Career Grant for Early-career Researchers, career age 4–7 years

WHAT CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

Research projects where you formulate your own question within Formas’ areas of responsibility: Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning.

The call includes requirements for national and/or international mobility.

For this call, co-applicants are not permitted.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Early-career researchers. The call has two tracks:

Career age 0–3: for those who received a doctorate (degree certificate issued) no earlier than 1 January 2021 and no later than 1 October 2024.

Career age 4–7: for those who received a doctorate (degree certificate issued) no earlier than 1 January 2017 and no later than 31 December 2020.

The administrating organisation must be a Swedish university, institute of higher learning, or other administrating organisation approved by Formas.

HOW MUCH CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

1.5 million SEK per year on average over the years applied for. Funding can be applied for three or four years.

Current: 41 Days left. Apply before: 2024-04-10 14:00

This call welcomes researchers who have recently received a doctorate or who are at an early stage of their career. You can apply for funding to conduct your own research project, where you formulate your own research question, within Formas’ areas of responsibility: Environment, Agricultural Sciences, and Spatial Planning. We encourage interdisciplinary research questions.

The Career Grant for Early-career Researchers call gives you as an early-career researcher the possibility to improve your leadership skills, run your own project, and contribute to the clear advancement of the state of knowledge within Formas’ areas of responsibility. It is also meant to contribute to the next step in your career. The Career Grant aims to broaden your perspectives, help you to become more independent, and enable you to take the next step in your career. This is done by taking on a new or partially new focus for your research compared with your previous work.

To expand your opportunities for improved career development, your project should include national or international mobility to other research environments. The mobility is intended to improve your abilities and opportunities to contribute to research relevant to society and of the highest scientific quality. It should also contribute to new impressions, ideas, and perspectives, preferably in, for you, new or partially new subject areas. Your research mobility and the project in general should also expand your networks and your skills in cooperating and collaborating with others.

Knowledge creation is a complex process, created under widely varying conditions, timeframes, methods, and publication patterns. There are a variety of ways of pursuing a research career, all of which can lead to research of high scientific quality. As applicant, you are given wide-ranging flexibility to design the project and the mobility according to the conditions and needs of your field of research.

You can apply for a 3- or 4-year project with a budget of at most SEK 1.5 million per year on average over the years applied for. For international mobility, you will also receive an additional cost supplement for you and any accompanying family, in addition to the project’s budget.

The Career Grant for Early-career Researchers call supports researchers in two different critical stages in their career development and is conducted in two tracks:

  • Research projects for career age 0–3 for individuals who have a doctorate issued from 1 January 2021 to 1 October 2024.
  • Research projects for career age 4–7 for individuals who have a doctorate issued from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2020.

Applications may only be for one track. This call text explains the framework for track 0–3. Note that granted projects can only be conducted by the applicant personally. Changing project leader is therefore not permitted.

Purpose

Society is in great need of individuals with a combination of teaching skills and qualified subject knowledge who can contribute to, and eventually lead efforts on, solving societal challenges, both nationally and globally.

The purpose of the call is to give promising early-career researchers appropriate opportunities for taking the next step in their careers, encouraging an interdisciplinary direction, developing independence, and contributing to innovative research environments. Projects are to support the development of expertise within Formas’ areas of responsibility Environment, Agricultural Sciences, and Spatial Planning (see below), and aim to contribute to the clear advancement in the state of knowledge. Ultimately, the call should strengthen researchers early in their careers and their opportunities to work in leading positions within academia, the public sector, civil society, or business. The aim of the call is to strengthen society’s access to expertise within Formas’ areas of responsibility and to contribute to continuous and long-term knowledge development. A range of skills are necessary for making science-based judgements, taking concrete measures, and solving societal challenges in the long run.

Focus area

Formas supports research of the highest scientific quality. The research can include both different scientific methods and perspectives, as well as different disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. It can be useful in the short and/or long term and is to be of relevance for the ecological, economic, and/or social sustainable development of society. Granted research by Formas must belong to one of Formas’ areas of responsibility: Environment, Agricultural Sciences, and Spatial Planning. While these areas are described under three headings below, they should not be considered as three separate areas. Knowledge needs often involve complex issues that are at the intersection of the environment, agricultural sciences, and spatial planning. The call encourages questions about policy instruments, regulations, and political decisions, but also about norms, values, and behaviours that touch on perspectives cutting across all of Formas’ areas of responsibility. This includes questions considering the conditions and needs of different groups, so that the project can contribute to knowledge that is reflective of and relevant to different groups in society. Common aspects for all three areas include questions dealing with learning from different contexts and places and questions related to the past, present and future.

Environment

The area of responsibility Environment deals with the interaction between people and the environment and the promotion of sustainable societies and viable ecosystems. Research can cover issues relating to climate, the environment, oceans and water, biological diversity, ecosystem services, resource efficiency, and a chemical-safe future. For the climate area, research can examine such topics as the climate system and changes to it, measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and improved understanding of the effects of climate change and/or climate adaptations. The area of responsibility Environment also includes the Earth system and soil, air, and water processes. This also includes research that can lead to more environmentally friendly and socio-economically sustainable ways of utilising existing resources and minimising damage to natural ecosystems. The area of responsibility also includes sustainable products, processes, materials, and consumption patterns as well as society’s ability to value and manage such issues as environmental pollution, climate risks, and environmental changes.

