Sustainable food production


Needs-driven research that strengthens the food system’s transformation for increased sustainability and competitiveness.


Researchers, public and private organisations and private companies (not sole proprietorships) approved by Formas as an administrating organisation. At least one researcher participating in the project must have a doctoral degree. Only multi-party applications, with participation from both academia and business-sector or public sector, can receive funding.


You can seek funding for projects that run for up to four years and for a maximum of SEK 2 million per year. The maximum funding for a four-year project is SEK 8 million.

Current: 26 Days left. Apply before: 2021-05-18 14:00

To address climate change and environmental goals, our entire society must transform. The food system is central to many of the challenges facing society. Food security, including how we produce and process our food, is simultaneously part of the challenge and part of the solution.

This call aims to promote applied research of the highest scientific quality that addresses current topics about how to make Swedish food production more sustainable and increase expertise in the field. Production here means primary production, value chains, or the food system that production is a part of. The projects should attempt to highlight and solve challenges as well as obstacles that stand in the way of the transformation of our food producers and food processing companies to more sustainable production practices that meet established targets for social, environmental and economic sustainability. Despite the challenges, food production is also the source of many solutions. We already know that we need to take action and make changes. Now the goal is taking the practical steps necessary to transform.

For applied research, the combination of evidence-based methods and knowledge based on practice and proven experience are of great value. Meeting the established environmental and climate targets requires cooperation and interaction among different stakeholders in academia, private-sector companies, and the wider society. The projects must therefore be multi-party projects and consist of at least one party from academia and at least one party from industry or the public sector.

You can apply for up to 8 million SEK for applied research projects lasting up to 48 months. Formas has allocated 60 million SEK for this call.

To meet climate and environmental targets as well as other key sustainability goals, we have to transform all sectors of our society. The food system is pivotal for meeting many of these challenges. (We define the food system as in FAO 2017 as the people, processes, infrastructure, institutions and services involved in the production, processing, marketing, consumption and disposal of food). And although food security and food production are part of the problem, they also promise a solution. Several measures have been implemented for achieving the established sustainability goals, including the government’s 2030 target in the national food strategy for at least 30 percent of agricultural land to be organically farmed. With its Green Deal, the EU has also adopted a strategy called Farm2Fork that emphasises the need to shift food production to sustainable production. At the end of March 2021, the EU Commission came up with an action plan for how to increase organic farming and food production. Several points are relevant for Sweden, too. We have come a long way in Sweden in terms of sustainability on many fronts compared with other European countries. But the need to evolve and transform the food system into a more sustainable system is still urgent and pressing. The transformation of our food production is extremely complex. We need to step up the sustainable production of plant-based organic raw materials and feed that has a lower carbon footprint. This means reducing nitrous oxide and methane emissions as well as fertiliser leaching in both plant cultivation and animal husbandry while increasing production. In addition, agriculture must switch to fossil-free inputs, digitalisation must intensify, and the use of data must be improved for increased precision in all areas. More diversified agricultural companies should adopt a circular production model for both livestock and crop products. Further knowledge of organic food production is needed, and the national objective is to increase the land area dedicated to organic production. Swedish agricultural and food processing companies must, based on their specific circumstances, shift to becoming more sustainable and resilient.

Sweden is well positioned to create a sustainable food system nationwide and contribute to developments around the world. Swedish production is of a high standard in terms of environmental and climate change considerations, animal health and welfare, and food safety. However, we need to get even better. Research and innovation are needed to discover new solutions, methods, and models, and to create new products and processes that ensure sustainable food production and a value-added chain that simultaneously boosts companies’ profitability.

We need to come together as a nation to strengthen applied needs-driven research and create environments that promote innovation in the food system. We need to work on spreading knowledge to relevant stakeholders and target groups, with an eye to ensuring that this knowledge is in demand and can be implemented. Complex challenges cannot be tackled by individual stakeholders alone or be isolated from other challenges. Research must be designed and serve as an integral part of the food system, addressing multiple perspectives at the same time. To accomplish this, more research must take place in partnership and co-creation among researchers from different disciplines and a variety of stakeholders.

