Given decision

Annual open call for research and development projects 2016

Last day of application: 14/04/2016

Day of decision: 10/11/2016

The Swedish Research Council Formas hereby invites applications for funding for research and development projects within all of Formas’ areas of responsibility. 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.

Decision list

Please note that Formas Handbook is not relevant for this call.

Important news in Formas' annual open call 2016

FAQ 2016

Grants for research and development projects

Formas welcomes applications within all of Formas’ areas of responsibility, favourably with a multi- or interdisciplinary approach. Development work is defined as systematic, methodical use of research results, scientific knowledge and new ideas to develop new, or significantly improve existing, products, processes or systems (OECD Frascati manual). Joint financing (minimum 50 per cent) is a requirement for development projects.

Grants for research and development projects may be used for the financing of salary for researchers, doctoral students and technical staff. Salary for doctoral students can be awarded for up to three years. Note that the total salary costs awarded by Formas for an individual researcher, doctoral student or other member of the project may never exceed 100 per cent of a full-time position. This also means that further funding for salary cannot be awarded for a researcher, doctoral student or other project staff member who is already receiving full salary funding from Formas.

Grants for research and development projects may also be used to finance running costs (e.g. consumables, equipment under 500 000 SEK, travel, conferences, publication in Open Access journals, etc.), equipment depreciation costs and premises costs.

The earliest possible project start date is January 1st 2017 and the projects are expected to start during 2017. Funding may be sought for a maximum of three years (36 months).

It is allowed for a researcher to have maximum one ongoing project grant (as project leader) from any of Formas’ annual open calls – project applications from researchers that already have a project grant from any of Formas’ annual open calls will therefore be rejected before evaluation.

Main applicants are allowed to submit one project proposal to Formas annual call. Researchers that are eligible to apply for funding in more than one of the sub calls (i.e 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 call where they wish to submit their proposal.

Applicants and project participants are not allowed to contribute to submitting two or several identical proposals with different main applicants to Formas annual open call. This applies to all sub calls (i.e grants for research and development projects, grants for research and development projects for future research leaders and/or mobility starting grants for young researchers). All proposals that have an identical or very similar content will be investigated for plagiarism and may be reject as a result.

The grant funding may be used as Swedish co-funding for research and development focused EU projects.

Guidelines for funding amounts

Applications for research and development projects may request funding for 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.

Who can apply

To be eligible to apply for grants for research and development projects the project leader and participating researchers must have a doctoral degree. Other people participating in the project do not need to have a doctoral degree. The grant administrator may only be a Swedish university, university college, research institute or government agency with a research mandate. There is no age limit for applicants, but fully retired researchers cannot obtain funds for their salary from Formas.

What the application must contain

  • Project relevance and objectives
  • Project description
  • Potential societal value of te research topic and communication with stakeholders
  • Budget
  • CV and publication list for the main applicant and participating researchers

The application can be submitted in Swedish or English. Nevertheless, it is recommended that the application is written in English, as Formas mainly utilises international reviewers. If the application is written in Swedish, Formas will translate it into English. The popular science description must however be written in Swedish, and the brief project description must be written both in Swedish and in English.

Evaluation of the application

Formas’ standing review panels evaluate the research proposals. The applicant’s preferred choice of review panel should be stated in the application. The applicant may suggest up to three review panels in order of priority from the scrollable list in the application form. In cases where Formas considers the competence for evaluation of an application to be higher in another review panel than in the three panels suggested, the application may be transferred to another review panel - after consultation with the project leader.

Information about review panel areas.

All of the review panels evaluate basic and needs-driven research within the areas of responsibility of Formas. 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 the research results who are qualified to assess potential societal benefit. Researchers comprise the majority. The panels possess the expertise required to review natural and social sciences as well as research within the areas of health, technology and the humanities within the areas of responsibility of Formas. The panels are also able to review multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research.

Applications are assessed with respect to five evaluation criteria’s addressing Scientific Quality and Societal Relevance.

Criteria’s for Scientific Quality:

  • Research question
  • Method and performance
  • Scientific competence

Criteria’s for Societal Relevance:

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 review will be based solely on the information provided in the application. Gender equality aspects should be taken into consideration in the applications where this is relevant.

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

Granted funding

Formas’ Scientific Council plans to reach its decisions on 10th November 2015. The decisions will be announced the same day on Formas’ website. Decisions about grant awards are not subject to appeal.

Application in Prisma

Proposals for research and development grants are submitted in the application system: Prisma. To be able to submit a proposal the project leader and participating researchers need to have a personal account in Prisma.