Agricultural Sciences

The area of responsibility Agricultural Sciences deals with the overall topics of forestry, agriculture, land use, food systems, animal health, and animal welfare. Questions about the interaction between humans and the biological and physical geographical resources on land and in water that we depend on for our life on this planet are fundamental for the area. Within the forest area, the role of forests and forestry is central to several societal goals. This includes developing practices and applications, but also questions about synergies, trade-offs between different objectives, and policy development. Agriculture and the food system face major challenges in becoming sustainable in the long term, resilient, and competitive. Research and innovation related to agriculture, food, and the role of animals need to take a holistic approach and more clearly highlight interdisciplinary, cross-sector perspectives and broader societal benefits. Agricultural sciences also include questions about land use, soil health, and land issues related to the extraction of strategic minerals and raw materials. Sustainable development within agricultural sciences benefits from participation from many stakeholders and citizens and from using a robust knowledge base when considering benefits and development paths.

Spatial Planning

The area of responsibility Spatial Planning deals with urban, rural and regional planning, design, and construction of the built environment, as well as the use, management, recycling, and demolition of buildings, homes, places, landscapes, and infrastructures. It also deals with the relationships between places, buildings, and social functions, how they are used, and how people move from one place to another. Spatial planning includes both cultural and natural environments and how communities and the built environment can be made inclusive, safe, and adapted to future challenges. Spatial Planning includes all aspects of sustainable development with a focus on meeting the need for good living environments for everyone, now and in the future. This includes balancing different interests and goal conflicts about which values should be decisive when planning and building sustainable societies for people and the environment.

Delimitations

All research funded within this call must have a clear connection to at least one of the call’s subject areas described above: Environment, Agricultural Sciences, and Spatial Planning.

Formas’ areas of responsibility do not include research primarily focused on the development of technical solutions for energy extraction/energy conversion.

Determining whether an application falls within the scope of the call can only be done based on a complete application. These types of determinations are thus only made after the call is closed. An application deemed to be outside Formas’ areas of responsibility will be rejected before processing.

Formas Career grant is aimed at individual researchers early in their career and their home organisation. Applicants for grants within track 4–7 must have a degree certificate for the doctorate issued no earlier than 1 January 2017 and no later than 31 December 2020.

Before you apply

All information about requirements for applicants, your home organisation, your host organisation(s), the design of the project, and what topics you can apply for funding is found here.

Any changes to the call text are listed below Revision history.

In this call, individual researchers apply for grants together with their home organisation (administrating organisation).

Employment at the home organisation

You are to:

  • be employed at the home organisation from the start of the grant period and throughout the grant period, including any additional availability period, in case this time is used to complete the project. This means that you are employed and pay taxes in Sweden even if your project includes stays abroad.
  • discuss possible forms of employment and terms of employment with your intended home organisation well in advance of submitting the application. Your home organisation determines the form of employment, salary, and terms of employment. You do not need to be employed by the home organisation at the time of submitting your application, but you do need to have an agreement on employment if the application is granted.

Your home organisation is to:

  • confirm the employment agreement, in its role as administrating organisation, through a letter of intent included with the application (read more under the section “Letter of intent”).
  • sign the application via an authorised representative at the administrating organisation no later than seven calendar days after the closing date of the call (usually the head of department where the research is to be conducted).

As a general rule, Formas does not grant exceptions to the requirement that you be employed by your home organisation (the administrating organisation of the grant) during the entire project period. There may be circumstances preventing the home organisation from employing you when stationed abroad. If there are specific regulations in the country you are going to visit that require employment with an employer in that country, Formas may be able to grant exceptions to the employment requirement.

Formas strongly encourages applicants to contact their intended administrating organisation, such as the HR office, when beginning to plan their application to see about the potential of being employed with a stationing abroad (such as with a URA agreement or equivalent) and to the country(ies) you intend to visit as part of the project.

Read more in Swedish about working abroad at the Swedish Agency for Government Employers. External link.

Activity level

As the project manager, you have scientific responsibility for the project. The time you work in the project (your activity level) needs to be adapted for you to conduct the project within the project period and must correspond to at least 60 per cent and at most 100 per cent of a full-time position on average during the entire grant period.

As a rule, Formas does not allow exceptions from this requirement, for example to work on other research projects or to work on other types of assignments. Valid exceptions to the requirement are parental leave, sick leave, and other reasons that Formas may determine permissible. To ensure that the requirement is met, Formas conducts random checks of granted projects.

Co-applicants

You may only apply for funds for your own salary in this call. No co-applicants may be invited to the application in Prisma.

Career age – track 4–7 years

As an applicant in track 4–7 years, type of grant Research Projects for Career Ages 4–7 years, you must have a degree certificate for your doctorate issued no earlier than 1 January 2017 and no later than 31 December 2020.

The degree date is the date the degree certificate is issued. For applicants with a Swedish doctorate, this is the date registered in Ladok. For applicants with a foreign doctorate, the date on which your doctorate was issued by the university applies, usually with a stamp.

You will not be able to complete your application if your doctorate was issued before the date indicated for the track. The exception is if you have not been gainfully employed for one or multiple longer periods after receiving your doctorate, and this has impacted your ability to acquire qualifications as a researcher, known as deductible time (read more under Deductible time below).

Deductible time – break from research

If you have not been able to conduct research in the time immediately after your doctoral degree, you can be exempted from the rule that the doctoral degree must have been completed after 1 January 2017 if you have an approved reason for deductible time.

