Good to know before you apply

Before you start writing your application, there is some information that is good to know. Learn about our assessment criteria, which language to write your application in, our requirements regarding access to results and research data, and considerations for your project when you apply for funding from Formas.

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Assessment criteria

We assess and score all applications based on the criteria described in the call description. Carefully consider all the criteria when writing your application, and clearly describe how your application relates to them. Remember, assessment is based solely on the information you provide in your application. Take the time to make sure you include everything you need, and remember to structure the information in your application clearly and logically.

Communication projects, innovation projects

The criteria we use to assess communication projects and projects within strategic innovation programmes are always stated in the call description.

Underrepresented sex given preference when scores are equal

Discrimination, such as on the basis of sex, is not allowed in the assessment of applications. The scientific quality and relevance of the proposed research takes precedence over aspects of gender equality in the awarding of funding. But in cases where applications have the same assessment scores, the underrepresented sex is given preference.

Language in the application

We recommend that you write your application in English, since the review panel that will assess your application is international. You can write your application in Swedish, but it will then be translated prior to the assessment. There are two parts of the application that have special language requirements, no matter which language you choose to use.

If you write your application in Swedish, we will submit the section relating to the research programme for translation into English before the panel assesses your application. You will not be able to read the translation or change it before it is assessed.

Your budget specification and CV will not be translated. So, please write the budget specification in English, even if you write the other sections in Swedish and submit your application in the Swedish version of our application system Prisma.

Special language requirements

The following two sections of the application have special requirements on which language they should be written in:

  1. The short project description should be available in both Swedish and English.
  2. The popular science description should be written in Swedish.

Categorise your project based on the sustainability goals

When you apply, you need to categorise your project according to the UN’s 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals External link.. This categorisation enables us to report on how the research we fund contributes to sustainable development and to solving various societal challenges.

Base the categorisation on the direct objectives of your project or the expected application of the results.

There are many organisations around the world that align themselves with the global goals. This helps us – as well as others – use and compare the data that Formas holds. The categorisation also makes it easier for us to provide a more nuanced view of our research portfolio and how well it addresses societal challenges.

Integrate climate and environmental considerations into your project

We at Formas are very keen to fund projects that maximise positive and minimise negative impacts on the environment and climate. We therefore encourage grant applicants to design their projects so that collaboration takes place primarily through online meetings and that any necessary travel takes place in a climate-smart way. We also suggest that you include measures that minimise energy use and other resource consumption, emissions and waste in project planning. However, this will not be part of the assessment of your application at this time. Please read about Formas’ own sustainability work.

Equal and inclusive societal development

Formas is tasked with working to achieve sustainable societal development. Crucial to such development is that it is equal and inclusive. Formas, therefore encourages grant applicants, to design projects so that they can contribute knowledge that reflects and is relevant to different groups in society. Formas also encourages applicants to consider that the project group has an even gender distribution and that it includes participants with different backgrounds and experiences. However, this will not be part of the assessment of your application.

Report any ethical considerations

You must specify whether there are specific ethical concerns in your project. If so, you must describe the relevant ethical considerations and how they will be managed. Examples include research that uses personal data, or experiments on humans or animals.

If you are researching people, human tissue or sensitive personal data, you must submit an application for ethical approval to the Swedish Ethical Review AuthorityExternal link. External link. and get it approved. In the case of animal testing, you must also have approval from an ethical committee for animal testing. You can apply for this via the Swedish Board of Agriculture's e-service.

Swedish Board of Agriculture's e-service in Swedish: Etiskt godkännande av djurförsök ( link. External link.

You must state in your application whether you have an existing ethical approval or not. If you do not have it, and your application is granted funding, you must have ethical approval before the described experiments begin.

If your project is not expected to involve research that requires ethical approval, write this in your application, and justify how and why.

Ethical approval is the institution’s responsibility

The institution where the research is to be conducted, such as a university or college, is responsible for obtaining ethical approval before the work begins. This is something Formas requires when we grant funding for research that requires approval. The representative of the institution confirms this by signing the application.

Applications are public documents

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).

We publish our decisions online

We publish our funding decisions on our website. The decisions include the name of the project manager and the administrating organisation (the organisation receiving the grant from Formas).

We inform people about your research

We inform people about the research we fund by using the popular science description from your application. So, make sure not to write about things you want to keep secret in this description. This can be the case when you want to apply for a patent, for example.

We provide information to third parties

We provide information to the Swedish Research Council on the grants we award. They register and publish the information in SweCRIS, a national database of grant-funded research External link.. The purpose of publication is to communicate Swedish research findings and to enable statistical analyses. The SweCRIS may, in turn, might forward the information to the administrating organisation for the grant in question. It is also possible to search directly in the database on the SweCRIS website.