This call stems from a funding initiative for research on organic production according to Formas’ government mandate, using earmarked funds from the national food research programme on foodexternal link as part of the implementation of the strategic research agenda Towards a Sustainable and Competitive Food System, which was developed in collaboration among higher education institutions, research institutes, industry, government agencies and other stakeholders. The national research programme on food was established within the framework of Sweden’s 2017 food strategy, A national food strategy for Sweden – more jobs and sustainable growth throughout the country (2016/17:104)external link.

The call aims to promote applied research in sustainable food production of the highest scientific quality. Applicants must address current topics and solutions for meeting the needs around sustainable food production and must help increase expertise in the field. The call covers primary production, value chains and the food system, which includes production. The projects should attempt to highlight and solve challenges as well as obstacles that stand in the way of the transformation of our food producers and food processing companies to more sustainable production practices. Core topics should address primary production and the upstream supply chain, but the projects should also consider the entire value chain and place their research in a larger context, for example by analysing consequences and interactions for the food system as a whole. It is important to retain a systems perspective even if the project highlights a part of the value chain. We already know that we need to take action and make changes. Now the goal is taking the practical steps necessary to transform.

A sustainable transformation of our food production is extremely complex. For example, further knowledge of organic production is needed, perhaps especially within the organic or plant-based processing industry. More knowledge is also needed about how agricultural companies, regardless of production model, can become more diversified and improve their sustainability even more. Another example of an area requiring more research is how processing companies can successfully transition to manage new food products, such as grass-based milk or natural beet meat. How can companies make a more positive impact on the environment through ecosystem services or other measures? Projects that shed light on how to ensure greater economic and social sustainability are also vital.

Research practitioners, public-sector organisations, private companies and trade associations that are administrating organisations for all types of callsexternal link or administrating organisations for an individual projectexternal link are welcome to apply for a grant.

Important: Sole proprietorships cannot participate in this call.

The call is aimed at project teams composed of a project manager and participants from at least two different project parties, one from academia and one from industry or the public sector. The project team should include at least one researcher who has a PhD, but this person does not have to be the principal applicant (project manager). Other participants do not need to have a PhD.

Before you apply

Everything you need to know when applying. For example what the application shall contain, how the application is registered in the application system Prisma, information about administrating organizations, evaluation criteria and the assessment process.

Download the call text as pdf.

  • To ensure scientific quality, the project team must include at least one researcher who has a PhD. However, this person does not have to be the principal applicant (project manager).
  • The principal applicant (project manager) must have a personal account in Prisma in order to submit the project application. Project participants must have a personal account in Prisma to be able to submit CVs and any publications relevant to the application.
    Create a personal account in Prismaexternal link.
  • An applicant is not allowed to submit the same application with different principal applicants in the Sustainable Food Production call. All registered applications that have the same content will be rejected.
  • The principal applicant can only submit one application in this call. However, you can be a project participant in several applications as long as the applicant’s total funding, distributed over the projects, does not exceed 100 percent of their salary.
  • It is possible to apply in this call even if the principal applicant has ongoing project grants from one of Formas’ targeted national or international calls or from the annual open call, as long as the applicant’s total salary, distributed over the projects, does not exceed 100 percent of the amount granted.
  • Private companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity that want to apply for a grant from Formas are subject to state aid regulations. See the section “State aid regulations for companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity”.
  • The project duration must be 12, 24, 36 or 48 months (one, two, three or four years).

The call welcomes applicants from administrating organisations for all types of callsexternal link, including higher education institutions and research institutes, and from companies and other organisations that can become adminisexternal linktrating organisations for an individual project.external link The administrating organisation is the organisation that receives and administers the funds Formas awards. You can apply to become an administrating organisation in our application system, Prisma. However, it is important to do this well in advance of registering the project application and no later than 12 May 2021, so that Formas has time to process your request. See also “Principal applicants from organisations that can become an administrating organisation for an individual project”.

  • 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 administers the funds that Formas pays out to an awarded project and that distributes these funds to other project parties as decided by Formas.

When you apply for project funding, you can apply for a grant to cover both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include staff expenses, equipment, travel, buildings and land, consulting and licensing expenses, and other direct costs including travel costs. 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 from Formas can be used to fund research, development and innovation that are partly conducted outside Sweden, although the research must be initiated and managed from Sweden. Note that companies or other organisations engaged in economic activity outside Sweden cannot receive grants in this call. The administrating organisation (in this case, the coordinating project party) must be located in Sweden and approved by Formas. This organisation is responsible for hiring any foreign staff if necessary or reimbursing costs for activities or services outside Sweden, in accordance with the administrating organisation’s guidelines.