Formas approves the following reasons for deductible time:

  • parental leave
  • longer illness (sick leave or care of child/relative)
  • military service
  • appointed or elected position within a political organisation, trade union, or student organisation

Note that we do not accept other employment, unemployment, or vacation as deductible time.

In the application, you may claim deductible time and specify an approved reason and the length of the time. The period of the break should be calculated based on full-time and entered rounded to whole calendar months. You need to ensure that the date of your doctoral degree falls within the approved time interval for the track before you apply.

We conduct random checks. This means that we can request certificates that confirm your reasons for deductible time. Your application will be rejected if no certificate is available that can substantiate the deductible time.

Number of applications and ongoing project grants at Formas

You may only have one application submitted and registered in the Career Grant for Early-career Researchers call when it closes. Even if you consider yourself eligible in both career age tracks, you may only submit your application to one of the tracks. If you have more than one registered application for the Career Grant for Early-career Researchers call in Prisma after the call has closed, all your applications will be rejected.

You may not apply for grants in the Career Grants for Early-career Researchers call if you are a project manager for an ongoing project grant from the Mobility Grants for Early-career Researchers call or the Research Projects for Early-career Researchers call, where the grant period includes 2025. Formas’ decision states in which calendar year the project funds will be paid out and how long the funds may be used. A project is considered ongoing during the years you receive payments from Formas.

It is however permitted to apply for funds in the call if the project’s grant period, i.e., the payout period, has passed but the availability period includes 2025. You may also apply for grants in the Career Grants for Early-career Researchers call if you are a project manager for or participate in an ongoing project awarded a grant from one of Formas’ other calls. However, Formas cannot fund a researcher with more than 100 per cent of a full-time position. Please note that this call requires the project manager to work on the project at least 60 per cent of a full-time position on average during the project period.

The project is to include national and/or international researcher mobility to other research environments, such as higher education institutions, research institutes, or other research organisations. In addition to visits to one or more universities, research institutes, or other research organisations, you can also include mobility to other types of organisations, such as in the private and public sectors.

As an applicant, you have great flexibility to plan mobility stays according to your own and the project’s needs. Choose the university(ies), research institutes, and/or organisations, and design mobility stays in such a way that they contribute to your career development.

Length of stays

The total length of mobility stay(s) with a visit to at least one host organisation (other national or international research environment) is to be:

  • Three-year projects: At least four (4) months and at most 24 months.
  • Four-year projects: At least five (5) months and at most 32 months.

Stays with one or more host organisations can be divided into several periods. Formas does not make requirements for how long each individual stay should be. In addition to the requirement for the total length of the mobility stay, the following also applies:

  • the total time at each host organisation is to be at least one month if you visit multiple host organisations. This applies regardless of whether your host organisations are in Sweden or abroad.
  • the length of the stays and the number of stays are to be adjusted to what is best for the project and for you to be able to take the next step in your career.
  • the stays are to take place in physical form. Once the length requirements are met, digital elements may be used when suitable for the project.
  • any stays with a host organisation that is not a research organisation may be at most 6 months.

Home organisation

The home organisation is the administrating organisation of the awarded grant and pays your salary throughout the project period. The home organisation also provides infrastructure and other necessary conditions for you to be able to conduct the project and is to provide you (the project manager) with good opportunities to develop your research and take the next step in your career development. You and your project are to also be part of and contribute to your home organisation’s activities. Your home organisation may be the same or a different organisation from the one where you received your doctorate.

In this call, the home organisation is to be a Swedish higher education institution, research institute, public authority with a research mission, or other organisation with research as its core activity. The organisation must meet Formas’ requirements to be a generally approved administrating organisation when the application is submitted. The home organisation is referred to in the application system Prisma as “Administrating organisation”.

Read more about the role of the home organisation/administrating organisation in this call:

FAQ for the Career Grant for Early-career Researchers call

Host organisation(s)

A basic requirement in the call is that you are to include at least one host organisation that you will visit during the project period. The host organisation is to be a national or international research environment at another higher education institution, research institute, or equivalent research organisation. In addition to the requirement to visit another research environment, you may also visit another organisation suitable for the project to conduct your research (see below).

The host organisations should not charge any fees for office space or similar during your stay, and you may not apply for funding in the application for the host organisation’s premises costs (known as “bench fees”).

  • Application requirements: Include at least one physical stay at a national or international host organisation. Approved host organisations are higher education institutions, research institutes, or other research organisations abroad and/or in Sweden. The host organisation is to be a different organisation from your home organisation (administrating organisation). There is no upper limit to the number of host organisations.
  • Possibilities for the application: Include a stay of at most 6 months at another organisation suitable for conducting the project (international, state, or municipal organisation, business organisation, civil society organisation). During the stay, you will need to continue conducting research within the framework of the project. You are to be employed by the project’s administrating organisation throughout the stay. Note that you also need to include visits to at least one other research environment in addition to this stay.

Letter of intent

Separate letters of intent from the home organisation and each host organisation are to be attached to the application. The letters of intent are to include a description of how you and your project fit into their organisation, how the organisation will support you in implementing your project and in the development of your career, and how you will be able to contribute to the organisation and its development (see information for the letters of intent under What to include in your application).