What information is forwarded?

The information we forward includes:

  • Information about the call
  • Information from the application
  • Information about project managers and participating researchers
  • Information on decisions taken regarding the application.

Please note that personal identity numbers and contact details are not displayed publicly.

It is optional to provide your data to SweCRIS

It is optional to allow your information to be collected and published in SweCRIS. If you do not want your information to be forwarded there, please contact us.

Right to request a register extract

If you are registered in SweCRIS, you have the right to request a register extract to check which data is registered about you. The Swedish Research Council is responsible for data processing in SweCRIS and is required to correct erroneous data when you (as a so-called “data subject”) request it. Contact to find out which information of yours has been collected and registered.

Rules for completing and submitting an application

You cannot register an application in our application system after the call is closed. You cannot complete your application or make changes to it after the call is closed.

If you are applying for funding in an ongoing call, you cannot make changes to your application after you have registered it in our application system.

If you are applying for funding in a call that only receives applications during a specific period, you can change or supplement your application even after you have registered it as long as the call is still open. When the call closes, all registered applications are submitted automatically. After that, you cannot make any changes or complete your application.

You can always revoke an application if you change your mind and do not want to apply for funding.

Open access to research results and data

We believe it is important that research results can be read and downloaded for free. We also want scientific data to be openly available to the public.

Publish your publications with open access

If you are going to publish project results funded by Formas in a call that opened after January 1, 2021, you must do so with immediate open access, without delay. The requirement applies to articles that have been accepted for publication in scientific journals, conference reports or on publishing platforms. The rules do not apply to publication in monographs and anthologies.

You can publish in one of the following ways:

  • in an openly accessible journal or on an openly accessible platform
  • in a subscription journal with simultaneous publication in openly accessible archives or repositories (parallel publishing), or
  • in a journal that is part of a transformative agreement.

There is a tool, Journal Checker Tool External link. that can be used to see if you meet any of the above requirements.

Formas policy for open access to scientific publications (pdf) , 128.5 kB.

If you have received funds in a call that opened before January 1, 2021, you can apply a delayed open publication, but with a maximum delay of 6 months.

Publish using the CC BY license

To publish an open access article, you need to publish it using a Creative Commons license. Use the license type named CC BY. Under this license, the copyright is retained by the authors. Also, you as an author allow others to freely use, adapt, build upon or distribute your article as long as they credit you as the author. The CC BY license is a standard open license that several international organisations recommend. Read more on the Creative Commons website. External link.

To make it clear that the article is to be published under an open license, the following text should be added to the author-approved manuscript:

This research was funded in whole or in part by Formas [Grant number]. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright license to any Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) version arising from this submission.

Publishing costs

Open publishing often involves a cost. In Sweden, there are many journals that are covered by prepaid author fees. This means that the cost of publication is prepaid by universities, funders and other organisations. There will be no costs for your publication, if your organization has such agreements. Contact your university's library for information on which journals the university has agreements with. You can read more about which agreements exist and how you can take part in them on the website of the Royal Library: Open Access in Bibsam Agreements External link..

If you cannot take part in the agreements but intend to publish your results, there is an opportunity for you to apply from Formas for the author's fee. However, this only applies to publication by publishers that only have open journals. You need to specify the author fee in the project application you submit. It is a cost that counts as running costs. The cost must be reasonable and can be substantiated upon request by us.

More information about open access

If you are affiliated with a higher education institution, you can contact the school’s library for more information. The libraries have databases and staff who can give you practical tips and advice on questions concerning open access to scientific publications. Contact your institution for information on how to publish using open access.

As tasked by the government, the National Library of Sweden coordinates the implementation of open access to scientific publications. For more information, visit their website External link..

Make scientific data available

We recommend that you make data and metadata from projects that we fund openly available in databases. You can do this either nationally or internationally, and as long as it does not conflict with any law such as the Public Access and Secrecy Act (2009:400) or General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Data management plan

You must have a data management plan that describes how the data produced in the project will be managed after the project ends. The plan does not need to be submitted to us unless specifically requested in the current call text, but you should be able to present it on request. If your administrating organisation does not have its own data management plan, we recommend that you use the Swedish Research Council’s data management plan template External link.. Please use the Swedish National Data Service’s checklist External link. to formulate your data management plan.

In Science Europe’s Practical Guide to the International Alignment of Research Data Management External link., you can learn more about how to best organise and store your research data.

No requirement for rights to the results

We do not require any ownership or access rights to your research results or other results. However, we assume that you will comply with intellectual property provisions, such as copyright and patent law. This also applies to international laws and agreements in the projects, where relevant.

Keep in mind that if you are one of several collaborating researchers, you need to agree amongst yourselves on how to distribute the rights to your results.

Updated:10 July 2024