The call opened 14:00 13 February 2019
The call closes 14:00 19 March 2019
Research environment grant within natural and engineering sciences
The purpose of the grant is to support research with the added value of innovative interdisciplinary collaboration within natural and engineering sciences, and with more participants than a standard project. The Swedish Research Council rewards research of the highest scientific quality in national competition.
Research environment and collaboration support
Natural and Engineering Sciences
A minimum of 2 and up to 5 researchers shall be invited to join the application
2–3 million SEK per year
19 March 2019 (14.00/2 p.m.)
Publication of grant award
No later than 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 anybody’s full personal identity number in the application.
- 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 grants awarded in previous years.
Call text in full
The Swedish Research Council intends primarily to support new collaborations, or alternatively established collaborations aimed at new scientific challenges. The applicant shall therefore be a constellation of several researchers with differing scientific backgrounds, who are working towards a common, previously not established research goal in the long term. The goals of the research shall be enabled through the synergy between the participating researchers.
Within the framework for this call, the Swedish Research Council is intending to fund around 9 grants for research environments, without any requirement for a particular focus within natural and engineering sciences research. In the evaluation of applications received, particular weight will be placed on the application describing a collaboration with clear synergy and novelty value in terms of the applicant’s constellation or research goals.
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 20 per cent of a full-time equivalent. 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
What grants may I apply for simultaneously from the Swedish Research Council?
Number of applications for a research environment grant
You may only participate in one single application for a research environment grant under this call, as either applicant or participating researcher. You may not apply for a research environment grant under any other of the Swedish Research Council’s calls, but you may be included as a participating researcher in such applications.
Applications for a research environment grant and research project grant:
You may apply for this grant at the same time as you apply for a project grant, but if your application for the project grant forms part of this grant application, this fact will be considered during the overall weighted assessment of the resource requirement.
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 draw down the grant awarded, is normally longer than the grant period. Information about the requirements 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 project or career grant
You may apply for a research environment grant if you are the project leader for an ongoing project grant or career grant. A prerequisite for the application to be successful is that the grant awarded is not part of the application for a research environment grant, but on the other hand, the grant awarded may complement the application.
If you have already been awarded a research environment grant:
You may not apply for this grant if you are the project leader for an ongoing research environment grant from the Swedish Research Council. You may apply for this grant if you are participating in an ongoing research environment grant, provided the content of the project is new and does not overlap with the previously awarded project. In the same way, if you are the project leader for an ongoing research environment grant, you may participate in a new application under this call. In both cases, the research plan in the application shall clearly state under the item “Other applications” how the new project differs from the old one.
If you have already been awarded a grant within the distinguished professor programme, or are a researcher recruited within the Swedish Research Council’s call for international recruitment
If you have a distinguished professor grant with a grant period that overlaps the grant period for this call, or are a researcher recruited through the Swedish Research Council’s international recruitment call, you may not apply for a research environment grant. On the other hand, you may participate in an application for a research environment grant.
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.
Your application must include a minimum of 2 and up to 5 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. They do not have to be employed by a Swedish HEI.
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 to fund all types of project-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. Costs for a graduate school (that is costs for lecturers, courses and coordination of a graduate school) can advantageously be included in the grant.
The amount you may apply for is 2–3 million 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.
The grant period is 6 years, starting in January 2020. The first payment will be made no earlier than December 2019.
You must submit a report to the Swedish Research Council no later than 1 March 2023, focusing on the collaboration between the participating researchers and the added value of the research environment. This report may result in a review of the grant amounts for the last 3 years 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 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
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: purpose and aim
- how the research will be carried out: project organisation, time plan and the scientific methods to be used, and the way in which the collaboration in the research environment creates added value
- what is important about the planned research.
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).
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 research plan shall consist of a brief but complete description of the research task. The focus of the research plan shall be forward-looking, and it shall cover a maximum of 10 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: State the overall purpose and specific goals of the research project. Describe also the long-term research goal.
