Project Research Grant – Alternatives to animal experiments according to the 3R principle

The aim of the project research grant is to give you, as a researcher, the opportunity to solve a specific research task, and to promote the development of alternative methods to animal testing according to the 3R principle. The call is published in consultation with the Swedish Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket).

The Swedish Research Council supports basic research of the highest scientific quality on human biology/medicine issues (i.a. to bridge the gap between experimental biomedical research and patient-centred research), and promotes research cooperation and exchanges of experiences.

Terms and conditions

In case the application, or the applicant, does not fulfil the eligibility criteria for the grant in question, or if the application guidelines have not been adhered to, the Research Council may reject and thereby not consider the application.

Line of research

For this project research grant, it is an absolute requirement that the focus on alternative methods to animal testing be considered relevant in relation to the 3R principle. By alternative methods, we hereby refer to methods, which refine, reduce and/or replace the use of animal testing, often referred to as the 3R concept. More information on how to present the project's relevance to the research field can be found below.

Who may apply?

The project grant is open to individual researchers, who also serve as project leaders and scientific project supervisors. The applicant's active participation in the project must at least equal 20 percent of a full-time employment.

The applicant must hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent foreign degree. The doctoral degree must have been awarded before the deadline of this call. The date of issue will be considered to be the point in time when all the requirements of the degree were fulfilled (for example mandatory courses, the oral public defense of the doctoral thesis and the approved doctoral thesis).

Participating researchers

By participating researchers, we refer to the Swedish or foreign researchers with a doctoral degree, who play a key role in the implementation of the proposed research activities. The participating researchers do not have to be on the payroll of the proposed project. Likewise, the persons included on the proposed payroll list do not have to be participating researchers. Participating researchers do not have to be employed by a Swedish university or a Swedish HEI. Participating researchers will have to present the required application data on their own behalf. Information on other research partners should be given in the research plan section (cf. instructions below). 

Grant period

The project grant is awarded for a period of up to three years, starting from January 2016. The grant disbursements will start in January 2016 at the earliest.

Costs and grant funding

The grant may be used to cover all kinds of project-related costs, e.g. salaries (including your own salary, which must correspond to your participation rate in the project), rental and property costs, operating costs 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 minimum amount that you may apply for is 300,000 SEK per year, including indirect costs. If you apply for a lower amount, the application will be rejected.

Here you can read about last year's awarded project grants in the field of alternative methods to animal testing according to the 3R principle 

Number of grants and applications

What grants may I apply for simultaneously?

You may only submit one application under this project grant call targeting alternatives to animal experiments according to the 3R principle. Provided that the project idea is different, you may however apply for one of our project grants with another focus (in 2015, this includes: Energy-oriented basic research, Artistic research, Development research and Junior researchers).

Other restrictions applied by the Swedish Research Council in regard to grants that are eligible in parallel in the same year can be found in the table below. 

Table: Grants that may be applied for simultaneouslyPDF

What grants may I apply for if I have an ongoing research grant?

The Swedish Research Council has laid down restrictions governing the types of grants that are open to project leaders involved in projects that benefit from an ongoing project grant. By ongoing grant, we refer to a previously awarded grant with a funding period (disbursements awarded by the Swedish Research Council), which overlaps in part or in full with the funding period of the current application. Please observe that the awarded funds generally remain available for some time after the end of the grant period. Please consult the notification letter ("Underrättelse om beslut") from the Swedish Research Council, if you are not sure what applies to your grant.

You may not apply for the project grant targeting alternatives to animal experiments if you are currently acting as project leader in an ongoing project with the same focus. You are however eligible if the ongoing project grant concerns a different line of research and a different project idea. See the table below for further information on grants that are eligible for holders of ongoing grants.

Table: Grants eligible for researchers with ongoing grantsPDF

Grant administration

The grant will be administered by a Swedish university, a Swedish HEI, or another public organisation in Sweden that fulfils the Swedish Research Council’s requirements for administrating organisations. In case you organisation is not already an approved administrating organisation, it should apply for this status by opening an organisation accountexternal link, opens in new window with the Swedish Research Council. The account will be subject to validation.

