Sustainable food production and consumption
Last day of application: 05/04/2016
Day of decision: 27/09/2016
The Swedish Research Council Formas announces the availability of SEK 50 million over a five year period (2016-2020) for research projects within the area of food, including nutrition. The purpose of the call is to support research and development related to societal challenges and global sustainability goals within the area. The call is also aimed at augmenting the capacity of young researchers and promoting collaborations between stakeholders within the area.
Decision list (only in Swedish)
- Inga Thorsdottir, Dean of Faculty, University of Iceland
- Alan Friis, Tech4Bizz / National Food Insititute, Technical University of Denmark
- Ann Detmer, DHI
- Chris Gill, Ulster University
- Edith Feskens, Wageningen University
- Elisabet Rytter, The Swedish Food Federation
- Hannu Salovaara, University of Helsinki
- Inge Tetens, National Food Insititute, Technical University of Denmark
- Kirsten Brandt, University of Newcastle
- Kjell Inge Reitan, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology
- Kjell Ivarsson, Federation of Swedish Farmers
- Liesbet Vranken, University of Leuven
- Line Gordon, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University
- Maria Frostling-Henningsson, Stockholm Business School
- Pia Lindeskog, The Swedish Public Health Agency
- Sirpa Kurppa, National resources institute Finland (LUKE) / University of Helsinki
An update of the application system Prisma has entailed smaller changes regarding the titles of participants within a project. Please pay attention to these changes as well as the related clarifications in the call text under “Application in Prisma” (Budget and Participation).
Broadcast from the information meeting about the call
Description of the call
The global population is expected to increase by a further 1 000 million by the year 2030. An ever increasing population imposes demands for increased food production and demographical changes also result in new consumer behaviour patterns. Concomitantly the negative effects of food production and consumption on society, the environment and climate are becoming increasingly obvious. Use of resources must be more efficient and new, more sustainable solutions, products and business models must be developed. It is a paradox that people in some parts of the world are starving while the amount of food that is thrown away globally is so great that it is estimated it could feed the hungry population many times over. An ageing population, in combination with a high prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases that to a large extent result from poor nutrition, also imposes a demand for more knowledge about, and better access to, nutritious and healthy food. Everyone should have the right to sufficient, healthy and safe food. To increasing extents consumers are also demanding food production that is also sustainable from an ethical point of view. Several of the UN global sustainability goals for 2030 concern the food production area to a high degree and are aimed at eliminating hunger, securing access to food, achieving improved nutrition, promoting sustainable farming and water use, reducing food waste and providing access to safe and clean drinking water for everyone. The new climate agreement also concerns the food sector. Both our food production and consumption must be climate-adapted. At the same time primary production in Sweden suffers from a lack of profitability and the food industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world. The Swedish Government is therefore preparing a national food strategy that will improve competitiveness and increase employment within the sector.
Meeting societal and economic challenges related to the food sector while simultaneously protecting our planet requires more knowledge. Formas, the Research Council for sustainable development, has the remit of promoting and supporting research and development in the areas of the Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning. Food research is an important part of Formas’ responsibility areas, and Formas has therefore taken the initiative to announce a strategic call within the area of food, including nutrition research, to support sustainable food production and consumption.
The purpose of the call
The purpose of the call is to support food research, including nutrition research, related to societal challenges and global sustainability goals. The call supplements the food and nutrition research funded by Formas via the annual open call by enabling larger and longer projects with wider perspectives. The call is thematically broad and relevant applications are welcome within the natural sciences, technology, agricultural sciences, medicine and health sciences, social sciences and human studies areas. The research could for example concern the sustainable production chain, resource usage, the interactions of food production and consumption with the climate, plant and water protection issues, research to achieve improved food safety and quality, patterns of consumer behaviour, consumer values and acceptance, or food for health and nutrition. Formas welcomes disciple-specific, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary projects. Project that combine social, ecological and economic sustainability perspectives are encouraged.
Provision of knowledge and collaboration are often highlighted as important factors in strengthening the food and nutrition area in general. To strengthen the area over the long-term the call therefore also aims to stimulate and support the capacity of young researchers and to promote collaboration between research groups and research disciplines, as well as between many different stakeholders within the area and in related areas nationally and internationally. The call requires that the applicant, or as a minimum a participating researcher, has been awarded his or her doctoral degree within a maximum of eight years prior to the application date (1 January 2008 at the earliest), or alternatively that the project includes funding of a doctoral student or postdoctoral position (read more under the headings “Who can apply” and “What funding can be applied for” below). Collaboration is encouraged and is assessed according to the criteria stated below (see the section “Evaluation of the application”.
