Sweden is one of the leading countries in the world regarding animal welfare. However, in order to further improve the animal welfare additional solutions and measures need to be developed and applied in several areas.
The Swedish Research Council Formas, in consultation with the Swedish Board of Agriculture, announces a funding call for measures that improve animal welfare for those animals that are kept permanently, or for a limited period, by humans. In order to increase the prerequisites for new solutions and for measures being applied in a relevant way, practitioners and researchers need to work together. Therefore, in this call researchers as well as organisations and companies are welcome to apply for funding. We encourage collaboration between research disciplines and collaboration between different parts in society. However, this is not a requirement in the call. You can apply up to 2 million SEK for applied projects that are up to 24 months long and that result in an animal welfare promoting measure. Formas has committed 12 million SEK for this call.
Animal welfare is how the animals feel and how they experience their environment. Good animal welfare is about ensuring good mental and physical health. This should not be confused with the concept of animal protection, which refers to what we humans should provide to animals to protect them from suffering. The purpose of the animal welfare legislation is to ensure good animal protection and to promote good animal welfare and respect for animals. Good animal welfare can also be described by the five freedoms: freedom from hunger or thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury or disease, freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from fear and distress. In other words, welfare is a complex state that is affected by many different factors.
Good animal welfare is a prerequisite for all animal husbandry, and it is also stipulated in the Swedish animal welfare legislation (2018:1192) that animals must be kept and maintained in a good environment and in such a way that their welfare is promoted. Sweden is certainly one of the leading countries in the world regarding animal welfare but since animals are kept by humans, it also means that welfare is affected by societal and environmental conditions. Climate change is one such factor, but social, cultural and structural conditions, such as various forms of power relations, for example lack of equality, can have an impact on animal welfare.
In comments to Formas, researchers, practitioners, traders and interest organisations have identified several areas in need of solutions and measures in order to further improve the animal welfare for animals that are kept permanently or for a limited period by humans. A compilation can be found in the appendix Needs for measures for increased animal welfare.
The purpose of the call is to develop solutions and measures that can improve the welfare of the animals, that are kept by man, permanently or for a limited period.
We encourage that the applied research project addresses one of the described areas in the compilation of Needs for measures for increased animal welfare since utilisation is of great significance in this call. However, this is not a requirement as there may be additional areas and measures of great importance, but which has not been considered.
In order to push the development of practical measures for an increased animal welfare, both scientifically based knowledge and knowledge based on practice and proven experience are needed. We therefore see a need for collaboration and coordination between different actors, within and between academia, industry, companies and society.
Project length may be up to 24 months and the maximum grant for a 24 months long project is 2 million SEK. Formas has committed 12 million SEK for the call.
Researchers, public and private organisations and private companies approved by Formas as an administrating organisation are welcome to apply. Note: Sole proprietorship businesses cannot be granted funding under this call.
The call is targeted to a single applicant or project group that may be composed of a project leader and participating participants from various project partners, such as universities, colleges and research institutes as well as public sector, organisations and companies. In the case of a single applicant, the applicant must have a doctoral degree. A project group should include at least one doctoral researcher, but the doctoral researcher does not have to be the project manager, other participants can be non-doctoral.
Before you apply
Please note that this application procedure differs from Formas’ regular calls for research projects, such as the Annual Open Call.
- To ensure scientific quality, the project should include at least one researcher with doctoral degree. However, this does not have to be the project manager.
- The project manager must have a user account in Prisma in order to submit the application. Project participants shall have user accounts in Prisma in order to add their CV details and relevant publications from their profile to the application. Create a user account in Prisma.
- It is not allowed to submit the same application with different coordinating project parties under the call Measures for increased animal welfare. Applications that have the same content will be rejected.
- Applicants may only submit one application in the call Measures for increased animal welfare where the role has been taken as coordinated project party. However, it is allowed to be a project participant in several applications if the applicant's total salary, distributed over the projects, does not exceed 100% funding.
- It is allowed for applicants to have ongoing project grants from one of Formas’ thematic national or international calls and/or the Annual open call if the applicant's total salary, distributed over the projects, does not exceed 100% funding.
The call welcomes applicants from both so-called generally approved administrating organisations in Prisma, i.e. universities, colleges and research institutes, and applicants from non-generally approved administrating organisations, i.e. companies and other organisations that may be approved in targeted calls. The administrating organisation is the organisation that receives and manages the grant funds that Formas finances an awarded project. It is possible to apply to be an approved administrating organisation in Prisma. It is important to do this in good time before the application is submitted. Please see the section “Organisation account requirements for administrating organisations”.
