Given decision

National Research Programme for Sustainable Spatial Planning – First Call: Research to support housing policy for social sustainability

Last day of application: 16/01/2018

Day of decision: 13/06/2018

Within the framework of the ten year National Research Programme for Sustainable Spatial Planning, Formas announces grant funding of SEK 80 million over the period 2018 - 2020 for research to support housing policy for social sustainability. The purpose of the call is to improve knowledge about the challenges associated with the development of accommodation, housing and residential areas. Projects are expected to contribute new knowledge to support the development of socially sustainable housing policy. They must also in a distinct manner address gender or other critical perspectives. The research should involve actors such as residents, organisations, municipalities, companies and others to contribute to new approaches and to have an impact within the area. The evaluation criteria are specifically structured for this call. Note that these are therefore not identical to the evaluation criteria described on the Formas website.

Decision list  2018-06-13

Call background

As a result of the 2016 Swedish Government research policy bill, Collaborating for knowledge, Formas has been tasked with implementing an initiative to promote research to support housing policy for social sustainability. In the 2016 research policy bill it is stated that the entire initiative must be based on the Agenda 2030 global societal challenges, the environmental quality goals and the Swedish Government's goals for housing, construction, planning, architecture, spatial planning and design, cultural environment, social security and equality. The initiative is being carried as part of the framework of the ten year National Research Programme for Sustainable Spatial Planning.

Description of the call

The call welcomes projects that investigate the challenges and possibilities associated with the development of accommodation, housing and residential areas. The research that is funded is expected to contribute new knowledge to support the development of socially sustainable housing policy.

This call has as its focus people and the possibilities people have for a good living environment. The term housing policy is intended to have a broad definition and may encompass many different levels and perspectives. Housing policy may for example be about the governance and policies practised by decision-makers, or the perspectives of the recipients of political measures, such as civil society, municipalities, organisations, companies, construction and planning processes or housing markets. Housing policy may also be interpreted as the influence and possibilities of different social groups to affect housing policies, their own accommodation situation and the development of housing areas.

The focus of the call on the social aspects and consequences of Swedish housing policy means that it is particularly relevant to include gender and other critical perspectives in the research. The applicant must clearly describe the importance of gender or other critical perspectives (based on power and normative structure with regard to, for example, ethnicity, age, sexuality, class etc.) in the questions addressed by the project, its performance and relevance for society. Refer to the following link for a terminology definition. In cases where gender or other critical perspectives are not regarded to be relevant, this must be clearly justified.

The call welcomes research within all disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary approaches. Housing policy challenges exist throughout the country and the the project may concern rural areas, settlements of all sizes and the relationships between these. It is also possible to study international contexts, as long as these are used in a comparative perspective and the results of the project are focussed on knew knowledge that supports housing policy for social sustainability in Sweden.

The research should involve actors such as residents, organisations, municipalities, companies and others to promote new approaches, societal benefit and for the research to have an impact. Actors who have informed Formas of their interest in participating in projects can be found here, but applicants are naturally free to find other actors by themselves. To a limited extent research projects may not be required to involve other actors, so long as the focus of the research means that such collaboration is deemed to be unsuitable or extremely difficult to accommodate.

For the research results to have as great a societal impact as possible and to be implemented the application must include a plan for focussed communication efforts and interaction with stakeholders. Impact of the research results is intended to mean the application of the research results outside of academic circles. This may mean that the results influence, change or have importance for different levels and groups in society, such as within culture or economics, for the general public, within the public sector, for policy, the environment, health or living standards.

Guidelines for application

What funding can be applied for?

Funding can be awarded to research projects that are within the responsibility areas of Formas and are within the framework of the call. Funding may be sought for costs associated with the performance of the project, such as to support the salary of researchers, doctoral students and technical personnel. Salary for doctoral students can be awarded for up to three years. Note that the total salary amount awarded for an individual researcher, doctoral student or other personnel may never exceed 100 per cent of a full-time position. This means that additional funding for salary cannot be awarded for researchers, doctoral students or other personnel who already receive grant funding for a full-time salaried position. Formas does not grant funding to cover annual salary increases for project participants.