For all grants funded by the Swedish Research Council, a final financial report must be presented within the prescribed deadlines. If you have been awarded funding before, we will check that all financial reports for previously awarded grants have been submitted. Should a financial report be missing, the current application will be rejected. For questions as to whether all financial statements have been submitted, please turn to the administrating organisation.

Employment status and terms of employment

Project leaders, who are awarded funding from the Swedish Research Council, shall be employed by the administrating organisation when the grant period begins, unless the Swedish Research Council, the administrating organisation or another employer agree otherwise. The employment with the administration organisation must at least equal 20 percent of a full-time employment. You do not have to be employed when the application is submitted. The administrating organisation will acknowledge this commitment by signing the application in the Prisma system (cf. below).

Instructions for applying 

Applications are submitted electronically through Prismaexternal link, the new application system of the Swedish Research Council. An application prerequisite is that your HEI has been approved as an administrating organisation and created an organisation account in Prisma.

Prisma user manual

The instructions on how to apply (presented below) follow the application form structure of the Prisma system. We advise you to familiarize yourself with the form at the same time as you go through the instructions. Most of the required steps in the Prisma system are described in the user manualexternal link, opens in new window, which provides instructions and answers to frequently asked questionsexternal link, opens in new window. We advise you to have a look at the user manual when writing your application.

Creating a personal account in Prisma

Before you can apply, you must create a personal account in Prismaexternal link, opens in new window, where your personal data will be stored.  The account will also enable you to register your CV and publications for future use. You only have to enter the information once. The information may subsequently be supplemented or amended whenever necessary. 

Please note that under this call, you only retrieve the data on postgraduate studies from your (or from any participating researcher's) personal Prisma account. The complete CV and publication list must therefore be enclosed separately in a PDF format.

The applications that you register in Prisma will be linked to your account. Please remember to create your personal account well in advance. Participating researchers and administrative staff members must also create personal Prisma accounts, and confirm their involvement in the application before the application deadline. If your employer is connected to SWAMIDexternal link, opens in new window, you may use the same login data – that you use at the workplace – to access the Prisma system.

In order to be able to create a Prisma account, you need a so-called ORCID-id. ORCID is an international researcher directory that forms a mandatory part of the Prisma system. If you have not already created a researcher ID, you can do so on the ORCID websiteexternal link, opens in new window (a link is also provided in Prisma). Please note that publications listed in ORCID are not linked to the Prisma system.


The scientific assessment of the applications is partly done by foreign peer reviewers. In order to guarantee a well-functioning procedure and a level playing field in the review process, we ask you to submit your application in English.

Application text fields

You create an application in the Prisma system by filling out the text fields, using drop-down menus and information from your personal account, and by enclosing the required appendices.

Some text fields may be formatted, making it possible for you to 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 use a function that enables you to insert the text and keep the initial formatting. Pictures may however not be inserted into the text fields.

All free text fields have limitations as to the number of characters. The application system will object if you try to register an application containing too many characters in a text field, or if mandatory information is missing or needs to be revised.

Remember to double-check your application before submitting it!

Signing the application

Both the applicant, and the official representative of the administrating organisation, must sign the application electronically in the Prisma system. More information is given under the tab "Registering the application".

Content of the application

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. You should only submit information that we explicitly ask for. After the closing date, application addenda will only be accepted in cases where we have made a request for more information. If you do not fulfil the conditions of the research grant that you apply for, or if you haven’t followed the instructions, this may either be considered in the application assessment or result in your application being rejected and thus not considered further.

