Postdoctoral Fellowships

These fellowships give researchers holding a Swedish doctorate, or a degree from the European University Institute (EUI), the opportunity for temporary placement at a foreign university or research institute.
The research project that you plan to conduct must differ substantially from your previous research. In this context, “substantially" refers to new directions, new innovations, or new orientations in relation to your previous research.



Individual researchers may apply for a Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Required qualifications

You must hold a Swedish doctoral degree or equivalent degree from the European University Institute (EUI) awarded not more than 3 years before, but not later than, the closing date for applications. Even if you were awarded your doctoral degree earlier, you could be considered if special circumstances interrupted your period of active research. “Special circumstances" refer to leave due to:
  • sickness
  • military service
  • positions of trust in trade union organisations and student organisations
  • parental leave, or other similar circumstances
  • medical residency (up to 24 months)
  • maximum of 24 months of continuing education/specialist training for categories of clinically active professionals.

If you request a time deduction you must specify the amount on your application form. In your CV, clearly specify the reasons, dates, and amount of time to be deducted. We cannot consider your request unless the reasons are clearly described. We strictly apply the 3-year rule and may request additional information from you to verify the information provided.

Grant period


The grant can be awarded from the Swedish Research Council for 6 to 24 months, and the period must begin during the second 6 months of 2011.

Costs and grant amount

A standard amount is awarded for postdoctoral fellowships, adjusted for the cost level in the country visited and normally tax-free.


Postdoctoral Fellowships are administered by the Swedish Research Council. Your signature is the only signature required on the application form (Appendix S).

Homecoming Grant


The Swedish Research Council includes a Homecoming Grant in Postdoctoral Fellowships in Natural and Engineering Sciences and Medicin and Health.
This grant is intended to provide you with opportunities to re-establish yourself in Sweden, to join a research group, and to introduce and apply your experience from the postdoctoral period. Homecoming Grants are disbursed for a limited period.
Homecoming Grants cover a period of employment corresponding to half the duration of your Postdoctoral Fellowship. However, your placement abroad must have lasted at least 12 months. Before you can be eligible for a Homecoming Grant, the department head (or equivalent) at the higher education institution where you intend to work must certify that you will be provided with a workplace, operating funds, requisite infrastructure, and other necessities for implementing the project.
To receive a Homecoming Grant you must submit an application not later than 3 months before you plan to return. Your application must include a project plan, certification from the institution/department where you worked, a career development plan drawn up in cooperation with the institution/department in Sweden where you intend to work, and certification from the foreign institution/department showing the number of months that you used the Swedish Research Council's Postdoctoral Fellowship.
You will receive more information about Homecoming Grants if we approve your application for a Postdoctoral Fellowship.  

Application content

The application must contain the following:
  • Summary
  • Popular science description
  • Research programme (Appendix A)
  • CV (Appendix B)
  • Publication list (Appendix C)
  • International Postdoctoral Fellowship (Appendix I)
  • Signatures (Appendix S)  


The summary of the research programme should be written in English and contain a brief description of:
  • what will be done
  • how the research will be conducted, what scientific methods will be used
  • what has been done previously
  • what is important about the planned research.
The text should quickly orient the reader to the purpose and implementation of the research. Write in a style that allows people from other research backgrounds to easily comprehend the information.
Fill in the summary on the form in the application system.  

Popular science description

Describe the project in a popular science style so that even those who are not familiar with the topic can understand.
  • Describe what will be done and why.
  • Emphasise the basic research.
  • Explain in what way the new knowledge can be important.
The popular science description, which must be written in Swedish, is an important tool when the Swedish Research Council informs others about the research we finance. If we award funding for your application we have the right to use the description for informational purposes.
Fill in the popular science description on the form in the application system.  

Research programme (Appendix A)

Appendix A must present a brief but complete description of the research objective (maximum of ten A4 pages, including references). Please note that any pages beyond the number allowed will not be considered in the evaluation.
The research programme must include the following information, under separate headings:
  • Purpose and aims. Present the overall purpose and specific goals of the research project (or equivalent).
  • Survey of the field. Summarise your own and others´ research and previous findings in the research field. Provide key references.
  • Project description. Summarise the project´s design. Describe theory, methods, timetable, and implementation.

