Communication call 2023

WHAT CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

Projects that communicate, embodies and popularise research and research results within sustainable development to be beneficial and used in society. The project must be related to one of Formas’ areas of responsibility and contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals in Agenda 2030.


WHO CAN APPLY?

Higher education institutions, research institutes, private companies (except sole proprietors) and other organisations. The project team must have expertise within both professional communication and research.

HOW MUCH CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

You can apply for a grant for projects that run for up to 36 months. The maximum funding for a project is 2 million SEK.

Closed: Decision is made: 2024-03-26 14:00.

The purpose of the communication call is to support projects that communicate and popularise research results regarding sustainable development for knowledge to be used and create benefit in society.

The project must be related to one of Formas’ areas of responsibility; environment, agricultural sciences or spatial planning and must contribute to achieving one or multiple of the global sustainable development goals in Agenda 2023.

You can apply for a grant for projects that run for up to 36 months. Formas has earmarked a total of 24 million kronor to found communication projects about sustainable development research. The maximum funding from Formas for a project is 2 million SEK.

Formas is tasked with communicating research and research results within our areas of responsibility. Since 2015, we have been issuing special communication calls for proposals as part of achieving the real-world impact of research and research results.

The purpose of the communication call is to support projects that communicate, embodies and popularise sustainable development research in order to achieve real-world impact in society.

The communication projects must be related to one of Formas’ areas of responsibility – the environment, agricultural sciences or spatial planning – and must contribute to achieving one or multiple of the SDGs in Agenda 2030 External link.. This includes communication projects about the climate, safety, environment, circular economy, consumption, agriculture, aquaculture, forestry or sustainable spatial and urban planning.

Through the communication call, we wish to enable projects with great originality. This to provide the projects an opportunity to explore the boundaries of how and where different participants can communicate popularised knowledge on sustainability. The communication activity must be thoroughly worked through with the potential to reach, engage, create understanding, enable new contexts for questions and affect relevant target groups.

In previous calls, applications have involved exhibition production, film production, theatre production, works of art, various kinds of publications, digital educational materials, games, popular science seminars and other communication activities.

Higher education institutions, research institutes, private companies, municipalities and other organisations can apply for a grant under the call. Note that Formas does not award grants to enterprises that are sole proprietorships, so applications from sole proprietorships will be rejected.

Private companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity that want to apply for grants from Formas are subject to state aid regulations for companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity. See the webpage section Provisions on de minimis aid.

Please note: Formas will not award grants to projects with participating researchers employed at Russian or Belarussian institutions due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Formas actions due to the ongoing war in Ukraine

Before you apply

All information about the contents of an application, the application process and the assessment process is described in the sections below.

The organisation that will receive and administer the funds Formas pays out to an awarded project is called an administrating organisation. Formas distinguishes between administrating organisations that can receive funds in all Formas calls, and administrating organisations that can be approved to receive funds in an individual call. Higher education institutions, government agencies with research assignments and most research institutes are approved as administrating organisations in all Formas calls. Most other public and private organisations must receive individual approval as an administrating organisation. The administrating organisation must have a Swedish corporate identity number.

Who can become an administrating organisation?

Private companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity that want to apply for a grant from Formas are subject to EU rules on aid of minor importance, also called neglectable aid or de minimis-aid. The maximum funding that Formas can disburse according to these regulations is 200,000 euros over three tax years.

All projects seeking funding from Formas must have a responsible project manager and be carried out by the people listed in the application.

In order to secure both the scientific and the communicative quality of the output, we require that the project team has both research expertise and communication expertise.

At least one person who has studied communications at the university level or has equivalent professional experience in communications must be a member of the project team. The starting point is that the communication skills must be relevant for the project goal, for example that implies that performing arts producers, publishers, journalists, exhibition producers and documentary filmmakers can be included when we consider communication skills. In addition, at least one researcher with a PhD degree, or a scientific committee, must be associated with the project.

When you apply for project funding, you can apply for a grant to cover both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include, for example, staff expenses and operating 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.

We do not award grants for an organisation’s regular communication efforts, or for internal courses or projects that mainly relate to an organisation’s own educational activities. The grant must therefore be clearly linked to the project you wish to fund and must be used to fund activities that are not part of your ordinary activities or operations.

In Formas’ communication call, a project can apply for a maximum of 2,000,000 kronor, for a maximum of 36 months. Projects must start sometime between May 2023 and December 2023. We disburse the awarded funds once a month.

Private companies and other organizations engaged in economic activities are in this call covered by the EU rules on support of minor importance, also called negligible aid or de minimis aid, see rules for state aid- for companies and other economic operations. Please note that these regulations on aid of minor importance do not apply to universities, colleges, research institutes or other generally approved administration organisations.

