Given decision

Knowledge about and for climate efforts in society

Last day of application: 15/08/2017

Day of decision: 09/11/2017

Within the framework of the National Research Programme for Climate Formas announces a grant funding call of SEK 46.5 million over 3 years (2017–2019) within two sub-calls: Syntheses that describe the knowledge status and knowledge needs of both climate change and climate efforts in society, and research projects that address knowledge about and for climate efforts in society.

Decision list 2017-11-09

Programme background

The National Research Programme for Climate will contribute to achieving Sweden's objective to become a fossil fuel-free welfare society and the ambition to be a leading participant in global efforts to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. The programme is run in collaboration with other relevant research funding organisations and stakeholders. Calls will be announced continuously during the ten year duration of the programme. This is the first call within the programme.

Purpose of the call

Climate efforts require knowledge about climate change, the effects of these changes and possible solutions. Scientific knowledge and climate efforts concern multiple and often complex issues that are constantly developing. One purpose of the call is to map out the current knowledge status and knowledge needs, within the broad area of climate research, that are particularly relevant to climate efforts.

This scientific knowledge must also be able to be utilised in climate efforts. A second purpose of the call is therefore to identify how knowledge can have an impact within society and how different practical actions and societal initiatives can be translated into sustainable solutions. This concerns in particular societal, social and cultural issues concerning how people and stakeholders within the public sector, private sector and civil society understand, communicate and utilise knowledge about climate change and climate efforts.

The two sub-calls

Syntheses: Knowledge status and knowledge needs within the area of climate research

This sub-call welcomes syntheses that describe current knowledge for any specific topic within climate research that is of relevance for society's climate efforts. Synthesis applications are welcome within technical and engineering sciences, natural sciences, the humanities and social sciences. The syntheses can be disciplinary or interdisciplinary. Relevant users should preferably be included in the work. A complete synthesis should contain:

  • analysis of the current state of knowledge about a relevant research topic,
  • identification of knowledge gaps,
  • analysis of why these knowledge gaps are important to address climate efforts.

The evaluation panel will apply a portfolio assessment approach for the purpose of ensuring diversity in the research topics addressed. If several applications are submitted that address similar research topics these will then be evaluated in relation to each other.

Guidelines for project funding amounts: 1–1.5 million SEK/year

Project duration: 1 year

Budget: Up to 10.5 million SEK


Research projects: Knowledge about and for climate efforts in society

This sub-call aims to facilitate a better understanding of what is needed for societal climate transition and transformation, and for knowledge to have an impact in climate efforts. This issue is particularly relevant for research within social sciences, humanities and artistic research.

The research should be ground-breaking concerning how, when and why people and stakeholders within the public sector, the private sector and civil society understand, interpret, communicate and shape, react to or resist knowledge about climate change, and its consequences for society's climate efforts. This could, for example, concern the knowledge that can be gained from conflicts of interest and consensus solutions within climate efforts, how scientific uncertainties are dealt with in different contexts, or the importance of different power relations in climate efforts.

The research project may also address how different practical actions or initiatives can be understood and configured into sustainable solutions for climate efforts. Examples of this can be comparisons between Swedish and international climate efforts, or studies of the initiatives of different groups and stakeholders within society. The project may also be about cultural representations and the importance of the media, as well as the role of artistic representations in climate efforts. The project may also be about issues that concern governance and policy processes within climate efforts at different levels in society.

Users should preferentially be included in the project. Gender equality and gender or other critical perspectives must be included in the research topic whenever relevant.

Guidelines for project funding amounts up to 3 million SEK/year

Project duration 1–3 years

Budget: Up to 12 million SEK/year


Indicative budget for each respective call sub-call

The budgets stated for the respective sub-calls should be regarded as indicative and may be adjusted between the sub-calls depending on the number and quality of the applications submitted.

Note that it is possible to apply for funding in this call even if you have already been granted funding for an ongoing project within a Formas annual open call. The total salary amount provided by funding support from Formas may however never exceed 100% of a full-time position.

Guidelines for application

What the application must contain (there are two sub-calls, one for syntheses and one for research projects. Use the correct application form).

