Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
We answer the most common questions we are asked about Formas' annual open call.
Changes in Formas’ annual open call for 2023
Are you the main applicant (project manager) for an ongoing research project that Formas is funding? Following changes regarding eligibility might affect you if you want to apply for a grant from us.
The change means that if you already are a project leader for an ongoing research project with funding from one or more of Formas' calls you will not be able to be the main applicant (project leader) in our annual open call 2023. A check of ongoing research projects is carried out after the annual open call closes on March 30. However, the restriction will not apply to all types of project grants from Formas. Here is more detailed information about the changes:
You must not be the main applicant in the annual open call for 2023 if you meet these criteria:
- You are the main applicant (project leader) for an ongoing project grant which grant period includes the year 2024. A project is ongoing as long as it receives funding from Formas (pay-out period). Note that the grant period is not the same as the grant availability period. This restriction applies only to main applicants, not to participating researchers (co-applicants).
- Your project has been awarded a grant through one of Formas’ calls with any of the following focus areas (exceptions are listed under the next heading):
- Targeted calls (riktad utlysning in Swedish)
- Any of the national research programmes, for Climate, Sustainable Spatial Planning, Food and Oceans and Water. (In Swedish: Nationellt forskningsprogram: Nationella forskningsprogrammet för hav och vatten, Nationella forskningsprogrammet för hållbart samhällsbyggande, Nationella forskningsprogrammet för klimat och Nationella forskningsprogrammet för livsmedel)
- Calls with focus area Researcher-initiated, where the type of grant is a Research project, a Mobility grant for early-career researchers, or a Research project for early-career researchers. (Inriktning: Forskarinitierad och bidragsformer Forskningsprojekt, Mobilitetsstöd forskare tidigt i karriären, Forskare tidigt i karriären, in Swedish)
As before, main applicants (project leaders) can only have one ongoing project grant in one of Formas’ annual open calls (for Research projects and Early-career researchers). This is still applicable for 2023.
Project applications for the 2023 open call will be rejected if the main applicant (project leader) has the role of project leader for a previously awarded project which grant period includes the year 2024 in any of the calls to which the restriction applies.
Main applicants can apply for project funding in the 2023 open call if they have an ongoing project grant (regardless of grant period) from any of Formas’ calls with the following focus areas (inriktningar in Swedish):
- Forskarinitierad with type of grant (bidragsform) Akutbidrag
- Globalt samarbete
- Impact innovation
- Nationellt forskningsprogram with type of grant (bidragsform): Nyttiggörandeprojekt, Planeringsbidrag or Synteser
- Riktad utlysning, with type of grant (bidragsform): Nyttiggörandeprojekt, Innovationsprojekt and Innovationstävling
- Strategiska innovationsprogram (Smart Built Environment)
- Stöd till forskningsmiljö within the call "Forskarskolor för hållbart samhällsbyggande 2022"
The restriction does not apply in reverse. As the main applicant (project leader) for an ongoing project with funding from Formas’ open call, you can apply for and be awarded funding in other Formas calls.
- But, you can only have one ongoing project grant as a main applicant (project leader) under Formas’ annual open call, with focus area Research initiated (inriktning forskarinitierad) and type of grant (bidragsform) Research project, Mobility grant for early-career researchers or Research project for early-career researchers (In Swedish bidragsform: forskningsprojekt, forskare tidigt i karriären eller mobilitetsstöd för forskare tidigt i karriären.)
- A project is ongoing as long as it receives funding from Formas (pay-out period). If your Annual open call project is funded for the years 2021, 2022 and 2023 you are qualified to apply for the Annual open call for 2023 and thus have the opportunity for new funds from 2024.
The document (Godkännande av villkor in Swedish), which the main applicant (project leader) received in Prisma when the grant decision was taken, contains information about the focus area "inriktning" and type of grant "bidragsform" under which the project was funded. It also states the grant period’s end date (bidragsperiod in Swedish). An ongoing project grant in 2024 means that the project has a grant period (bidragsperiod in Swedish) in 2024. See the examples below.
To find “Godkännande av villkor” in Prisma, follow these steps:
- In Prisma, open the Applications and grants tab in your account.
- In the left-hand menu, click "Grants".
- Under “Granted applications”, access the current project by clicking "Details".