Present the following under a special heading, if relevant to the application:

  • Equipment. Describe the basic equipment for the project that you and your group have at your disposal.
  • International and national collaboration. Describe the collaboration that you and your group have with foreign and Swedish researchers and research groups. Report on international collaboration that you participate in, or are associated with, through your research.
  • Ethical considerations. Present the ethical issues that the project (or equivalent) faces, and describe how they will be addressed in your research.

CV/Scientific qualifications (Appendix B)

You must submit a CV (maximum of two A4 pages). List your publications separately in Appendix C.

Specify under the following numbered headlines, in this order:

  1. Higher education degree(s) (year, subject area)
  2. Doctoral degree (year, discipline/subject area, dissertation title, and supervisor).
  3. Postdoctoral work, (year and placement).
  4. Qualifications as research fellow/associate professor (year).
  5. Current position, period of appointment, share of time spent in research.
  6. Previous positions and periods of appointment (specify type of position). State here if you have previously held a Postdoctoral Position, and if so in what subject area.
  7. Special circumstances regarding time deducted from active research time.  Accurately specify reasons (parental leave, sickness, positions of trust in trade union organisations and student organisations, military service, residency, specialist training, or other reasons), dates, and number of months. Under “other reasons" clearly specify the reasons for your request for a time deduction.
  8. People who have completed their doctoral degree under your supervision (name, year of disputation [i.e. oral public defence of PhD thesis]).
  9. Students for whom you have been the primary supervisor (name, time).
Lastly, provide other information of importance to the application. Items that do not apply to you should be left blank.  

Publication list (Appendix C)

Mark your five most important publications with a single asterisk (*).
Categorise the publications under the numbered headings, in the following order:
  1. Peer-reviewed articles
  2. Peer-reviewed conference contributions (the results of which are not presented in other publications)
  3. Review articles, book chapters, books
  4. Patents
  5. Open access computer programs that you have developed
  6. Popular science articles/presentations

Note! Include only articles (or equivalent) that have been published or accepted for publication.  

Appendix I — International Postdoctoral Fellowship

Include the following in Appendix I:


  • Date you were awarded your initial degree (the degree you received before postgraduate studies commenced, e.g. Master's degree).
  • Date you were admitted to postgraduate studies.
  • Date you were awarded your doctoral degree.

Host institution/department

  • Contact person at the host institution (first name and surname, telephone number, and e-mail address of the contact person, normally the same person who wrote the letter of invitation).
  • Host institution´s postal address (in the following order: host university/institute, department, address, country).
  • Describe how the research at the host institution differs from the research at the institution where you engaged in postgraduate studies and obtained your doctoral degree.
  • Describe the potential importance of the postdoctoral placement and how you expect to benefit from it.
  • Describe the results you expect from the project.
  • Describe why you selected this particular host institution (describe your opportunities to develop your expertise as a researcher).
  • Describe your ethical considerations, if the research involves such issues.

Duration of stay at host institution


Indicate the dates you plan to start and conclude your stay at the host institution. The grant can be awarded from the Swedish Research Council for 6 to 24 months, and the period must begin during the second 6 months of 2011.  

Accompanying spouses, partners, and children 

Indicate if anyone will be accompanying you during your stay. Indicate the number of accompanying children and their ages.  

Additional attachments 

Do also attach the following documents (in pdf format) to Appendix I
  • Your doctoral diploma or certification that you have successfully completed postgraduate education if your application for a doctoral degree is being processed.
  • Certification from the host institution in Sweden showing that you are welcome to conduct the planned research there.
Certification from the foreign host institution must also include:
  • A presentation of the host institution and the research group
  • A description of the group´s current area of activity, including research quality and expertise in the research area
  • A list of the research group´s most relevant publications and patents in the research area
  • A description of host institution´s arrangements on your behalf (opportunities for further qualifications and development, available resources, equipment, etc)
  • A statement about your planned research
  • The research group´s reasons for hosting you.  

Signatures (Appendix S)

Appendix S is generated automatically when you register your application. Print out Appendix S and sign it. The signature confirms that:
  • the described research, position, and equipment will be allocated space in the institution
  • you have reported your side-line occupations and commercial ties, and nothing has emerged that would conflict with good research practice.
  • necessary permission and approval have been granted to the project, e.g. regarding ethical review.