In Formas’ Sustainable Food Production call, a project can be awarded a maximum of 8 million SEK for a 48-month project. The project duration must be 12, 24, 36 or 48 months (one, two, three or four years).

Project grants can cover a maximum of 2 million SEK per year, on average, over the years the application is valid for. So, applicants can apply for more than 2 million during one year as long as the amount sought during another year of the project period is less than 2 million. If the total amount applied for exceeds the average annual amount of 2 million kronor, the application will be rejected.

The project start date is predefined in Prisma and cannot be changed. Funds for the first 12 months of the project will be disbursed in 2021. Applicants should enter their budget in the application based on actual costs. Project funds can be used for up to 12 months after the end of the project. After that, a final financial report must be submitted within three months.

We recommend that you write your application in English, since the review panel that will assess your application is international. If you do write your application in Swedish, a professional translator will translate into English only the section describing the research programme. You will not be able to change the translation before the application proceeds to assessment. However, the popular science description must be written in Swedish, while the abstract should be in both Swedish and English. Your budget specification and CV will not be translated. So, please write these in English, even if you write the other sections in Swedish and submit your application in the Swedish version of our application system.

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).

The popular science description and project abstracts in Swedish and English will, if the project is granted funding, be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality review. Therefore, the contents of these fields should not contain sensitive information.

Formas is eager to fund projects that maximise the positive and minimise the negative impacts on the environment and climate. We therefore encourage applicants to design their projects so that collaboration takes place primarily through online meetings and that any necessary travel takes place in a climate-smart way. Project planning should include measures that minimise energy use and other resource consumption, emissions and waste. However, this will not be part of an application’s assessment at this time.

Please read about Formas’ own sustainability work.

Formas is tasked with working towards achieving a sustainable development of society. Crucial to such a development are equal opportunities and inclusion. We therefore encourage applicants to think as much as possible about designing the project so that it can contribute knowledge that reflects and is relevant to different groups in society. We also encourage you to consider gender balance in the project team and including participants with different backgrounds and experiences.

How to apply

The application to Formas must be made in our application system Prisma. There, all the information needed for the application must be registered.

Please read the instructions carefully, even if you have applied for funding from Formas before.

Below follows information and instructions regarding personal user and organisation accounts in Prisma.

Personal user account

The main applicant who must fill in the information in the application and register it in the application system needs a personal user account in Prisma. If the appointed main applicant does not have a personal user account, the person must apply for it in good time before the call closes, no later than 12 May 2021.

Apply for a user account in Prismaexternal link

Organisation account

When the main applicant completes the application form in Prisma, information about the administrating organisation and project site must be stated. This is done in the drop-down lists for “Administrating organisation” and “Project site”. The project sites available for the applicant are retrieved from the organisation structure through the settings made in organisation account by the main supervisor for the account. The organisation that the main applicant represents, the so-called coordinating project party (administrating organisation), therefore needs to have an organisation account in Prisma at the time of application. Apply for an organisation account in Prismaexternal link

If your organisation has not previously been an administrating organisation of funds from Formas, your organisation needs to apply for an organisation account in Prisma. Note that the other project parties do not need an organisation account and should therefore not apply for an organisation account.

Main applicants from administrating organisations for all types of calls

In most cases, universities, colleges, most research institutes, and authorities already have an organisation account in Prisma, and it is therefore available as a default in the drop-down list for Administrating organisations in the application form.

Main applicants from organisations that can become administrating organisations for an individual project

Companies, municipalities, industry associations and other organisations can apply to become administrating organisations for an individual project. Decision to approve new administrating organisations is taken when grants are awarded in the call. Prior to any decision, credit check is conducted on all companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity that may be granted funding. However, it is important that the organisation has an organisation account in Prisma before the main applicant starts applying for a grant in the call.

