Given decision

Annual open call for mobility starting grants 2017

Last day of application: 06/04/2017

Day of decision: 09/11/2017

Formas’ Scientific Council will make its funding decisions on 9 November 2017 for the annual open call for mobility starting grants. The decisions will be announced the same day on Formas’ website.

Decision list 2017-11-09

The mission of Formas is to promote and support basic and needs-driven research in the areas of the Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning. The research funded should be of highest scientific quality and relevance for Formas’ areas of responsibility. Formas may also fund development projects to a limited extent.

News in Formas' annual open call 2017

From 2017 Formas has new review panels for the annual open call. Read more about the new review panels here.

Mobility starting grants for young researchers

Formas welcomes applications within all of our areas of responsibility, and multi- or interdisciplinary applications are encouraged. The purpose of the mobility starting grant is to encourage researchers who have recently received their doctoral degrees to visit new research environments. This is to provide the opportunity to learn new tools, work on research issues with a new focus and expand their networks.

An application for a mobility starting grant can be made for between 24 to 48 months, of which at least 1/3 of the total time must be spent at the home university or research institution and at least 1/3 must be spent at one or more host universities or research institutions. This means that the researcher can spend between 8 and 32 months at the host organisation(s). The visit may be divided into several periods, but periods will always need to be at least three months. The grant recipient must be employed by the Swedish home organisation (which will be the grant administrating organisation) for the full period of the grant. This may be the same organisation where the doctoral degree was awarded, but it can also be another organisation. The host organisation(s) may be located in Sweden or abroad. International visits are, however, encouraged.

Main applicants are allowed to submit a maximum of one project application to Formas’ annual call per year. Researchers that are eligible to apply for funding in more than one of the sub-calls (grants for research and development projects, grants for research and development projects for future research leaders and/or mobility starting grants for young researchers) will have to choose one sub-call in which to submit their proposal.

A researcher may have only one ongoing project grant as project leader (main applicant) from any of Formas’ annual open calls. A project is defined as ongoing only during that time which funding is received and does not include the extended period where funds may be used. Applications from researchers who already have an ongoing project grant receiving payment during 2018 from any of Formas’ annual open calls will be rejected without further evaluation.  

The earliest start-date for mobility starting grants is 1 January 2018 and the projects are expected to start during 2018.

The following may be applied for:

  • The applicant’s salary at the grant administrating home organisation according to the applicant’s current salary or the corresponding starting salary at the grant administrating organisation.
  • OH-costs and direct costs for premises according to the practices at the grant administrating organisation. Running costs and costs for equipment will not be granted.

Formas will cover travel expenses as well as additional costs for the stay at the host organisation(s), for the applicant and accompanying family members, by a standard sum depending on i) the cost of living in the host country and ii) the number of accompanying family members. This standard sum is based on figures provided by the Swedish Agency for Government Employers (Arbetsgivarverket).

Guidelines for funding amounts

Mobility starting grants for young researchers can only include the applicants salary, OH-costs and costs of premises according to the practices at the grant administrating organisation. Running costs and costs for equipment will not be granted.

Who can apply

To be eligible to apply for a mobility starting grant the applicant must have received his/her doctoral degree within the previous three years (for 2017 this means 1 January 2014 at the earliest and 1 October 2017 at the latest). Please note that a copy of the degree certificate must have been received by Formas no later than 1 October 2017. Parental leave, illness, military or public service or other similar circumstance that has prevented research activities during the period immediately after receiving the doctoral degree should be specified in the submitted CV as it may constitute reason for exemption from the three year rule.

The intended grant recipient must be the stated project leader for the application. The grant administrator for a mobility starting grant must be a Swedish university, university college or public agency that fulfils the grant administrating organisation eligibility requirements of Formas (read more on eligible grant administrators here)

What the application must contain

  • Project aims and objectives
  • Project description
  • Potential societal value of the research and communication with stakeholders/users
  • Budget (salary and OH-costs only)
  • CV and publication list
  • Description of how the project and the research environments at the home and the host organisations will contribute to the applicant’s development as a researcher as well as a travel plan. Download the template and read more under Appendix G.
  • A copy of the diploma or doctoral degree certificate – alternatively that the applicant states that the degree certificate will be sent to Formas before 1 October 2017.
  • Letters of invitation from the home and host organisations. The appendix must include an invitation from both the home and host organisations. The letters of invitation should include statements about the planned research, in addition to an assurance that the necessary facilities and resources will be made available to the applicant.