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 (4500 characters)
  • Brief project description in Swedish and English (1500 characters)

Research programme

  • Specific aims and objectives of the proposed project and a background description containing an overview of the research area, including key references (7 000 characters).
  • Description of the project (with references) including a summary of the structure, theory, methods, performance and a plan for scientific deliverables (15 000 characters). Include the following points if relevant for the proposed project: i) brief description of existing basic equipment, ii) brief description of national and international collaborations, iii) confirmation of compliance with international agreements and regulations, iv) gender aspects, v) who the main supervisor will be if funding for a doctoral student is requested.
  • Description of the potential societal value of the research question and planed communication with stakeholders/end users (8 000 characters). Provide a brief description of the potential societal benefit of the project and who the relevant stakeholders are, as well as how the communication with stakeholders and end users will take place. Include references if relevant.


  • Salaries, including social-security contributions (in whole numbers of SEK) for each project participant. 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 for all participants. This demonstrates if the project participants contribute with services in-kind or have other funding for performing the project.
  • Specify operating costs and costs for premises (in whole numbers of SEK).
  • Specify equipment depreciation costs if relevant for the project proposal (in whole numbers of SEK). 
  • State indirect costs directly in the project budget (in whole numbers of SEK) when additional costs have been entered. Indirect costs are considered to be overhead costs (OH-costs). If costs other than OH-costs are included this must be stated in the budget specification. Formas does not permit overhead costs to be included in equipment depreciation costs or costs for premises. 
  • Budget specification, all salary costs and other costs must be included and justified. A description of the total budget for the project, including financing from other sources, must also be described. All other costs applied for must be clearly explained, such as participation in conferences, publication in Open Access, etc.

Ethical considerations


  • Select a subject area
  • Select at least one, and at most three, SCB codes 
  • State at least one, and at most five, key word(s) that describe the project


The following appendicies 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 attachments can be maximum 4 MB in the formats jpg, png or gif.
  • Appendix K. Climate and environmental data. Appendix K is mandatory 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. Based on this appendix Formas may issue specific conditions for data publication and may award funding for this. 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 remit of these authorities must 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. The form for the publication of data that is available from the ECDS (Environment Climate Data Sweden - must be used.

Grant administrating organisation

  • Select your grant administrating organisation and add the project department or institute. Read more about Formas requirements for grant administrating organisations.
  • Approved grant administrating organisations are listed in a selectable menu field in Prisma. If your educational institution is not included in the list, contact your institution as it must create an organisation account in Prisma.
  • When your application is registered your administrating organisation will automatically receive your application for approval. The administrating organisation then has seven days to sign your application.

Review panels

  • Select up to three review panels in order of priority where you wish to have your application evaluated.


  • The project leader invites participating researchers (i.e. researchers that are considered as co-applicants) and participating administrators (not a part of the project, but persons that help you fill out the application form). Participants must themselves be registered and have their own personal account in Prisma. The project leader invites participants by searching their name and e-mail in Prisma (note that exact spelling of name and e-mail is required).


Information relevant to the application is linked from the applicant's personal profile.

  • Educational history: Research education, education at basic and advanced levels.
  • Professional history: Current position and longer-term previous relevant positions, postdoctoral placements, 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, public service or other similar circumstance that has prevented research activities).
  • Merits and awards:
    - Associate professor
    - Supervision: doctoral students, postdoctoral students, and exam project students; state the total number in each respective category and provide the names of up to ten of the most relevant supervisions.
    - Funding awarded in a competitive context, a maximum of the ten most relevant grants.
    - Prizes and awards, a maximum of the ten most relevant.
    - Additional merits, including bibliometric summary: Here the applicant must provide a brief summary of his or her bibliometric profile for the past 5 year period and in total (max. 800 characters including spaces). This must include the following: i) H-index and/or any other relevant citation calculation scales (state according to which database, for example: Web of Science, Scopus or Google Scholar). ii) The number of publications of different types (such as articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, books and other monographs, conference abstracts/contributions, popular science contributions). iii) 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 communication, a maximum of the ten most relevant.
  • Intellectual property: For example patents and public access software programs developed by the applicant, a maximum of the ten most relevant.

Publication list

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


Formas General instructions for applicants to Formas
Formas requirements for grant administrating organisations
Formas instructions for using Prisma
Formas instructions to evaluators
Prisma user support manual
Apply in Prisma

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
Telephone: +46 (0)8-775 4022

Karin Önneby