- Under “Signing”, click Download to download the "Approval of terms" (Godkännande av villkor in Swedish).
Yes, it is possible to apply as the main applicant in both the annual open call and Formas' other calls. However, if you are granted funding in more than one of the calls, and these projects are the same and/or have similar purposes, you can only receive funding for one of them in accordance with Formas' General Terms and Conditions.
No, the restrictions only apply to the person who is the main applicant (project manager) in an ongoing research project.
Frequently asked questions
The themes of the panels are broad, and it is therefore not uncommon that the scope of a project can be related to several panels. You can choose three panels when you create your application in Prisma. You should select the evaluation panel that best suits your research question. Then you can choose two more panels in descending order of priority. If Formas judges that a different review panel than one of the three proposed is better qualified to assess an application, we reserve the right to transfer the application to another review panel.
No, researchers that are working in and are employed by companies and other organisations that carry out economic activities cannot be invited as participating researchers (co-applicant) and cannot be included in the budget for the grant you apply for. Only researchers at a Swedish or foreign university, university college, or research institute can be invited to your project as a participating researcher. However, it is possible to have funding sources from companies in-kind, which means that they do not take part of the grant from Formas.
Yes, research services, technical knowledge, consulting services and corresponding services can be purchased. These should be purchased or licensed from external actors on market terms and be used exclusively for the project. All purchased services must be reported as running costs and they must be reported excluding VAT. Specify running costs in accordance with practices at the administrating organisation. The main applicant should also describe the competence and participation of the person in the budget specification.
Research projects that are judged to be outside of Formas’ areas of responsibility are ineligible to be granted funding and will be rejected before review. This includes research projects that do not clearly relate to environment, agricultural sciences, or spatial planning.
Sustainable energy is a central part of sustainable development. However, within the Annual open call, certain delimitations are made with reference to the three areas of responsibility. The call does not include research projects that aims to/at:
- develop methods or materials for the capture and storage of carbon dioxide (CCS) or the capture and use of carbon dioxide (CCU)
- develop methods for energy conversion or energy storage
- develop new or improved energy carriers, such as fuels, fuels and electricity networks
- energy efficiency of processes where there is no clear and close connection to any of Formas’ three areas of responsibility
- energy efficiency in the transport sector
Yes, in the Annual open call you can be a main applicant in one application and a co-applicant in another. There is no upper limit for the number of applications that you can participate in as long as you are not the main applicant on more than one. However, you are not allowed to receive funding for salaries from Formas which exceeds 100 percent of a full-time position.
Formas also have targeted/thematic calls and you can be the main applicant for a thematic call at the same time as you are a main applicant for the Annual open call.
Formas has introduced a categorisation of the submitted applications according to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. We have chosen to add this categorisation to the application system to facilitate the monitoring and reporting of the research funded by Formas. This facilitates the monitoring of the research we fund and how it contributes to sustainable development and to solve various social challenges. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are part of an international system and categorisation; thus, this will increase the usability of Formas data.
Yes, you may apply for funding up to an average of 1 million SEK per year over the total number of years of project duration for one of the grants for Research projects or Research projects for Early-Career researchers. If the total amount applied for exceeds an average annual amount of 1 million SEK, the application will be rejected.
You can apply for funding for Research projects for a maximum of three years (36 months). You can apply for funding for Research projects for Early-Career researchers for a maximum of four years (48 months).
No, a project must run all year round, that is 12, 24, 36 or 48 months (Grant for Research projects for early-career researchers only).
Yes, it is allowed to subcontract a defined part of the project.
The Annual open call now consists of two grants: Research projects and Research projects for early-career researchers. The rule stating that main applicants (project managers) only can have one ongoing project at a time is applied to both grants.
Main applicants are only allowed to have one ongoing project grant as a main applicant under Formas’ Annual open call (Research projects or Research projects for early-career researchers) which is within the pay-out period. A project is ongoing as long as it receives funding from Formas (pay-out period). If your Annual open call project is funded for the years 2021, 2022 and 2023 you are qualified to apply for the Annual open call for 2023 and thus have the opportunity for new funds from 2024.
However, if your Annual open call project is funded for 2022, 2023 and 2024 you are not qualified to apply in Formas’ Annual open call for 2023. This is because you cannot receive new funds in 2023 as your previous project is still receiving funding from Formas. You have the opportunity to apply for a new project during the last year your ongoing project receives funding from Formas.