In addition to salary costs, funding can be sought for operating costs such as travel costs, collaborative activities, conferences and workshops, analyses, premises, sampling, equipment up to a maximum value of SEK 500 000 kronor and depreciation costs for equipment up to a maximum value of SEK 500 000, as well as for other related costs (excluding study grants or scholarships for research students). Grants can also be sought for costs related to publishing in Open Access journals. Note that researchers who receive funding from Formas must guarantee that their research results will be available through Open Access within six months of publication.

Funding amounts and project duration

Grants for research and development projects may be up to an amount of SEK 2 million per year, averaged over the period stated in the application. Funding can be sought for a maximum of three years (36 months) for the period 2018-2020. If the total amount applied for exceeds the averaged SEK 2 million annual amount the application will be rejected. No joint funding is necessary for the research projects in this call.

Who can apply?

To be able to apply for funding the main applicant and the participating researchers must have doctoral degrees. Other personnel participating in the project, such as research students, collaborative partners or technical personnel do not need to have doctoral degrees. Grants for research projects can only be administered by a Swedish university or university college, or other Swedish public organisation that fulfils the grant administrating organisation eligibility requirements of Formas (find out more about approved grant administrating organisations below). There is no age limit for project participants, but researchers who are full-time pensioners cannot receive grant funding for their own salary.

What the application must contain

  • Popular science description in Swedish and a project summary in Swedish and English.
  • Summary of how gender or other critical perspectives are integrated into the project.
  • Goals, purpose and background description of the project, containing an overview of the research field and of how the purpose and questions examined relate to gender or other critical perspectives.
  • Project description, including project design, theory, methods, performance and a plan for scientific publication, as well as how gender and other critical perspectives are integrated into the project.
  • Description of the project's interaction with stakeholders, communication efforts and potential societal benefit and impact.
  • References.
  • Budget.
  • CV and list of publications for the main applicant and participating researchers.
The application may be written in Swedish or English but Formas recommends that the application is written in English. The evaluation panels have an international composition and applications that are entirely written in Swedish will be translated into English before they are given to the evaluation panel for assessment. The applicant will not be given the possibility to read or make changes to the application after it is translated. The popular science description must be written in Swedish, but the project summary must be written in both Swedish and English. Please note that the budget specification must always be written in English. A Swedish budget specification will not be sent for translation, but will instead be assessed by the international review panels in its original format.

Evaluation of the application

The applications are assessed by an international evaluation panel that is composed of active scientists and people with the competence to assess the relevance of the research. Applications are evaluated according to criteria for scientific quality (research question, methods and execution, as well as scientific competence) and according to criteria for societal benefit (the societal benefit of the research question, focussed communication efforts and interaction with stakeholders). The evaluation criteria include how gender and other critical perspectives have been integrated into the questions addressed by the project, the execution of the project and its relevance to society. The feasibility of the budget is assessed in relation to the structure of the project and the anticipated results.

All of the criteria must be addressed in the application and the applicant is encouraged to clearly and distinctly relate the application to these criteria. The applicant is encouraged to be very thorough with the structure and clarity of the application, as the review will be based solely on the information provided in the application.

Please note that the evaluation criteria described below are specifically structured for this thematically focussed call and are therefore not identical to the criteria described on the Formas website.

Criteria for Scientific Quality

The research question:

  • Possibility of scientifically significant results.
  • Originality and novelty of the purpose, theory and hypotheses.
  • Objectives consistent with the call.



  •  The evaluation of the research question includes how it relates to and integrates gender or other critical perspectives, and does this in relation to both the questions examined and the execution of the project.