Application contents and project execution
Information about what the application should contain, eligibility, what funding can be applied for and how the application will be evaluated is provided below. Read the information carefully. More information about the application in Formas' new system, Prisma, can be found under the heading "Application in Prisma". Further information concerning Formas general guidelines for applicants, approved grant administrating organisations and support for registering and applying in Prisma can be found at the end of the call text.
What funding can be applied for
Support can be granted for research and development projects that fall within the framework of the call. Grants can be sought for costs that are associated with the execution of the project, such as salary costs for researchers or doctoral students, travel, conferences and workshops, sample collection, analysis, equipment under SEK 500 000, premises and other related costs (but not for scholarships or education grants for research students). Grants can also be sought for costs related to publication 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.
Note also that for this call the application must fulfil at least one of the following criteria:
- The applicant or participating researcher has been awarded his or her doctoral degree within a maximum of eight years prior to the application date (01 January 2008 at the earliest). Parental leave, illness, public service or other similar circumstance that has prevented research activities during the period following the award of the doctoral degree should be specified in the submitted CV and may constitute reason for exemption from the eight year rule.
- The project includes the funding of a doctoral student position (max. 3 years full-time)
- The project includes the funding of a postdoctoral position
Salary for doctoral students can be awarded for up to three years full-time. 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 means that further funding for salary cannot be awarded for a researcher, doctoral student or other project staff member who is already receiving entire salary funding from Formas or from another research funding body.
In this call funding can also be sought for costs related to collaborative activities.
For development projects specific conditions apply. 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.
Guidelines for funding amounts
The purpose of the call is to supplement the food research funded by Formas via the annual open call by enabling larger and longer projects with wider perspectives. The project applications in this call may be for up to an average of SEK 2 million per year over the total number of years of project duration (max. 5 years, 2016-2020). If the total amount applied for exceeds an average annual amount of SEK 2 million the application will be rejected.
Who can apply
The grants awarded by Formas can only be administered by a Swedish university or university college, or by another Swedish public organisation that fulfils the grant administrating organisation eligibility requirements of Formas (read more about Formas requirements for grant administrating organisations). The applicant (the project leader) and any participating researchers must have a doctoral degree. Other staff members participating in the project, such as a participating administrator, assistant or the like do not need to have a doctoral degree. If the project does not include the funding of a doctoral student or postdoctoral position the applicant or participating researcher must have been awarded his or her doctoral degree within a maximum of eight years prior to the application date (01 January 2008 at the earliest). There is no age limit for applicants, but fully retired researchers cannot obtain funds for their salary from Formas.
Note that the restrictions for the maximum permitted working hours in the project and the maximum number of simultaneously ongoing Formas projects (stated in the Formas Handbook 2015 for the annual open call) do not apply for this strategic call.
What the application must contain
Applications must include a clear description of the project:
- The aim and objectives of the project
- How the project will be executed
- The societal relevance of the project – potential societal value and dissemination of the research
- CV and publication list for the applicant and any participating researchers
For additional information about the contents of the application please see the headline "Application in Prisma" below.
Evaluation of the application
The applications will be evaluated by an international review panel comprising active researchers and people with competence to assess the relevance of the research. Each application is evaluated according to the criteria for scientific quality (research question, methods and performance and scientific competence) and the criteria for societal relevance (the potential societal value of the research question and communication of the research with stakeholders and users). The fairness of the budget is evaluated in relation to the structure of the project and the anticipated results. Note that the application will be refused if the project budget exceeds an average of SEK 2 million per year over the total number of years of duration of the project. The application will also be refused if it is deemed to fall outside of the framework of the call or if the application fails to fulfil at least one of the criteria for the promotion of young researchers (see the above headline "What funding can be applied for").
More information about grounds for early refusal or rejection of an application can be found in Formas General instructions. 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.