You should discuss the points above with your host institution
Send Appendix S by regular mail to the Swedish Research Council.

Remember! Appendix S, complete with signatures, must be received by the Swedish Research Council not later than 3 working days after the closing date for applications.

You will find the address and closing date for applications in the section, “When and how to apply". 

Instructions for applying

Apply electronically via the Swedish Research Council´s application system (VR-Direct) by completing an application form. On each page of the appendixes, enter your name, personal identity number, and appendix designation. Send Appendix S (paper form), complete with signatures, to the Swedish Research Council.
  • You are responsible for the completeness of the application, i.e. that all application forms and appendixes are filled in properly. The Swedish Research Council does not process incomplete applications. Failure to comply with the instructions will be taken into account in the evaluation.
  • We do not accept additional information after the closing date for applications (apart from such information that we expressly request).
  • If funding from another funding body is awarded for the same or similar purpose described in this application, notify the Swedish Research Council as soon as possible.
  • Attach only the material that we expressly request. Other material, e.g. letters of recommendation or offprints will not be evaluated.
  • You may submit only one application for each project and type of grant.
  • In your application, specify the higher education institution (or equivalent) where you intend to conduct your work.
  • The application and appendixes should be written in English since the Swedish Research Council uses international reviewers. The obligatory popular science description and your address should be written in Swedish. Write the project title in both Swedish and English.
  • Write the appendixes in A4 format, using a 25mm margin and Times New Roman 12 font. When we print out the applications, we use a resolution of 200-300 dpi and possibly greyscale. Hence, you should adapt your images to that standard. Remember that the pdf files must not be    password protected.
  • The application form automatically requests the required appendixes.

General terms and conditions for applications

It is important for you to become familiar with the Swedish Research Council´s general terms and conditions regarding grant applications.

Read more about the general terms and conditions for applicants:
Ethical guidelines
Public access
Commercial interests
Collaborating to construct and phase out databases
Misconduct in research
Read more in the European Charter for Researchers on the EU websitesexternal link, opens in new window

Evaluation and decisions

Active researchers conduct the scientific evaluation of applications. Using the assessment criteria of the Swedish Research Council, these researchers evaluate your application in competition with other applications. The application will be evaluated based on the competence and future potential of the applicant, scientific quality of the project and the scientific quality of the research group. Indicate on your application form the evaluation panel that should review your application. 

Evaluation panel
Addressing conflicts of interest at the Swedish Research Council 


In late May 2011, the Swedish Research Council will publish its funding decisions on the website. The decisions and comments will be sent to all applicants.
Disbursement of awarded funds will begin in July 2011 at the earliest. 

When and how to apply

Applications for Postdoctoral Fellowships and Grants for Postdoctoral Positions in Sweden that become effective during the second half of 2011 must be received by the Swedish Research Council not later than 24th of February 2011.
Submit your application electronically via the application system no later than 12:00 midnight (24.00) on Thursday, 24 of February 2011. The Swedish Research Council is open until 4 p.m. (16.00) on the closing date for applications.
You are responsible for the completeness of your application.
Send Appendix S (paper form), complete with your signature, to the address below. Appendix S must be received by the Swedish Research Council not later than Tuesday 1st of March 2011, 3 working days after the closing date for applications.

Swedish Research Council
Box 1035
101 38  Stockholm  

Please note!
Previously we have experienced overload problems in our application system during the final days before the application deadline. Hence, we encourage you to submit your application in good time.


Questions about application content
Humanities and Social Sciences, Educational Sciences and Artistic Research and Development
Janet Eltebo, e-mail:, Telephone: 08-546 44 290

Medicine and Health
Paola Norlin, e-mail:, Telephone: 08-546 44 311
Natural and Engineering Sciences
Sung-Za Ödelycke, e-mail:, Telephone:08-546 44 307

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Updated: 2011-01-18


Area of science:
Humanities and Social Sciences, Medicine and Health, Natural and Engineering Sciences, Educational Sciences, Artistic Research
Last application date:
Västra Järnvägsgatan 3
Box 1035, SE-101 38  Stockholm
Telefon: +46(0)8-546 44 000
Fax: +46(0)8-546 44 180
Org nr: 202100-5208
Invoice address: FE 57, SE-833 83 Strömsund