The application can be submitted in Swedish or English. However, it is recommended that the application is written in English, as Formas mainly utilises international reviewers. If the application is written entirely in Swedish, Formas will translate the application to English before it is sent to the review panel for evaluation. The applicant will not be given the opportunity to read or edit the application after translation. The popular science description must, however, always be written in Swedish, and the brief project description must always be written in both Swedish and English. Note that the budget specification should always be written in English, as it will not be translated to English and will be evaluated by the international panel in its submitted form.

Evaluation of the application

Grant applications will be evaluated in one of Formas review panels for the Annual open call. The applicant may suggest up to three review panels in order of priority from the list in the application form. In cases where Formas considers the competence for evaluation of an application to be more relevant in another review panel than in the three panels suggested, the application may be transferred to another review panel - after consultation with the applicant.

Information about review panel areas

The review panels are problem-oriented and broadly defined in order to encompass the areas of responsibility of Formas. Each panel comprises both active researchers and users of research results who are qualified to assess potential societal benefit. Researchers comprise the majority of the panel members. The panels possess the expertise required to review applications within the humanities, the natural and social sciences as well as research in the areas of health and engineering within Formas’ areas of responsibility. The panels also review multi- and interdisciplinary research.

Applications are evaluated with respect to Scientific Quality and Societal Relevance. This is addressed by the following five evaluation criteria.

Criteria for Scientific Quality:

  • Research question
  • Method and performance
  • Scientific competence. For Mobility Starting Grants the strength and competitiveness of the research environment should be assessed for the home and the host organisation(s) under this criteria.


Criteria for Societal Relevance:

  • Potential societal value of the research topic
  • Communication with stakeholders/users


All of the criteria must be addressed in the application and applicants are encouraged to clearly and specifically relate the application to these criteria. The applicant is encouraged to be thorough with the structure and clarity of the application, as the evaluation will be based solely on the information provided in the application. Gender and other critical perspectives should be taken into consideration in the project application where relevant.

More information about the evaluation criteria’s and the evaluation process

Funding decisions

Formas’ Scientific Council plans to make its decision on funding on 9 November 2017. The decisions will be announced the same day on Formas’ website. Decisions about funding grants cannot be appealed.

The application system Prisma

Applications for mobility starting grants for young reseacrhers are submitted in the application system Prisma. A personal account in Prisma is necessary in order to be able to submit an application.

Link to Prisma

 The following information should be provided for each application:

Basic information

  • Number of years applied for
  • Project title in Swedish and English (200 characters)
  • Popular science description in Swedish (4 500 characters)
  • Brief project description in Swedish and English (1 500 characters each)

Research programme

  • Specific aims and objectives of the proposed project and a background description containing an overview of the research area (7 000 characters).
  • Description of the project including a summary of the approach, theory, methods, performance and a plan for scientific publication (15 000 characters). Include the following points where relevant for the proposed project: i) brief description of existing basic equipment, iii) brief description of national and international collaborations, iv) confirmation of compliance with international agreements and regulations, v) gender and other critical perspectives.
  • Description of the potential societal value of the project and planned communication with stakeholders/users (8 000 characters). Provide a brief description of the potential societal value of the project and who the relevant stakeholders/users are, as well as how the communication with stakeholders and users will take place (support to address the communication criterion).
  • References included in body text of sections listed above are given in a separate field (4 000 characters).


  • Salaries, including social-security contributions. For existing employment positions, the current salary at the time of application (including social-security contributions) must be used for each of the subsequent years. For new employment positions the starting salary at the grant administrating organisation must be used for each subsequent year. (Note that Formas does not grant funding for annual salary increases.
  • State the proportion of activity in the project. This shows if the applicant contribute with services in-kind or have other funding for performing the project. 
  • Specify premises costs (if not included in OH- costs) according to the practice at the grant administrating organisation.
  •  State indirect costs directly in the project budget according to the practice of the grant administrating organisation. Indirect costs are considered to be OH-costs.
  • Budget specification. A short motivation for the salary cost is required. A description of the total budget for the project, including funding from other sources, must also be described. The budget specification is part of the evaluation and should be written in English (a budget specification written in Swedish will not be translated to English).
  • In the field “Other costs” funding from other sources can be included.
  • Note that in Prisma amounts should be written out in full, e.g. one million SEK is entered as “1 000 000 SEK”.  