Please note that de minimis aid granted to companies that are active in the primary production of agricultural products postulates that a distinction is made between project and core activities. This can be done, for example, by dividing the costs, which ensures that project funds are not used in the ordinary activities.
- The administrating organisation is a coordinating project party that manages the application for all project parties in Prisma, via the project manager.
- The administrating organisation is the organisation that receives and manages the grant funds that Formas pays out to an awarded project. The administrating organisation distributes the funds from Formas to other project parties in accordance with Formas’ decision.
- Only the administrating organisation (the coordinating project party) needs to have an organisation account in Prisma. In most cases, higher education institutions and research institutes already have an organisation account in Prisma.
- If a company or other for-profit organisation already has an account in Prisma and is specifically “Approved for individual calls” by Formas, the organisation account manager must contact the responsible research officer Thao Le. The organisation account can then be linked to Measures for increased animal welfare.
- If the coordinating project party does not have an account in Prisma, a representative of the organisation (organisation account manager) must apply for an organisation account in Prisma in good time before submitting the grant application. A project manager who will submit an application cannot be the organisation account manager. It may take a few weeks before the application of an account is approved. 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.
- Important: The organisation account manager must create a structure for his or her organisation and indicate a domicile after being informed that the organisation account is assigned.
The project parties can apply for funds to cover both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include costs for salaries, equipment and travel. Note that Formas does not grant funding for annual salary increases. Indirect costs are costs that are shared with other business activities in your organisation, such as for administration, IT and renting of premises. Indirect costs are also referred to as overhead costs.
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.
In Formas’ call Measures for increased animal welfare applicants can apply for a maximum of 2 million SEK for 24 months. Applicants may not apply for 2 million SEK in total for a period shorter than 24 months. Applications in which the total amount applied for exceeds the maximum allowable amount for the call will be rejected. Note that the project’s start date is preselected in Prisma and cannot be edited. Project funding for the first 12 months will be paid out in December 2020. The funding may be spent throughout 2020 (no funding is paid out 2022). Project grants may be used up to three months after the project end date. Thereafter, final financial reporting shall take place within three months.
You should write the application in English since the review panel consists of many international reviewers. For applications written entirely in Swedish, only the research program will be translated by professional translators into English. In such cases, it will not be possible for applicants to view or make linguistic adjustments to the application after it is translated and submitted to Formas’s review panel for assessment. 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 and your CV in English. Any Swedish budget specification or CV will not be translated but will instead be reviewed as is by the international review panel.
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
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. There you enter the information needed for your application. To apply for a user account please see Prisma’s user support for application for a personal account.
The application should be written in English since the review panel consists of many international reviewers. The popular science description must be written in Swedish, while the abstract should be in both Swedish and English. 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.
Your application must include a clear description of the project under the following sections:
- Number of applied months
Maximum 24 months
- Starting month
Note that the project’s start date is preselected in Prisma and cannot be edited. Project funding for the first 12 months will be paid out in December 2020.
- Project title in Swedish
Maximum 200 characters including spaces.
- Project title in English
Maximum 200 characters including spaces.
- Popular science description in Swedish
Maximum 1500 characters including spaces.
The popular science description should be able to be used in Formas’ project database, which allows the general public and the media to see which projects Formas has funded.
- Abstract in Swedish
Maximum 1500 characters including spaces.
A brief and clear description of the project concept, proposed collaboration, and the project concept’s potential to develop a measure for improved animal welfare.
- Abstract in English
Maximum 1500 characters including spaces.
A brief and clear description of the project concept, proposed collaboration, and the project concept’s potential to develop a measure for improved animal welfare.
Please note the review panel’s criteria on page 17 for each of the following three parts of the project description.
Project description – Specific aims and objectives of the proposed project and a background description containing an overview of the research area (max 4 000 characters including spaces) Describe the research that underpins the project and the animal welfare promoting measure that it will develop, including societal value. Describe why it is important to conduct the project. Are there social and cultural factors to consider such as consequences for gender equality?
Description of the project including a summary of the structure, theory, methods, competence, performance and a plan for scientific deliverables (max 3 000 characters including spaces) Describe how you will organise the project. Specify project plan, including activity and timetable as well how ethics and sustainability are regarded. Describe how the project results can be followed up. Describe the type of expertise available within the project, and state which researchers that are part of the project. Describe the project organisation, management and roles of participants. Reflect on how gender equality and diversity have been considered in the composition of the project team.
