Independent observers’
report on a pilot review of
the principles of the research
funding process

Two independent observers have reviewed Formas’ process for granting project proposals and how the agency lives up to established principles. The project was conducted as a pilot to test new approaches and the observers followed the work in Formas’ annual open call. Some of the results are suggestions how to conduct recurring reviews applied to different types of Formas calls.



The process of granting proposals at Formas is highly praised by the observers. Not least they highlight that chairs and members of the review panels have a high level of confidence in the process, that it is considered fair and transparent, and that the review process leads to the best projects being granted funding. Issues that Formas should concentrate on developing are more explicit information and procedures, and closer governance of the review panels’ work. These identified development areas include the procedures for recruiting panel members, decisions on which applications are to be discussed at the panel meeting, as well as the panel’s work on ranking the applications, and the need for uniform and quality-assured final statements.

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Updated:23 April 2024