Criteria for Scientific Quality
The research question
- Scientific significance of the aim
- Originality and novelty of the aim, theory and hypotheses
- Potential for scientifically significant outcomes
- Aim in line with the call
- Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches should be considered as being advantageous when appropriate for the research question
- Gender perspectives, class, ethnicity or other social aspects should be included when appropriate to the research question
Methods and performance
- Feasibility and adequacy of the scientific methods
- Innovativeness of the methodology
- Concrete and realistic work plan
- Concrete and realistic plan for scientific publication and dissemination of information
- Coordination of the project and the research group
- Suitability of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches
- Ethical considerations
- Fairness of the budget in relation to the structure of the project and the anticipated results
- The feasibility and adequacy of scientific approaches and methods should be primarily considered
- 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 management
- National and international activities, including projects, networks, assignments, honorary commissions, participation in or organisation of workshops and conferences
- Interest in, experience and ability to communicate research and research results to stakeholders/users
- Strength and competitiveness of the research group
- The quality of the scientific publications should 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
Criteria for societal relevance:
Potential societal value of the research question
- The research question addresses important societal/sector issues within the call topic, nationally and/or internationally
- The project may, over a short-term or long-term perspective, contribute to sustainable development nationally and/or internationally
- Stakeholder/user needs have been taken into account in the design of the project
- The objectives are consistent with the call
- Awareness of stakeholder/user needs may comprise references to e.g. directives, environmental objectives and strategies, as well as discussions with relevant stakeholders/users
Communication with stakeholders/users
- Description of relevant stakeholders/users
- Specific and realistic plan for the involvement of relevant stakeholders/users in the project and for the communication of the research and its results to these parties
- Stakeholders/users must be regarded in a broad sense as actors outside and/or sometimes also inside the scientific community (depending on whether the project has a more basic research or applied research character), nationally as well as internationally, who can benefit from the research results or facilitate their future use in society
- Communication with stakeholders/users may take different forms and have different time scales depending on the research topic addressed, but should include different forms of dialogue with stakeholders and potential users of the research and the research results
Formas' Scientific Council is expected to reach a decision on 27 September 2016. The decisions will be announced shortly afterwards on Formas' website. Decisions about grant awards cannot be appealed.
All project leaders receive a written statement as feedback from the review panel. This consists of:
- A score for each criteria
- An overall score
- A short written comment
Reporting of projects awarded funding
Formas will demand reporting of each of the projects granted funding according to guidelines that will be notified. The applicant, or alternatively other participating researcher, in projects granted funding is expected to participate in seminars and workshops held by Formas for this call.
Application in Prisma
Applications are submitted directly in the application system Prisma. The applicant (the project leader) initiates the application in Prisma. Formas recommends that applications are written in English as they will be evaluated by an international panel of experts. The popular science description and a brief summary of the project must however be submitted in both Swedish and English. If the application is written entirely in Swedish the application may be translated into English by Formas.
Please note that the call closes and applications must be registered in Prisma by 2 pm on 5 April 2016. Technical support is open until the call closes. Make sure that applications are submitted in good time prior to 2 pm on the final submission day in order to receive help if a problem should arise. The grant administrating organisation must sign the application in Prisma within seven days after the call closes.
- Number of years the project can apply funding for (max. 5 years)
- Project title in Swedish and English (200 characters)
- Popular science description in Swedish (4 500 characters)
- Summary in Swedish and English (2 500 characters)
In the application the research programme for the project is described under three headings:
- Project aim and objectives (max. 8 000 characters)
Under this heading the problem formulation of the research project in relation to the focus of the call is described, as well as the aims of the project, originality and objectives. A background description that includes an overview of the research area, including key references, should also be included here. Gender equality aspects should be taken into consideration in project proposals where this is relevant.
- Project plan (max. 15 000 characters)
The work plan and structure of the project should be described under this heading, which means a description of the theory, methods and how the project will be performed. State also if any specific fundamental equipment is required for the project and if this is available or if funding is intended to be sought for this. Where relevant, confirm in advance that international agreements and regulations will be complied with and state if any ethical considerations have been addressed.
- Societal relevance and research communication (max. 7 000 characters)
Provide a description of the societal benefit of the project under this heading, as well as a plan for how communication with stakeholders and potential users will take place. Describe briefly the national and international collaborations and collaborative activities that are relevant for the project.
Formas General instructions
Note that the application will be evaluated according to Formas' review criteria, see above under the heading Evaluation of the application. It is therefore strongly recommended that all of these criteria are explicitly and clearly addressed in the application. 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.
