Several major initiatives in virus research

The Swedish Research Council will receive 100 million SEK extra in the spring budget to support research on COVID-19. In addition to the Government’s initiative, the Swedish Research Council will strengthen basic virus research with 100 million SEK over the years 2020–2024.

The Government’s proposal is intended to provide rapid additional support for research that might stop the COVID-19 outbreak, and prevent future outbreaks of pandemics.

“In a short-term perspective, it is about supporting ongoing or planned activities that are directly focused on stopping the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes Swedish participation in the major clinical trial conducted by WHO, aimed at testing a number of antiviral medicines on patients being treated for COVID-19. We are also seeing a need to support projects at European level relating to open access to research data on COVID-19. To strengthen the international knowledge exchange, we are in dialogue with several countries about bilateral collaboration projects related to the pandemic. The Swedish Research Council is also planning specific calls to address the challenges we are now seeing,” says Sven Stafström, Director General of the Swedish Research Council.

In addition to the Government’s initiative, the Swedish Research Council will strengthen basic virus research with 100 million SEK over the years 2020–2024. A first call is planned for this coming summer. The call will focus on basic virology research and fundamental disease mechanisms caused by viruses.

“To increase knowledge about viruses in order to better equip us against future pandemics, we are making a long-term investment, aimed at building up a greater knowledge base and safeguarding the competence provision of tomorrow’s research leaders,” says Jan-Ingvar Jönsson, Secretary General of the Scientific Council for Medicine and Health at the Swedish Research Council.

To provide a basis for future calls, the Swedish Research Council is mapping the ongoing research and holding discussions with the research community about the areas that should be prioritised at present.

Read the Government’s press release (in Swedish) External link.

WHO: “Solidarity” clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments External link.




  1. – for news and communication about research publishes news about research from Swedish universities, research institutes, and research organisations. The Swedish Research Council coordinates the development of, and the editorial team is based at our offices.

  2. New research collaboration with USA on 6G, quantum technology, AI and other areas

    The Swedish Research Council and Vinnova have signed a five year declaration of intent with the US National Science Foundation (NSF), which will facilitate research and innovation collaborations between Sweden and USA.

  3. Agreements completed with four publishers of open access journals

    Last autumn, the Swedish Research Council, Formas, Forte, and Vinnova made a focus decision to fund publishing using publishers that only produce journals with full open access. Agreements have now been entered into with four publishers.