We ask you to write your application in English. All the mandatory and optional information should be provided under the respective tabs in the application form (mandatory information is marked with an asterisk (*) in Prisma):

  • Descriptive data
  • Research plan
  • Budget and research resources
  • CV and publications (PDF format)
  • Administrating organisation
  • Review panels
  • Participants
  • CV (only postgraduate studies)
  • Publications (N.B.: This tab does not apply to this call and should therefore be left empty)

The applicant signs the application by registering it under the tab "Registering the application". The application cannot be submitted unless all mandatory information has been provided. The official representative of the administrative organisation must also sign the application in order for it to become final and processed further in the review process (cf. "Registrating the application" below).

Descriptive data

Enter the project title in Swedish and English, the project period (number of years) and the project classifications (keywords and available SCB classification codes). Under descriptive data, you are also requested to provide an abstract and a popular science description (cf. below).


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 implementation of the research activities. Please use a language that can also be understood by somebody with a different scientific background.

Popular scientific description 

Describe the project in a way that makes it possible to understand for a person not familiar with the subject. Outline the research activities that will be undertaken, 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.

Please note that unlike the rest of the application, the popular scientific description must be written in Swedish.

Research plan

Ethical considerations

Present ethical issues raised by the research, and explain how they will be addressed in the research. If the research does not raise any ethical issues, this should also be stated. You should also indicate whether the research includes trials on animals or human beings, or the processing of personal data.

Research plan

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), including references. The research plan should be given a forward-looking focus.

We ask you to write the research plan, like the other parts of the application, in English.

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

  • Purpose and aims: Present the overall purpose and specific objectives of the research project (or equivalent). 
  • Survey of the field: Outline previous research, either conducted by yourself or by others, as well as earlier research findings in the field. Provide key references. 
  • Project description: Summarize the project by describing the theories, methods, time table and implementation. You should also describe the project organisation and clarify your own and the participating researchers' roles in the project (in this section, you may also include other researchers, who are not listed as participants in the application form). 
  • Significance: Describe the project’s significance to the research field.
  • Preliminary results: Describe your own experiments and pre-studies in the research area. If there are no such preliminary results, this should also be stated.

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 Council.
  • International and national collaboration: Describe your and your team's cooperation with Swedish/foreign researchers and research teams. 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. 
  • Independent line of research: If you are working, or will be working, in a large group, you will have to show how your project relates to the other projects. If you continue working on a project, which was fully or partly initiated during your doctoral or postdoctoral studies, you must describe how your project relates to the research conducted by your former research advisor.
  • Clinical significance: Describe in what ways the project findings may benefit the practical clinical work in the field of medicine and health. 

Relevance to the call objectives

Describe in what way your project is relevant to, and promotes the development of, the field. The 3R relevance must be described in terms of qualitative and quantitative effects. Under the quantitative effects, you may for instance include the estimated reduction in the number of laboratory animals needed once the alternative method has been validated and applied. Under the qualitative effects, you may for example address whether:

  • The findings will result in a situation where particularly painful animal tests can be replaced or refined to alleviate the pain?
  • The findings could be of general use, or whether they are specific to a limited research area?
  • The findings could be implemented nationally or internationally?
  • The results obtained may influence the legal framework, or be used in the ethical evaluation of animal tests?
  • The project methods are subject to validation and, if so, in what way?

Please note that 3R relevance constitutes an absolute requirement for this call. It is therefore of outmost importance that a well-developed account of the relevance in relation to the 3R concept be provided.  

The description may contain a maximum of 4,000 characters including blank spaces (equivalent to approximately one A4 page in Times New Roman, font size 12).

Scientific report/account of scientific activities or previous research projects

If you are the project leader an ongoing project grant (subject to disbursements up to and including 2015), you must submit a preliminary scientific report. This scientific report must contain an account of how the project has progressed so far.

State the project title, the file number, the amounts and the grant period concerned (that is to say the disbursement period applied by the Swedish Research Council, but not the extended period during which the funds will be at your disposal) of the previous project. You should outline:

  • Scientific results obtained so far within the framework of the approved project, which have not previously been reported to the Swedish Research Council.
  • The relationship between the approved project and the envisaged project (please note that this information should also be provided under the heading "Other grants" in the research plan section).
  • The accumulated research resources that you have had at your disposal for the implementation of the project during the grant period. The type of grant, the funding body, the grant holder(s) and the amounts concerned (including the project already approved by the Swedish Research Council).