Project applications in this call may be for up to an average of SEK 2 million per year over the total number of years of project duration (max. 5 years, 2016-2020). Summarize and justify the funding amounts applied for in the application according to the following:
- Salaries, including social-security contributions (in whole numbers of SEK), for each project participant. Please choose roles in the project from the following options: applicant, participating researcher (postdocs included), participating administrator, PhD student, other personnel with a doctoral degree and other personnel without a doctoral degree.
- 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. Note that the activity level cannot be lower than the percentage of the salary that is applied for. Please choose roles in the project from the following options: applicant, participating researcher, postdoc, participating administrator, PhD student, other personnel with a doctoral degree and other personnel without a doctoral degree.
- Salaries, including social-security contributions (in whole numbers of SEK), for each project participant
- 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. Note that the activity level cannot be lower than the percentage of the salary that is applied for.
- Specify running costs and any costs for premises (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 refer to overhead costs and must be stated in accordance with the cost calculation model used by the host university/research organisation. Formas does not permit overhead costs to be included in equipment depreciation costs or costs for premises.
- The justification of the budget should include:
- Description of the total budget for the project, including funding from other sources
- Job descriptions for all people involved in the project. For doctoral studies the main supervisor must also be stated
- Justification of salary costs
- Description of running costs, for example travel to participate in conferences and for research exchange visits and collaborative activities
Participants may remain unnamed. Note that 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 university/research institute should be used. Formas does not grant funding for annual salary increases.
Animal and human trials are described when these are relevant to the execution of the project. Formas General instructions
Select the subject area and add a subheading. Then select at least one SCB code with two sub-levels to create the combined code (a maximum of three combined SCB codes can be selected). Finally, provide at least three, and at most five, key words that describe the project.
In general the application does not require appendices. If the applicant wants to describe the project using figures, tables or images that are difficult to include in the project information, appendices may be uploaded. A PDF of a maximum file size of 4 MB can be uploaded, as well as images in the formats JPEG, PNG, GIF up to a total size of 4 MB.
Grant administrating organisation
- Select your grant administrating organisation and add the project department or institute.
- 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 assign your application to an authorized representative for signature.
Formas requirements for grant administrating organisations
No choice is available. The review panel is selected by Formas.
The applicant (the project leader) can invite a participant by searching for his/her first-name, surname and e-mail address in Prisma (please note that the exact spelling of names and e-mail addresses is necessary). Participants have to create their own user account in Prisma. Invited participating researchers as well as named postdocs can then connect posts from their CV in their user profile to the application. A participating administrator can also be invited to help completing the application form. This person does not have to include a CV for assessment.
Information relevant to the application is connected from each applicant's profile. No separate CV in PDF-format is uploaded for this application. The applicant(s) should however link information from his/her profile to the application by clicking Edit and connecting the following information:
- Education: Research education, education at basic and advanced levels, as well as any specialist qualifications.
- Employments: 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:
- Docentur (Associate professor)
- Supervised persons: doctoral students, postdocs, and degree project students (primarily for applicants who are themselves young researchers); state the total number in each respective category and provide the names of a maximum of the ten most relevant.
- Funding awarded in a competitive context, a maximum of the ten most relevant grants.
- Awards and distinctions, a maximum of the ten most relevant.
- Other merits, including bibliometric summary: Here the applicant(s) 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 should include the following:
- H-index and any other relevant citation calculation scales (state according to which database: Web of Science, Scopus or Google Scholar).
- 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). For younger researchers, state also the number of publications with and without the co-authorship of the supervisor.
- Any other publications/citation specifications relevant to the research field of the applicant.
Under other merits, state also additional merits relevant to the application such as popular science texts and documented experience of stakeholder 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.
Publications: State a maximum of the ten most relevant publications. Note that publications are linked to the application in Prisma and should not be uploaded as a separate attachment.
The call closes and applications must be registered in Prisma by 2 pm on 05 April 2016 at the latest. Supplementary information or revisions of the application will not be accepted after the application has been registered.
Note that the Formas Handbook 2015 Part A does not apply for this call. Guidelines for reviewers in the Formas Handbook 2015 Part B do however still apply for this call, but the evaluation criteria in section 17.3 have been ammended (according to the above, in "Evaluation of the application").
Formas General instructions
Formas requirements for grant administrating organisations
Formas instructions for using Prisma
Prisma user support
Apply for grants (in Prisma)
Erika Ax, Senior Research Officer, Formas
Telephone: +46 (0)8 775 40 26
Berit Lundquist, Research Administrator, Formas
Telephone: +46 (0)8 775 40 56
Prisma IT support