Information to companies and organisations engaged in economic activity involving the de minimis aid rules as well as grant terms and conditions are available on the Formas website. Note that the de minimis aid rules do not apply to higher education institutions, research institutes or other generally approved administrating organisations.

At a later stage of the process, companies and organisations engaged in economic activity must submit proof of de minimis aid in order to qualify for a grant in this call. Formas will notify the relevant organisations when this statement of proof is due. The statement should indicate the extent of the de minimis aid received, including the amount sought in the call. The reporting must cover the current tax year and the two preceding tax years. In total, the de minimis aid received by the organisation during this period must not exceed EUR 200,000 (approximately 2 million SEK). Prior to any decision, we also conduct credit checks on all companies and financial activities that may be relevant to the awarding of a grant.

We recommend that you write your application in Swedish, since the review panel that will assess your application is Swedish-speaking. You can write your application in English, but it will not be translated into Swedish prior to assessment. Abstracts should be available in both Swedish and English.


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. Information can only be concealed if it is confidential as defined in the Public Access to Information and Confidentiality Act (2009:400).

Formas has limited possibilities to keep personal data confidential. Therefore, your application should not contain the personal data of anyone who is not included in the application.

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

We at Formas are eager to fund projects that maximise positive and minimise negative impacts on the environment and climate. We therefore encourage grant 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. We also suggest that you include measures that minimise energy use and other resource consumption, emissions and waste in project planning. However, this will not be part of the assessment of your application at this time.

Please read about Formas’ own sustainability work.

Formas is tasked with pursuing a sustainable development of society. Crucial to such a development are equal opportunities and inclusion. We therefore encourage applicants to, as far as possible, design the project so that it can provide 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

You apply for a grant in our application system, Prisma, where you add the information needed for your application.

Personal account

In order to fill in information in the application, you need a personal account in Prisma. Apply for this in good time.

Apply for a personal account in Prisma External link..

Organisation account

The organisation that will receive and administer the funds Formas pays out to an awarded project is called an administrating organisation in Formas’ application system. At the time of application, the organisation must have an organisation account.

Formas distinguishes between administrating organisations that can receive funds in all Formas calls, and administrating organisations that can be approved to receive funds in an individual call. In this call, we welcome applicants from both groups.

Applicants from administrating organisations approved for all Formas calls

Higher education institutions, most research institutes and government agencies with research assignments are approved as administrating organisations for all Formas calls and already have an organisation account.

Applicants from administrating organisations who must be individually approved

Most other public and private organisations must be individually approved as administrating organisations in this call. These organisations must have an organisation account with Formas. If the organisation already has an account in Prisma, contact the responsible research officer Kerstin Röver to add the organisation to the list of possible administrating organisations in the call. This applies even if the organisation has applied for funding in other Formas calls.

If your organisation does not have an account in Prisma, an appropriate representative should apply for the organisation account on the Prisma website. Apply in good time before the call closes, at least a week before the call closes.

In the reason for the application, state that you are applying under Formas’ communications call 2022 and state the type of organisation and the organisation’s corporate identity number.

Apply for an organisation account in Prisma External link..

If you do not know whether your organisation has an account, contact research officer Kerstin Röver.

Domicile

To be able to register an application, a domicile within the organisation must be specified. This can be an institute or a department, for example. The person who manages the organisation account must create a structure of units and sub-units (domiciles) in two levels. If the organisation does not have departments, specify a subunit that has the same name as the organisation. For information on how to do this, see Prisma’s user support External link..

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:

Basic information

  • Number of months applied for.
  • Start month
  • Project title in Swedish and English (max. 200 characters including spaces).
  • Popular science description in Swedish (max. 4,500 characters including spaces). If the project is awarded a grant, the popular science description will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality review. The contents of this field should therefore not contain sensitive information.
  • Abstract in Swedish and English (max. 1,500 characters each including spaces). A brief and clear description of the project and its objectives. The abstract must include an explanation of and information about the communication channels, selection of target groups, and the research to be communicated. Also include the result you expect the project to produce. Project abstracts for awarded projects will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality review. Therefore, the contents of these fields should not contain sensitive information.
  • Area of responsibility:
    Choose one of Formas’ areas of responsibility that the project mainly relates to:
    1) Environment
    2) Agricultural sciences
    3) Spatial planning

Project description – Societal relevance (max. 3,500 characters including spaces)

Describe the societal challenge that the project intends to highlight and why it is important to conduct the communication project. State how the research on which the project is based is relevant to solving the challenge.

Describe how the project is relevant to one or more of Formas’ areas of responsibility: environment, agricultural sciences and spatial planning. Also describe how the project can contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals in Agenda 2030 – preferably with reasoning at the SDG target level.

