The research and development sub-call for early-career researchers is targeted to researchers early in their careers, and the principal applicant must have obtained a doctorate two to eight years ago.
Formas’ 2019 annual open call offers three types of grants to apply for: Research and development, Research and development for early-career researchers and Mobility grants for early-career researchers. The purpose of the annual open call is to enable researchers to formulate their own research questions based on societal challenges within Formas’ areas of responsibility.
Formas funds research within the fields of environment, agricultural sciences and spatial planning. For our 2019 annual open call we welcome applications in all three fields, preferably for inter- and transdisciplinary research questions. The research we fund should be of the highest scientific quality and bring potential benefits to society. The research can be basic research or needs-driven research for the ecological, economical and socially sustainable development of society. Formas can also fund development projects to a limited extent.
To apply for research and development grants for early-career researchers, the main applicant must have completed their doctoral degree two to eight years ago (for 2019, this means on 1 January 2011 at the earliest and no later than 31 December 2017).
Possible exceptions to this time rule: Parental leave, sick leave, military service, political assignment or any other similar circumstance that prevented research activities during the period immediately after graduation must be stated in the submitted CV and may be grounds for waiving the eight-year rule.
Participating researchers must have completed their doctoral degree. Other staff involved in the project do not need to have a doctoral degree. The proposed grant recipient must be stated as a project manager on the application.
Grants for research projects may only be administered by a Swedish university, university college or public agency that meets Formas’ criteria for administrating organisations.
There is no age limit for the main applicant and participating researchers. However, researchers who are full-time pensioners are not eligible to receive funding towards salaries.
What you can apply for
- Grants for research and development projects for early-career researchers can include, in addition to salary funding, funding to cover operating costs (consumables, equipment, travel, conferences, publication in peer-reviewed journals and open-access databases), depreciation costs for equipment, and premises costs. The maximum amount allowed for equipment and depreciation costs is a total of 500,000 SEK for both costs.
- The grants may be used towards Swedish co-funding of research and development-oriented international projects, such as those within the EU.
- In addition to research projects, Formas also funds development projects to a limited extent. We consider a development project one that systematically and methodically uses research results, scientific knowledge and new ideas to develop new or significantly improve existing products, processes or systems (see OECD Frescati Manual). To apply for funding for development projects with Formas, co-funding of at least 50 percent is required.
- Grants for research and development projects can be used to cover salaries for researchers, PhD students and technical staff. Salary for PhD students can be granted for up to three years.
- International collaboration. Grants from Formas can be used to fund research that is partly conducted outside Sweden, although the research must be initiated and managed from Sweden. The administrating organisation must be located in Sweden and approved by Formas, and is responsible for hiring any foreign staff or paying for activities or services outside Sweden in accordance with the administrating organisation’s guidelines.
Grant amount and project duration
- Grants for research and development projects can cover a maximum of 1 million SEK per year, on average, over the years the application is valid for. So, applicants can apply for more than 1 million SEK during one year as long as the amount applied for during another year of the project period is less than 1 million SEK. Applicants may not apply for 3 million SEK in total for a period shorter than 36 months.
- If the total amount applied for exceeds the average annual amount of 1 million SEK, the application will be rejected.
- Note that the total salary amount for a single researcher, PhD student or other staff must not exceed 100 percent of full-time employment. This means that additional salary funding cannot be granted to researchers, PhD students or other staff who already receive grants or contributions with full salary funding. Formas does not grant funding for annual salary increases.
- Funding can be requested for a maximum of three years (36 months).
- A research and development project in the 2019 annual open call can start on 1 January 2020 at the earliest, and is expected to start during the 2020 calendar year.
- To apply for a grant, the main applicant must have obtained a doctoral degree as stated under the heading “Who can apply”.
- The main applicant may submit a maximum of one project application to Formas in the open call 2019. Researchers who meet the eligibility requirements for more than one call (funding for research and development projects, for research and development projects for early-career researchers, and/or for mobility grants for early-career researchers) may submit only one application to one of the calls for which they are entitled to apply.
- An applicant is not allowed to submit the same application with different main applicants under Formas’ annual open call. This applies within and between all sub-calls (funding for research and development projects, for research and development projects for early-career researchers, and/or for mobility grants for early-career researchers). Applications that have the same content will be rejected.
- Project managers (the main applicant) are only allowed to have one ongoing project grant under Formas’ open call which is within the pay-out period. Project applications from researchers who already have an ongoing project grant with pay-out period during 2020 from one of Formas’ open calls, regardless of the sub-call, are rejected without review. It is, however, fine to have an ongoing project from an open call if the project’s payout period has passed but the availability period is still ongoing in 2020. It is also possible to apply under the 2019 annual open call if the project manager (main applicant) has ongoing project grants from one of Formas’ targeted calls. Funding can also be applied for under the 2019 annual open call if the project manager has an ongoing project that ends later in 2019.
- Grants for research and development projects can be used to cover salaries for researchers, PhD students and technical staff. Salaries for PhD students can be granted for up to three years.
