Grants for Distinguished Professors

The purpose of the programme is to create conditions for the most distinguished researchers to conduct long-term research of great potential that involves considerable risk-taking.

Scientific breakthroughs require time and resources, courage, risk-taking, and in many cases cross-disciplinary research projects. With this programme the Swedish Research Council aims to provide the most distinguished researchers with long-term and substantial funding to initiate innovative projects with great potential to achieve scientific breakthroughs.

For this grant form you may apply for research in a new subject area or specialisation. Nor is it a hindrance to move to another higher-education institution. The Swedish Research Council promotes gender equality and mobility in research.

The Swedish Research Council will approve a maximum of ten grants in the Programme for Distinguished Professors.

Terms and conditions of the grant

Who may apply?

You apply for the grant as an individual researcher. You must also be the scientific responsible of the grant.

You must have a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from abroad. Grants for Distinguished Professors may be applied for by those who completed their doctorates 1 January 2006 or earlier. The date for the degree that we will use as a basis for the application is the date when you satisfied all requirements for a completed degree, including obligatory coursework, dissertation defence, and approved dissertation.  

Grant period

Funding is granted for ten years, starting in 2014.

Costs and grant amounts

The amount of the grant is set at SEK 5 million per year, including indirect costs.

The grant may cover all kinds of research-related costs, such as salaries, travel (including visits to research facilities), publication costs, minor equipment, and depreciation costs. The grant may not be used for scholarships/fellowships.

If a doctoral student participates, funding may not be used for salary paid for teaching done by the doctoral student.

Number of grants and applications

You may only submit one application for a Grant for Distinguished Professors.

You may apply for a Grant for Distinguished Professors even if you have a current grant from the Swedish Research Council. If you have applied for a project grant or another grant this year, you may nevertheless apply for a Grant for Distinguished Professors. If both applications are approved, you will have the opportunity to choose which grant you wish to receive.

If you receive a Grant for Distinguished Professors, you may not apply for a project grant during the grant period. 


The grant is to be administered by a Swedish higher-education institution or some other Swedish public organisation that fulfils the Swedish Research Council’s requirements for administrating organisations.

The Swedish Research Council requires the submission of a final economic report for all grants within the stated time. We will therefore check that all economic reports have been submitted for any completed grants that applicants might have had. If a final economic report is lacking, any current applications will be disregarded. If you are uncertain whether a final economic report has been submitted, contact your administrating organisation.

Employer and terms of employment

The recipient of the grant must be employed by the administrating organisation when the grant period starts, unless the Swedish Research Council, the administrating organisation, and, if relevant, another employer agree on another solution. You do not need to be employed when you apply.

By signing Appendix S the representative of the administrating organisation confirms his/her commitment.

Instructions for applying

You apply electronically via the Swedish Research Council’s application system (VR-Direct) by completing an application form and attaching the appendices required. You must state your name, civic registration number, and appendix designation on each page of the appendices. Appendix S with signatures must be submitted to the Swedish Research Council in paper form.

You are responsible for ensuring that the application is complete, which means that the application form and appendices have been correctly completed. The Swedish Research Council will not process incomplete applications. However, attach only material that we expressly request. Other material, such as letters of recommendation and offprints, will not be evaluated. Failure to comply with the instructions will be taken into account in the evaluation.

We do not allow additional information to be submitted after the application deadline, with the exception of information we expressly request.


The Swedish Research Council engages foreign experts in the academic assessment of applications. To ensure that assessments and preparations for decisions are done in an efficient and equality-promoting manner, we ask that you submit your research programme and other appendices in English.

Font, size, and pictures

Write the appendices in A4-format with a margin of 25 mm and a Times New Roman 12 font.

When we print out the application, we use a resolution of 200-300 dpi, and possibly a grey scale. You should therefore adapt your images to this standard. Remember that PDF files must not be password-protected.

Content of the application

The application, which should be written in English, must contain the following:

  • Summary
  • Popular science description (in Swedish)
  • Research programme (Appendix A)
  • CV (Appendix B)
  • Publication list (Appendix C)
  • Signatures (Appendix S)


The summary of the research programme must contain a brief description of:

  • what will be done
  • how the research will be conducted, what scientific methods will be used
  • the importance to the research field, particularly in terms of innovation and originality.

The text should provide a brief orientation regarding the purpose and implementation of the research. Write in a style that enables individuals from other research backgrounds to comprehend the information.

Popular-science description

Describe the programme in a popular-science style so that those who are not familiar with the topic are able to understand. Describe what will be done and why, and explain how the new knowledge may be important.

The popular-science description is an important tool that the Swedish Research Council uses to inform others about the research we finance. If we award funding for your application, we reserve the right to use the description for informational purposes.

Write the popular-science description on the form in the application system. The popular-science description, and your address, must be written in Swedish.

Research programme (Appendix A)

Appendix A is to consist of a brief but complete description of the research objective, no more than five A4 pages, including references. Please note that any pages beyond the number stipulated will not be considered in the evaluation.

The research programme, as well as other appendices, should be written in English.