Methods and performance:

  • Feasibility and suitability of the scientific methods.
  • Innovativeness of the methods.
  • Specific and realistic work plan.
  • Specific and realistic plan for scientific publication and dissemination of information.
  • Coordination of the project and composition the research group.
  • Ethical considerations.
  • Feasibility of the budget in relation to the structure of the project and the anticipated results.



• The evaluation of the scientific methods includes the relevance of the methods and their suitability for being able to illuminate gender aspects or other critical perspectives in relation to both the questions examined and the execution of the project.


Scientific competence:

  • Scientific quality of the publications.
  • Ability to carry out the project according to the project plan.
  • Experience of supervision of younger researchers (postdoctoral and doctoral students, as well as degree project students for applicants who are young researchers themselves).
  • Experience of project leadership.
  • National and international activities, including projects, networks, commissions, honorary commissions, participation in or organisation of workshops and conferences.
  • Interest in, experience and ability to disseminate research and research results to stakeholders or users.
  • Strength and competitiveness of the research group.

  • The quality of the scientific publications must be assessed, taking into account the standards within each scientific field.
  • When several researchers collaborate the scientific competence of the individual researchers and the collective scientific competence of the group is assessed.
  • the competence of the researcher or research group to examine gender aspects or other critical perspectives is assessed in relation to both the questions examined and the execution of the project.

Criteria for societal relevance and impact

Societal relevance of the project:

  • The project addresses important socially relevant issues within the focus area of the call.
  • The structure of the project has in a pronounced and relevant manner taken into account the needs of different stakeholders or users.
  • The project can contribute to housing policy for social sustainability over the short- or long-term.



  • Taking into account stakeholder or end-user needs can include reference to, for example, directives, different goals and strategies, or discussion with groups in society.


Focussed communication efforts and interaction with stakeholders:

  • The most important areas where an impact can be anticipated have been identified.
  • Clear, realistic and appropriate impact goals have been formulated.
  • Planned efforts (communication efforts or interaction) to enable the impact of the project have been described in detail.
  • Competence of the research group to carry out the planned efforts in relation to the project are described in detail.


Guiding principles for questions the applicant should answer: What efforts are planned to be carried out? Who are these directed towards? Are there different efforts for different stakeholders or groups in society? What is the goal of these efforts? What prior experience does the research group have of working with communicating research results and involving, bringing together to participate or engaging stakeholders. Are there other planned efforts or resources for communication that the project will use?

How is the evaluation process carried out?

Formas evaluates the applications in accordance with the instructions and stipulations stated in the respective call announcement text. The research must be of relevance to the sustainable development of society and must be of the highest scientific quality. To read more about the evaluation process click here.

Decision about grant awards

The Formas Scientific Council will make its decisions about grant funding at the Scientific Council meeting on 13 June 2018. The decisions will be published shortly afterwards on the Formas website. Decisions cannot be appealed.

The Prisma application system

Applications are submitted using the application system Prisma. A personal account is needed to be able to create an application in Prisma.
Link to Prisma

The application must contain the following information:

Basic information:

  • The years that the application is for
  • Project title in Swedish and English (200 characters)
  • Popular science description in Swedish (4500 characters)
  • Summary in Swedish and English (1500 characters each)
  • Summary of how gender or other critical perspectives are integrated into the project (1500 characters)


Research programme:

  • Goals and objectives of the project and a background description containing a summary overview of the research area. Describe also here how the purpose of the project and the issues examined relate to gender and other critical perspectives.
  • Project description, including project design, theory, methods, performance and a plan for scientific publication. Describe how gender or other critical perspectives are integrated into the performance of the project in terms of, for example, choice of method, theory etc. Include the following points if these are regarded to be relevant for the project: i) brief description of existing and requirements for any basic equipment, ii) summary description of national and international collaborations, iii) confirmation that international agreements and regulations will be complied with, iv) principal supervisor, if funding for a doctoral student is requested in the application.
  • Description of the potential societal benefits of the project, focussed communication efforts and interaction with stakeholders. Describe here the groups that the research is relevant for, how these will potentially be included in the research and how the results of the project will be communicated. Describe also how the potential impact of the research will affect different groups in society. (8000 characters).
  • References included in the narrative text describing the points above are stated in a separate field (4000 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 of the subsequent years. Note that Formas does not grant funding for annual salary increases.
  • State the proportion of activity in the project for all participants, even for project participants who contribute with services in-kind or have other funding for performing the project.
  • Specify running costs and costs for premises (if costs for premises are not included in OH-costs) according to the practice at the grant administrating organisation.
  • Specify equipment depreciation costs if relevant for the application.
  • State indirect costs directly in the project budget according to the practice of the grant administrating organisation. Indirect costs are considered to be overhead costs (OH-costs). Formas does not permit OH- costs to be included in equipment depreciation costs or costs for premises.
  • Budget specification. Here a description justifying all salary costs and other costs is required. A description of the total budget for the project, including funding from other sources, must also be described.
  • All other costs must be clearly justified, such as participation at conferences, publication via Open Access of both publications and data, etc. 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 should be indicated. Here funding that is not applied for from Formas but is of relevance for the project should 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

The applicant should always state whether the project includes specific ethical aspects. If this is the case, the ethical issues in question and the way they will be treated in the context of the research must be described. This may be a matter of research that involves the utilization of personal data, for example, or experiments on humans or animals. Read more about ethical considerations in Formas General Instructions.


  • 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.
  • Select at least one, and at most five, key word(s) to describe the project.

Grant administrating organisations

Select your grant administrating organisation and add the project department or unit where the project is based. Read more about the Formas requirements for grant administrating organisations in Formas General Instructions.

  • Approved grant administrating organisations are pre-listed in a menu in Prisma. If your research organisation is not included in the list, contact your organisation. Your organisation must create an organisation account in Prisma.
  • A registered application is automatically sent to the grant administering organisation for approval once the call closes. The grant administrating organisation then has seven calendar days to sign the application.

Review panels

These cannot be selected. The review panel will be selected by Formas.


  • The main applicant invites participating researchers (i.e. researchers who are are considered to be co-applicants) and participating administrators (not a part of the project, but persons who help you fill out the application form). Participants must themselves be registered and have their own personal account in Prisma. The main applicant invites participants 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. Participating researchers add their CV-information from their personal account in Prisma and should ensure that their CV in Prisma is complete and up to date. 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: doctoral students, postdoctoral students, and exam project students; state the total number in each respective category and provide the names of the most relevant supervisions (max. 10).
    • Grants awarded in competition, state the most relevant grants (max. 10).
    • Prizes and awards, state the most relevant grants (max. 10).
    • Additional merits, including information about publications: Here the main applicant and the participating researchers must state the number of their publications over the past 5-year period and the total number of publications if the applicants have been active within the profession for a period longer than five years (max. 800 characters). This must 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). Under additional merits other merits relevant to the application may also be listed, such as documented experience of collaboration and research communication (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. Be aware that the publications must be linked from the applicants' personal accounts in Prisma.


Call closing date

The call will close on 16 January 2018 at 2 pm. It is advisable to generate your application in Prisma well in advance in order to be able to receive help if any problem should occur. Be aware that over the Christmas period Formas has limited support available. Applications can be reviewed in advance at any time during the process. Up until the call closes it is possible to retract the application and make changes to it. Be aware that it is not possible to make any additions to the application after the call has closed.

Dialogue meeting about the call

There will be two dialogue meetings and match making opportunities, which Formas will announce on the calendar page on the website. The first occasion will take be on 18 October 2017 in Uppsala.

Contact information

Responsible Senior Research Officer:
Emma Holmqvist
Telephone: +46(0)8-775 40 32, +46(0)76-146 37 38

Administrative assistance:
Anna Kuznetcova
Research Administrator
Telephone: +46 (0)76-000 24 95

Technical support
Prisma user support  

Emma Holmqvist