Starting Grant (NE)

The aim of this grant is to offer junior researchers the opportunity to become established as independent researchers. The Swedish Research Council supports basic research of high quality in all national competition.


Type of grant

Career Support funding


Natural and Engineering sciences




Single researcher who has been awarded a doctoral degree more than two and up to seven years ago

Participating researchers

Participating researchers may not be invited to join the application.

Grant period

Four years

Grant amount

Minimum 300,000 SEK per year.

Maximum granted amount is 1,500,000 SEK per year on average, i.e., a total of six million SEK for four years.

Call deadline

5 April 2016 (at 2:00 PM)

Publication of grant award decisions

No later than end of November 2016

Grant period start date

January 2017


Grant application requirements

You must fulfil the requirements set out below to be eligible to apply for the grant. We will carry out controls in order to ensure that applications that do not adhere to the eligibility criteria are rejected from further processing.


The Starting Grant is open to individual researchers. You are the project leader and scientific supervisor of the project and your active participation in the project must equal at least 50 percent of a full-time employment. You must hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent foreign degree, which was awarded more than two years and no more than seven years ago.

The grant will be administered by a Swedish HEI, or another public organisation in Sweden that fulfils the Swedish Research Council’s requirements for administrating organisationsopens in new window. Please note that you will not be able to apply unless your organisation is an approved administrating organisation

If you are awarded funding, you must be employed by the administrating organisation when the grant period begins unless the Swedish Research Council, the administrating organisation or another employer (where applicable) agree otherwise. The employment must equal at least 20 % of a full-time employment. You do not have to be employed by the administrating organisation when the application is submitted.

Read more about the researcher recruitment guidelines in the European Charter for Researchers on the EU website external link, opens in new window

Career age

You may apply for a Starting Grant if your doctoral degree was awarded more than two years and up to seven years ago at the application deadline of this call. The date of issue will be considered to be the point in time when all the requirements (for example mandatory courses, the oral defence of the doctoral thesis and the approved doctoral thesis). You will not be able to finalize your application if your doctoral degree was awarded less than two years or more than seven years before the deadline.

You may however be eligible to apply on the basis of an older doctoral degree if you can present a reason for a time deduction that is recognized by the Swedish Research Council. The circumstances recognized as valid reasons by the Swedish Research Council include: parental leave, positions of trust in trade union organisations and student organisations, mandatory service in the total defence, illness (own illness or care for close family members), medical internships or medical fellowship (applies to clinically active professionals). The last two categories may involve periods of up to 24 months each. Please note that unemployment, annual leave or other employment do not constitute valid reasons in this regard.

Should you wish to evoke such deductible periods of time, you must specify the reason and extent thereof in the application (cf. instructions under Descriptive data below).

We carry out random sampling checks and may request that you provide us with certificates that enable us to verify the reasons for time deduction included in your application.

Number of applications and previous grants

What grants may I apply for simultaneously?

You may only submit one application for this grant under this call for applications. You may not apply for an undirected research project grant in parallel. Should you be awarded a starting grant, you may also not apply for an undirected research project grant during the grant period.

Other restrictions in regard to grants that you are aligible to apply for in parallel in the same year are presented in the table below.

Table: Grants that can be applied for in parallelPDF

What eligibility criteria apply to holders of ongoing research grants from the Swedish Research Council?

There are certain restrictions if you are the project leader of an already awarded and ongoing grant, with a grant period (disbursement period from the Swedish Research Council) overlapping the grant period of the current grant application. Please observe that the period of availability, i.e. the period during which you may draw on the awarded grant, generally is longer than the grant period. You will find information on the rules that apply to your ongoing grant in the “Approval of terms” that you received from the Swedish Research Council. You may not apply for the starting grant if you have an ongoing research project grant for junior researchers (or if you have previously been the project leader of such a grant, which has now ended).

See the table below for further information on grants that are eligible for holders of ongoing grants.

Table: Grants eligible for applicants with ongoing grantsPDF

N.B.: If you have been project leader for grants from the Swedish Research Council before, you will only be able to apply for a new grant if the final financial report on all previous grants were submitted within the stipulated time period.

For questions as to whether all financial statements have been submitted, please turn to your administrating organisation.

Participating researchers

You may not include any participating researchers in this application. Collaboration partners (where applicable) and their roles shall be presented in the research plan (see instructions under Research plan below).