Organisation account for organisations that can become administrating organisations for an individual project

  • If the organisation already has an account in Prisma, contact the responsible research officer Kerstin Röver by e-mail: to request to be added to the list (drop-down list in Prisma) of possible administrating organisations for this call. State the organisation’s corporate identity number in your e-mail. This applies even if the organisation has been approved as administrating organisation in any of Formas’ previous calls.
  • If your organisation does not have an account in Prisma, an appropriate representative should apply for the organisation account on the Prisma website. State in the motivation for the application that you want to apply in the call “Sustainable food production”, the type of organisation and the organisation’s corporate identity number.

    Apply for an organisation account in Prismaexternal link
  • If you do not know whether the organisation has an account in Prisma, contact responsible research officer Kerstin Röver by e-mail before you apply for a new account. State your corporate identity number.

It is important that the main applicant applies in good time for an organisation account for the intended coordinating project party (administrating organisation) if such is missing in Prisma, however no later than 12 May 2021.

Project site – create a structure to describe the organisation

To be able to register an application, a project site within the organisation must be specified. A project site can be a department, for example. The organisation account supervisor in Prisma must create a structure of units and sub-units (domiciles). If the organisation does not have departments, specify a subunit that has the same name as the project specialisation. For information on how to do this, see Prisma user support.

The organisation must have at least one domicile since this information is mandatory when the application is to be registered by the main applicant.

Read more about creating project sites and show levels for domiciles in Prismaexternal link

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.

Note, that if you write your application in a word processing program and then paste your application into Prisma, there is a risk the formatting will disappear.

To ensure you do not risk losing valuable information, tables and figures with advanced formatting or formulas should be uploaded as an appendix.

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 (max. 200 characters including spaces).
  • Project title in English (max. 200 characters including spaces).
  • Popular science description in Swedish (max. 4,500 characters including spaces). The popular science description will, if the project is granted funding, be published in open access project databases without a confidentiality review. Therefore, the contents of this field should not contain sensitive information.
  • Abstract in Swedish (max. 1,500 characters including spaces).
  • Abstract in English (max. 1,500 characters including spaces).

The project abstracts in Swedish and English will, if the project is granted funding, be published in open access project databases without a confidentiality review. Therefore, the contents of these fields should not contain sensitive information.

Project description

Please take in consideration the review panel’s criteria for each of the following three parts of the project description.

  • Relevance and potential of the project (max 8,000 characters including spaces) Describe the project goal and how it relates to the aim and purpose of the call. Describe the research that underpins the project and why it is important to conduct it.
  • The implementation of the project (max 15,000 characters including spaces) Describe how the work in the project will be conducted. State project plan including activities and schedule. Describe how the results of the project will be utilised. Also, reflect on how gender equality and diversity have been integrated into the project.
  • Project group (8,000 characters including spaces) Describe the competence that exists in the project and its significance for the implementation of the project as well as the utilisation of the results. Describe the participants participation and how collaboration is carried out with stakeholders and end users. Also, reflect on how gender equality and diversity have been considered regarding the design of the project group.
  • References List the in-line references pertaining to the above sections in a separate field (max. 5,000 characters including spaces).

Budget and other information

The main applicant 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.

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 coordinating project party and other project parties

This is mandatory information that must be completed for all parties in the project by the coordinating party (the 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 project party and the participating project party

  • Staff expenses. Eligible staff expenses for companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity may be estimated at a maximum of 800 SEK per hour. Universities, colleges 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. It also means that someone who already receives full salary financing, cannot receive additional funds for salary. Researchers who are full-time retired cannot, in addition to their pension, receive additional funding for their own salary without first reducing their pension by a corresponding percentage.
  • 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. Costs for consultants and licences must be reported excluding VAT.
  • 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). Universities, colleges or 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 coordinating project party and the participating project party

There are four types of funding an applicant can specify in the application:

  1. Applied funding from Formas: Indicates the amount applied from Formas under the call. The amount cannot exceed total costs. If the amount sought is less than the total costs, the remaining amounts will be automatically calculated and reported under Self- finance.
  2. Other funding (public): If Formas or another public funder contributes funding for related research projects. If other funding is received, please state funder.
  3. Other funding (private): If another private company or organisation contributes funding to the project. If other funding is received, please state funder.
  4. Self-funding If the project party contributes with its own funding, this is calculated automatically and displayed in the field for Self-funding. Self-funding is considered as costs minus requested grant from Formas, minus other funding (public) and other funding (private).

