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Annual open call 2020 – Research projects

Formas Ikon

WHAT CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

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 Ikon

WHO CAN APPLY?

The main applicant must have obtained a doctoral degree.

Formas Ikon

HOW MUCH CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

Grants for research projects can cover a maximum of 1 million SEK per year, on average, over the years the application is valid for. Funding can be applied for a maximum of 3 years.

Current: 16 Days left. Apply before: 2020-04-16 14:00

The application deadline for Formas' annual open call has been extended two weeks to April 16 2020,14.00. The date for decision is still November 18.

To apply for a grant for research projects, the main applicant must have obtained a doctoral degree. Funding can be applied for a maximum of 3 years and a total of 3 million SEK.

Formas’ 2020 annual open call offers two types of grants to apply for: Research projects and Research projects 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 2020 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.

Call text

Read the text down below or download a version to print (pdf).

Any changes to the call text will be listed below Revisions.

Before you apply

To apply for research projects the main applicant must have completed their doctoral degree.

  • 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.
    Who can become an administrating organisation?
  • There is no upper age limit for the main applicant and participating researchers. However, researchers who are full-time pensioners are not eligible to receive funding towards salaries.
  • The main applicant may submit a maximum of one project application to Formas in the Annual open call 2020. Researchers who meet the eligibility requirements in both calls (Research projects and Research projects for early-career researchers) may submit only one application.
  • An applicant is not allowed to submit the same application with different main applicants under Formas’ Annual open call. This applies within and between both sub-calls. Applications that have the same content will be rejected.
  • Project period indicates the period during which Project funds will be disbursed (pay-out period) from Formas and how long the funds can be utilised (availability period). Project managers (the main applicant) are only allowed to have one ongoing project grant under Formas’ Annual 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 2021 from one of Formas’ Annual open calls, regardless of the sub-call, are rejected without review. It is, however, fine to have an ongoing project from an Annual open call if the project’s pay-out period has passed but the availability period is still ongoing in 2021. Funding can be applied for under the 2020 Annual open call if the project manager has an ongoing project that ends later in 2020.
  • It is possible to apply under the 2020 Annual open call if the project manager (main applicant) has ongoing project grants from one of Formas’ targeted calls.
  • Grants for Research 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.

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

  • Grants for Research 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
  • Grants for Research projects 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.
  • If funds will be transferred from the grant administrating organisation to another organisation that participates in the project, the overhead cost of each organisation can be applied. Declare and specify the different overhead costs in the budget specification. The total overhead costs for the project should be stated in the budget table.
  • 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.
  • Grants for Research 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 for 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 open call 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 project in the 2020 Annual open call can start on 1 January 2021 at the earliest and is expected to start during the 2021 calendar year.

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.

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

How to apply

You apply 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.

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:

Basic information

  • 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)

Research programme

  • 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:
  • a short description of existing and future needs for basic equipment
  • a brief description of national and international collaboration
  • confirmation of compliance with international agreements and regulations
  • 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).Briefly describe the societal relevance of the research and who the relevant stakeholders/target groups of the research are and how the research and its results are planned communicated with these groups. Support for addressing the communication criterionexternal link
  • References. List the in-line references pertaining to the above sections in a separate field (max. 5000 characters including spaces).

Budget

You report the project budget in Prisma 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.

The budget should include:

  • Salaries including social fees for each person in the project. Grant can be used to cover salaries for researchers, PhD students and technical staff.
  • Formas does not grant funding for annual salary increases. 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 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.
  • Researchers who are full-time pensioners cannot receive funding for their own salary.
  • Percentage of salary refers to the percentage of the applicant’s full-time salary that is equivalent to the salary in the project.
  • Activity level in the project refers to the percentage of full-time service a project participant contributes. It indicates whether the applicant contributes in-kind services or other funding for completing the project.
  • Running costs can include the cost of consumables, travel, conferences and publication fees for open-access journals and databases. Specify operating costs in accordance with practices at the administrating organisation.
  • Equipment costs and depreciation costs. The total maximum amount you can be granted for equipment and equipment depreciation costs is 500,000 kronor in total.
  • Premises, costs are specified (if not part of overhead/indirect costs) in accordance with practices at the administrating organisation.
  • Total applied/Subtotal regard data already completed in previous budget tables and will be automatically transferred to this table.
  • Indirect costs relate to overhead costs. Formas does not allow overhead for equipment depreciation costs or costs of premises. Specify the indirect costs in the project budget in accordance with the practices at the administrating organisation.
  • Other costs refer 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.
  • Total cost refers to a budget summary.
  • 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. If you write in Swedish, please note that a budget specification provided in Swedish will not be translated and it will be a part of the international review panel’s assessment.