It is, however, fine to have an ongoing project from a Formas’ Annual open call if the project’s pay-out period has passed but the availability period is still ongoing in 2024.
Yes, you are still allowed to apply for new funding this year. Prolongation of projects does not affect the project period, only the time you as a main applicant are allowed to use the money.
If you are currently the project manager of an ongoing research project with funding from one or more of Formas’ calls, you will not be able to apply as a main applicant in our annual open call 2023. However, these restrictions will not apply to all types of project grants from Formas. Please find more information about our limitations below Changes in Formas’ annual open call for 2023
Yes, the rule of having maximum one ongoing project only applies to the role of main applicant (project manager).
Weave is a bottom-up, cross-European initiative developed by European research funders to support excellent collaborative research projects across borders. It is supported by Science Europe, the European association of research funding and performing organisations. It is the first time that such a large number of funders develop an initiative to facilitate structured bilateral and trilateral scientific cooperation. It aims to simplify the submission and selection procedures of collaborative research proposals that involve researchers from up to three European countries or regions. It does this by making proposals go through a single evaluation procedure.
Each applicant needs to meet the participation requirements and eligibility criteria defined by their funder. The main applicant must meet the requirements and eligibility criteria defined by their national funder (Lead Agency) and each co-applicant must meet the requirements and eligibility criteria defined by their own national funder (Partner Agency). Formas is part of Weave through the Annual open call and the grant ‘Research projects’. Formas has started the collaboration with Switzerland (SNSF) and Luxembourg (FNR).
Weave – Simplified funding procedures for projects across European borders
Weave is for those that are interested and want to make a collaboration with countries within Weave. It is just an implementation and a continuation on the existing Annual open call - simplifying funding procedures for research projects across European borders.
No, since 2020 it is no longer part of the Annual open call. Instead, the Mobility Grant is now a separate call which opens in the autumn of 2023.
Yes, you can apply for one of the Annual open calls’ grants as well as for the Mobility call. However, you can only be granted one. Remember to check that you are eligible to apply.
No, there is no upper limit for the number of applications that you can participate in as long as you are not the main applicant. However, you are not allowed to receive funding for a salary from Formas which exceeds 100 per cent of a full-time position.
Yes, that is correct. In the budget form you can apply for more than 1 million SEK one year (and then less than 1 million SEK another year), but not more than 3 million SEK in total if it is for a three- year project.
The salary amount applied from Formas cannot exceed 100% of a full-time employment.
The appendix, Illustrations, is for pictures, tables and figures and can be uploaded as one PDF. The total size of the attachment can be a maximum of 4 MB in PDF format. The appendix cannot be used for uploading a CV. The appendix is not mandatory.
It is the date you were conferred and is on your certificate/diploma.
You may still be eligible to apply if you have been prevented from doing research during the period January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2021.Deductible time that may be grounds for granting an exemption from the eight-year rule can include parental leave, sick leave, military service, political duties or other similar circumstances (which Formas deems equivalent). To claim deductible time, you must specify the approved reason(s), time interval(s) and scope with dates, in the CV section of your application.
Formas only performs eligibility checks on registered applications after the call has closed, so, you as an applicant are responsible for calculating the deductible time yourself.
Yes. In the budget you can add the salary increase per year or calculate an average. It is important that you explain this in the budget specification.
No. Salary costs only refer to staff for whom there is an employment relationship. All purchased services must be reported as running costs and they must be reported excluding VAT.
When a project is carried out in other countries, you must follow the laws and regulations that apply in that country, and this is what you must confirm in the description of the project. This may, for example, be about which means of transportation are permitted in an area where one is to travel to in order to measure biological diversity or which animal welfare laws apply if one is to carry out an animal experiment.
Yes, it is possible to have co-applicants from different countries and universities. However, grants can only be administered by Swedish universities, university colleges, research institutes or authorities with research undertakings. It means that the main applicant must have an employment at a Swedish university while utilizing the funds.
If funds will be transferred from the grant administrating organisation to another organisation that participates in the project, the overhead cost of each organisation can be applied. Declare and specify the different overhead costs in the budget specification. The total overhead costs for the project should be stated in the budget table.
Yes, it is correct that an average value should be calculated for the entire project time. Then specify the salary cost per year in the budget specification.