Consider the following when preparing your application:

  • Formulate a project idea with a new or partially new focus for your research compared with your previous work.
  • Design your project so that it enables you to take the next step in your career.
  • Discuss possible forms of employment with your intended home organisation/administrating organisation, including the choice of project period, before planning your project and submitting your application.
  • Choose one or more host organisations to visit that can contribute to your particular project and career development.
    • Formas does not allow the host organisation to be another institution at the same higher education institution as your home organisation (administrating organisation).
    • The choice to conduct national and/or international mobility is not in itself a ground for assessment.
    • No quantitative indicators, such as university rankings, will be used in assessing the selection of home and host organisations.
  • Contact your home organisation, such as the HR office, to discuss existing opportunities for you to be employed with a stationing abroad (such as with a URA agreement or equivalent).
  • Plan your mobility stay(s) so that they meet the length requirements of the call.
    • For a project duration of three years, at least four months and at most 24 months of the total time is to be spent at one or more host organisations.
    • For a project duration of four years, at least five months and at most 32 months of the total time is to be spent at one or more host organisations.
    • In the case of visits to several host organisations, the total time at each organisation is to be at least one month.
  • Discuss your opportunities for support in your career development with your intended home organisation and what contributions they can make. This is the basis for the letter of intent that the home organisation is to write, and which is to be attached to the application (see instructions for letters of intent from the home organisation below).
  • Make sure that your host organisation(s) write letters of intent for you to attach to the application and that this is done well before the call closes (see instructions for letters of intent from host organisation(s) below).

The grant may be used for salary, for indirect costs, for direct premises costs in accordance with the home organisation’s practice, for running costs, and for travel to and from the mobility stays (read more about which costs are eligible for funding under Budget).

In addition to salary and project costs, Formas will add an additional cost supplement to your project according to a standard model when conducting international mobility stays. The additional cost supplement includes overhead costs for you and your accompanying family members (see Additional cost supplement). Note that any additional cost supplements should not be included in the project’s budget. They should be outside the budget framework.

Formas assumes that the home organisation, as the responsible employer and administrating organisation, covers any expenses to implement the project and the planned mobility in addition to the grant and the additional cost supplement.

Salary costs

You can apply for your estimated salary costs at the standard level for your home organisation. Please note that the total amount of salary received may not exceed 100 per cent of a full-time position. For researchers with other funding, this means that funds for their own salary cannot be granted if the total salary funding exceeds 100 per cent.

Indirect costs

You can apply for funding for indirect costs for your project and for direct premises costs from the home organisation as per their standard procedure. Indirect costs, also called overhead costs, are costs that are shared with others within the organisation, such as costs for administration, IT, and rent. Your home organisation, which will manage the grant, can help you calculate these details.

Running costs including travel costs

Running costs refer to costs that arise in connection with the project implementation. This can be:

  • funding for interviews, analyses, fieldwork, publication in journals and databases that use Open Access, etc.
  • participation in conferences, which fall within the project.
  • travel to and from stays at host organisations. You can apply for funding for at most two round trips per host organisation.

Read more about eligible costs in Formas’ Terms and Conditions for Grants.

Additional cost supplement

In the case of international mobility, Formas grants additional cost supplements for accompanying partners and for dependents under 19 years of age. If your application is granted, Formas calculates the amount for the supplement based on the information you provided in the application using a standard model. Formas bases this calculation on current data from the Swedish Agency for Government Employers regarding the maximum amount for tax-free additional cost supplement. The Swedish Agency for Government Employers’ tables are based on an assessment of the host country’s cost level, which Formas cannot affect.

The size of the additional cost supplement is based on 1) the cost level in the country to be visited, 2) the length of stay, and 3) the number of accompanying family members. The additional cost supplement is paid at the start of the project and cannot be changed in the event of changed circumstances, such as additional accompanying family members, additional costs for changed destinations, or cost levels. The home organisation is the administrating organisation for the additional cost supplement.

Note that you do not apply for additional cost supplements in the application budget. Formas will calculate the additional cost supplement if your application is granted.

See the current table from the Swedish Agency for Government Employers regarding the maximum amount for additional cost supplements (in Swedish). External link.

Grant amount

You can apply for at most SEK 1.5 million per year on average over the years that apply to the application. A calendar year is the period that runs 1 January to 31 December. This means that you can apply for more than SEK 1.5 million for a calendar year if the amount applied for in another year of the project period is lower than SEK 1.5 million.

Project duration

You can apply for funding for 3-year (36 months) or 4-year (48 months) projects.

The project start is 1 January 2025. In Prisma, the start date is preselected and cannot be changed. The project has an additional 12-month availability period beyond the project period. The availability period can be used to conclude the project. You can also use the availability period to postpone the start of the project by 12 months. This allows you to start the project in calendar year 2025 and still have time to complete your project within the project’s availability period. Formas’ decision and project-specific conditions specify the period during which project funds will be paid out and the availability period. Note that a delayed project start is not a valid reason for extending the availability period.

You should write your application in English, as the review panel that will assess your application is international. If you write your application in Swedish, only the project description will be translated into English by a professional translator. You will not have the opportunity to see or change the translated text before the application is sent for assessment by the review panel. The popular science description, however, is to be written in Swedish, while the summaries are to be both in Swedish and English. Your budget specification, your academic profile, and your letters of intent will not be translated. For this reason, make sure that these are written in English.

According to Swedish law, your application (including appendices) is considered a public document once it is submitted. This means that anyone can request and access your application. Information can only be kept confidential if it is covered by confidentiality according to the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act (2009:400).

