participating researchers to the implementation of the project. Describe and explain the competences and roles of the participating researchers in the project and their gender distribution, and also those of any other researchers or corresponding who are important for the implementation of the project.
- Security situation in collaboration country: If you are planning to carry out activities in countries or regions that the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs are advising against travelling to (including work travel), please describe how you are planning your research visit to and work in the country in view of the security situation. Ministry for Foreign Affairs travel information
Please provide the following information also. If a heading is not relevant to your application, please leave it blank.
- Equipment: Describe the basic equipment you and your team 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).
Relevance and impact
Describe the expertise and capacity developed among the participating researchers and institutions that may impact on Swedish development collaboration and development in the countries included in the network. The following issues shall be addressed:
- How will the collaboration be organised in order to give added value to Swedish development collaboration?
- In what way is the collaboration based on equal participation, and how does this lead to mutual exchange of knowledge?
- In what way will the network be relevant to the fight against poverty and for fair and sustainable development in low income countries and lower middle income countries?
For further information, please see the following documents at the Swedish Government.se:
The description may cover a maximum of 9 000 characters including blank spaces (approximately 2 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing).
Budget and research resources
Describe the overall costs for the network by specifying the items below. The budget shall cover the costs of all parties. Please state rounded amounts in SEK.
1. Costs of travel, accommodation and subsistence.
2. Costs of organising seminars and workshops.
3. Costs of joint publications.
4. Costs of minor equipment and consumables (maximum 100 000 SEK per year in total).
5. Other costs
Prisma will automatically add up your budget items listed in a table. The total amount you are applying for shall also include indirect costs. You will have to add these to the table yourself. Here you can also add any additional costs covered by the project (for which you are not seeking funding under this call).
Please contact your HEI for information on what constitutes indirect and direct costs.
Justification of the budget applied for
Justify briefly each cost applied for in the budget stated. The description may cover a maximum of 4 000 characters including blank spaces (approximately 1 A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing).
Please state any funding for the network (whole or part) received by you or another researcher, in excess of the amount requested 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 5 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.
1. 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 4 lines per publication). Highlight your name in bold in the author list.
2. 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
Participating researchers’ publication lists
Attach all participating researchers’/international project leaders’ publication lists joined up into one file. The list for each researcher shall include a maximum of 10 publications, in the form of the most relevant publications for the research described, and shall cover a maximum of 1 A4 page. The name of the researcher in question shall be highlighted in bold and also be included in the page header of each 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.
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.
Here you shall invite your international project leaders and other participating researchers, and any participating administrators, to your application. You must distinguish international project managers from other invited participating researchers by marking them in the table in the application form.
You must assign full editing rights to the international project leaders.
Under this tab, please upload your relevant CV information from your personal account in Prisma. Participating researchers must upload their own CV information to the application.
The following information, where available, must always be included in each 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 employment, 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 following evaluation criteria.
Your application is evaluated by a specialised review panel where the members are Swedish and international researchers active within development research.
At least four 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 Committee for Development Research.
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 screened out applications only receive an overall grade and a standardised final statement after the decision is made. The remaining 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 proposed resarch, Merits of the applicant, Feasibility). Swedish Research Links network grants are also evaluated based on the criteria Complementarity of the research network on a seven-grade scale. 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 (Relevance for the call) on a three-grade scale. This grade is not weighed into the overall grade.
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 proposed resarch (1–7)
- Does the proposed collaboration network have the potential to build a sustainable/equal scientific partnership to address local and global development challenges?
- To what extent can the proposed network, based on the included collaborators, define new, compelling scientific questions within its scientific area?
- How does the research collaboration build on the research conducted independently by the partners, and what is the potential added value of the network?
- Is the overall description of the collaborative network sufficiently clear, convincing and compelling, for example in the definition of research questions, description of planned activities and impact of the research collaboration?
- Does the proposal contain plans for sustaining the collaboration/partnership beyond the proposed duration of network funding?
- Only if applicable: To what extent and how well are aspects concerning gender equality included into the research contents.
Novelty and originality (1–7)
- Does the network combine scientific expertise and capacity in a novel way in relation to the research area and the countries involved?
- To what extent does the proposed network promote the establishment of new researcher-to-researcher relationships?
- Does the network have the potential to extend or challenge current understanding, opinion or practice in its field?
- Does the research network propose a line of research with clear progression and novelty in relation to previous research in the field or will the formed network simply add details to existing knowledge?
- If applicable: In what novel way does the proposed network have potential for scientific and/or societal impact in low-income and lower middle-income countries?
Merits of the applicant (1–7)
The merits of the applicants are assessed in relation to the applicant´s stage of career and active time for research.
- Do the network applicants have sufficient research experience, expertise, level of independence and scientific network for the implementation of the proposed collaboration?
- Of what merits are the previous publications and other scientific achievements (e.g. supervisor experience, external funding) in relation to stage of career and active time for research: do these show a distinct and independent line of research or in case of a researcher in his/her early career stage, the potential of such? Focus is on the most relevant and important reports, with emphasis on quality rather than quantity.
- How significant are the academic achievements, the impact and other qualifications of the applicants from a national and international perspective seen in relation to the research area and the applicant´s career age?
- Is the team´s collective competence/representation of relevant expertise in relation to the proposed research?
- Does the applicant have previous experience from research collaborations with partners in low or lower middle-income countries?
- Does the applicant have relevant language skills?
- Is the proposed plan in general, including time schedule, optimal for starting up and implementing the proposed network?
- Does the plan include generating preliminary data?
- Does the network aim to establish long-term research collaboration and contain a realistic plan for how to raise funds for such collaboration?
- Is the timeline and related activities of the network realistic?
- Does the proposed collaboration network include the availability and accessibility of relevant personnel, skills, equipment, facilities/infrastructures and other necessary resources?
- Is the environment suitable for carrying out the proposed network activities?
- Are the proposed methods appropriate?
Complementarity of the research collaboration (mervärdet av forskningssamarbetet)
- Is there appropriateness of the team members in terms of how the researchers´ expertise complement each other, and in how the different roles and responsibilities are distinguished?
- Does the collaboration bring mutual added value to the proposed research; compared to if the partners were not working together?
- Can the collaboration lead to transfer of knowledge between applicants?
- Is the collaboration based on principles of co-design, mutual benefit and equality?
- Does the network partnership have an appropriate gender balance?
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.
Relevance for the call (1-3)
Relevance to the program objectives is evaluated separately from the scientific quality, and is not included in the overall grade. The Research Project Grant in Development Research is financed through development aid funds provided by the government, and research receiving support must be of relevance to poverty reduction and sustainable development in low income countries.
- To what extent is the proposal relevant to the described call objectives?
- Can support for the proposed research collaboration lead to the establishment of a long-term research partnership?
- Does the proposed collaboration network have the potential to build a scientific network/partnership to address local and/or global development challenges?
- Does the proposed research have the potential to create preconditions for better living conditions for people living in poverty and under oppression?
- To what extent does the proposed research contribute to tackling important societal and environmental challenges in low income and lower middle income countries?
- Does the proposed collaboration have the potential to promote equitable and sustainable development in low-income and lower middle income countries?
- If principal investigators have collaborated before: Is the proposed collaboration based on a new research topic? What were the experiences of that previous collaboration and can additional funding lead to new collaborative research proposals with realistic ideas how to obtain funding?