Communication Call 2020


Projects that communicate and popularise research and research results within Formas’ areas of responsibility and that contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals in Agenda 2030.


Companies (except sole proprietors), organisations, higher education institutions and research institutes. The project group must have expertise within both professional communication and research. Companies applying for a grant are subject to special rules on de minimis aid.


You can apply for a grant for projects that run for up to three years. The maximum funding for a three-year project is 1.8 million kronor.

Given decision: 2020-06-16 11:00

Formas has earmarked a total of 15 million kronor to fund communication projects about sustainable development research. The projects must be related to one of Formas’ areas of responsibility – environment, agricultural sciences and spatial planning – and contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Agenda 2030. You can apply for a grant for projects that run for up to three years. The maximum funding for a three-year project is 1.8 million kronor.


Preliminary decisions. Please note that only decisions published in Prisma is a guarantee of granted funding.

Any changes to the call text are listed below.


  1. Information box: Changed project duration from “three years” to “36 months”.
  2. Introduction: Changed project duration from “three years” to “36 months”.
  3. Grant amount and project duration:
    First paragraph, changed “per year” to per “12-month project period” and “three years” to “36 months”.
    Second paragraph, changed “per year” to “per 12-month project period”. The sentence “Grants can be sought for projects that take place from 2020 through 2022.” has been removed. Second last paragraph, the sentence “In this communication call, Formas is granting selected projects a total of up to 15 million kronor for three years (5 million in 2020, 5 million in 2021 and 5 million in 2022).” has been removed.

Formas is tasked with communicating research and research results within our areas of responsibility. Since 2015, we have been issuing special communication calls for proposals to support societal impact of research and research results.

The purpose of the communication call is to support projects that communicate and popularise sustainable development research and research results for the benefit of society.

The communication projects must be related to one of Formas’ areas of responsibility – environment, agricultural sciences and spatial planning – and contribute to achieving the SDGs in Agenda 2030. For example, a project might communicate information about climate issues, environmental concerns, the circular economy, food, agriculture, water use, forestry or sustainable urban planning. Applications from previous calls have involved popular science seminars, exhibitions, film/video productions, theatre productions, various kinds of publications, digital educational materials, games and other communication activities.

The grants in this call are intended to enable robust, innovative solutions for spreading knowledge about sustainability research to relevant target groups defined by the project.

Higher education institutions, research institutes, private companies and other organisations can apply for a grant under the call. Note that Formas can not award grants to companies that are sole proprietorships.

Private companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity that want to apply for grants from Formas are subject to state aid regulations for companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity.

Before you apply

Download the call text as pdf. , 341.3 kB.  (Revised 2020-01-29)

An administrating organisation is the organisation that receives the grant and manages the funds that Formas disburses to an awarded project. The call welcomes applicants from administrating organisations that are generally approved (higher education institutions and research institutes) or non-generally approved (private companies and other organisations that can be approved to apply in individual calls). You can apply to become an administrating organisation in our application system, Prisma. It is important to do this in good time before submitting your grant application. See “How to apply” for more information.

All communication projects that apply for a Formas grant must have a responsible project manager. In order to secure both the scientific and the communicative quality of the output, we require that the project group has both research expertise and communication expertise.

At least one person with a university-level communications degree or equivalent professional experience must participate in the project group. In addition, at least one researcher with a doctoral degree or a scientific committee associated with the project must be associated with the project. The project must be carried out by the individuals stated in the application.

When you apply for project funding, you can apply for a grant to cover both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include costs for salaries, equipment and travel. Indirect costs are costs that are shared with others in your organisation, such as for administration, IT and renting of premises. Indirect costs are sometimes called overhead.

We do not award grants for the operating costs of an organisation’s regular communication efforts, or for internal courses or projects that mainly relate to an organisation’s own educational activities. The grant must therefore be clearly linked to the project you wish to fund and must be used to fund activities that are not part of your ordinary activities or operations.

In Formas’ communication call, a project can apply for a maximum of 600,000 kronor per year, for a maximum of three years.

Formas will reject any applications in which the total amount sought exceeds 600,000 kronor per year. Grants can be sought for projects that take place from 2020 through 2022. The project must start in autumn 2020 or no later than December 2020.

The Formas website contains information about de minimis aid rules, as well as the terms and conditions that apply for companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity. Note: These rules do not apply to higher education institutions, research institutes or other generally approved administrating organisations.

At a later stage of the application process, companies and organisations engaged in economic activity that are applying for a grant must submit proof of de minimis aid. Formas will notify the organisations of when this proof is due. The statement of proof indicates whether you have received de minimis aid and the extent of such aid during the previous two fiscal years and the current fiscal year. Organisations must submit proof that any de minimis aid received during this period, in total, does not exceed the equivalent of 200,000 euros (slightly over 2 million kronor).

In this communication call, Formas is granting selected projects a total of up to 15 million kronor for three years (5 million in 2020, 5 million in 2021 and 5 million in 2022).

The grant amount requested must agree with the specified costs. Read more in the “Budget” section.