- State-of-the-art: Summarise briefly the current research frontier within the field/area covered by the project. State key references.
- Significance: Describe briefly how the project relates to previous research within the area, and its importance in the short and long term.
- Preliminary and previous results: Describe briefly your own previous research and pilot studies within the research area that make it probable that the project will be feasible. State also if no preliminary results exist.
- Project description: Describe the project design, including the following items:
- Theory and method: Describe the underlying theory and the methods to be applied in order to reach the project goal.
- Time plan and implementation: Describe summarily the time plan for the project during the grant period, and how the project will be implemented.
- Project organisation: Clarify the contributions of yourself and any participating researchers to the implementation of the project. Describe and explain the competences and roles of the participating researchers in the project, and also any other researchers or corresponding who are important for the implementation of the project.
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.
- International and national collaboration: Describe your own and the team’s collaboration with foreign and Swedish researchers and research teams. State whether you contribute to or refer to international collaboration in your research.
- Other applications or grants: This section applies to both the applicant and the participating researchers. 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).
Synergy effects and innovative added value of collaboration
The description shall cover a maximum of three A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
The following information must be included under separate headings, listed in the following order:
- Scientific added value/synergy of the collaboration
Describe how the proposed research environment makes it possible for the researcher constellation, together and in close collaboration, to undertake research tasks that are more comprehensive and challenging than would be possible if the researchers worked individually. State the central scientific questions for the research environment, how the environment will be built up and developed, and how it significantly improves the education, training and career opportunities for junior researchers, postdocs and doctoral students working in the environment. Describe how the environment will be integrated with the activities of the HEI/s, and how you intend to organise the work in order to achieve the goals of the research environment in as efficient a way as possible.
- Novelty value of the collaboration
Describe in what ways the collaboration is innovative in relation to the participating researchers’ previous activities, and in relation to the methods and competences that are usually used in the research field in question.
Budget and research resources
State the activity level (per cent of a full-time equivalent) of all personnel active within the project, that is to say yourself, other researchers and other personnel. Please also state the salary you are applying for, for yourself and/or other personnel active within the project, both as a percentage of a full-time salary and as actual annual amounts (including social security contributions). Please state rounded amounts in SEK.
Describe any other costs of the project (premises costs, running costs and depreciation costs). Please state rounded annual amounts.
You may include depreciation costs for equipment to be used in the project, provided that
- the equipment has an economic life of at least three years
- the equipment has an acquisition value exceeding a certain amount (please contact your administrating organisation for information about the amount that applies to your department)
- the equipment needs for your proposed project cannot be satisfied through use of national or international infrastructure open to all.
You may only include the proportion of depreciation costs that corresponds to the use of the equipment in the proposed project. You may not include depreciation costs for equipment that is wholly financed via other grants. Please contact your HEI for information about what is included in local research infrastructure, acquisition values or how to calculate depreciation 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 one A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing).
Please state your or any other researcher’s funding 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 5 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.
1. Bibliometric information:
- Total number of peer-reviewed original articles
- Total number of citations of the peer-reviewed original articles
- H index (overall, not limited to the last 8 years)
- i10 index (overall, not limited to the last 8 years)
- The database used for the above citation data
Note: The Swedish Research Council has a restrictive attitude towards evaluation of individuals based on bibliometrics. The citation data stated will only be used as part of an overall assessment carried out by subject specialists.
2. 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.
3. 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
Please sort the publications under items 2 and 3 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.
Participating researchers’ publication lists
Attach all participating researchers’ 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 one 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.
The publications shall be of the type: Peer-reviewed original articles, conference contributions, edited volumes, research review articles, books and book chapters, and other publications including popular science books/presentations.
Please state the administrating organisation and project site.
Under this tab, you shall invite the participating researchers and any participating administrators to your application.
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. As project leader, please state your leadership merits under “Other merits”.
