The call opened 14:00 06 March 2019
The call closed 14:00 09 April 2019
Research project grant within development research
The purpose of the project grant is to give researchers the freedom to formulate by themselves the research concept, method and implementation, and to solve a specific research task within a limited period.
Project grant within development research are funded by the Government’s development aid funds, and the research shall be relevant to the fight against poverty and for sustainable development in low income countries. The Swedish Research Council rewards research of the highest scientific quality in national competition.
Up to 6 researchers may be invited to join the application
Minimum 400 000 SEK per year, maximum 1 500 000 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.
- New for this call is that if you have not included a participating researcher from a low income country, you must justify this, and that the maximum grant period has been reduced to 3 years from the previous 4 years.
- 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 goal of the call for research project proposals within development research is to reinforce Swedish research with particular relevance to the fight against poverty and for sustainable development in low income countries. This means that the research 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 the goal for the policy for global development of fair and sustainable global development.
Within the framework for this grant, the research project shall be relevant to one or several of the countries classified as low income countries according to the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee DAC’s list (columns “Least Developed Countries” and “Other Low Income Countries”).
This means that the research project’s questions and results shall be of benefit for these countries, but collaboration and other research activities may be carried out in other countries also.
Collaboration with researchers in low income countries is encouraged, as is a multi- and inter-disciplinary perspective.
The research may aim either towards immediate benefit or towards knowledge that is potentially important to the goals of the call. It may cover everything from basic to applied research within all scientific disciplines. For further information, please see the following documents at the Swedish Government.se:
The applicant for a project grant 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
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 only submit one application for this grant under this call for project grants within development research. On the other hand, you may apply for undirected project grants, or project grants with a different focus (for 2019, 3R, migration and integration, racism and discrimination, or artistic research, for example), but for another project idea. You may apply for the specific international postdoc within development research, but if both applications are approved, you must choose between them. Other restrictions on the grants you may apply for during the same year are shown in the table below. Note that research project grants within Development Research are included in ”Project grant with focus”.
Table: Grants you may apply for simultaneously (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 can submit an application under this call even if you are already a project leader for an ongoing project grant, provided your ongoing grant has a different project idea and a different area or a different focus than development research. 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. If you have been the project leader for a previous grant within Development Research, a scientific report 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 idea as a grant you have already been awarded by, or are applying for to another funding body, please describe this.
Your application may include up to 6 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.
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 the person’s 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 during teaching or other departmental duties.
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 minimum amount you may apply for is 400 000 SEK per year, including indirect costs. The maximum amount you may apply for is 1 500 000 SEK per year.
You may apply for a grant to cover a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3 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:
- what is to be done: purpose and aim
- how the research will be carried out: project organisation, time plan and the scientific methods to be used
- what is important about the planned research.
The 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 1 A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing).
Please state the countries of relevance to the project.
No participating researcher from a low income country
If you do not include a participating researcher from a low or lower middle income country in the project, you must justify why you have made this choice.
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. Read more at UN.org:
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 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.
- State-of-the-art: Summarise briefly the current research frontier within the field/area covered by the project. State key references.
- Significance and scientific novelty: Describe briefly how the project relates to previous research within the area, and its importance in the short and long term. Describe also how the project moves forward or innovates the current research frontier.
- Preliminary and previous results: Describe briefly 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. State whether the project contributes further to research and scientific results from a grant awarded previously by the Swedish Research Council.
- 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, and how gender aspects (only where applicable) will be addressed in the project idea.
- 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 (including gender distribution), and also those of any other researchers or corresponding who are important for the implementation of the project.
- Security situation in collaborating country: If you are planning to carry out research activities or field work 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.
- 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. You may use research project grants from the Swedish Research Council to co-finance EU projects with a corresponding focus. State in the research plan whether you are planning such coordination.
- 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).
Research project grants within Development Research shall be relevant to the fight against poverty and for sustainable development in low income countries (for further information, please see under the heading “Focus” above). The relevance description shall state how the project contributes to new knowledge aimed at creating prerequisites for better living conditions for people living in poverty and under oppression.
For further information, please see the following documents at the Swedish Government:
The description may cover a maximum of 6 000 characters including blank spaces (approximately one and a half A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing).
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, any 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 1 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.
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 4 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
Participating researchers’ publication lists
Attach all participating researchers’ publications 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.
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.
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 any participating researchers and administrators to your application.
Under this tab, please upload your relevant CV information from your personal account in Prisma. Any 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 any 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 research, 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 (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 research (1–7)
- Is the project scientifically significant?
- Does the proposal have clear conceptual and theoretical foundations?
- Is the overall design and description of the project sufficiently clear and systematic, for example in its definition of research questions, hypotheses and methodology?
- Are the scientific/intellectual merits of the proposed research clear, convincing and compelling?
- Does the proposed project have the character of thoroughness, e.g. in its definition of the problem, and review of the state of the art?
- Are the proposed research methods suitable to the aims and objectives?
- Are the methods of data management such as data collection, analysis and statistics well defined and appropriate?
- 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 project extend or challenge current understanding, opinion or practice in its field?
- To what extent does the proposed project define new, compelling scientific questions within its scientific area?
- Does the proposed project have the potential to substantially increase the knowledge within its scientific area? (For example novel concepts or theories, new directions for research and advancement of the field)
- Does the project include use of novel technologies/methodologies, or innovative application of existing methodologies/technologies in a novel way or context?
- Does the researcher propose a line of research with clear progression and novelty in relation to previous research in the field or is he/she simply adding details to existing knowledge?
- If applicable: In what novel way does the proposed project have potential for scientific and/or societal impact in low-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 applicants have sufficient research experience and expertise in the research area of the proposed project?
- Of what merits are the previous publications and other scientific achievements (e.g. supervisor experience, external funding): 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 there appropriateness of the team members, if applicable, in terms of availability and complementarities of all the relevant expertise, and in how the different roles and responsibilities are distinguished?
- Is there ability to successfully disseminate research findings?
- Does the applicant have a sufficient scientific network for implementing the proposed project?
- Is the general design, including time schedule, optimal for implementing the proposed project?
- Does the project 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 research?
- If applicable, is it described how the permits for implementation of the project will be acquired?
- Are the proposed research methods, infrastructures, experiments and fieldwork appropriate for the implementation of the project?
- How is the balance between the project´s feasibility and risks and its potential gains? (high risk/high gain)
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 proposed project relevant to the described call objectives?
- 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 countries?
- Does the proposed research have the potential to promote equitable and sustainable development in low-income countries?