The description may contain a maximum of 8,000 characters including blank spaces (equivalent to approximately 2 A4 pages in Times New Roman, font size 12).

Budget and research resources

This research grant portion may include all kinds of project-related costs, for example salaries, rental and property costs, operating costs (such as consumables, travel costs including visits to research centres, publishing costs and minor equipment) as well as depreciation costs.

The minimum amount that you may apply for is 300,000 SEK per year, including indirect costs. For questions as to what qualifies as a direct or indirect cost, please contact your HEI.

Project staffing

Specify the employment rate (as a percentage of full-time employment) for all project staff members, both for participating researchers and other personnel. Your work as project leader must at least equal 20 percent of a full-time employment. You must also indicate the salaries for which you request funding (for yourself and/or other project staff members). The amounts must both be quoted 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 to 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 applicable amount).
  • 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.

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. Consequently, 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 costs 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 into a table. You will have to add indirect costs and other possible additional project costs (for which you do not request funding within the framework of this call).

Explanation of the proposed budget

Write a brief justification statement for each item in the proposed project budget. The description may contain a maximum of 4,000 characters including blank spaces (equivalent to approximately one A4 page in Times New Roman, font size 12).

Other funding

List other available research funds than those requested for the project and project period under this call. Such funds may either have been subject to an application or awarded. Quote the rounded amounts in SEK.

CV and publications 

Attach the appendices to the respective text fields in the application (in PDF format). Please observe that each appendix may only contain one file, with a maximum size of 10 MB. If you intend to enclose several documents, you will therefore have to put them all together in a single file attachment.


Enclose your CV, and that of any participating researcher. Each CV must fit within the overall page limit of two A4 pages. The list of publications should be presented separately.

The following information must be submitted under the numbered headings below, in the given order (leave not applicable fields empty):

  1. Higher education qualification(s): year, subject field and HEI.
  2. Doctoral degree: year, discipline/subject field, HEI, title of the thesis and the name of the doctoral supervisor.
  3. Postdoctoral positions: year and location.
  4. Qualification required for appointments as a docent: year.
  5. Current position: term of appointment and research portion.
  6. Previous positions and periods of appointment: type of position and appointment periods.
  7. Interruption in research In this section, you may describe any longer interruption in your active research time, which has affected your qualification opportunities, e.g. interruptions due to parental leave,  medical internships or medical residencies (applies to clinically active professionals), positions of trust, or similar circumstances. Specify the extent of each interruption.
  8. Supervision: Doctoral and postdoctoral students that you have supervised in the capacity of primary supervisor (name(s) and years).
  9. Other merits of relevance to the application.


Enclose your own and the participating researchers' lists of publications for the last eight years. On each list, the five publications that are the most relevant to the project should be marked with an asterisk (*). Sort the publications using the following numbered headings in their order of appearance:

  1. Peer-reviewed original articles
  2. Peer-reviewed conference contributions (the findings must not have been reported in other publications).
  3. Monographs
  4. Research review articles
  5. Books and book chapters 
  6. Patents: Enter the date of registration.
  7. Open access computer programs or databases you have developed
  8. Popular science articles/presentations

N.B.: Only include articles (or equivalent) that have been published or accepted for publication.

Administrating organisation

Enter the name of 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 implemented. The administrating organisation and the project site generally correspond to the university/HEI and the department where the project leader will be employed.

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 submit the application.

An application can only be linked to an administrating organisation that has an approved Prisma account. You must ask your administrating organisation to open an organisation account with the Swedish Research Council if it does not already have such an account.

Review panels

Indicate review panel MH-3R, for the scientific evaluation of your application.