Description of the potential societal value of the research question and planned communication with stakeholders/end users (max 3000 characters including spaces) Describe the need/problem to be resolved, including benefit to society. Describe how stakeholders/end-users and experts in utilisation will be involved in the project. Describe the plan for communication with stakeholders/end-users.
List the in-line references pertaining to the above sections in a separate field (max. 5000 characters including spaces).
Budget and other information
The coordinating party/administrating organisation is responsible for completing the application with the support of information from its own organisation and from the other participating project parties. Depending on the organisational affiliations of the parties, different rules apply for funding the project costs of the parties. The total amount sought for all participating project parties cannot exceed 2 million SEK.
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 an international review panel. In Prisma, amounts should be written in full. For example, 1 million SEK should be written as: 1 000 000 SEK.
Information on the administrating organisation and other project parties
This is mandatory information that must be completed for all parties in the project by the coordinating party / administrating organisation in Prisma.
- Name of the organisation
- Corporate identity number
- Address, postal code, city, country
- Annual turnover (the total sales or turnover of the higher education institution, research institute, 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.
Costs for the coordinating party and the participating project party
- Staff expenses. Eligible staff expenses for companies and other organisations conducting economic activity may be estimated at a maximum of 800 SEK per hour. Higher education institutions or research institutes are not subject to this limitation. Note that the total salary amount for a researcher, PhD student or other staff must not exceed 100 percent of full-time employment. Formas does not grant funding for annual salary increases.
- Equipment, land and buildings. The total maximum amount you can be granted for equipment and equipment depreciation costs is 500,000 SEK.
- Consultancy and licensing costs, 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. Other direct costs can include the cost of consumables, travel, conferences and publication fees for open-access journals and databases.
- Indirect costs (overhead). Higher education institutions and research institutes may charge a mark-up for indirect costs according to the applicable full-cost pricing method. Other project parties may charge a mark-up for indirect costs of up to 30 percent of their eligible staff expenses.
Funding for the participating project party
There are four types of funding an applicant can specify in the application:
- Requested grant from Formas: Indicates the amount requested from Formas under the 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 aid (state): If Formas or another public funder contributes funding for related research projects.
- Other aid (private): If another private company or organisation contributes funding to the project.
- Self-finance: If the project party contributes its own funding, this is calculated automatically and displayed in the field for self-finance. However, self-finance is optional in this call.
State aid regulations for companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity
Private companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity that want to apply for grants from Formas must follow specific regulations on state aid. The regulations are based on the principle of EU law, which states that aid to private enterprises normally distorts competition but that certain exemptions are allowed, including support for research, development and innovation.
Please note that de minimis aid granted to companies that are active in the primary production of agricultural products postulates that a distinction is made between project and core activities. This can be done, for example, by dividing the costs, which ensures that project funds are not used in the ordinary activities
In this call, only de minimis aid provisions apply for the project parties seeking funding. The maximum de minimis aid Formas can grant is 200,000 euros over a period of three consecutive fiscal years. Any de minimis aid received by a company or organisation must be totalled and reported. If the recipient (in this call, a project party) is part of a group of companies, all aid within the group should be totalled.
Formas will, following its decision on aid, ask project parties that are subject to de minimis aid rules to complete a special form.
More information on state aid is available at Formas’ website state aid regulations.
Justification of budgeted staff expenses for participating project parties
Here, you 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.
You can apply for funding to cover salaries for researchers, PhD students and technical staff. Social security contributions and other mandatory fees should be included. Formas does not grant funding for annual salary increases. You can therefore apply for funding for salaries that apply at the time of the application, but not for funding to cover salary increases. For any current job positions, you must state the salary in effect at the time of the application submission. This will then apply to all subsequent years in the project. For new job positions you must state the starting salary at the administrating organisation. The total salary amount you can receive for a single researcher, PhD student or other staff must not exceed 100 percent of full-time employment. This also means that someone who is already receiving full salary funding from another funder cannot receive additional funding for salary. Researchers who are full-time pensioners cannot receive funding for their own salary.
Justification of the budget of the whole project
Here, you specify further information by explaining the budget in your own words. Explain the overhead costs in the application according to the practice of the higher education institution or public organisation that is the project party. You can also indicate whether you will have consulting costs, which consultant will be engaged and the scope of the consultant’s participation. Also indicate which project party or parties is responsible for the consulting costs. Formas does not allow overhead for equipment depreciation costs or costs of premises.
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.
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.
Select at least one SCB code with two sub-levels that together form the entire code.
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. 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.
The project manager should invite any participating researchers/participants who can add their CV details and relevant publications from their profile in Prisma to the application. Project manager and participating researchers / participants fill in the fields to the extent they are applicable.