We recommend that you write your application in Swedish, since the review panel that will assess your application is Swedish-speaking. You can write your application in English, but it will then not be translated into Swedish prior to assessment. The abstract should be available in both Swedish and English.

Applications submitted to Formas become publicly available documents after a decision is announced. However, we do not disclose information about an individual’s personal data, business relationships, operating conditions, inventions or research results if the disclosure would be assumed to cause the individual suffering. If applications are requested, we conduct a confidentiality assessment.

How to apply

You apply for a grant in our application system, Prisma. In Prisma, you must create a personal account.

Applicants from generally approved administrating organisations (higher education institutions and research institutes)

In most cases, higher education institutions and research institutes already have an organisation account in Prisma and can then use those existing organisation accounts. Project managers at these organisations apply for funding through their personal account in Prisma.

Applicants from non-generally approved administrating organisations (companies and other organisations)

If your organisation does not already have an account in Prisma, an appropriate representative should apply for the organisation account on the Prisma website in good time before the application is submitted. It may take a few weeks to get the application for an account approved. Indicate in the justification for the application that you are applying under Formas’ communication call and state whether the applying organisation is a higher education institution, research institute, non-profit association, or private company or other organisation engaged in economic activity. The intended project manager then needs to create a personal account in Prisma.

If the organisation already has an account in Prisma but is not a generally approved administrating organisation with Formas, it must notify research administrator Anna Kuznetcova.

To be able to submit the application, the organisation must specify its domicile. In order to choose a domicile, the person responsible for the organisation account must have created such a structure in the organisation account. Prisma’s user support contains information about how to do this.

Number of applied months

Start month

Project title (max. 200 characters, including spaces, each in Swedish and English)

Area of responsibility

Choose the primary area of Formas’ responsibilities that your project relates to:

  • Environment
  • Agricultural sciences
  • Spatial planning

Your application must include a clear description of the project under the following sections:

Abstract (max. 2,500 characters, including spaces, each in Swedish and English)

A brief and clear description of the project’s content and objectives. The abstract must include an explanation of and information about the communication channels, selection of target groups, and the research to be communicated. Also include the result you expect the project to produce.

Project description – Relevance and quality of research in the project (max. 3,500 characters including spaces)

Describe the research that underpins the project and the theme of the communication activity. Describe why it is important to conduct the communication project. It is also important to describe how the focus of your research is related to one or more of Formas’ areas of responsibility (environment, agricultural sciences and spatial planning) and how your project contributes to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Agenda 2030, if possible, including a discussion on sub-target level.

Project description – Communication activities, target groups and communication channels (max. 3,500 characters including spaces)

Identify and justify your choice of target groups and communication channels. Why is it important for the target groups to be made aware of the information you want to convey, and how can your chosen communication channels reach out to the target groups in the best possible way?

Reflect on gender equality and diversity when choosing the individuals being represented in the communication activities in your project. Identify research result objectives or impact targets and describe how these will be followed up.

Innovative solutions will be given funding preference, such as new communication formats or new ideas about how to use old communication channels that can reach out to your target groups.

Project description – Communication plan and qualifications (max. 3,500 characters including spaces)

Describe how you will organise tasks in the project and create a timetable. Describe the type of communication expertise available within the project and how it helps to achieve the project’s objectives. Also state which researchers or which scientific committees are part of the project and describe how the scientific expertise relates to the project and its objectives. Reflect on gender equality and diversity when you put together the project group.

Budget and other information

You report the project budget and other information about the organisation in Prisma. Note that the feature for adding project parties is not used in the communication call. The budget should include:

Information about the organisation:

  • Organization name
  • Organization number
  • Address, postal code, city, country
  • Annual turnover (the total sales of the company or organisation during the previous fiscal year), stated using digits. Example: 3 500 000.
  • Balance sheet total (the sum of either the assets page or liabilities and equity from the company’s or organisation’s balance sheet), stated using digits. Example: 5 500 000.
  • Number of employees
  • Contact person
  • E-mail of contact person
  • Name of the workplace, address, postal code, city and country where most of the work will be carried out.


  • Personnel costs:
    Eligible staff expenses for companies and other organisations conducting economic activity may be estimated at a maximum of 800 kronor per hour. Higher education institutions or research institutes are not subject to this limitation.
  • Equipment, buildings and land.
  • Costs for consultants and licensing:
    For the costs of consultancy services to be eligible for funding, they must be purchased or licensed from external actors at market prices, and their services and scope must be stated in the project description.
  • Other direct costs including travel expenses.
  • Indirect costs:
    Higher education institutions and research institutes may charge a markup for indirect costs (overhead) according to the applicable full-cost pricing method. Other project parties may charge a markup for indirect costs of up to 30 percent of their eligible staff expenses.


There are four types of funding an applicant can specify in the application:

  • Applied funding from Formas:
    Indicates the amount requested from Formas under the communication call. The amount cannot exceed the total costs. If the amount sought is less than the total costs, the remaining amounts will be automatically calculated and reported under “Self-funding”.
  • Other funding (public):
    Normally not used in the communication call.
  • Other funding (private):
    Normally not used in the communication call.
  • Self-finance:
    If the project contributes its own funding, this is calculated automatically and displayed in the field for self-finance. However, self-finance is optional in the communication call.