Applying in Prisma
To apply for a grant from Formas, the project manager should submit an application online in the Prisma application system. To create an application in Prisma, you need a user account. We recommend that you create an account and an application as early as possible and contact Formas with any questions in good time.
In order to submit an application, the organisation where the project manager works must be an approved administrating organisation. If the organisation is not already an approved administrating organisation, the organisation must apply to become one in good time before the call closes, as it can take a few weeks to become approved as an administrating organisation.
We recommend that the application is written in English since the review panel consists of many international reviewers. For applications written entirely in Swedish, the research program will be translated into English before they are submitted to Formas’ review panel for assessment. In such cases, it will not be possible for applicants to view or make linguistic adjustments to the application after it is translated. The popular science description must be written in Swedish, while the abstract should be in both Swedish and English. Please note that you should always write the budget specification in English. Any Swedish budget specification will not be translated but will instead be reviewed as is by the international review panel.
All limits for the maximum number of characters refer to characters including spaces. A recommendation is to choose the Arial font in font size 12 for the information you enter in all text boxes.
- Number of years applied for
- Project title in Swedish and English (max. 200 characters including spaces)
- Popular science description in Swedish (max. 4,500 characters including spaces)
- Abstract in Swedish and English (max. 1,500 characters each including spaces)
- Specific aims and objectives of the proposed project, and a background description containing an overview of the research area (max. 7,000 characters including spaces).
- Description of the project, including a summary of the structure, theory, methods, performance, and a plan for scientific deliverables (max. 15,000 characters including spaces). Include the following points if you consider them relevant to the project: (i) if the application is for a development project, (ii) a short description of existing and future needs for basic equipment, (iii) a brief description of national and international collaboration, (iv) confirmation of compliance with international agreements and regulations, (v) sex and gender perspectives in the content of the research. (vi) supervisor if funding is sought for a PhD student.
- Description of the potential societal value of the research question and planned communication with stakeholders and end users (max. 8,000 characters including spaces). Support for addressing the communication criterion.
- References. List the in-line references pertaining to the above sections in a separate field (max. 5000 characters including spaces).
- Salaries including social fees. For any current employment positions, the salary in effect at the time of the application (including social fees) must be used for all subsequent years. For new employment positions, the starting salary at the administrating organisation must be used for all subsequent years. Note that Formas does not grant funding for annual salary increases.
- Dedicated time for this project. State the degree of activity in the project. This indicates whether the applicant contributes in-kind services or other funding for completing the project.
- Running costs. Specify running costs in accordance with practices at the administrating organisation.
- Depreciation costs. Specify equipment depreciation costs if relevant to the application.
- Premises. Specify the costs for premises (if not part of overhead/indirect costs) in accordance with practices at the administrating organisation.
- Total budget. This heading refers to a budget summary.
Specified costs: Data already completed in previous budget tables will be automatically transferred to this table. Specify the indirect costs in the project budget in accordance with the practices at the administrating organisation. Indirect costs relate to overhead costs. Formas does not allow overhead for equipment depreciation costs or costs of premises.
Other costs: “Other costs” refers to funds that are not sought for but that are relevant for completing the project. An example is co-funding from collaborative partners. Also specify whether the project receives funding from other sources.
- Budget specification. Provide a brief justification for all salaries and other expenses. A description of the total project budget, including funding from other sources, should also be included. All other costs must be clearly justified, such as costs for participating in conferences, publication fees for open access to publications and data, etc. The budget specification is part of the evaluation.
Note that you should always write the budget and budget specification in English; any Swedish budget specification will not be translated but will instead be reviewed as it is by the international review panel. In Prisma, amounts should be written in full. For example, 1 million SEK should be written as: 1 000 000 SEK.
You should 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. Read more about ethical considerations.
- Select a minimum of one and a maximum of three subject areas.
- Select a minimum of one and a maximum of three SCB codes.
- Select a minimum of one and a maximum of three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that best apply to your project. When selecting more than one goal, specify the goals in priority order. The goal that is most relevant to the project should be stated in the first box. Read an explanation of these goals on the UN Development Programme website. As the meaning of the goals is sometimes narrower than what the title indicates, we encourage you to follow the link and read in more detail about the goals you intend to specify to ensure that the intended research contributes towards achieving that particular goal.
- Select a minimum of one and a maximum of five key words that describe the project.
The following appendix can be uploaded if relevant for the application:
- Appendix J. Illustrations. If you need figures, tables or images to describe the project, you can upload them as attachments here. A maximum of one PDF attachment of 4 MB can be uploaded.
- Select your administrating organisation and add the department or unit where the project is based. Read more about Formas’ criteria for administrating organisations.
- Prisma contains a default list of approved administrating organisations. Contact your organisation if it is missing from the list. Your organisation will need to create an organisation account in Prisma.
- After the call is closed, a registered application will be sent automatically to the administrating organisation for approval, which will have seven calendar days to digitally sign the application.