Formas is very limited in its ability to assign confidentiality to personal data. For this reason, the application should only contain personal data for the applicant.

The Swedish and English popular science descriptions and the project summaries may, if the project is awarded a grant, be published in open project databases without checking confidentiality. For this reason, the content of these fields should not contain sensitive information.

Formas is very keen for funded projects to be conducted in a way that maximises positive and minimises negative impacts on the environment and climate. To this end, we encourage applicants to design their projects so that travel to host organisations is conducted as environmentally friendly as possible. Formas also encourages grant recipients to conduct collaborations and cooperations through online seminars and conferences. We also suggest that, already in the project planning stage, you include measures that minimise energy use and other resource consumption, emissions, and waste. However, this is not part of the assessment of your application.

Read about Sustainability at Formas.

How to apply

All information about what to include in your application and how to apply can be found here.

You apply for a grant in our application system Prisma. You will need a personal account for this. This is where you will add the information needed for your application. Create an account and an application as soon as possible, and contact Formas with any questions well before the call closes.

Apply in Prisma External link.

Your home organisation must be an approved administrating organisation for all types of calls for you to register your application.

Become an administrating organisation for all types of calls

All limits for maximum number of characters include spaces. One recommendation is to use the font Arial with font size 12 for the information entered in all text boxes. Please note that text written in a word processer and then pasted into your application in Prisma may lose formatting. Tables and figures with advanced formatting or formulas should be uploaded as attachments to avoid the risk of losing valuable information.

The application is to include a clear description of the project using the following sections:

Basic information

  • Number of calendar years applied for.
  • Project title in Swedish and English (200 characters including spaces)
  • Popular science description in Swedish (4,500 characters including spaces). Describe what the project is about, why the topic is important to investigate, and in what ways it will contribute to the chosen question, including how it will enable you to take the next step in your career development. Write so that even a non-researcher can understand what the project is about.
  • Abstract in Swedish and English (maximum 1,500 characters including spaces). Write so that even non-researchers can understand what the project is about. Describe the goals and purpose, how the project will be conducted, and why it is important that the project be conducted.

If the application is granted funding, the project summaries and the popular science descriptions may be published in open project databases without checking for confidentiality. For this reason, the content of these fields should not contain sensitive information.

Project description

  • Skills, qualifications and career development

Describe how you will be able to take the next clear step in your career with the project. Also describe how the project relates to what you have done in the past in terms of science, pedagogical skills, networks, and collaboration. Describe how, with this project, you are laying the foundation for your career by expanding your skillset and independence, your ability to lead your own project and convey your knowledge, and your ability to broaden your perspectives. (8,000 characters including spaces).

  • Knowledge contributions

Describe the project’s question. Describe the state of knowledge within the research field. Explain what the project will be able to contribute scientifically, including how it develops or challenges the state of knowledge, understanding, or methodology within your research field. Describe how the project is designed to incorporate the needs and conditions of different groups. (8,000 characters including spaces).

  • Implementation

Describe the project’s implementation plan, such as divided into work packages if that is appropriate for the project, and the project’s timeline. Describe the project’s risk management plan and ethical considerations. (8,000 characters including spaces).

  • Home and host organisations

Describe and explain the choice of home organisation and host organisation(s). Describe how practical arrangements and access to necessary resources, such as infrastructure, opportunities for seminars, teaching, communication, translation to practical applications, and networks, at the home and host organisations contribute to the implementation of the project. Also describe how the organisations will contribute to your career and how you and your project will contribute to the environments of your home organisation and host organisation(s). In this section, explain the length and structure of your stay(s) at host organisations and how these are adapted to the project and your continued career development.

If you include a stay at another organisation (government, municipal, business, civil society), explain why this is appropriate and how it contributes to the project and your continued career. (8,000 characters including spaces).

  • Societal relevance

Describe the project’s benefit to society. It is important explain how the project is relevant for knowledge building and society at large, in the near term or in the future. Describe how the project could potentially meet societal needs and how it is designed to incorporate different stakeholder and user needs. Explain the most important areas where the results could be used and describe plans to make the results available to disseminate, such as through open science and shared data. Also explain the project’s relevancy for Formas’ areas of responsibility: Environment, Agricultural Sciences, and Spatial Planning. (8,000 characters including spaces).

  • List of references

List the references included in text in the previous sections. (5,000 characters including spaces).

Budget

You report the project’s budget in Prisma. Note that the budget and budget specification should be written in English. Budgets written in Swedish will not be translated. In Prisma, write the entire requested amount in numbers, for example SEK 1 million is written: SEK 1,000,000

The budget is divided into:

  • Activity level in the project refers to what percentage of a full-time position you will work in the project. Note that this call requires that your activity level is at least 60 per cent on average throughout the project period.
  • Salaries including social fees. In this call, you may only apply for a salary for you as the main applicant. The amount that can be granted for salary to you as an individual researcher may never exceed 100 per cent of a full-time position. If you have full salary funding from another source, you cannot receive additional salary funding.
  • Percentage of salary refers to the percentage of your full-time salary that you are applying for.
  • Running costs refers to consumables, travel, conferences, publication in open access journals and databases, etc. This can also include research services, technical expertise, consulting services, and equivalent services used exclusively for the project. List running operating costs as per the administrating organisation’s standard procedure. You can apply for funding for at most two round trips per host organisation. Write this travel expense on a separate line in the budget with the heading “Travel expenses, host organisation”.
  • Equipment and depreciation costs. List equipment and depreciations for equipment if relevant to the application. The maximum granted amount for equipment and depreciations for equipment is SEK 500,000. You cannot apply for equipment or depreciations at host organisations.
  • Premises. You can apply for funds for premises costs at the administrating organisation if they are not already included in the overhead cost in the project budget. List premises costs as per the administrating organisation’s standard procedure. You cannot apply for premises costs at host organisations.
  • Total applied /Subtotal refers to costs already included in the previous budget tables and that will automatically be transferred to these items.
  • Indirect costs refers to overhead costs. When entering overhead costs in the application, do so as per the administrating organisation’s standard procedure. Explain and report the various overhead costs in the budget specification. The total overhead cost for the project should be listed in the budget table. Formas does not award funds for overhead on depreciations for premises or other indirect costs at the host organisation.
  • Other costs refers to funds that are not applied for but are relevant to conducting your project. An example is co-funding from the administrating organisation or partners or if the project receives funds from other sources.
  • Total cost refers to a budget total.
  • Budget specification refers to an explanation of the budget in words. State how the applied for grant is divided in amounts per year. Provide a brief explanation for the salary costs listed in the budget. All other costs must be explained, such as travel to the host organisation(s), running costs, equipment, and depreciations, etc. Also describe the project’s total budget, including funding from other sources. The budget specification is included in the assessment of the application. (7,000 characters including spaces).

Mobility

  • Host organisation: State the host organisation(s) you will visit. Add a new line if you will be visiting more than one host organisation. Enter the total time you will spend at each host organisation in whole months.
  • Additional cost supplement: Formas will add an additional cost supplement to projects with international mobility. Indicate whether your project includes international mobility stays. If so, state whether there is an accompanying partner and the number of dependents under 19 years of age.

Ethics

Consider your project from a research ethics perspective. This includes both questions related to people who are researched or affected by the research and other stakeholders and about the researcher’s relationship to the project’s research task. This could be animal experiment ethics, privacy issues, how findings are used, whose interests are considered in the research, and how research material and findings are made accessible.

Describe which ethical issues are relevant for your project. Describe how you plan to handle the ethical aspects of the project. Describe how you balance different legitimate interests, such as the interest in knowledge and the interest in privacy. If no ethical issues are relevant, you must explain this.

If you are unsure of what is meant by research ethics and ethical issues, you should familiarise yourself with this before writing this section, for example by reading the Swedish Research Council’s guide on conducting ethical research External link. and the Codex rules and guidelines for research External link..

Some research may only be conducted if it has been approved through an ethical review. If you are conducting research on humans, human tissue, or personal data, you must submit an application for ethical review to the Swedish Ethical Review Authority and have it approved. If it concerns experiments on animals, you must also have approval from an ethics committee for animals. You can apply for this through the Swedish Board of Agricultural’s e-services. Animal experiments may only be conducted when there are no alternative methods.

Indicate in your application whether you have a valid ethical approval or not. If you do not have one and your application is granted funding, you must have ethical approval before starting the part of the research that requires this approval. If there are no current approvals or permits, indicate this.

Equal opportunities and inclusiveness

Formas is tasked with pursuing the sustainable development of society. Equal opportunities and inclusiveness are crucial for this. As such, we encourage applicants, as far as possible, to design their projects so that it can provide knowledge that reflects and is relevant to different groups in society.

Classifications

Formas uses the project’s classifications in analyses and documents on an overall level and when assessing your application. These classifications are determined by the applicant specifying subject area, research subject (SCB code), at least one global goal for sustainable development to which the project can contribute, and keywords.

  • Subject area

Select at least one and at most three subject areas and add a subheading.

  • Research subject (SCB code)

Select, in order of priority, a minimum of one and up to a maximum of three SCB codes with two sub-levels that together form the entire code.

  • Sustainable Development Goals

Select at least one and up to three Sustainable Development Goals to which the project can contribute in order of priority according to degree of relevance.

Read more about the Sustainable Development Goals on the UN Development Programme website External link..

  • Keywords

Select at least one and up to three key words that describe the project.

Administrating organisation – the organisation receiving the grant

In this call, only applicants from administrating organisations approved for all Formas’ calls may submit an application. Approved administrating organisations are listed as defaults in Prisma.

  • Select your administrating organisation (home organisation) from the drop-down menu.
  • Select project site from the drop-down menu.

Review panels

Select the review panel you consider is within the application’s main research area. The review panels for this call are based on Statistics Sweden’s standard for classification of research areas. Each review panel has wide-ranging expertise that covers all of Formas’ areas of responsibility. Competence to review multi- and interdisciplinary research projects will be present in all review panels.

Your application will be assessed by an international panel of scientific experts and public representatives in one of Formas’ review panels. You choose the review panel in which your application is to be assessed. Select the review panel in which your application’s main research subject falls.

Read more: Statistics Sweden’s standard for classification of research areas External link.

The review panels from which you can choose are:

  • Natural sciences
  • Engineering and technology
  • Medical and health sciences
  • Agricultural sciences and veterinary medicine
  • Social sciences
  • Humanities and fine arts

In this call, your application will be assessed in the review panel of your choice. Formas will not move your application to a different review panel than your first choice. You will not be able to change your choice of review panel after the call has closed. In Prisma, you can select up to three review panels. If more than one review panel is selected, your application will be assessed in your first choice of review panels. Note that Formas reserves the right to divide or merge review panels based on the number of submitted applications and for practical management of the call’s review process.