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 (including leadership merits for the project leader) 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. The aim of the call is to create added value through interdisciplinary and innovative collaborations in a research collaboration group.
Your application is evaluated by a review panel where the members are researchers within natural and engineering sciences, primarily working at foreign Higher Education Institutions.
In a first review step, at least three members review and grade your application individually with respect to the evaluation criteria Synergy/Added value and Merits of the applicants. The entire review panel then meets at a first review panel meeting to identify the applications that do not have a reasonable chance of being funded. These applications are screened out from the review process, which gives room for more detailed discussion and prioritisation of the applications of higher quality.
In a second review step, the remaining applications are reviewed by the entire panel, together with at least two external reviewers, with respect to all the evaluation criteria. The review panel meets at a second panel meeting to discuss and prioritise the applications, and finally to make a proposal for a decision to the Scientific Council for Natural and Engineering Sciences.
The applications screened out only receive an overall grade and a standardised final statement after the decision is made. The other applications receive an individual final statement that reflects the review panel’s discussion and overall assessment of the scientific quality of the application.
Evaluation criteria and guiding questions
The evaluation of the scientific quality of your application is made based on four basic criteria (Novelty and originality, Scientific quality of the project, Merits of the applicant, Feasibility). The purpose of using several components is to achieve a multi-faceted evaluation. 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 Synergy/Added value on a 7-grade scale. Particular weight in the assessment will be based on whether or not the application describes a collaboration with a clear synergy and novelty regarding the applicants’ constellation or research goal.
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.
Please note that only the evaluation criteria Synergy/Added value and Merits of the applicants are assessed in the first review step.
Scientific quality of the proposed research (1–7)
- Is the proposed research scientifically significant?
- How does the proposed project relate to the state of the art of the research area?
- Do the scientific questions have the purpose to fill in significant knowledge gaps, and is the project description sufficiently detailed and of sufficient quality to reach, or to in a significant way approach these objectives?
Novelty and originality (1–7)
- To what extent does the proposed project define new, interesting scientific questions?
- To what extent does the proposed project have the potential to substantially increase the knowledge within its scientific area?
- To what extent does the proposed project use new ways and methods to address important scientific questions?
- To what extent does the suggested research environment through novel and original constellations of scientific competences create the potential for breakthroughs and innovative research.
- To what extent does the synergy in the suggested scientific collaboration allow new scientific questions to be addressed?
Merits of the applicants (1–7)
The assessment should concern the collected merits of all the applicants to perform the proposed project.
- How significant is the scientific productivity, impact and other merits of the applicants in a national and international perspective, in relation to the research project, and the career ages of the applicants? Here, the emphasis should be put on the recent scientific achievements (including up to the last eight years).
- Do the applicants have the ability to create a multidisciplinary research environment?
- Are the available equipment, infrastructure and other resources adequate for the proposed project?
Synergy/Added value (1–7)
- To what extent does the research task defined in the application require collaboration (and synergy effects) between the applicants in order to succeed?
- To what extent is the research task defined in the application greater and more challenging than the applicants could address if they were working individually?
- To what extent does the proposed research environment offer a unique combination of the knowledge and competences required to address this particular research task as defined?
- To what extent does the collaboration between the applicants create synergy effects and scientific added value?
- Will the proposed research strengthen and increase the quality of research within the research area in question at the host institution(s), and in Sweden and internationally?
- Does the proposed development of the research environment entail potential for innovative research?
Overall grade (1–7)
The various sub-criteria that are set for the assessment are weighed together into an overall grade reflecting the collected evaluation of the application’s sub-grades given by the review panel. The overall grade is formed without a pre-determined numerical weighing of the basic criteria. As a guidance for the review panel’s assessment, the scientific quality of the proposed research and the merits of the applicant are important criteria. For this grant type also the synergy and innovative collaboration are important components in the assessment. The feasibility shall be weighed into the overall rating of the application if it deviates from the grade “Feasible”.