Communication call 2021


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


Higher education institutions, research institutes, private companies (except sole proprietors) and other organisations. The project group must have expertise within both professional communication and research.


You can apply for a grant for projects that run for up to 36 months. The maximum funding for a project is 1.8 million kronor.

Given decision: 2021-06-17 17:00

Fund­ed pro­jects

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

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 must contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Agenda 2030. You can apply for a grant for projects that run for up to 36 months. The maximum funding for a project is 1.8 million kronor.

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 the real-world 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 focus of the communication projects must be related to one of Formas’ areas of responsibility – environment, agricultural sciences and spatial planning – and must contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals External link.. 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 aim to enable robust, innovative solutions for spreading knowledge about sustainability research to relevant target groups.

Higher education institutions, research institutes, private companies, municipalities and other organisations can apply for a grant under the call. Note that Formas does not award grants to companies that are sole proprietorships, so applications from sole proprietorships will be rejected.

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. External link.See “Provisions on de minimis aid” on the above webpage.

Before you apply

Everything you need to know when applying. For example what the application shall contain, how the application is registered in the application system Prisma, information about administrating organizations, evaluation criteria and the assessment process.

Download the call text as pdf. , 323.8 kB.

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 team 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 team. In addition, at least one researcher with a PhD degree, or a scientific committee, 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 staff expenses, equipment and travel. Indirect costs are costs that are shared with other business operations in the organisation, such as for administration, IT and renting of premises. Indirect costs are also called overhead costs.

We do not award grants for 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 1,800,000 kronor, for a maximum of 36 months. Projects must start in September 2021 at the earliest and no later than December 2021. Awarded grants are paid out on a monthly basis.

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 that the de minimis aid rules do not apply to higher education institutions, research institutes or other generally approved administrating organisations.

At a later stage of the process, companies and organisations engaged in economic activity must submit proof of de minimis aid in order to qualify for a grant in this call. Formas will notify the relevant organisations of when this statement of proof is due. The statement should indicate the extent of the de minimis aid received, including the amount sought in the call. The statement must show the aid received during the previous two fiscal years and the current fiscal year, meaning during the last three fiscal years. The organisation must submit proof that any de minimis aid received during this period does not exceed a total of the equivalent of 200,000 euros (roughly 2 million kronor). Prior to any decision, we also conduct credit checks on all companies and financial activities that may be relevant to the awarding of a grant.

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 not be translated into Swedish prior to assessment. The abstract should be available in both Swedish and English.

According to Swedish law, your application and its appendices are considered as general public documents once they have been submitted to us. This means that anyone can request and read your application. Before we disclose any applications we always conduct a confidentiality assessment, but we can only hide information as legislated for in the Public Access and Secrecy Act (2009:400).

How to apply

You apply for a grant in our application system, Prisma. In Prisma, you must create a personal account where you will add the information you need for your application.

The administrating organisation – the party who receives the money that Formas pays out to an awarded project – must have an organisation account in Prisma. If your organisation has not previously been an administrating organisation for Formas’ funds, then your organisation must apply for an organisation account with Formas in Prisma.

Apply in Prisma External link.

The administrating organisation is the party who receives the money that Formas pays out to an awarded project. The administrating organisation must sign the project applications received within seven calendar days after the call closes. An application that is not signed will not be assessed in the call.

We distinguish between generally approved administrating organisations, which can apply under all calls, and non-generally approved administrating organisations, which are approved for an individual call. In this call, we welcome applicants from both groups.

Applicants from generally approved administrating organisations

In most cases, higher education institutions and research institutes already have an organisation account in Prisma and can then use those existing organisation accounts.

Applicants from non-generally approved administrating organisations

Companies, municipalities and other organisations can apply to become non-generally approved administrating organisations. A decision to approve new administrating organisations is taken when grants are awarded in the call. Prior to any decision, we also conduct credit checks on all companies and financial activities that may be relevant to the awarding of a grant. Read more under “Grant amount and project duration”. It is important that the organisation has an account with Formas in Prisma before the project manager starts applying for a grant in the call.

Organisation account for non-generally approved administrating organisations

If the organisation already has an account in Prisma, contact the research officer Anna Kuznetcova External link. to request to be added to the list of possible administrating organisations for this call. This applies even if the organisation has been approved for an earlier round of communication calls.

If your organisation does not have an account in Prisma, an appropriate representative should apply for the organisation account on the Prisma website. Apply in good time, but no later than one week before the call closes. In the justification for the application, state that you are applying under Formas’ communication call, and state the type of organisation and the organisation’s corporate identity number. The intended project manager then needs to create a personal account in Prisma.

If you do not know whether the organisation has an account, contact research officer Anna Kuznetcova External link. before you apply for a new account.