Justification of personnel costs in budget

Specify the average hourly rate for budgeted staff expenses. Staff expenses refer to salaries including social security contributions and other mandatory charges associated with salaries.

Justification for budget (max. 2,000 characters including spaces)

In your own words, explain the budget. State how the grant amount you are applying for will be distributed each year, as well as the total amount per organisation if several organisations are applying.


Fill in only if relevant for completing the project. If such ethical considerations are relevant, you must describe them and explain how they will be managed. Examples include research that uses personal data, or experiments on humans or animals.


Formas uses project classifications only in internal analyses and supporting documentation on an overall level. The classifications are made when the applicant states the subject area, SCB codes and at least one sustainable development goal the project can contribute to.

  • Subject area

Select the project’s subject area and add a sub-heading.

  • SCB code

Select at least one SCB code with two sub-levels that together form the entire code.

  • Keywords

Select at least one and a maximum of three keywords describing the project. Choose what best represents your project, even if it does not entirely match the field you work in.

  • Sustainable development goals

Select a minimum of one and a maximum of three SDGs that fit your project.

Administrating organisation – the organisation receiving the grant

An administrating organisation is the organisation that receives the grant money from Formas when a grant is awarded. Formas distinguishes between generally approved administrating organisations (mainly higher education institutions and research institutes) that can apply under all calls, and administrating organisations that are approved under an individual call. In this call, Formas welcomes applicants from both groups.

Decisions on approving new administrating organisations will be taken close to the award decisions for the call to ensure that the decisions are based on recent data. Prior to any decision, Formas conducts credit checks on all companies and financial activities that may be relevant to the awarding of a grant.

Applying for an organisation account in Prisma means that you are applying to become an administrating organisation. In connection with the application, please also contact Formas’ research administrator, Anna Kuznetcova (see “Contact information”). An administrating organisation can be either generally approved or approved for a particular call. If your organisation is already an administrating organisation, you do not need to submit this request.

If you are not sure whether your organisation is already approved as an administrating organisation, contact Anna Kuznetcova.

A registered application is automatically sent to the administrating organisation after the call is closed. The administrating organisation then has seven calendar days to digitally sign the application.

CVs of project participants

Add the CVs of project participants to the application as a single PDF attachment (maximum size 10 MB). We recommend a maximum length of two A4 pages for each CV. It is not possible to link to CVs that are already uploaded to Prisma, which is often possible in grant calls for research projects. This is done to enable an equal assessment of applications and CVs from different types of organisations.

Publications of participating communicators and researchers

It is possible to add relevant publications (scientific or popular science) as a PDF under “Other appendices”. Maximum size 4 MB.


It is also possible to upload appendices that can aid in understanding the project, such as illustrations, images or sketches. Upload any appendices as PDF files, maximum size 10 MB.

After submitting your application

We first verify whether your application falls within Formas’ areas of responsibility and the scope of the call. If it does, it continues on to a review panel for assessment. If it does not, it is rejected.

Applications under the communication call are evaluated by a review panel composed of experienced communicators and researchers in Formas’ areas of responsibility. The assessments are made based on the contents of your application. It is therefore important to write the application as clearly as possible and include all important and relevant information.

The applications are assessed based on the following criteria:

Project relevance

  • The challenge that the project addresses is an important one to solve. It is important that the research results are communicated to the target groups.

Project research quality

  • The research in focus is solid, relevant to one or more of Formas’ areas of responsibility (environment, agricultural sciences and spatial planning) and contributes to achieving the SDGs.

Communication activities

  • Identified target groups, channels and activities are relevant for the desired result.
  • The project addresses gender equality and diversity perspectives in a relevant way.
  • The communication activity is original or innovative.

Communication plan and expertise

  • The application has a plan that is appropriate for achieving the project’s objectives and purposes.
  • The timetable and budgeted costs are reasonable and appropriate in relation to the project’s objectives.
  • The application describes the resources, skills and experience required to complete the project, both in terms of communication and research.

Formas’ Scientific Council is expected to reach a decision on 16-17 June 2020 concerning which projects are awarded grants. We publish our decisions the following day, at the latest, on the Formas website and later by email from Prisma. Grant award decisions cannot be appealed.

Each project that is awarded funding must submit a report to Formas in Prisma that contains a financial and a popular scientific summary in accordance with the decision. In addition to a final financial report, all projects longer than 18 months must also submit an annual financial report. In the popular scientific summary submitted when the project is completed, the project’s goal fulfilment must be described and documented.

Read more about reporting.

Formas may impose requirements on how projects must be reported in terms of content and results to enable distribution and application. In such cases, the award decision will contain more information about this. Formas may also require awarded project groups to participate in conferences and similar events in order to create synergies and platforms for learning and knowledge sharing.


A digital application is submitted in the Prisma application system External link.. Guidelines and information about what your application should contain can be found in the call text.

Download the call text as pdf , 341.3 kB.. (Revised 2020-01-29)


For questions about the content of the call:

For administrative questions and questions about Prisma:

For questions about budget and de minimis aid

Updated:5 November 2020
Page manager: Johan Bryggare