CV and academic profile

In this call, parts of your CV are to be entered into Prisma and parts into the Academic profile template, which is an appendix (Appendix 1) that you attach to the application.

CV

On the CV page, information about your education and working life is retrieved from your personal account in Prisma. Make sure that the information in Prisma is updated and current, well in time before the call closes. The following information for the CV is added to the application:

  • Education
    • Doctoral education
    • Bachelor’s and master’s education
  • Working life
    • Current employment and longer relevant previous employment.
    • Any longer breaks in research that might be of relevance to the assessment.

Academic profile (Appendix 1)

  • Academic profile (Appendix 1): Enter information about your academic profile in the academic profile template. Use this template: Template for Academic profile External link.. The appendix is uploaded as a PDF file (max. 4 MB) under “Academic profile” in the application. The list of merits and publications is added to the document (see template) with instructions on the type and maximum number of merits you can add. The academic profile template is only available in English and must be written in English.
  • Deductible time: Enter any longer breaks you have had in active research after completing your doctorate and resulting from any of the reasons approved by Formas. The period of the break should be calculated based on full-time, rounded to whole calendar months. See list of approved reasons under Deductible time.

Letter of intent

Letter of intent from the home organisation (Appendix 2)

The application needs to include a letter of intent from the intended home organisation where you will be employed. The letter of intent is to be addressed to you as the applicant and show that you are welcome to conduct your planned research there. In the letter, the home organisation describes how they, as an employer, will support you as a researcher during the project. The letter of intent also needs to have a description of how and in what ways the home organisation will support you in your career development during the project. This is a good opportunity for the home organisation to describe any long-term ambitions for your continued development and career path at the home organisation.

A letter of intent supports the project and is part of the assessment of the application. The letter of intent is to be addressed to you as the applicant and applies to the project period of this call. The letter is to come from the head of department or equivalent for the home organisation where the research will be conducted.

It is to be written in English.

The letter of intent is to include the following:

  • an assurance that the home organisation (administrating organisation) will approve your application and manage the project funds.
  • an assurance that you can conduct your planned research at the home organisation throughout the duration of the project and that they will give you access to premises, equipment, appropriate tools, and networks needed to be able to conduct the project. The letter also needs to explain what form your employment will take. You need to discuss and agree on the terms of your employment with your home organisation.
  • a description of the home organisation’s position and ambition in the research and innovation landscape nationally and internationally.
  • a description of how you and your project will contribute to the research environment in which you will work and how you will participate in knowledge creation together with others in the environment.
  • a description of how the home organisation will contribute to your career development during the project and how they can facilitate your continued career development after the end of the project.
  • a signature from the sender of the letter of intent, i.e. head of department or equivalent for the home organisation.

The letter of intent may also contain:

  • a brief continuing professional development plan.
  • commitments for voluntary co-funding for the project and similar.
  • access to research and environment building activities, such as joint projects, seminars, writing workshops, strategic work with applications, career and skills development programmes, etc.

At most one appendix (pdf) of 4 MB can be uploaded. The appendix is to include all the documents.

Letter of intent from the host organisation(s) (Appendix 3)

The letter of intent is to be addressed to you and show that you are welcome to conduct your research at the host organisation. The invitation is to apply to the project period defined in this call. The letter is to come from the head of department or equivalent for the host organisation where the research will be conducted. Letters of intent are to be written in English.

You need one letter of intent for each host organisation you will be visiting. The letter of intent is to include the following:

  • a statement that you are welcome to conduct your planned research there and that they will be your host organisation.
  • a description of the organisation’s academic position and its collaborations and of its ambition for continued collaboration with the researcher.
  • a statement on how the researcher and the planned research will contribute to and be part of the research and expertise of the research group/institution concerned.
  • an assurance that the necessary facilities, resources, and other infrastructure will be made available to the applicant.
  • a signature from the sender of the letter of intent, i.e. head of department or equivalent for the host organisation.
  • name and contact details of the person who drew up the document (first name, last name, telephone number, and email address).
  • the host organisation’s faculty and postal address.

The letters of intent from all host organisations are to be combined into one document (PDF). At most one appendix (PDF) of 4 MB can be uploaded.

Optional Appendix – Illustrations (Appendix 4)

If figures, tables, or images are needed to describe the project idea, these are attached as an appendix (PDF). At most one appendix (PDF) of 4 MB can be uploaded. Note that the academic profile and letters of intent are uploaded earlier in the application.

After submitting your application

You can make changes to your registered application (unregister it and register again) until the call closes at 14:00 CET on Wednesday 10 April 2024. After this, the status of your application will change from “registered” to “finally registered”. As long as no technical errors have been detected in Prisma, no changes may be made to the final registered version of the application. You may not make any additions, e.g. by email or by telephone. The application will be assessed as is.

When the call closes, the final registered version of your application is automatically sent to the administrating organisation for signature.

When the call is closed, Formas will check whether your application falls within the scope of the call. If so, it goes on to the review panel for assessment. If the application is outside the scope of the call, it will be rejected and will not be sent for assessment.