Project site

To be able to register an application, a domicile within the organisation must be specified. This can be an institute or a department, for example. The person who manages the organisation account must create a structure of units and sub-units (domiciles) in two levels. If the organisation does not have departments, specify a subunit that has the same name as the organisation. Prisma’s user support contains information about how to do this.

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

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 each in Swedish and English, including spaces)

A brief and clear description of the project and its 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.

The project abstracts will be published in open access databases if the project is awarded a grant. Therefore, the contents of these fields should not contain sensitive information.

Project description – Societal relevance (max. 3,500 characters, including spaces)

Describe the societal challenge the project is attempting to solve and why it is important to implement the communication project. State how the research on which the project is based is relevant to solving the challenge.

State how the project relates to one or more of Formas’ areas of responsibility (environment, agricultural sciences and spatial planning) and how your project can help to achieve the SDGs in Agenda 2030, preferably including any Agenda targets.

Project description – Research quality (max. 3,500 characters, including spaces)

Describe the research and its scientific significance that underpin the project and the theme of the communication activity.

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

Describe 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? Consider gender, gender equality and diversity in the implementation of the project and when identifying target groups.

Describe how you will measure and follow up your communication activities and the long-term effects of the project.

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 their scientific expertise relates to the project and its objectives. A complete list of participants in the project team should be uploaded to Prisma under the heading Participants. Consider gender, gender equality and diversity in the composition of the project team.

Budget and other information

You report the project budget and other information about the organisation in Prisma. The following information must be stated in the project budget:

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, land and buildings.
  • Costs for consultants and licensing, etc: For the costs of consultancy services and licenses 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.
  • Indirect costs (overhead): Higher education institutions and research institutes may charge a markup for indirect costs 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-funding is optional in the communication call.

Justification for 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 of the 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.

Ethical considerations (max. 4,000 characters, including spaces)

Fill in only when relevant for the implementation of 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 in internal analyses and supporting documentation on an overall level. The classifications are made when the applicant states the subject area, research topic (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.

  • Research topic (SCB code)

Select at least one research topic 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. If you select more than one SDG, specify them in priority order. The goal that is most relevant to the project should be stated in the first box.

Administrating organisations

Select the administrating organisation from the dropdown list. If you can’t find your organisation, see the section “Organisation account” in the call text.

Select the project site from the dropdown list. If you can’t find your project site, see the section “Organisation account” in the call text.

List of participants

State all project participants with their name, organisation and role in the project. Fill in the information in the linked table, save the document as a PDF file, and upload under the mandatory appendices in Prisma. You can only upload files in PDF format in Prisma.

List of participants , 47.8 kB.

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 therefore 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.

Publications of participating communicators and researchers

It is possible to add lists of relevant publications (scientific or popular science) as a single PDF file 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 a single PDF file (maximum size 10 MB). The recommended length is a maximum of 5 A4 pages.

After submitting your application

First, Formas verifies that your application complies with requirements. If your application passes these checks, it continues on to a review panel for assessment. If it does not, it is rejected.

Any applications containing errors in basic requirements will be rejected. The following errors in basic requirements will result in a rejection of your application:

  • The administrating organisation has not signed the application. This must be done within seven calendar days after the call closes.
  • The research focus of the application is outside Formas’ official areas of responsibility.
  • The project falls outside the scope of the call.
  • The total grant amount sought is too high.
  • The application is incomplete. Required information is missing or insufficient.
  • The application does not meet the participant or organisation requirements set out in the call text.

Learn more about why some applications are rejected early External link..

Applications under the communication call are evaluated by an external review panel composed of experienced communicators and researchers within 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. Several people will assess each application.

The applications are assessed based on the following criteria:

Project relevance

  • The societal challenge that the project addresses is an important one to solve, and the research on which the project is based is relevant to solving this challenge.
  • The target group should be able to benefit from the research results.
  • The project’s expected results contribute in the long term to the achievement of one or more of the SDGs.

Project research quality

  • The research is of high quality.

Communication activities

  • Identified target groups, channels and activities are relevant for the desired result.
  • Objectives are well described and relevant.
  • 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 resources, skills and experience required to complete the project are relevant and clearly described in the application. This applies both to the communication and the research.

Formas’ Scientific Council is expected to reach a decision on 17 June 2021 concerning which projects are granted funding. 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 final financial and project report 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 abstract submitted when the project is completed, the project’s goal fulfilment must be described and documented. Read more about reporting in Prisma External link..

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.

Results of research funded by Formas must be published using open access.

If you receive funding from us, you must have a data management plan for the data produced in the project. This plan does not need to be submitted to Formas, but should be presented on request. Read more about open access to research results and data External link..


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

Read more about how to apply in Prisma.

Download the call text as pdf. , 323.8 kB.


For questions about the content of the call

For administrative questions and questions about Prisma

For questions on budgeting, funding and de minimis aid

Johan Hansson

Leave of absense

Updated:17 June 2021