Record number of researchers strive for a sustainable future


The Formas Research Council today announced which projects have been awarded grants in the annual open call. Researchers from universities and research institutes across Sweden will share 625 million kronor during the 2021–2024 period. High scientific quality and high potential impact characterise the projects that have received funding.


The number of applications for Formas’ annual open call continues to climb, breaking new records. In the part of the call aimed at early-career researchers, the number of applications increased by 31 percent over last year.

“A major change that might have contributed to the increase was our extension of the project duration for early-career researchers, from three to four years,” says Alexandra Jeremiasson, senior research officer at Formas. “It was an often-requested change that was taken advantage of by 86 percent of applicants.

Another possible contributing factor was Formas’ extension of the application period in April by two weeks. The reason was the pressing situation that many researchers and university representatives found themselves in because of Covid-19. Within a short time, Formas managed to adjust and adapt the call to an online format. But the news is not just about the number of applications that are breaking records in this year’s open call.

“We also received a record number of applications of extremely high quality,” says Åsa Frisk, senior research officer at Formas. “We fund projects of the highest scientific quality. And for the part of the call aimed at early-career researchers, projects with a high potential for real-world impact have differentiated themselves. High scientific quality and real-world impact are two of the key factors tha can make the best contribution to achieving the global sustainable development goals.”

In the annual open call, Formas funds projects that address all the sustainable development goals. The purpose of the call is to enable researchers to tackle the research needs they themselves have identified in order to achieve development that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

A total of 1,575 applications were submitted to the annual open call in 2020. 188 of them were awarded grants.

Statistics: Success rates and Administrating organisations

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Updated:26 November 2020