Project description – Research quality (max. 3,500 characters including spaces)

Describe the research underpinning the communication project and include reasoning about the current state of research on the theme. Refer to published reports, scientific articles or other references relevant to the project (maximum 5 references, preferably with links).

Project description – Goals, communication activities, target groups and communication channel (max. 3,500 characters including spaces)

Describe the goals of the project. Explain the reason behind the choice of target groups and communication channels. Why is it important for the selected target groups to take part of what you want to convey?

Describe how you plan to measure and follow up on the project’s goals.

Describe the creative quality of the solution and how the communication activity can reach, engage or affect the target groups. Is the project enhanced by, as an example, collaborations with different stakeholders, involving specific competences or using different expressions, methods, platforms or techniques?

Project description – Implementation, timetable and qualifications (max. 4,500 characters including spaces)

Describe how you will organise the work in the project and include a timetable of planned tasks.

Describe the communication and research skills involved in the project and how they contribute to achieving the project’s objectives. Upload a complete list of project team members in Prisma under the heading Participants.

Take gender equality, equity and diversity into account when composing your project team and implementing the project.

Budget and other information

You report the project budget and other information about your organisation in Prisma. This should be the same organisation as the one you specify as the administrating organisation. Write out the total amount in kronor using digits. For example, 1 million kronor should be written as: 1 000 000 kronor. The following information must be stated in the project budget.

Information about the organisation

  • 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

  • Staff expenses: Eligible staff expenses for companies and other organisations conducting economic activity may be estimated at a maximum of 800 kronor per hour. Higher education institutions or research institutes are not subject to this limitation. The amount that employees of higher education institutions or research institutes may be awarded must not exceed 100% of full-time employment. So, someone who already has full salary funding from any funding source cannot receive additional salary funding. Researchers who are full-time pensioners cannot receive funding for their own salary.
  • Equipment, buildings and land: The total maximum amount you can be granted for equipment and equipment depreciation costs is 500,000 kronor.
  • Consultancy and licensing costs: For the costs of consultancy services and licenses to be eligible for funding, they must be purchased or licensed from external actors at market prices, and their services and scope must be stated in the project description.
  • Other direct costs: Other direct costs can include the cost of consumables, travel, conferences and publication fees for open-access journals and databases.
  • Indirect costs: Higher education institutions and research institutes may charge a markup for indirect costs according to the applicable full-cost pricing method. Other project participants may charge a markup for indirect costs of up to 30 percent of their eligible staff expenses. Formas does not grant funds for overhead on costs that you write off for equipment or for premises.

Funding

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

  • Applied funding from Formas: Indicates the amount requested from Formas under the call. The amount cannot exceed the total costs. If the amount applied for less than the total costs, the remaining amounts will be automatically calculated and reported under “Self-funding”.
  • Other funding (state): If Formas or another public funder has provided funding for related projects.
  • Other funding (private): If another private company or organisation has provided funding for the project.
  • Self-finance: If the project party contributes its own funding, this is calculated automatically and displayed in the field for self-funding. However, self-finance is optional in the communication call.

Justification for staff expenses in budget

Here, you specify the average staff cost per hour. Staff expenses refer to salaries including social security contributions and other mandatory charges associated with salaries. (Maximum 500 characters including spaces.)

Budget specification

Here the principal applicant should explain and motivate the budget in writing and state the overhead costs included in the application. Formas does not grant funding for overhead costs that you write off for equipment or premises.

You also specify any consultancy costs and the scope of the consultant’s participation. The applicant is encouraged to clearly describe all costs related to the project activities. (Maximum 9,000 characters including spaces.)

Ethical considerations

You should specify whether or not there are specific ethical concerns in your project. If so, state what these ethical concerns are and how you plan to manage them. Examples include research that uses personal data or research involving experiments on humans or animals.

If you are conducting research on people, human tissue or are processing sensitive personal data, you must obtain ethical approval from the Swedish Ethical Review Authority. If you are conducting an animal experiment, you also need to obtain ethical approval. You can apply for approval through the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s online service.

You should state in your application whether or not you have obtained ethical approval. If you have not obtained such approval and you are awarded a grant, you must obtain it before the described studies begin.

Even if you do not expect your research to involve ethical concerns, you should state this in your application and briefly explain why not.

Classifications

Formas uses the project’s classifications in analyses and supporting documentation on an overall level. The classifications are made when the applicant states the subject area, research topic (SCB code), at least one sustainable development goal the project can contribute to, and keywords.

  • Subject area
    Select the project’s subject area and add a sub-heading.
  • Research topic (SCB code)
    Select at least one research topic and two sublevels that together form the entire code.
  • Keywords
    Enter at least one and a maximum of three keywords describing the project.

Administrating organisation – the organisation receiving the grant

The organisation that will receive and administer the awarded funds that Formas pays out is called the administrating organisation.