Review panels


Under this tab, you may (in the capacity of applicant) invite participating researchers and administrators to join your application. By participating researcher we refer to a person, who will have a key role in the realization of the proposed research. You may include a maximum of six participating researchers in the application. A participating administrator is a person, who does not take part in the project itself but can help applicants register and edit information.

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

Please note that all invited participants must accept your invitation before the final registration of the application. Invitations must be answered or removed before the application can be submitted.


Fill out the CV by selecting the relevant information or data from your personal Prisma account. For this application, you only have to provide information on your, and the participating researchers', postgraduate studies under this tab.

You will only be able to select and edit your own personal data. Participating researchers have to enter the information on their postgraduate studies that is stored in their respective Prisma accounts. You will be able to send a reminder to the participating researchers in this respect.

Please note that for this application, the CV should be attached as an appendix in PDF format (more information can be found under the heading "CV and publications" above). You may add other CV-related entries to your Prisma account but you will not be able to use them for this call for proposals. You will however be able to use information stored on your account for future applications to the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet), the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte) or the Swedish Research Council Formas.

Registering the application

You sign the application by submitting it. The application cannot be submitted unless all mandatory information has been provided. Submitted applications can be found under "Applications", under the tab '"Applications and grants".

The application must be signed by the applicant, as well as by the official representative of the administrating organisation. The institution is normally represented by the head of the department, where the research is to be conducted. This does however depend on the organisational structure of the administrating organisation. The submitted application will automatically be forwarded to the official representative of the administrating organisation for signature when the call is closed.

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 conflicts have arisen that would conflict with good research practice.
  • The necessary permits and approvals are in place at the start of the project, e.g. in the ethical review field.

The signature of the administrating organisation confirms that:

  • The research, employment and equipment indicated will be accommodated in the institution during the time, and to the extent, described in the application.
  • The institution approves the cost estimate presented in the application.
  • The research is conducted according to Swedish legislation.

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 your application in Prisma no later than one week after the closing day of the call.

Scientific evaluation 

The scientific assessment of the applications is done 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.

How your application is evaluated

The handling of conflicts of interest at the Swedish Research Council

The gender equality strategy of the Swedish Research Council

Grant funding decision

In the beginning of November 2015, at the latest, the Swedish Research Council will publish the grant funding decisions on the website. The notification of decisions and final statements will then be published in your personal Prisma account.

The grant disbursements will start in January 2016 at the earliest.

When and how should the application be submitted?

Submit the finalized application in the application system Prisma no later than 2 PM on Thursday the 26 of March 2015. If necessary, a registered application may be de-registered, edited and re-registered up to the call deadline.

When the call is closed at 2 PM on the 26 of March 2015, the registered application will automatically become final and given a registration number. N.B.: The official representative of the administrating organisation must have signed the application in Prisma no later than a week (seven calendar days) after the application deadline in order for your application to be considered further in the review process. The official representative’s signature will be subject to an automatic signature procedure within the organisational structure established by the administrating organisation. You will receive an auto-generated email when the application has been signed.

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


Questions relating to the application content

Please take the time to familiarize yourself with the application form in Prisma before contacting the contact persons below.

Agneta Backman,, +46(0)8-546 44 008

Ana Beramendi, , +46(0)8-546 44 015

Malin Eklund,, +46(0)8-546 44 256

Tina Glans,, +46(0)8-546 44 281

Technical questions

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

If you're unable to find the answer to your technical question there, please contact our technical support teamexternal link, opens in new window. Please note that it may take up to 1-2 working days before you get a reply, depending on the team's workload.

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Updated: 2015-03-24


Area of science:
Medicine and Health
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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 interestsEthical guidelines

The bold text in the paragraph "Creating a personal account in Prisma" has been clarified on March 24.

The sentence "Please note that the preliminary report does not replace the mandatory final report to be submitted to the Swedish Research Council." has been removed in the paragraph "Scientific report/account of scientific activities or previous research projects" as of March 24.