Ethical considerations

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.

Report any ethical considerations

Classifications

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

  • Subject area. Select the project’s subject area and add a sub-heading.
  • SCB code. Select at least one SCB code with two sub-levels that together form the entire code.
  • Keywords. Select at least one and a maximum of three keywords describing the project. Choose what best represents your project, even if it does not entirely match the field you work in.
  • Sustainable development goals. Select a minimum of one and a maximum of three SDGs that fit your project. When selecting more than one goal, set the goals in order of priority. 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 websiteexternal link. 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.

Review panels

  • Choose the review panelexternal link which you wish to have your application assessed by.
  • 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.

Administrating organisation – the organisation receiving the grant

An administrating organisation is the organisation that receives the grant money from Formas when a grant is awarded. In order to submit an application, the organisation where the project manager works must be an approved administrating organisation.

Who can become an administrating organisation?

  • Select your administrating organisation in Prisma and add the department or unit where the project is based.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Participants

  • The main applicant invites participating researchers
  • A participating researcher is a researcher with a doctoral degree that are considered as co-applicant for the project
  • It is also possible to have participating administrators, they are not involved in the project but helps 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).
  • Please note that invited participating researchers must transfer their CVs and publications in the application so that the main applicant can register the application when it is completed. See further details in the CV section.

CVs

  • The main applicant retrieves the data from their personal profile in Prisma
  • Participating researchers add their CV details from their profile to the application in Prisma.
  • Applicants should review their CV in Prisma in good time to ensure that it is complete and up to date.
  • If participating researchers have not filled in the required fields correctly, the main applicant will not be able to complete the registration of the application.
  • Participants who are not co-applicants do not have the opportunity to attach their CV information, instead their competence for the project should be described in the research program.

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:

  • 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 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.

Appendix

Appendix for 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. Please note that a CV should not be attached as an appendix.

After submitting your application

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

Your application can also be rejected if it contains procedural errors or is incomplete, meaning that it lacks the necessary information in the application form or the appendix.

Some applications are rejected early

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 application assessment process

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. A 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.

Review panels

Applications are assessed with respect to scientific quality and societal relevance. This includes the following five criteria:

Criteria for scientific quality

  • Research question
  • Scientific competence
  • Method and performance

Criteria for societal relevance

  • Potential societal value of the research topic
  • Communication with stakeholders and users

Assessment criteria

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.

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.

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.

How to report expenses and results

Results from research funded by Formas must be published with open access.

Open access to research results and data

You need to have a data management plan for the data produced in the project. If you receive funding, you need to develop a plan for data management. The plan should not be sent in to us but you should be able to present the plan upon request. We recommend that you follow the guidelines for data management plans developed by Science Europe. Read more about the guidelines in the report Practical Guide to the International Alignment of Research Data Management (pdf)external link

SweCRIS

Formas shares information about awarded grants to SweCRIS, a national database of grant-funded research that was instituted by request of the government.

Support, contact and webinars

Telephone Hotline

During 14–16 April, Formas Hotline answers general questions about the call between 9:00–16:00 CET. We are closed for lunch 12:00–13:00 CET.

Telephone: +46 (0)8-775 40 05

Chat with us

During 14–16 April, Formas’ chat service answers general questions about the call between 9:00–16:00 CET. We are closed for lunch 12:00–13:00 CET.

Revisions

March 27, 2020: Clarification on how to select Sustainable Development Goals related to your project (See Information your application must include/Classifications).

March 19, 2020: The application deadline for Formas' annual open call has been extended two weeks to April 16, 2020.

 

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Updated:27 March 2020