Costs and grant funding

You may apply for a minimum of 300,000 SEK per year, including indirect costs. You may apply for and be awarded a maximum of 1,500,000 SEK per year on average, i.e., a total maximum of six million SEK (including indirect costs) for a four-year period. The grant may be used to cover all kinds of project-related costs, e.g. salaries (including your own salary, which must as maximum correspond to your participation rate in the project), rental and property costs, operating costs (such as consumables, travel costs including visits to research centres, publishing costs and minor equipment) and depreciation costs. The grant may however not be used for scholarships. If a doctoral student takes part in the project, the grant may not be used to pay for his/her teaching hours.

The Swedish Research Council expects the administrating organisation, in its capacity of responsible employer, to cover any cost exceeding the awarded amount

Grant period

The grant is awarded for a period of four years, starting from January 2017. First payment is made in January 2017, at the earliest.

How do I apply?

You apply electronically through Prisma external link, opens in new window, which is the application system used by the Swedish Research Council. You create an application in the Prisma system by filling out the text fields, retrieving information from your personal account, and by enclosing the required appendices.

In order for you to be able to apply, your organisation must have become an approved administrating organisationopens in new window and created an organisation account in Prisma.

Most of the required steps in the Prisma system are described in the User Manualexternal link, opens in new window and the FAQ answersexternal link. We advise you to have a look at these documents when you write your application.

Creating a personal account in Prisma

Before you can apply, you must create a personal account in Prisma external link, opens in new window, where you will store your personal data and your CV. The information only has to be entered once, and may subsequently be supplemented or amended whenever necessary. The account will also enable you to register your publications for future use. Please note that publications stored in your account cannot be transferred to the application form. This is due to the fact that the publications function is still under development and has not yet been implemented in the Swedish Research Council’s calls. The publications list must therefore be presented in the form of an attached PDF file (see instructions under Publications below).

Please remember to create your personal account well in advance. The applications that you register in Prisma will be linked to your personal account.

All other participants, who will be involved in the preparation of the application must also create an individual Prisma account, and agree to their participation. Once that has been done, they will be able to link their account data to the application.


Some text fields are formattable, which means that in those fields you can change the font and size and insert certain tables, formulas and symbols. If you have written the text in advance using Microsoft Word, you will also be able to copy paste the text and keep the initial formatting. Pictures can however not be inserted into the text fields.

All text fields have limitations as to the number of characters and this will be illustrated by means of a counter. If you use too many characters you will not be able to register the application.


Both you, as applicant, and the official representative of the administrating organisation, must sign the application electronically in the Prisma system. More information can be found under the tab Registering the application below.

What must the application contain?

We ask you to familiarize yourself with the application form in Prisma at the same time as you read through the instructions below.


Foreign experts participate in the scientific assessment of the applications. To guarantee a well-functioning procedure and a level playing field in the review process, we therefore ask you to submit your application in English.

Application subsections

The application form contains the following tabs:

  • Descriptive data
  • Research summary
  • Budget and research resources
  • Publications (pdf)
  • Letter of support
  • Administrating organisation
  • Review panels
  • Participants
  • CV

Below you will find an outline of the information required under each tab. Mandatory information is marked with an asterisk* in the Prisma system.

Please note that there is a tab in the form for retrieval of publications from your personal Prisma account. This is however not used in the call and you may therefore disregard from it.

Descriptive data

Under this tab, you are requested to list the project title in Swedish and English, and to select keywords and SCB classification codes. In this section, you are also requested to fill in any deductible time period that you wish to evoke, and to provide an abstract and a popular science description (cf. instructions below).

Deductible time periods

Enter any longer interruptions during your time as an active researcher, which is due to a reason recognized by the Swedish Research Council. The research interruption period should be calculated and presented on a full-time basis and be rounded to full calendar months. For information on as to what qualifies as a valid reason, please see the heading Career age above.


The research plan abstract should contain a short description of:

  • The research activities to be undertaken.
  • The project implementation: the project organisation, the time table and the scientific methods to be used.
  • The significance of the planned research.

The abstract should include a brief outline of the aim and the implementation of the research activities. Please use a language that can also be understood by somebody with a different scientific background.

The outline may contain a maximum of 1,500 characters, including blank spaces (approximately half an A4 page in Times New Roman, size 12, single spacing).

Popular scientific description

Describe the project in a way that makes it possible to understand for a person not familiar with the subject. Describe why and how the research will be conducted, and explain in what way the new knowledge might be important.

