When researchers move between different research environments, they disseminate their knowledge while learning new tools and methods, discovering new directions for their research and expanding their networks. For early-career researchers, such experiences are especially valuable. On an overall level, researcher mobility contributes to the creation of dynamic research environments that carry out high-quality research.
Formas’ mobility grants are targeted to individuals who have obtained their PhD within the last three years.
The call welcomes research projects in which researchers formulate their own research questions. It covers all of Formas’ areas – environment, agricultural sciences and spatial planning – including transdisciplinary projects. The research we fund should be of the highest scientific quality and can be basic research or needs-driven research for the ecological, economical and socially sustainable development of society. The call covers both national and international researcher mobility.
Before you apply
To apply for a mobility grant, you must have obtained a PhD degree within the last three years. For this call, this means that the applicant will have been granted their PhD between 1 January 2017 and 1 September 2020. If you have not yet defended your thesis by the time the call closes, you must attach a certificate from your home organisation stating that you expect to have your degree certificate by 1 September 2020. You do not need to have received your PhD in Sweden to apply in the call.
If you were not able to conduct research during the period immediately after receiving your PhD, you might still qualify to apply for the mobility grant if you defended your thesis before 1 January 2017. Exceptions to the three-year rule can include parental leave, sick leave, military service, political duties or other similar circumstances. Time periods and reasons for an exception should be included in your CV.
During a mobility project you must be an employee of a home organisation, which should be an administrating organisation throughout the entire project period. You do not need to be an employee of the home organisation at the time you apply for funding, but you must have an employment agreement that the home organisation, in its role as an administrating organisation, certifies by signing the application after it is registered. Mobility grants for early-career researchers may only be administered by a Swedish university, college or other Swedish public organisation that meets Formas’ criteria for administrating organisations.
- The call “Mobility grants for early-career researchers” will be open two times per year. There are no restrictions on how often you can apply, as long as you meet the call requirements.
- You are allowed to apply for project funding in the mobility call even if you have ongoing project grants from one of Formas’ calls.
- You are allowed to apply in both the mobility grant call and the annual open call.
When you apply for a grant for a mobility project, you can apply for funding for your salary and for indirect costs, known as overhead, as well as for direct premises costs in accordance with the administrating organisation’s practices. The salary must be at the level of your current salary or the corresponding starting salary at the administrating home organisation. Formas does not grant funding for annual salary increases.
Note that the total salary amount received must not exceed 100 percent of full-time employment. This means that additional salary funding cannot be granted to researchers who already receive grants or contributions with full salary funding.
You cannot include participating researchers (co-applicants) in your project application.
Formas covers travel expenses and additional accommodation costs for residency at the host organisations for the applicant and accompanying family members. The amount granted is a lump sum whose size depends on (i) the host country’s cost of living level and (ii) the number of accompanying family members. This lump sum is based on information from the Swedish Agency for Government Employers. If you are awarded a grant, Formas will calculate these additional costs and add them to the amount granted. So, you should not apply for funding to cover these costs.
You cannot apply for funds to cover project costs, but as of 2020 Formas will add a flat-rate amount of 100,000 kronor per year for project-related expenses. Read more about eligible costs in Formas’ general terms and conditions for research and innovation grants.
For the call “Mobility grants for early-career researchers”, there is no specific minimum or maximum amount required. The costs for which you can apply for funding include your salary as well as overhead costs and direct premises costs in accordance with practices at the administrating organisation. The salary must be at the level of your current salary or the corresponding starting salary at the administrating home organisation. Formas does not grant funding for annual salary increases.
A mobility grant must be between 24 and 48 months long, where at least one-third of the total amount of time for which a grant is sought must be spent at a home organisation and at least one-third of the time must be spent at one or more host organisations. This means that a researcher can spend from 8 to 32 months at the host organisations. The stay can be broken up into several periods, but each individual period must be a minimum of three months.
Projects are expected to start during the 2021 calendar year, on 1 January at the earliest.