Choose the review panel you wish to have your application assessed by, and choose in order of priority two additional review panels as alternatives. If Formas judges that a different review panel than one of the three proposed is better qualified to assess an application, we reserve the right to transfer the application to another review panel.
- The main applicant invites participating researchers (i.e. researchers with a doctoral degree that are considered as co-applicant) and participating administrators (people not involved in the project but who help you fill in the application form).
- Each participant must have created a user account in Prisma.
- The main applicant invites people to participate in the application process by searching for their given name, surname and email address in Prisma (note that exact spelling of names and email addresses is required)
Applicants retrieve the data from their personal profile that are relevant for the current application. Participating researchers add their CV-information from their personal account in Prisma and should ensure that their CV in Prisma is complete and up to date. The CV information should include:
- Education: postgraduate (doctoral), undergraduate and graduate level.
- Professional history: Current position and relevant previous longer-term positions, postdoctoral residencies, research exchange visits relevant to the described research project, and any significant period of interruption in the research (such as parental leave, illness, military service or political duties).
- Merits and awards:
- Associate professorships
- Supervision: doctoral students, postdoctoral students, and exam project students; state the total number in each respective category and provide the names of the most relevant supervisions (max 10).
- Grants awarded in competition: Specify the most relevant grants (max. 10).
- Prices and awards: Specify the most relevant ones (max. 10).
- Additional merits, including bibliometric summary: Here the applicant researcher’s entire bibliometric indicators should be summarised (max. 800 characters including spaces). This bibliometric summary should include: (i) the number of publications of various types, such as articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, books and other monographs, conference papers and popular science contributions, and (ii) any other publication or citation specifications relevant to the applicant’s field of research.
Under “Additional merits,” you can list other qualifications that are relevant to the application, such as any popular science publications or proven experience of collaboration and research communication (max. 10).
- Intellectual property: For example, patents and open source software that you have developed (max. 10).
List of publications
The main applicant and participating researchers should list up to ten of their most relevant publications. Note that the publications should be linked from the applicants’ personal profiles in Prisma.
Applications are assessed with respect to scientific quality and societal relevance. The applications received are assessed in one of Formas’ ten review panels for the annual open call. Applicants can propose up to three review panels in order of priority from the drop-down menu in the application form. If Formas judges that a different review panel than one of the three proposed is better qualified to assess an application, we reserve the right to transfer the application to another review panel.
The review panels are problem oriented and broadly defined in order to cover Formas’ different areas of responsibility. Each panel includes both active researchers and users of research results who are qualified to assess the potential societal benefit. The majority of the panel members are researchers. The review panel members have the expertise required to assess applications within the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, health sciences and engineering sciences within Formas’ areas of responsibility. The panels can also review multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research.
Applications are assessed with respect to scientific quality and societal relevance. This includes the following five criteria.
Criteria for scientific quality
- Research question
- Method and performance
- Scientific competence
Criteria for societal relevance
- Potential societal value of the research topic
- Communication with stakeholders and users
All the criteria must be addressed in the application, and we advise applicants to clearly relate their application to these criteria. We also strongly advise applicants to structure and write the application clearly and accurately, as the review is based solely on the information contained in the application. Gender perspectives should be considered in project proposals where applicable.
Formas’ Scientific Council is expected to reach a decision on 20 November 2019 concerning which projects will be granted funding. Decisions will be announced the following day at the latest on Formas’ website and later sent via email from Prisma. Decisions about funding grants cannot be appealed.
Reporting for granted projects
Financial statements must be submitted each year for projects longer than 18 months. The final financial and scientific reports must be created as agreed and are usually submitted within three months after the end of the availability period. Read more about how to report expenses and results.
Open access to publications and research data
Results from research funded by Formas must be published with open access. Read more about open access to research results and data.
Funded projects need to have a data management plan for the data produced in the project. Signing the terms and conditions for the grant, also means that a data management plan will be in place when the project starts and that it will be maintained. This plan replaces Appendix K (Research Data), which was requested for all projects submitted in 2018. In 2019, Appendix K is not necessary.
Formas shares information about awarded grants to SweCRIS, a national database of grant-funded research that was instituted by request of the government.
Support and shortcuts
- How it works
- Ethical policy
- Criteria for administrating organisations
- Formas’ review process
- Review panels in the annual open call
- Support for addressing the communication criterion (pdf)
- Frequently Asked Questions FAQ 2019
- Global goals
- Prisma online user support
For more specific questions regarding the call
Find contact details of the responsible person for each review panel.
1. Climate change
2. Water – from source to sea
3. Ecosystems and biodiversity on land
4. Environmental pollutants
5. Food production
6. Animal health and welfare
7. Consumption, production and materials
8. The built environment
9. Urban and rural areas
10. General governance, implementation and monitoring
Formas Telephone Hotline
During 3-4 April, Formas Hotline answers general questions about the call between 9:00–16:00. We are closed for lunch 12:00–13:00.
Telephone: +46 (0)8-775 40 05
Chat with Formas
During 1-4 April, Formas’ chat service answers general questions about the call between 9:00–16:00. We are closed for lunch 12:00–13:00.