The popular scientific description is an important tool for us when we provide information about research financed by the Swedish Research Council. If your application is approved, we therefore reserve the right to use the description for information purposes.

N.B.: Unlike the rest of the application, the popular scientific description must be written in Swedish.

The description may contain a maximum of 4,500 characters, including blank spaces (approximately one and a half A4 page in Times New Roman, size 12, single spacing).

Research summary

Under this tab, you are requested to enclose you research plan in a PDF format and describe ethical considerations.

Ethical considerations

Present the ethical issues raised by the research, and explain how they will be addressed in the research activities. If the research does not raise any ethical issues, this should also be stated. We also ask you to indicate whether the research includes animal experiments, experiments involving human subjects, or the handling of personal data.

N.B.: As from 12 October 2015, anyone who uses genetic resources (genetic material of actual or potential value) and traditional knowledge pertaining to genetic resources, which were accessed after 12 October 2014, shall follow the EU ABS declaration and declare that the resource and the knowledge used have been obtained in line with the applicable legislation, and distribute any benefit deriving from the use thereof in a fair and reasonable way. This only applies for awarded grants and does not have to be included in this application.

Exceptions apply to human genetic resources, material covered by the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, material included in the WHO´s Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework and genetic material obtained from the Deep Seas.

For questions about the EU ABS declaration, please contact the Swedish Environmental Protection Agencyexternal link, opens in new window (information in Swedish).

Research plan

In this section you are requested to attach your research plan in a PDF format. Please observe that the appendix may only contain one file, with a maximum size of 10 MB.

The research plan should consist of a short but complete description of the research task. The maximum length is ten A4 pages in Times New Roman, font size 12, single spacing, including references. The research plan should be given a forward-looking focus.

The following information must be included under separate headings in the research plan, and be listed in the given order:

  • Purpose and aims: Present the overall purpose and specific objectives of the research project.
  • Survey of the field: Outline previous research, either conducted by yourself or by others, as well as earlier research results in the field. Provide key references.
  • Project description: Summarize the project by describing the theories, methods, time table and implementation. You should also outline the project organisation, and clarify your own and any other researchers' roles in the project.
  • Significance: Describe the project’s significance to the research area.
  • Preliminary results: Describe your own experiments and pre-studies in the research area. If there are no preliminary results, this should also be stated.
  • Independent line of research: If you are currently - or will be - working in a large group, you are requested to show how your project relates to the other projects of the group. If you continue working on a project, which was fully or partly initiated during your doctoral or postdoctoral studies, you must also describe how your project relates to the research conducted by your former research advisor.

Provide information on the following points under a separate heading if you consider them relevant to your application:

  • Equipment: Describe the basic equipment that you, and the team, will have at your disposal for the project.
  • Need for infrastructure: Specify the need for international and national infrastructure within the project. Also specify the need for local infrastructure if such equipment depreciation costs are included in the application. Read more about research infrastructure supported by the Swedish Research Councilopens in new window.
  • International and national collaboration: Describe your and your team's cooperation with Swedish/foreign researchers and research groups. Indicate whether you participate in, or refer to, international cooperation in your research. You may use project grant funds from the Swedish Research Council to co-finance EU projects with a similar aim and direction. Indicate whether such coordination is being envisaged in the research plan.
  • Other grants: If you intend to apply for several research grants, or if you have an ongoing grant awarded by the Swedish Research Council, you need to clarify how the projects relate to each other. You should also justify why you submit several applications.

Budget and research resources

Under this tab, you are requested to include staffing costs, other costs and other project funding sources (where applicable).

Project staffing

Specify the dedicated time in the project (as a percentage of full-time employment) for all project members. Your dedicated time as project leader must at least equal 50 % of a full-time employment.

You must also include salaries for which you request funding, for yourself and/or other project members. Quote the amounts both in proportion to the full-time monthly salary and as actual annual earnings (including social security contributions). Quote the rounded amounts in SEK.

Other costs

Describe other project-related costs (e.g. rental and property charges, operating costs and depreciation costs). Quote the rounded amounts on an annual basis.

You may evoke depreciation costs relating to equipment that will be used in the project, provided that:

  • The equipment has an economic life span of at least three years.
  • The acquisition value of the equipment exceeds a certain threshold (please turn to your administrating organisation for information on the amount used by your department).
  • The equipment need for the proposed project cannot be met by means of freely available national or international infrastructure.