Formas’ decision contains information about the period during which project funds will be paid out and how long the funds can be used
You should write your application in English, since the review panel that will assess your application is international. If you write your application in Swedish, a professional translator will only translate into English the section describing the research programme. You will not be able to change the translation before the application proceeds to assessment. Your budget specification and CV will not be translated, so they should be written in English even if you choose to write the other parts of the application in Swedish. The popular science description must be written in Swedish, while the abstract should be in both Swedish and English.
Applications submitted to Formas become publicly available documents after a decision is announced to the public. However, Formas does not disclose information about an individual’s business relationships or operating conditions, inventions or research results if the disclosure would be assumed to cause the individual suffering. If applications are requested, Formas conducts a confidentiality assessment.
How to apply
You apply for a grant in our application system, Prisma. In Prisma, you must create a personal account where you will add the information you need for your application. Create an account and an application as early as possible and contact Formas with any questions in good time.
In the mobility call you cannot include participating researchers in your application, but if someone will help you fill out the application form, you can use the “Invite participating administrator” feature.
In order to submit an application, the home organisation where the applicant is or will be employed 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 several weeks to become approved as an administrating organisation.
You should write your application in English, as the review panel that will assess your application is international. However, the popular science description must be written in Swedish, and the abstract should be in both Swedish and English.
All limits for the maximum number of characters refer to characters including spaces. We recommend that you 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 years for which the application applies
- Estimated project duration
- Project title in Swedish and English (maximum 200 characters each, including spaces)
- Popular science description in Swedish (maximum 4,500 characters including spaces)
- Abstract in Swedish and English (maximum 1,500 characters each, including spaces)
- Goals and objectives of the project, and a background description containing an overview of the research area (maximum 7,000 characters including spaces).
- Project description, including structure, theory, methodology, implementation and a plan for publication in a scientific journal (maximum 15,000 characters including spaces).
- Description of the potential societal benefit of the project and a plan for communicating the research and its results to stakeholders and end users (maximum 8,000 characters including spaces). Briefly describe the potential societal benefits of the research and the relevant stakeholders/users of the research. Please also describe how the research and its results will be communicated with the stakeholders. Support for addressing the communication criterion
- List the in-line references pertaining to the above sections in a separate field (maximum 5,000 characters including spaces).
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 assessed as is by the international review panel.
In Prisma, write out the total amount you are applying for in kronor using digits. For example, 1 million kronor should be written as: 1 000 000 kronor.
Information the budget should include
- Salaries, including social security contributions for each project participant.
You apply for funding to cover your own salary. Social security contributions should be included. Formas does not grant funding for annual salary increases. So, you can apply for funding for salaries that apply at the time of the application but not for funding to cover salary increases. For new job positions you must specify the starting salary at the administrating organisation. If you are already hired at the administrating organisation, you must specify the salary in effect at the time of the application submission. That salary will then apply to all subsequent years in the project.
The amount you can be awarded for salaries must never 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 salary funding.
- Percentage of salary
Refers to the percentage of your full-time salary that corresponds to the salary in the project.
- Activity level in the project
Refers to the percentage of full-time service the applicant contributes. It indicates whether the applicant contributes in-kind services or other funding for completing the project.
You can apply for funding to cover the cost of premises if this is not already included as overhead in the project’s budget. Specify premises costs in accordance with the applicable practices at the administrating organisation.
- Total sought/subtotal
Refers to costs already specified in the previous budget tables, and will be automatically transferred to these items.
- Indirect costs
When you specify the overhead costs in the application, do so according to the practice of the college, university or public administration that will manage the funds.
- Other funds
Refers to funds not sought but relevant to the completion of the project. An example is co-funding from partners. Also specify whether the project will receive funds from other sources.
- Total cost
Refers to a budget summary
- Budget specification
In your own words, explain the budget. Specify how the grant amount you are applying for will be distributed each year. Provide a brief justification for the salary expenses. A description of the total project budget, including funding from other sources, should also be included. The budget specification is part of the application assessment.