The following requirements will be checked in this call:

  • that the administrating organisation has signed the application within seven calendar days after the close of the call.
  • that the focus of the application is within Formas’ areas of responsibility.
  • that the applicant fulfils the requirement for an issued doctorate within the specified timeframe.
  • that you have submitted the requested information when claiming deductible time.
  • that the application is complete, i.e. that it contains all the information that is required in the application form and in the appendices.
  • that you only have one application submitted and registered in the Career Grant for Early-career Researchers call when it closes. If you consider yourself eligible in both career age tracks, you may only submit your application to one of the tracks.
  • that the requirements for the project manager, home and host organisation(s), and total length of mobility stay(s) are fulfilled.
  • that you have submitted the required reports on time for other projects or activities funded by Formas and under your responsibility.

All applications with associated CVs, academic profiles, and letters of intent are assessed by national and international scientific experts and public representatives in one of the calls review panels. The review panels are based on Statistics Sweden’s standard for classification of research areas: natural science, engineering and technology, medical and health sciences, agricultural sciences and veterinary medicine, social sciences, and humanities and fine arts. Each review panel has wide-ranging expertise that covers all of Formas’ areas of responsibility. Qualifications to review multi- and interdisciplinary research projects will be present in all review panels. Each review panel will be composed of active researchers, individuals with experience in assessing potential for academic career development, and users of research findings who are qualified to assess the project’s and the researcher’s potential for societal benefit. Note that Formas reserves the right to divide or merge review panels based on the number of submitted applications and for practical management of the call’s review process.

Your application will only be assessed based on the content described in the application, including the letters of intent and your academic profile. As such, it is important that the content of the application is as clear as possible and that all important and relevant information is included. Note that citation indexes and university rankings are not to be included and will not be used in the assessment.

Your application, including the letters of intent and academic profile, is assessed using five grounds of assessment.

Skills, qualifications, and career development

  • How well does the planned project fit with the applicant’s previous qualifications and experience? (scientific, educational, networks, collaborations)
  • Does the researcher have the potential to widen their perspectives with the project and take the next clear step in their career?
  • Does the researcher have the potential to increase their skills, qualifications, and scientific independence through the project?
  • To what extent does the project improve the potential of the applicant to continue developing their abilities to lead, collaborate, and build networks?
  • To what extent does the project improve the potential of the applicant to develop their ability to use and convey knowledge and experience to others?

The expected knowledge contribution

  • Is the project’s problem formulation clear, logical, and appropriate for the project’s research field and what the project wants to contribute to?
  • Can the project advance or challenge the state of knowledge, understanding, or approach within the selected research field?
  • Does the project incorporate the needs and conditions of different groups into its design and expected findings?

Implementation plan

  • Is the implementation plan suitable and appropriate for implementing the proposed project?
  • Is the project’s timeframe and budget realistic and appropriate for the project’s purpose and goals?
  • Are the ethical considerations and how they are dealt with necessary and relevant to the project?

Home and host organisations

  • Do practical arrangements and access to resources at the home and host organisations contribute to the implementation of the project?
  • Is the choice of home and host organisations appropriate for the research and the advancement of the researcher’s career?
  • Are the length and design of the stay(s) at the host organisation(s) justified and appropriate for the implementation of the project?
  • Can the researcher, via their project, be integrated into and contribute to the activities of the home and host organisations?

Societal relevance

  • To what degree can the project’s findings contribute to societal needs in the near or long term, and is the research relevant to Formas’ areas of responsibility?
  • To what degree has the project identified the most important areas where the results could be used and how this could be done?
  • Are the planned efforts to disseminate and make the results available relevant, feasible, and appropriate?

All five grounds of assessment are to be addressed in the application, and applicants must clearly relate the application to the grounds of assessment.

All five grounds of assessment will be weighted equally in the initial assessment. To differentiate applications of comparable quality in the final assessment, the skills, qualifications, and career development ground of assessment will be given more weight than the others.

Formas will decide which applications are awarded grants on 5 November 2024. Decisions are published no later than the following day on Formas’ website and an email with information about the decision will be sent out later from Prisma. The decision will be available in Prisma. Grant decisions cannot be appealed.

The final financial and scientific reports for granted projects are to be submitted to Formas within three months of the end of the availability period. A financial status report is to be submitted to Formas annually. All reporting is submitted through Prisma.

How to report expenses and results

Formas may impose requirements on how projects are to be reported in terms of content and results to enable dissemination and utilisation. This will be noted in the project decision should a grant be awarded.

This call does not permit changing the project leader.

Granted projects are also expected to participate in network meetings, seminars, and discussions organised by Formas, such as Formas’ Career Day. The purpose is to create synergies and platforms for learning and knowledge sharing.

Results from research funded by Formas are to be published using open access.

You are also to have a data management plan for the data produced in the project. If you receive funding from us, 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. By signing our grant terms and conditions, you certify that a data management plan will be in place 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 with SweCRIS, a national database of grant-funded research that was instituted by request of the Government. (www.swecris.se External link.).

Revision history

  • 2024-02-15 - The requirement that consulting services, and equivalent services must be purchased or licensed from external providers on market terms has been erased from the call text. Consultant services should be procured and listed as per the administrating organisation’s standard procedure.

Digital information event about the call

Recording and presentation from the information event , 4.9 MB. about the call.

Contact information

For questions about the content of the call, administrative support and questions regarding Prisma

Contact us at:
careergrant@formas.se

Updated:22 February 2024