The following information must be included in the research programme under separate headings:

  • Purpose and aims. Present the overall purpose and specific goals of the research programme or the equivalent.
  • Survey of the field. Give a summary of your own research and that of others and previous findings in the research field. Provide key references.
  • Programme description. Give a summary of the programme describing its theory, methods, time plan, and implementation.
  • Significance. State the importance of the programme to the research field, particularly in regard to its innovation, originality, high level of risk-taking, and great potential.

Present the following under a separate heading if you find it relevant to your programme:

  • Equipment. Describe the basic equipment for the programme that you and your group have at your disposal.
  • Need for infrastructure. Specify the programme’s needs for international and national infrastructure. Also specify the need for local infrastructure if depreciation costs for this are included in the application. Read more about research infrastructures supported by the Swedish Research Council.
  • International and national collaboration. Describe your collaboration with foreign and Swedish researchers and research groups. State whether you are participating in or associated with international collaboration in your research. You may use the grant from the Swedish Research Council to co-fund EU projects with the equivalent orientation. State in the research programme whether you plan any such coordination.
  • Ethical considerations. Present ethical issues raised by the programme (or the equivalent) and state how they are being addressed by the research work.

CV (Appendix B)

You must submit a CV in no more than four A4 pages. Your list of publications is to be presented separately in Appendix C.

Using these numbered headings, specify in the following order (leaving irrelevant items blank):

  1. Higher edcation degree(s), year and subject area.
  2. Doctoral degree, year, discipline/subject area, dissertation title, and supervisor.
  3. Present position, period of employment, proportion of research time in the position.
  4. Previous positions and periods of appointment, state type of employment.
  5. Supervision, doctorates and postdocs (names and years) for whom you were the principal supervisor.
  6. National and/or international distinctions and awards, membership in academies or the like.
  7. Any other information of importance to the application

Publication list (Appendix C)

Attach your publication list for the last eight years, marking the five publications of greatest importance to the research programme with an asterisk (*).

Arrange your publication list under numbered headings in this order:

  1. Peer-reviewed articles
  2. Peer-reviewed conference contributions, whose findings are not found in other publications.
  3. Review articles, book chapters, books
  4. Patents, state date of registration.
  5. Open access computer programs that you have developed
  6. Popular science articles/presentations

Please note: Include only articles or the equivalent that have been published or accepted for publication.

Signatures (Appendix S)

Appendix S is generated automatically when you register your application.

Print out Appendix S and sign it. It must also be signed by the head of department or the equivalent at the institution where the research will be conducted. The signature constitutes a confirmation that:

  • the research described, the position, and the equipment will be allocated space at the institution during the period and to the extent indicated in the programme plan
  • the institution approves the cost estimate in the application
  • you have reported your side-line occupations and commercial ties and that nothing has arisen that would conflict with good research practice
  • requisite permits and approvals will be in place at the start of the programme, such as ethical review.

You must have discussed the above-mentioned points with the representative of the administrating organisation before he or she approves and signs the application. The administrating organisation is responsible for assuring that the programme complies with the terms and conditions established by Swedish legislation.

Send Appendix S by regular mail to the Swedish Research Council.

Remember: The Swedish Research Council must receive Appendix S, complete with signatures, no later than three working days after the deadline for applications.

The address and deadline are found in the section "When and how should the application be submitted?"


The Swedish Research Council’s respective scientific council/Committee for Educational Sciences will assess the merits of the applicant in competition with other applicants and on the basis of the Swedish Research Council’s assessment criteria.

Suggest on the application form the scientific council or committee that you would like to have consider your application. The Swedish Research Council will make the final determination regarding the placement of your application.

How your application will be assessed

How the Swedish Research Council addresses conflicts of interest


In the middle of December 2013 the Swedish Research Council will publish decisions about grant funding on its website. Notice of decisions and comments will be sent to all applicants.

The first disbursement of awarded grants will be effected in January 2014.     

When and how should the application be submitted?

Submit your application electronically via the application system no later than midnight (24:00) on 10 September 2013. The Swedish Research Council will be open until 4 p.m. (16:00) on the day of the deadline for applications. Within a couple of weeks you will receive an e-mail notice that your application has been logged.

You are responsible for the completeness of your application.

Send in Appendix S in paper form, complete with signatures, to the address below. The Swedish Research Council must receive Appendix S no later than three working days after the application deadline.

Vetenskapsrådet, Box 1035, 101 38 Stockholm


Questions about the content of the application

Maria Starborg, e-mail:, phone +46 (0)8-546 44 237

Kerstin Sahlin, e-mail:, phone +46 (0)8-546 44 322

Sven Stafström, e-mail:, phone +46 (0)8-546 44 161

Mona Berggren, e-mail:, phone +46 (0)8-546 44 246

Technical questions

For technical questions about the application system (VR-Direct), see Questions and answers if you have technical problems when you apply.

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Updated: 2014-03-11


Area of science:
Humanities and Social Sciences, Medicine and Health, Natural and Engineering Sciences, Educational Sciences
Last application date:

General terms and conditions

Please make sure that you fully understand the terms and conditions that apply to applications to the Swedish Research Council. Read more about each term below:

Public access
Open access
Commercial interests
Misconduct in research