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The Swedish Research Council´s actions following the invasion of Ukraine

The Government urges higher education institutions (HEIs) and research funding bodies to ensure that contacts and collaborations with governmental institutions in Russia and Belarus are suspended immediately. This statement was made by Anna Ekström, Minister for Education, on 2 March. The Swedish Research Council is now working intensively to map and manage the activities that are affected.

The Swedish Research Council is now suspending all formalised research collaboration with Russia and Belarus. The Swedish Research Council will not take part in any meetings relating to research collaboration with Russia. Nor will we be funding research collaborations with links to the governments of Russia or Belarus.

“It is important for us, as a research funding body with considerable international activities, to distance ourselves clearly from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There is also great unity in Europe on how this distancing from Russia and Belarus is expressed,” says Sven Stafström, Director General of the Swedish Research Council.

At the same time, he thinks, we must also consider the longer term.

“We hope that the time will come when bilateral and multilateral collaborations will once again be possible. Stopping all contacts between individual researchers is therefore not the right way to go, not even in the prevailing situation.”

The following applies:

Ongoing research projects

The Swedish Research Council will continue to fund those ongoing research projects that have participating researchers in Russia or Belarus. However, funds from the Swedish Research Council must not be transferred to Russia or Belarus. Participating researchers who are active in Russia or Belarus may however participate in the projects with their own funding, or as in-kind contributions.

New research projects

Researchers applying for a research grant from the Swedish Research Council are allowed to collaborate with researchers active in Russia or Belarus within the framework for their application. This is on condition that the researchers active in Russia or Belarus have their own funding, or that their participation is done as an in-kind contribution. Funds from the Swedish Research Council must not be transferred to Russia or Belarus.

For both ongoing and planned research projects, great responsibility rests on the researcher and the HEI to make sure that contacts and collaborations linked to research projects are suitable, in view of the Swedish and European political positions. This applies in particular to the security policy aspects within the different scientific fields.

Assessment of applications

No researchers active in Russia or Belarus will take part in our review panels.

Multilateral collaborations and international research infrastructures

The Swedish Research Council is a member of some multilateral collaborations where Russia is also a member. Discussions are now ongoing about how to handle this situation. The same applies to the international research infrastructures where the Swedish Research Council/Sweden is a member, and where Russia or Belarus are also taking part. These are complex in nature, and the handling of the Russian and Belarusian participation will have to be assessed from case to case, and in a spirit of consensus with the other member countries.

Read the Government’s call to higher education institutions and research funding bodies External link.

News item from 2 March: Statement from the Swedish Government – Call to suspend research collaborations with Russia and Belarus

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