Budget specification

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. Salaries can be applied for to researchers, doctoral students and other staff for whom there is an employment relationship i.e. non-purchased services (max. 500 characters including spaces).

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. Be clear in describing all costs in relation to the current activities within the project (max. 9,000 characters including spaces).

How the main applicant fills in the budget and other information and verifies the completed budget

Coordinating project party

  1. Fill in information about the coordinating project party
  • Enter the company/organisation and the associated information for the organisation
  • Indicate the workplace, the place where the main part of the project will be carried out, and the associated information for the workplace
  1. Fill in the costs for the coordinating project party
  • Click on Edit
  • The columns for years come from the project time specified in Basic Information. Go back to Basic Information in your application if you want to edit this.
  • Fill in costs for each type of cost and year.
  • Total costs are automatically calculated in the summary fields.
  1. Fill in financing for coordinating project party
  • Click on Edit
  • Fill in the applied funding from Formas, per year
  • If applicable, fill in other funding received from another public funder
  • If applicable, fill in support received from another private financier
  • Self-fundingg is calculated automatically based on what is stated in the cost and financing sections.
  • Total financing is calculated automatically in the aggregated fields.
  • Enter the name of the funder if other funding (public or private) is received.
  • Funding (aid) density is calculated automatically in percent.
  • Degree of co-funding is calculated automatically in percent.
  • In the motivation field, state how the average hourly cost for budgeted staff expenses has been calculated.

Project party

  1. Click on Add project party if there is a project party that will participate in the project, in addition to the coordinating project party (administrating organisation).
  1. Fill in the sections for information, budget and financing for each project party in the same way as described for the coordinating project party. See section Coordinating project party Information for the project parties is to be filled in regardless of whether the project party is applying for a grant, ie. financing, from Formas or not. If project parties do not apply for funding from Formas but only participate In-kind, budgeted project costs must be stated for these project parties but enter SEK "0" in the field "Applied funding from Formas" under financing for these project parties.

Note that a subcontractor to the applicant does not constitute a project partner in the application.

Following the budget charts for coordinating project party and other project parties, total specified cost of the project and total specified financing respectively are calculated automatically.

Control how you have completed the budget charts in good time before you register your application. Applications with incorrectly completed budgets may be rejected. Control all budget charts per project party including the coordinating project party and charts for Total specified costs and Total specified financing respectively as follows:

  • You have entered all project partners who participate in the project.
  • You have specified applied funding from Formas for all the project parties that intend to receive funding from Formas.
  • You have stated other funding for those project parties who, if applicable, have it.
  • You have the self-financing required by state aid regulations for companies and other organisations, where relevant.

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.

The aid intensity that Formas can offer depends on the size of the organisation and the type of activities in the project. The organisation’s size is assessed using the EU definition of small and medium-sized enterprises. Activities will primarily be assessed on the basis of Article 25 and 30 of the General Block Exemption Regulation EU 651/2014.

In addition, de minimis aid can also be a possible basis for granting aid. 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. For projects in which this might be the case, Formas will ask the applicant to fill in a special form after the project is awarded funding.

Note that sole proprietorship businesses cannot be granted funding under this call or participate as a party to projects that are applying in Formas’ calls. Companies that do not have a Swedish corporate identity number cannot be granted funding as a research centre party in this call but can participate in-kind. The Formas website contains more information about state aid regulations.

Conditions that direct the level of support a project party (including coordinating project party) such as a company or other organisation engaged in economic activity can receive:

  1. Identify type of activity – private companies, associations or other organisation engaged in economic activity included by regulations on state aid. The decisive factor if the beneficiary is considered to be engaged in economic activity is whether the organisation offers products or services in a market.
  2. Identify the size of the organisation. User guide to the SME definitionexternal link
  3. Identify which section of the aid scheme your project concerns. In this call Formas applies Industrial research, aid for research and development in the fishery and aquaculture sector and de minimis aid. Aid scheme (Swedish)
  4. See in the aid scheme what level of state aid (funds sought from Formas plus other public support) your organisation can receive for costs incurred for your organisation in the project. See also which and how large part of the cost that is to be covered by own funds.

Ethical considerations

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

If you are researching people, human tissue or sensitive personal data, you must obtain ethical approval from the Swedish Ethical Review Authority. In the case of animal testing, you must also have ethical approval. You can apply for this via the Swedish Board of Agriculture's e-service.