Read more about research infrastructure supported by the Swedish Research Council.opens in new window

You may only evoke the part of the depreciation costs that corresponds to the use of the equipment in the project for which you request funding. You may not evoke depreciation costs relating to equipment that is fully financed by means of other grants. If you have questions about what qualifies as local research infrastructure, acquisition values, or about how to calculate the depreciation costs, please contact your administrating organisation.

Total project cost

The application system will automatically add up the budget items that you enter in a table. The total amount requested shall also include indirect costs. You will have to add the indirect costs yourself. In this section, you are requested to add other additional project costs (for which you do not request funding within the framework of this call).

For questions as to what qualifies as a direct or indirect cost, please contact your HEI.

Explanation of the proposed budget

Briefly describe the main costs you intend to cover under the frame-work of the grant. The outline may contain a maximum of 4,000 characters including blank spaces (equivalent to approximately half an A4 page in Times New Roman, font size 12, single line spacing).

Other funding

List any other project funding (either subject to an application or awarded) besides the funding requested under this call. Quote the rounded amounts in SEK.

Publications (pdf)

Under this tab, we ask you to attach your publication list in a PDF format. Please observe that the appendix may only contain one file, with a maximum size of 10 MB. If the attachment contains several files, you will therefore have to join them into a single file.

Include publications made in the last eight years and mark the five publications that are the most relevant to the project with an asterisk (*).Highlight your name in bold. Sort the publications under the following numbered headings in the given order:

  1. Peer-reviewed original articles
  2. Peer-reviewed conference contributions (the findings presented may not have been reported in other publications).
  3. Monographs
  4. Research review articles
  5. Books and book chapters
  6. Popular science publications including books/presentations

N.B.: You shall only include articles (or equivalent) that have been published or accepted for publication. The application cannot be complemented with publications after the call has closed.

Letter of support

Here you attach a formal letter of support, from an authorised representative of the HEI where the research will be conducted, e.g., the head of the department or equivalent. The applicant’s name and the name and function/position of the authorised representative must be made clear. The document must not exceed two A4 pages and must be presented as a single file of maximum 4 MB in a PDF format.

The Letter of support must be written in English and contain the following information under the headings below:

Research profile

  • A description of how the applicant’s research is in line with the HEI’s and institution’s activities and future strategy
  • A description of how the applicant is in line with the activities with focus on the research and teaching merits
  • A description of the applicant’s scientific independence


  • Information about the applicant’s type of employment as well as funding of the employment during the whole grant period.
  • A description of the HEI’s career plan (if applicable) for the applicant during the grant period.
  • The administrating organisation acknowledges its commitment by signing the application in the Prisma system.

Administrating organisation

Under this tab, you are requested to list the administrating organisation and the project site. The administrating organisation is the organisation that administers and accounts for the funds of the awarded project under the terms and conditions laid down. The project site is the organisational unit where the project will be based. The administrating organisation and the project site generally correspond to the HEI and the department where the project leader will be employed.

An application can only be linked to an administrating organisation with an approved Prisma account. Unless your administrating organisation already has such an account, you will have to ask it to apply for an organisation accountexternal link, opens in new window with the Swedish Research Council.

Please contact your administrating organisation if your project site does not appear on the list. You have to provide the project site information to be able to finalize the registration of the application.

Review panels

Under this tab, you are requested to enter the review panel, or the review panels (in order of priority), that you would want to scientifically assess your application. The final decision on the distribution of applications between the review panels will be made by the Swedish Research Council.

Review panelsopens in new window


In this section, you may invite participating administrators to join the application. A participating administrator is a person, who does not take part in the project itself but can help you register and edit information in the application. Please note that you cannot include participating researchers in this application.

You may invite participating administrators, who do not yet hold a Prisma account. Each one of them must however open a personal Prisma account to be able to contribute to your application.

All participating administrators must accept the invitation before you can finalize the application registration. Remember to make sure that you use the right email addresses when you send invitations to participants, and that each address is linked to invited person's Prisma account.


Under this tab, you are requested to retrieve and enter relevant CV data stored in your personal Prisma account.