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 assessed as is by the international review panel.
Fill in only if relevant for completing the project. You must describe the relevant ethical issues and how they should be managed. Examples include research that uses personal data, or experiments on humans or animals. Read more about how to report ethical concerns.
Formas uses project classifications in 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.
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 sustainable development goals (SDGs) that best fit your project. The goal that is most relevant to the project should be stated in the first box. As the meaning of the goals is sometimes narrower than what the title indicates, please follow the link and read in more detail about the goal or goals you intend to specify to ensure that your project contributes towards achieving those particular goals.
You retrieve the information from your personal account in Prisma. Add the following CV information to the application.
- Education: postgraduate, undergraduate and graduate level.
- Professional experience: Current employment and major relevant prior positions (3 maximum). Include any significant gaps in research, such as parental leave, illness, military service or political duties.
- Qualifications and merits:
- Supervised students: For example, undergraduates. Specify the total number and name the most relevant ones (10 maximum).
- Grants received in competition: Specify the most relevant ones (10 maximum).
- Awards and distinctions: Specify the most relevant ones (10 maximum).
- Other qualifications, including bibliometric indicators: Here you should summarise your bibliometric indicators (maximum 800 characters including spaces). This summary should include the following:
1. 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.
2. Any other publication/citation specifications relevant to your research field. Under “Other qualifications,” 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 (10 maximum).
- Intellectual property: For example, patents and open source software that you have developed (10 maximum).
List of publications
Here, you can specify up to ten of your most relevant publications. Note that the publications should be linked from your personal profile.
The following appendices must be attached to the application:
Appendix G. Description of how the project and research environment at the host and home organisations will help develop your expertise, as well as a travel plan. Template for Appendix G
Appendix I. Copy of diploma or proof of completed PhD degree (maximum 4 MB). If you have not yet defended your thesis by the time the call closes, you must attach a certificate from your home organisation stating that you expect to receive your degree by 1 September 2020.
Appendix L. The invitation from the home and host organisations. This appendix must include an invitation from both the home organisation and the host organisation. The invitations should include a statement on the planned research and an assurance that the necessary facilities and resources will be made available. A maximum of one appendix (PDF) of 4 MB can be uploaded.
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 appendix (PDF) of 4 MB can be uploaded.
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 appendices.
Learn more about why some applications are rejected early.
All applications are assessed by a review panel based on their contents. It is therefore important to write the application as clearly as possible and include all important and relevant information.
The panel includes both active researchers and users of research results who are qualified to assess the potential societal benefit. Most of the panel members are researchers. The panel members are recruited so that their competences reflect the content of the applications to be reviewed. This means that Formas’ review panel members have the expertise required to assess applications within the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, health sciences and engineering sciences within our areas of responsibility. The panels are also qualified to assess multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research.
Applications which proceed to review are assessed with respect to scientific quality and societal relevance. This includes the following six criteria:
Criteria for scientific quality
- Research question
- Methods and implementation
- Scientific competence
- Added value of research environments
Criteria for societal relevance
- Potential societal benefit and real-world impact 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. Make sure to clearly and accurately organise and formulate the application, 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 23 September 2020 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 are available in Prisma. Grant award decisions cannot be appealed.
Each project that is awarded funding must submit a report to Formas containing a financial and a scientific summary in accordance with the decision, three months after the end of the appropriation period. For projects longer than 18 months, however, financial statements must be submitted annually.
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 using open access.
If you receive funding from us, you must have a data management plan for the data produced in the project. This plan does not need to be submitted to Formas, but should be presented on request. We recommend that you follow the proposal developed by Science Europe on what a data management plan should contain. For more information about the proposal, see the Practical Guide to the International Alignment of Research Data Management (external website).
Formas shares information about awarded grants to SweCRIS, a national database of grant-funded research that was instituted by request of the government.