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

Even if your research is not expected to involve ethical approval, you should write this in your application, and justify how and why.


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 at least one and a maximum of three subject areas and add a sub-heading.
  • Research subject (SCB code). Select at least one and a maximum of three SCB codes with two sub-levels that together form the entire code.
  • Sustainable Development Goals. Select a minimum of one and a maximum of three Sustainable Development Goals that fit your project. When selecting more than one goal, set the goals in order of priority. 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 goal/goals you intend to specify to ensure that the intended research contributes towards achieving that particular goal.
    Read more about the Sustainable Development Goals on the UN Development Programme website.external link
  • Keywords. Select at least one and a maximum of three keywords describing the project.

Administrating organisation – the organisation receiving the grant

Coordinating project party is termed administrating organisation in Prisma because it is the organisation that receives, manages and distributes the funds from Formas to granted projects.

  • Select the administrating organisation from the dropdown list. If you can’t find your organisation, see” Organisation account for organisations that can become administrating organisation for an individual project” in the section “How to apply.
  • Select the project site from the dropdown list. If you can’t find your project site, see “Project site -create a structure to describe the organisation” in the section “How to apply”.


  • The main applicant should invite any participating researchers/participants who can add their CV details and relevant publications from their profile in Prisma to the application. Main applicant and participating researchers / participants fill in the fields to the extent they are applicable.
  • Each participant must have created a personal user account in Prisma.
  • The main applicant adds those who are to participate in the project, regardless of whether they are participating researchers or participants, through the function Invite participating researchers in Prisma. Search for participating researchers’ or participants’ first and last name and e-mail address in Prisma (note that exact spelling of name and e-mail address is required).
  • Please note that invited participating researchers must accept the invitation to be a participating researcher and 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.
  • The main applicant can also add a participating administrator, who is not part of the project but helps to fill in the application in Prisma. This is done through the function Invite a participating administrator. Search for the administrator’s first and last name as well as e-mail address in Prisma (note that exact spelling of name and e-mail address is required).

Note! The main applicant cannot register the application if there are unanswered invitations to participating participants or participating administrators. If so, these must first be removed.

The CV information should include:

Education. Undergraduate and graduate level as well as postgraduate (doctoral) if applicable

Professional history. Current position and relevant previous longer-term positions. Any 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. Participating researchers should state doctoral students, postdoctoral students, and exam project students; add as an individual or/and a group. When adding a group, state the total number in each respective category. When adding an individual provide the names of the most relevant supervisions (max. 10).
  • Grants awarded in competition. Specify the most relevant grants (max. 10).
  • Merits and awards. Specify the most relevant ones (max. 10).
  • Other merits, including summary of publications. Participating researchers and main applicant, if the main applicant is a researcher, states publication history, for the last five years, and in total if the applicant’s active research period is longer than five years, should be summarised (max. 800 characters including spaces).
    This 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 citation measures must be stated without self-citations and from which database these are retrieved.
    • The summary should not contain information about the H-index, Journal Impact Factor or any other type of measure used to rank publishers or journals.
    • Under “Other merits,” other qualifications that are relevant to the application can be listed, 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

Participating researchers and main applicant, if the main applicant is a researcher should list up to ten of their most relevant publications. Note that the publications should be linked from the applicant’s personal profiles in Prisma. You must report the publication summary in Prisma under “Other merits”.


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. Declarations of intent should not be attached either. Collaborations shall only be described in the project description.

After registering your application

You can make changes to your registered application (unregister it and re-register) until the call closes at 14:00 on Tuesday 18 May. After that, the status of your application will change from “registered” to “finally registered”. Unless any errors have been identified in Prisma, no changes may be made to the final registered application. Furthermore, you cannot make any additions via, for example, email or by phone, and the application will be assessed in its existing condition.

Your finally registered application is automatically sent to the administrating organisation when the call is closed. The administrating organisation has seven calendar days to sign the application digitally in Prisma.

First it is verified whether your application falls within the scope of the call. If it does, it continues to a review panel for assessment. If it does not, it is rejected.