  • Project objectives and purpose
  • Project description
  • Potential societal benefit of the project and communication with stakeholders/end users
  • 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 review panels of Formas have an international composition and applications in Swedish will be translated into English before they are given to the review 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 however be written in Swedish, and the brief project description must be written both in Swedish and in English.

Evaluation of the application

The applications are assessed by an international review panel that is composed of active scientists and people with the competence to assess the relevance of the research. The applications are evaluated according to criteria for scientific quality and criteria for societal relevance. 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.

Criteria for Scientific Quality

Research topic 

  • Scientific importance of the objectives
  • Originality and novelty of the objectives, theory and hypotheses
  • Potential for scientifically significant results
  • Objectives are appropriate for the call.


  • Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach shall be positively considered where appropriate for the research topic addressed
  • Gender perspective, class, ethnicity and other social aspects shall be included in the research topic addressed whenever possible.

Methods and performance

  • The feasibility of performance and suitability of the scientific methods
  • The novelty of the method
  • Specific and realistic work plan
  • Specific and realistic work plan for scientific publication and dissemination of information
  • Coordination of the project and research group
  • Suitability of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach
  • Ethical considerations
  • Budget feasibility with regard to the structure of the project and anticipated results.


  • The feasibility and suitability of scientific methods must primarily be considered. 

Scientific competence

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


  • The quality of scientific publications shall be assessed with regard to the standards within each research area
  • When several researchers collaborate the competence of each scientist and the collective scientific competence of the group shall be assessed

Criteria for societal relevance 

Potential societal value of the research topic

  • The research topic addresses important societal/sector issues within the focus area of the call, nationally and/or internationally
  • The project over the short-term or long-term can contribute to sustainable development, nationally and/or internationally
  • Stakeholder/user needs have been considered in the design of the project
  • The objectives are consistent with the call. 


  • Awareness of stakeholder/user needs can include reference to to e.g. directives, environmental objectives, global sustainability targets and strategies, as well as discussions with relevant stakeholders/users. 

Communication with stakeholders/users

  • Description of relevant stakeholders/users
  • Specific and realistic plan for involving relevant stakeholders/users in the project and for communication of the research and its results to stakeholders/users. 


  • Stakeholders/users shall be defined in a broader meaning as actors external to and/or sometimes also internal to the research community (depending on whether the project is of a more basic research or applied nature) nationally as well as internationally, who can benefit from the research results or facilitate the future use of the results in society
  • Communication with stakeholders/users can be by different means and over different time-frames, depending on the research topic addressed, but should include different forms of dialogue with stakeholders and potential users of the research and research results. 

Detailed information about the Formas evaluation criteria and application assessment process

Decision about grant awards

The Formas Scientific Council plans to make its decision about grant awards on 9th November 2017. 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
  • Number of years that the application is for (this is different for syntheses and research projects)
  • Project title in Swedish and English (200 characters)
  • Popular science description in Swedish (4500 characters)
  • Summary in Swedish and English (1500 characters)

Be aware that the starting date for the project is set in Prisma and cannot be altered, as funding for the entire first year of the project will be paid out in 2017. Funding for research projects may however be used one year after the project period ends, and final reporting takes place a further 3 months after that. For syntheses funding may be used 6 months after the project period ends.

Research projects and syntheses (two different application forms)

  • The goals and objectives of the project and a background description containing a summary overview of the research area, including key references (7 000 characters).
  • Project description (including references) that includes project design, theory, methods, performance and a plan for scientific publication (15 000 characters). Include the following points if these are regarded to be relevant to the project: i) brief description of existing basic equipment, ii) summary description of national and international collaborations, iii) confirmation that international agreements and regulations are complied with, iv) gender aspects, v) principal supervisor, if funding for a doctoral student is requested in the application.
  • Description of the potential societal benefits of the project and planned communication with stakeholders/users (8 000 characters).
  • References (4 000 characters).


  • Salary, including social-security contributions (in whole numbers of SEK) applied for from Formas for this project 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 of the subsequent years. Note that Formas does not grant funding for annual salary increases.
  • State the proportion of activity in the project. This demonstrates if the project participants contribute with services in-kind or have other funding for performing the project.
  • Specify running costs and costs for premises (in whole numbers of SEK) 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 (in whole numbers of SEK) 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 short motivation for 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 applied for must be clearly explained, such as participation in conferences, publication in Open Access, etc.