Please note that you cannot register your application if you have unanswered invitations to participating participants. If so, these must be removed first.
The CV should contain:
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 award. Specify the most relevant ones (max. 10).
- Additional merits, including bibliometric summary. Here, project manager and participating researchers / participants should give (if applicable) a brief summary of their bibliometric profile, for the past five-year period and in total if the applicant's active research time is longer than five years (max 800 characters including spaces).
This bibliometric summary should include:
-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.
- 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 participating researchers/participants should list up to ten of their most relevant publications if applicable. Please note that the publications should be linked from the applicants’ personal profiles in Prisma.
It is possible to upload an appendix that can aid in understanding the project, such as illustrations, images or sketches. Please note that letters of intent should not be attached. Collaborations should only be described in the project description. Upload any appendices as PDF files (maximum size 10 MB).
- Select your administrating organisation (see the section on administrating organisations and coordinating project parties above).
- Choose the relevant domicile of your organisation.
- Default (need not be filled in)
After submitting your application
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 in Prisma.
We first verify whether your application falls within Formas’ areas of responsibility and the scope of the call. If it does, it continues to a review panel for assessment. If it does not, it is rejected.
Your application is also rejected if it contains procedural errors or is incomplete, meaning that it lacks the necessary information in the application form or the appendix.
Following basic requirements will be controlled in this call. If an application does not fulfil any of these requirements it will be rejected.
- The administrating organisation has chosen not to support the application and has not signed the application.
- The total amount applied for is too high.
- The application is incomplete. Required information is missing on the application form.
- The application does not meet the requirements set out in the call text.
Formas verifies whether an applicant received funding earlier but did not submit their scientific or financial report on time. These applicants are invited to submit their reports before new funding can be granted.
Prior to grant decisions, Formas does credit checks on all companies and other organizations with economic activities that may be eligible for funding.
The applications will be assessed by an international review panel that is qualified to cover the theme of this call. Applications are assessed based on their contents. It is therefore important to write the application as clearly as possible and include all important and relevant information. Each application is read and assessed by several members of the panel.
The review panel consists of both active researchers and users. The review panel has the competence to assess the excellence and implementation of the research, the societal relevance and communication with stakeholders or users. The review panel is appointed by Formas. Read more about Formas’ assessment process.
he following gives an overview of the criteria used to assess applications. The application must address all the criteria, and we advise applicants to clearly relate their application to these criteria. Each criterion will be scored by the review panel on a scale of 1–7, where 1 is the lowest and 7 is the highest. All criteria are equally important.
Applications are assessed on the basis of the following criteria:
- The results, if the project is successful, are of essential importance for the welfare of the animals
- The project is of high scientific quality
- Project proposal and design contribute to that research is turned into practice
- The project proposal contains clearly described and relevant activities to create impact
- Relevant stakeholders / users are involved in the project's implementation in an appropriate manner
- The planned methods and activities are realistic to achieve expected results
- Timetable is appropriate in relation to the project objectives and expected results
- Budget is appropriate in relation to the project objectives and expected results
- Ethical and sustainability aspects are considered when designing and implementing the project
- The project contains the resources, competence and experience that are required to carry out the project
- There are actors participating in the project who can contribute to use of the research results
- International aspects, if needed, are addressed in a relevant and appropriate manner
Formas’ Scientific Council is expected to reach a decision on 18 November 2020 concerning which projects will be granted funding. Decisions will be announced the following day, at the latest, on Formas’ website. Information that decisions have been made will be sent out via email. The applicant’s decision is visible in Prisma. Decisions about funding grants cannot be appealed.
In case of granted funding, the administrating organisation and the project party enter an agreement concerning the implementation and financing of the project. Copies of these agreements are sent to Formas following any decision on project funding. See state aid regulations for companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity.
Financial statements must be submitted each year for projects longer than 18 months. The final financial and scientific reports must be created in accordance with the decision and are usually submitted within three months after the end of the availability period.
More information on the report requirements can be found on Formas’ website.
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 you to participate in conferences and similar events in order to create synergies and platforms for learning and knowledge sharing.
Results from research funded by Formas must be published with open access. Read more about open access to research results and data.
The projects that are granted funding must develop a data management plan for the data produced in the project. By signing our grant terms and conditions, you certify that a data management plan will be available before the research begins and that it will be maintained.
Read more about the guidelines in the report Practical Guide to the International Alignment of Research Data Management (pdf).
Formas shares information about awarded grants to SweCRIS, a national database of grant-funded research that was instituted by request of the government.