National research programme in viruses and pandemics

The Swedish Research Council is responsible for a ten-year national research programme in viruses and pandemics. The research programme is part of the Government’s long-term strategy and action plan to counteract and reduce virus outbreaks and pandemics.

Goals of the research programme

The programme shall contribute new knowledge about viral diseases and the infectious properties and methods of different viruses, how viruses are transferred from animals to humans, the development of new medicines, vaccines and therapies, and how knowledge about equal and gender-equal health can be safeguarded during a pandemic. To build up preparedness ahead of future pandemics, we also need knowledge about the economic and social effects of large and long-term societal spread.

The research programme shall initiate research into identified and prioritised knowledge gaps, and also contribute to increasing the impact of research results in society.

Participating actors

The programme committee includes representatives from Formas, Forte, Vinnova, the Swedish Medical Products Agency, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Public Health Agency of Sweden, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), the Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA) and Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE).

Focus groups with researchers in the relevant disciplines are also linked to the programme.

International collaboration

The program is part of the EU's initiative BE READY (Building a European strategic Research and Innovation Area in Direct Synergy) - an international collaboration to establish common goals for research and innovation in pandemic preparedness.

Read more at pbeready4pandemics.eu External link.

Strategic research agenda

A strategic research agenda guides the work ahead and outlines five focus areas for research within the program:

  • viruses, virus-induced disease states, and fundamental disease mechanisms
  • mechanisms for the emergence and spread of zoonoses with pandemic potential, as well as strategies for prevention and management of transmission
  • development of antiviral medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics
  • societal measures arising from pandemics and their effects on people's living conditions and health
  • organization, governance, and coordination (infrastructures) of critical societal functions during a pandemic.

The Swedish Research Council's calls within the programme

Call
15 November 2023
Grant for interdisciplinary research environments
The grant for interdisciplinary research environments aims to give opportunities for research teams to develop interdisciplinary research and interdi...
Call
15 November 2023
Project grant for research into viral zoonoses
The purpose of the project grant is to give researchers the freedom to formulate their own research concept, method and implementation, and to solve ...
Call
15 November 2023
Doctoral programme grant within the infection area
The purpose of the grant for graduate schools is to build up a new research field, strengthen competence within a specific area, or increase collabor...
Call
15 November 2023
Proof of concept within the infection area
The purpose of the grant is to bridge the gap between basic research and utilisation or commercialisation of research results within the infection ar...

Research projects approved

One of six national research programmes

This is one of six national research programmes for which the Swedish Research Council is responsible. The programmes are broad, ten-year initiatives aimed at coordinating research within a particular area.

Read more about the programs

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Contact

National research programme in viruses and pandemics

forskningsprogram.pandemi@vr.se

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