Ethical considerations

These are stated only when relevant to the performance of the project. Read more in Formas General Instructions.


  1. Select a subject area.
  2. Then select at least one, but at most three, SCB codes.
  3. Finally, select at least one, but at most five, key word(s) to describe the project.

Open Access  

Research results published through Open Access on the Internet are available for anyone to read and download. Researchers who receive funding from Formas must guarantee that their research results will be available through Open Access within six months of publication.

Formas recommends that all data or metadata generated within research projects funded by Formas are made available, as long as this does not contravene national legislation concerning personal data. Formas policy for open access to research data.


  • Appendix J. If figures, tables or images are needed to describe the proposed project, these may be uploaded as an appendix. A maximum appendix size of 4 MB can be uploaded in jpg, png or gif format.
  • Appendix K. Climate and environmental data. This appendix is mandatory for all applications concerning climate and environmental research where data collection is included as an important aspect of the project. Appendix K – Climate and environmental data.


Grant administrating organisations

  • Select your grant administrating organisation and add the project department or unit where the project is based. Find out more about Formas requirements for grant administrating organisations.
  • Approved grant administrating organisations are pre-listed in a menu 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 the application has been registered and the call closes your grant administrating organisation will automatically receive your application. The grant administrating organisation then has seven weekdays to sign the application.

Applicants and participants

The main applicant invites participating researchers (the researchers who are the co-applicants for the project). Participating researchers must have their own personal account in Prisma. The main applicant invites participants by searching their name and e-mail in Prisma (note that the correct spelling of names and e-mails is required). More information in Formas' General instructions.


The applicant retrieves the information from his/her personal profile that is relevant for the current application. It is also important to notify any potential participating researchers well in advance that they must review and revise their own CV in Prisma so that this is complete and current.

  • Education: Post-graduate (doctoral) education, undergraduate and graduate education.
  • Employment: state current position and longer-term relevant previous positions, postdoctoral fellowships, research exchange positions relevant for the research described and any longer-term research career breaks (such as parental leave, illness, military service or political service).
  • Merits and awards:
    • Associate professorships
    • Supervision of personnel: doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows and degree project students; list the total numbers in each respective category and name a maximum of the ten most relevant
    • Competitive grant awards, list a maximum of the ten most relevant.
    • Prizes and awards, list a maximum of the ten most relevant.
    • Other merits including a bibliography summary: here the main applicant and the participating researchers must provide a brief summary of their bibliographic profiles for the past 5-year period, and total publications if the applicant's active scientific research career is longer than five years (maximum 800 characters, including blank spaces). 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), 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 communication, a maximum of the ten most relevant.
  • Intellectual property: for example patents and self-developed public access software programmes, list a maximum of the ten most relevant.

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.


Apply in Prisma

The call closes and applications must be registered in Prisma by 15th August 2017 at 2 pm. Generate your application in Prisma preferably well in advance in order to be able to receive help if any problem should occur. Applications can be reviewed in advance at any time during the process. Be aware that it is not possible to make any additions to the application after it has been registered.

The grant administrating organisation must sign the application within seven weekdays. The application will only be available for the grant administrating organisation to sign after the call has closed. The application will therefore not be signed, even if you have registered it well in advance of the deadline. This is because you have the possibility up until the deadline to rescind your application and make changes to it.

Dialogue meeting about the call

Formas will hold a dialogue meeting on 29th May 2017 to provide the opportunity to ask questions about the call and have discussions with us in person. More information (In Swedish) about the meeting and how to register to attend can be found in the Formas calendar.

Contact information

Maria Alm, Senior Research Officer, Formas
Telephone: +46 (0)8-775 40 48

Sandro Caruso, Senior Research Officer, Formas
Telephone: +46 (0)8-775 40 64

Administrative assistance
Pernilla Hjerth Elgström, Senior Research Administrator, Formas
Telephone: +46 (0)8-775 40 33

Technical support
Prisma support

Maria Alm