The following information must always (where available) be provided in your CV and limited to the number specified:

  • Education: Graduate studies, specialist degree, as well as basic and advanced education.
  • Professional history: Current employment and longer relevant positions you have held, postdoctoral visits and research exchanges that are relevant for the described research and any longer interruption in the research that has affected your ability to qualify as a researcher.
  • Merits and awards: Fellowship, supervised persons (postdocs and postgraduate students; indicate the total number for each category and indicate up to 10 persons that are most relevant), up to 10 of your most relevant awarded competitive grants, up to 10 of your most relevant awards and distinctions, as well as up to 20 potential other merits of relevance to the application.
  • Intellectual property: E.g., patents and freely available computer programs that you have developed, please indicate up to 10 of your most relevant.

Registering the application

When you open the Registering the application tab, the system will perform a check to verify if any mandatory information is missing and inform you of any need for supplements. The application will not be registered unless you click the Register button.

Remember to use the preview function in order to double-check your application before submitting it!

N.B.: Please note that all invited participants must accept your invitation before you can proceed to register the application. Invitations that have not been accepted have to be removed.

The registered application can then be viewed in your personal Prisma account, under Applications and Applications and grants in the menu. If necessary, a registered application may be de-registered, edited and re-registered up to the call deadline.

You are responsible for ensuring that the application is complete, that is to say that the application form is filled out correctly, the required appendices are submitted, and that the requested information is provided in accordance with the instructions. We ask you to only submit specifically requested information. After the closing date, application addenda will only be accepted in cases where we have asked for supplements.

Signing the application

When you register the application, it will automatically be signed by you in your capacity of project leader. The application must also be signed by the official representative of the administrating organisation in order for it to be considered complete and be processed further in the review process. This representative is normally the head of the department where the research will be conducted, but that will depend on the organisational structure of your administrating organisation.

The signature of the applicant confirms that:

  • The information contained in the application is correct and in line with the instructions from the Swedish Research Council.
  • Any side-line occupation and/or commercial ties have been reported to the administrating organisation, and that no conflict with the principles of good research practice has been established.
  • The necessary permits and approvals are in place at the start of the project, e.g. concerning the ethical review.

The signature of the administrating organisation confirms that:

  • The organisation will accommodate the research and the equipment, and employ the applicant during the time period and to the extent presented in the application.
  • The organisation approves the cost estimate presented in the application.
  • The project will be conducted in accordance with Swedish law.

The parties must have discussed the above-mentioned points before the representative of the administrating organisation approves and signs the application.

N.B.: The official representative of the administrating organisation must have signed the application in Prisma within a week (seven calendar days) of the application deadline for it to be considered further in the review process.

What happens next?

When the call closes (at 2:00 PM on the final day for submission of applications), the registered application will automatically become final and given a registration number.

Your registered application will automatically be forwarded to the official representative of the administrating organisation, who shall sign the application within a week (seven calendar days) of the application deadline. You will receive an auto-generated email when the application has been signed.

You will find information about the status of the application, the registration number and the application signature under the tab Applications and grants in your account.

Scientific evaluation

The scientific assessment of the application will be made by active researchers. These peer reviewers evaluate each application (in competition with the other applications) on the basis of the assessment criteria established by the Swedish Research Council.

If an application does not comply with the instructions, this will be taken into account in the application review.

How your application is evaluatedopens in new window

The Swedish Research Council's conflict of interest policyopens in new window

The Swedish Research Council's gender equality strategyopens in new window


Shortly after the grant funding decisions have been taken, information on the awarded grants will be published on the web page of the Swedish Research Council. After that, a notification of decision and a final statement for your application can be found in your personal account under the tab Applications and grants. The final statement contains the application grading and, in some cases, written comments.


For questions relating to the application content:

For questions relating to the application content, please contact us by email at: or by telephone at: +46 (0)8-546 44 052. The phone number is staffed weekdays from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM during the opening period of the call. Thursday 24 Mars the phone number is open to 2:00 PM.

Technical questions

We kindly ask you to first consult the help menu in the Prisma system, where you will find instructions and FAQsexternal link, opens in new window as well as a detailed user manualexternal link, opens in new window, which describe most of the required steps in Prisma.

If you cannot find the answer to your technical question in the above-mentioned information material, please contact our technical support teamexternal link, opens in new window. Please note that depending on the workload, it may take up to 1-2 working days before you get a reply.

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Updated: 2016-03-23

Conditions for applications and grants

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:

Approved administrating organisations

Commercial Interests

Ethical guidelines

Indirect costs

Open access

Public access