An application is also rejected:

  • If it has not been signed within seven calendar days or is rejected by the administrating organisation.
  • If the total amount applied for the project is too high
  • If it contains procedural errors or is incomplete, i.e., deficiencies in the information required in the application form or appendix, for example budget errors
  • If the basic requirements in this call are not fulfilled, see” Requirements for you and your project group” and “Requirements for administrating organisations/ coordinating project parties”.
  • If one or several project parties are Sole proprietorship businesses.
  • If all participating project parties are not included and account for under budget and other information.

A control is performed on applicants who have received funding in one of Formas’ other calls but who have not submitted their scientific or financial final reports in time. These applicants are requested to submit their reports before new funding can be granted.

Prior to grant award decisions, Formas conducts credit controls of all project parties that are companies or other organisations engaged in economic activity that may receive a grant.

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.

Applications are assessed based on the following criteria:


  • The project can significantly contribute to the purpose and aims of the call.
  • The design of the project and the expected results have taken into consideration the relevant needs and conditions of different groups in society.
  • The application clearly states how the impact of the expected results would benefit society.


  • The project is of high scientific quality and is innovative.
  • The problem formulation and purpose of the project are clear, logical and in line with the purpose and focus of the call.
  • The expected results of the project and/or proposed solution are at the forefront of the field, i.e. in relation to the state of the art.
  • The project has significant potential for scalability and/or dissemination.


  • Planned activities and methods are realistic and appropriate for achieving expected results during the project.
  • The time frame and budget are realistic and appropriate in relation to the purpose and objectives of the project.
  • The plan for how the results of the project is to be utilised is well described and appropriate.
  • Ethical considerations are well described and the plan for how to handle these is appropriate.
  • Gender aspects are well integrated into the implementation of the project.

Project organisation

  • The project’s organisation and overall competence of the project group are appropriate for the implementation of the project, including the utilisation of the project’s results.
  • The project is carried out in collaboration with relevant stakeholders or end users. The involvement of project participants is well described and appropriate for the objectives of the project.
  • The project group (key actors) as well as the distribution of influence is well balanced between women and men. Relevant for project groups of more than 3 people.

Formas’ Scientific Council is expected to reach a decision on 25 November 2021 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 from Prisma. The applicant’s decision is available in Prisma. Grant award decisions cannot be appealed.

In order for Formas to activate payments for granted projects, the following is required:

The final financial and scientific reports for all projects granted funding must be submitted to Formas within three months of the end of the availability period. For projects longer than 18 months, financial statements must be submitted each year. All reports are made in Prisma.

The financial reporting for projects in this call follows the same structure as the application. Costs and financing are reported according to the same structure as the application.

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.

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 into us but you should be able to present the plan upon request.

Formas’ recommendations for data management

By signing our grant terms and conditions, it is certified that a data management plan will be in place before research is started and that it is maintained.

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




Coordinating project party

An organisation that coordinates the project and is an administrating organisation, meaning it receives funding from Formas and transfers the funds to other organisations that are project beneficiaries, reports the project according to instructions, and notifies Formas of any changes.

Note that only Swedish organisations can be coordinating project parties.

Project party

An organisation that implements the project, regardless of whether it receives funding (i.e. it provides its own funding/in kind). A subcontractor is not a project party.

Note that companies or other organisations engaged in economic activity outside Sweden cannot receive grants in this call. However, they can participate as project parties if they contribute in kind.

Principal applicant

A person appointed by the coordinating project party as the project manager.

Project participant

A member of the project team such as a participating researcher or participating non-researcher.

Administrating organisation

The administrating organisation is the organisation that receives funding from Formas and transfers the funds to other organisations that are project beneficiaries, reports the project according to instructions, and notifies Formas of any changes.

Administrating organisation for all types of calls

An organisation that can seek funding from Formas in all types of calls. These are universities, colleges, research institutes and government agencies with research assignments.

Administrating organisation for an individual project

An organisation that can apply for funding from Formas through individual calls and receive funding for an individual project. These are private companies, associations, trade associations, boards of directors, funds and municipalities.


A domicile can be an institution, department or unit within the organisation applying for funding.


A digital application is submitted in the Prisma application system. Guidelines and information about what your application should contain can be found in the call text.

Read more about how to apply in Prisma.

Download the call text as pdf.


For specific questions regarding the call

Åsa Frisk

Senior research Officer

For administrative support and questions regarding Prisma

For state aid regulation support

Updated:7 April 2021
Page manager: Jessica Ekström