FAQ: The annual open call

Why have Formas restructured the panels in the annual open call?

This year, Formas has updated the themes of the panels and the number of panels have increased from eight to ten. The reason for this change is to optimize and ensure quality in the evaluation process of the large amount of applications that is submitted to Formas in the annual open call each year. The objective is also that this will make it easier for researchers to see how their research fits under Formas’ areas of responsibility. At the same time, restructuring the panels is an opportunity for Formas to closer connect the evaluation process to the UN sustainable development goals.

My application can fit into several of the new evaluation panels. How do I know which panel to select?

The themes of the panels are broad and it is therefore not uncommon that the scope of a project can be related to several panels. You can choose three panels when you create your application in Prisma. You should select the evaluation panel that best suits your research question. Then you can choose two more panels in descending order of priority. If Formas see that the competence to assess your application is more relevant in another evaluation panel we will contact you to in order to change the panel.

Why should I categorize my research in Prisma after the UN's sustainable development goals?

This year, Formas has introduced a categorization of the submitted applications according to the UN's sustainable development goals. We have chosen to add this categorization in the application system to facilitate the monitoring and reporting of the research funded by Formas. This facilitates the monitoring of the research we fund and how it contributes to sustainable development and to solve various social challenges. The UN sustainable development goals is an international system and categorization, thus this will increase the usability of Formas data.

Is there an upper limit for a project’s budget?

Yes, applications for research and development projects and research and development projects for future research leaders may apply for funding up to an average of SEK 1 million per year over the total number of years of project duration. If the total amount applied for exceeds an average annual amount of SEK 1 million the application will be rejected.

Is it allowed with sub-contracting in the projects?

Yes, it is allowed to subcontract a defined part of the project.

There is a rule in Formas’ annual open call stating that it is allowed to have only one ongoing project per project leader. Which sub-calls are included in Formas’ annual open call and are hence included in this rule?

The annual open call consists of the call for Research and Development projects, the call for Research and Development projects for future research leaders and the call for mobility starting grants for young researchers. The rule stating that project leaders are allowed to only have one ongoing project at a time is applied to all three of these sub-calls. 

What is meant by an ongoing project? If I already have a project which is financed by Formas’ annual open call, when can I apply for a new grant?

A project is ongoing as long as it receives funds from Formas. E.g., if your project receives funds 2015, 2016 and 2017 you are eligible to apply in Formas annual open call 2017, and thus receive funding from 2018. If your project receives funds 2016, 2017 and 2018, you are however not eligible to apply in Formas annual open call 2017, since you cannot receive new funds for 2018 as your project is still ongoing (receiving funding from Formas). In other words, you can apply for a new project grant the same year as the funding of your ongoing project ends.

This rule applies to projects receiving funding in Formas’ annual open call. If you already have a project financed by one of Formas’ targeted calls, it is however possible to have an ongoing project in the annual open call at the same time, as long as your salary from Formas does not exceed 100 per cent of a fulltime position.

I have a grant from Formas as a young research leader with funding until 31 December 2018. Am I allowed to apply for a postdoc to work in my project or do I have to wait until my grant ends?

If you already hold a grant from Formas as a project leader in the annual open call with funding also next year, you are not allowed to apply for a new grant in the open call this year. You can apply for a new grant in the annual open call next year, 2018. You are, however, welcome to apply for funding in targeted calls during 2017.

Can I apply for funding in the annual open call this year if I prolong my ongoing project that should have ended 2017, so it ends in 2018 instead?

You are still allowed to apply for new funding this year. Prolongation of projects does not affect the project period, only the time you as a project leader are allowed to use the money.

I am project leader for a project within one of your targeted calls. It ends 2018 or later, am I allowed to submit an application in the annual open call this year?

Yes, you are. The rule of only one ongoing project per project leader only applies to calls within the annual open call and not to projects granted within targeted calls.

Can a person who is the project leader in an ongoing project be a participating researcher (co-applicant) in other applications?

Yes, the rule of having maximum one ongoing project does only apply to the role as a project leader.

Can a person, at the moment not receiving funding from Formas, be involved in several project applications in the annual open call as long as he/she only is the project leader in one of them?

Yes, you can be involved in several projects as a participating researcher, but you can only be project leader in one of the applications that you submit to the annual open call.

Is there a maximum number of an application or projects a person can be involved in if he/she is not the project leader?

No, there is no upper limit for the number of applications that you can participate in as long as you are not the project leader.  However, you are not allowed to receive funding for salary from Formas which exceeds 100 per cent of a fulltime position.

I want to apply for a three-year project. Does this mean I can go over 1 million in some years as long as the total is not more than 3 million?

Yes, it is correct. In the budget form you can apply for more than 1 MSEK one year (and then less than 1 MSEK another year), but not more than 3 MSEK in total for a three-year project.

Can the host organisation in a mobility starting grant be a research institute/company/governmental agency rather than a university?

Yes, the host organisation in a mobility starting grant can be a research institute or potentially also a company or a governmental agency. What should be kept in mind is that the host institution/organisation constitutes a for the applicant relevant and fruitful research environment, and to also describe this clearly in your application. This since for mobility starting grants the strength and competitiveness of the research environment will be assessed for the home and the host organisation(s) under the criteria for “Scientific competence”.

Is it possible to include co applicants/other personals either from home university or host institute in a mobility starting grant application?

No, co-applicants (or participating researchers as it is called in Prisma) cannot be included in a mobility starting grant.

Does a mobility starting grant cover consumables cost? Also cost of expenses in host institute (i.e. cost for offices and laboratory spaces, salary for assistant/technician and consumables)?

No, in the subcall for mobility starting grants you can apply for salary for yourself, OH-costs and direct premises costs. Running costs or costs for equipment’s is not granted. In appendix L both the home and host organisation ensure that all necessary facilities and resources for the project will be available if the project is granted.

Are there any percentage limitations for how much of a salary you can apply for?

No, there are no such limitations. The only limit is the max budget of 1 msek/year on an average over the project.

In the application form, there is a references box (4000 Characters) after “Specific aims and objectives of the proposed project and a background description containing an overview of the research area”. Is this box for references only for references of “Specific aims and objectives of the proposed project and a background description” or the whole application?

This box should be used for all references in the application.

How should appendix J be used?

Appendix J is for pictures, tables and figures that can be of format jpeg, gif and png. It is not possible to upload a pdf. The total size should not exceed 4 MB.

Karin Önneby