  • Select the administrating organisation from the dropdown list. If you cannot find the organisation, see the “Organisation account” heading under “How to apply”.
  • Select the domicile from the dropdown list. If you cannot find the correct domicile, see “Applicants from administrating organisations who must be individually approved” under “How to apply”.

Participants

Report all project participants including their name, organisation and their role in the project. Also include the individuals who sit on a scientific committee associated with the project, if applicable. Fill in the information in the linked table, save the document as a PDF file, and upload under the mandatory appendices in Prisma. You can only upload files in PDF format in Prisma. (max. 4 MB) List of participants , 49 kB..

CVs

Add the CVs for all project participants as a combined PDF of a maximum of 10 MB. We recommend a length of two A4 pages per CV. The CV must for each key figure include relevant information demonstrating the competencies that are important for the project. For example, experiences from relevant research, implementation, cooperation and project management. Motivation to why that person is a key figure in the project. It is not possible to link to already registered CVs via Prisma, which is otherwise often possible in calls for research project funding. This is so that we can make an equal assessment of applications and CVs from different types of organisations.

List of publications

It is possible to add lists of the participants’ relevant publications (scientific or popular science) as a single PDF in “Other appendices”. (max. 4 MB). Maximum 5 publications per person.

Appendices

It is also possible to upload appendices that can aid in understanding the project, such as illustrations, images or sketches. Upload any attachments as a single PDF (max. 10 MB). Maximum five A4 pages.

After submitting your application

You can make changes to your registered application, de-register it and register it again up until the call closes at 14:00 on Wednesday, 25 October 2023. Once the call is closed, you cannot submit or add information to the application unless errors have been found in Prisma or unless specifically requested by Formas.

Your completed application is automatically sent to the administrating organisation after the call is closed.

First, Formas verifies that the application meets the formal requirements set out in the call. If the application does not meet these requirements, it is rejected.

The following requirements will be verified in this call:

  • The administrating organisation has signed the application. This must be done within seven calendar days after the call closes.
  • The application has been approved by the administrating organisation.
  • The application’s focus falls within Formas’ areas of responsibility.
  • The focus of the application falls within the call’s areas.
  • The application is complete and contains all mandatory information.
  • The application includes both communicator- and research skills.
  • The requirements for project managers, project participants and organisations under “Applicant and organisation requirements” are met.
  • The principal applicant responsible for other projects or activities funded by Formas has submitted any requested reports by the stated deadline.

Applications in the communication call are evaluated by an external review panel composed of experienced communication specialists and researchers within Formas’ areas of responsibility. The assessments are made based on the contents of your application. It is therefore important to write the application as clearly as possible and include all important and relevant information. Several people will assess each application.

The applications are assessed based on the following criteria.

Societal relevance

  • The societal challenge the project addresses is important to solve, and the research on which the project is based is relevant to solving the challenge.
  • It is important that the target group takes part of the research results.
  • The project’s expected results contribute in the long term to achieving one or more of the SDGs.

Research quality

  • The project is well grounded in the research it is based on.
  • The project’s description addresses the current state of research in the field.
  • The application refers to published reports, scientific articles or other sources relevant to the project.

Goals, communication activities, target groups and communication channel

  • The project’s goals are described well and are relevant. Identified target groups, channels and activities are relevant for the desired result.
  • There is a relevant plan for monitoring the project’s goals.
  • The communication activity has creative quality.

Implementation, timetable and qualifications

  • The application has a plan that is appropriate to achieve the project’s objectives.
  • The timetable and budgeted costs are reasonable and appropriate in relation to the project’s objectives.
  • The resources, skills and experiences required to complete the project are relevant and clearly described in the application. This applies both to the communication and the research.
  • The project design addresses gender equality, equity and diversity perspectives in a relevant way.

Decisions on which projects are granted funding are expected to be taken on 26 March 2024. We publish our decisions the following day at the latest on the Formas website and later by email from Prisma. Grant award decisions cannot be appealed. Read more about receiving your funding decision.

All awarded projects must submit a report to Formas containing financial and project results within three months of the end of the availability period. For projects longer than 18 months, a financial statement must also be submitted to Formas annually. All reports are submitted in Prisma.

Financial reporting in Prisma , 187 kB.

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 of research funded by Formas must be published using open access.

You must also 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. By signing our grant terms and conditions, you certify that a data management plan will be available before the research begins and that it will be maintained.

Open access to research results and data External link.

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

Revision history

October 16, 2022: In the section Language, we have corrected the information about writing your application in English. The application will not be translated into Swedish, which we previously stated it would.

Contact information

For questions about the content of the call

Zandra Thuvesson

Strategic Communication Officer

zandra.thuvesson@formas.se

For administrative support and questions regarding Prisma

For questions on budgeting, funding and de minimis aid

Updated:25 October 2023