Ethical considerations


  • Select a subject area. 
  • Select at least one, and at most three, SCB codes.  
  • Select at least one, and at most three, of the 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals that best apply to the project. For more information on the Sustainable Development Goals, please click here.
  • State at least one, and at most five, key word(s) that describe the project.


The following appendices are mandatory and must be uploaded:

  • Appendix G. A description of how the project and research environment at the home and host organisations will contribute to the applicant's development as researcher, as well as a travel plan. Download the template
  • Appendix I. A copy of the diploma or doctoral degree certificate. Applicants that will provide Formas with their diploma or doctoral degree certificate before 1 October 2017 will have to write a brief statement on this and upload as a pdf.
  • Appendix L. Letters of invitation from the home and host organisations. The appendix must include an invitation from both the home and host organisations. The letters of invitation should include statements about the planned research, in addition to an assurance that the necessary facilities and resources will be made available to the applicant.

The following appendices can be uploaded if relevant for the project:

  • Appendix J. If figures, tables or images are needed to describe the proposed project, an appendix may be uploaded. The total size of the attachment can be maximum 4 MB in the formats jpg, png or gif. 
  • Appendix K. Climate and environmental data. Appendix K is recommended for all project applications concerning climate and environmental research where data collection is included as an important aspect of the project. The information submitted will be part of the review of the application. Please note that Swedish universities, university colleges and other authorities are responsible for the safe storage of data collected as part of their activities. Funding to enable data storage that can be regarded to be within the responsibility of these authorities should not be included in the application. Data must be published within a reasonable time period and must be made accessible via relevant national and/or international organisations for data publication. Download the template

Grant administrating organisation

  • Select your grant administrating organisation and add the department or unit where the project is based. Read more about Formas requirements for grant administering organisations here. 
  • Approved grant administrating organisations are prelisted in a menu in Prisma. If your research organisation is not included in the list, contact your organisation as it must create an organisation account in Prisma. 
  • A registered application is automatically sent to the grant administrating organisation for approval, once the call closes. The administrating organisation has seven calendar days to sign the application.  

Review panels

  • Select the review panel where you wish to have your application evaluated. Please add in order of priority two alternative review panels.  


  • The main applicant invites participating administrators, if any, in Prisma (not a part of the project, but persons that help you fill out the application form). Participating administrators must themselves be registered and have their own personal account in Prisma. The main applicant invites participating administrators by searching their name and e-mail in Prisma (note that correct spelling of names and e-mails is required).  


The applicant retrieves the relevant information from their personal profile in Prisma to be added the application. The information should include:

  • Education: Post-graduate (doctoral) education, undergraduate and graduate education.

  • Professional history: Current position and relevant previous longer-term positions, postdoctoral residencies, research exchange visits relevant to the described research project, as well as any extended period of interruption to the research (for example parental leave, illness, military or public service).

  • Merits and awards:
    • Associate professorships
    • Supervision: for example exam project students; state the total number and provide the names the most relevant supervisions (max 10).
    • Grants awarded in competition, state up to a maximum of the ten most relevant grants.
    • Prizes and awards, state the most relevant prizes and awards (max 10).
    • Additional merits, including bibliometric summary: Here the applicant’s bibliometric profile should be summarised (max 800 characters). This should include the following: i) The number of publications of different types (such as articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, books and other monographs, conference contributions, popular science contributions), ii) Any other publications/citation specifications relevant to the research field of the applicant.
      Under additional merits state also other merits relevant to the application, such as popular science texts and documented experience of collaboration and research (max 10).
  • Intellectual property: For example patents and public access software programs developed by the applicant (max 10).

Publication list

The main applicant and participating researchers should specify up to ten of their most relevant publications. Observe that the publications should be linked from the applicants’ personal account in Prisma.


General instructions for applicants to Formas

Grant administrating organisations

How Formas processes your application

Formas ethical policy

Apply in Prisma

About Prisma

Prisma user support manual

Support to address the communication criterion

FAQ 2017

Contact information

Contact information to responsible research officers can be found here.

For more specific questions relating to the call please contact:

Karin Önneby, Senior Research Officer, Formas
Telephone: +46 (0)8-775 4022

Erika Ax, Senior Research Officer, Formas
Telephone: +46 (0)8-775 4026

Conny Rolén, Senior Research Officer, Formas
Telephone: +46 (0)8-775 4030

For technical support Prisma

IT support Prisma 

Karin Önneby