Governing documents

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As a governmental, tax-financed research council Formas is accountable to the general public for all of the work that is performed and also for how this work is carried out.

The Formas Ethical Policy and Ethical Guidelines are intended to provide guidance for all who participate in the activities of the research council: members of the Scientific Council, review panel members and employees of Formas. Everyone covered by our policies and guidelines are responsible for ensuring that their activities comply with these policies and guidelines.

The work performed by Formas and the various bodies of Formas (i.e. representatives of Formas) must be performed in a transparent, impartial and professional manner. Decisions shall be based on best scientific and professional practices, after taking all views into consideration. Submitted documents shall be processed impartially and in accordance with the Formas guidelines.

It is not possible to anticipate every individual situation and question that may arise with regard to the review of applications and the awarding of funding. It is therefore essential the members of the Formas Scientific Council, the various bodies within Formas and the employees of Formas discuss problems and are supported by certain common and general guidelines.

Ethical guidelines

The ethical guidelines that steer the work of Formas are presented below. These are intended to provide guidance for everyone who participates in the activities of the research council: members of the Scientific Council, review panel members and Formas employees (hereafter referred to collectively as 'Members of the various bodies within Formas').

  • Members of the various bodies within Formas have an official responsibility. Personal opinions or preferences must not impede an objective assessment of any matter concerning research funding, research priorities, strategies or appointments.
  • Members of the various bodies within Formas must themselves evaluate and openly declare any associations that may be of importance to an impartial review of research grant applications or official matters. A high standard of personal integrity is expected.
  • Members of the various bodies within Formas shall show respect for other researchers and their work. Disparaging statements and unfounded claims in written or oral form concerning research colleagues and research groups or their research work must not be made.
  • Members of the various bodies within Formas shall promote scientific credibility by objectively reviewing applications and other official matters (i.e. all submitted documents). The review of applications and other official matters must be formulated objectively and fairly and must as objectively as possibly state the scientific strengths and weaknesses of the applicants and the application.
  • Members of the various bodies within Formas are not permitted to make use of information provided by researchers via submission of applications or equivalent to benefit their own research or to provide scientific advantage for colleagues to the detriment of the operations of others.
  • Members of the various bodies within Formas shall observe and comply with Swedish laws, EU regulations and other agreements ratified by Sweden. This applies to research and professional ethical regulations and legislation that has been established by other organisations (such as animal protection regulations, plant protection regulations, regulations concerning the spread of infection and regulations for transgenic organisms), as well as intellectual property and access issues.
  • For applications that contain elements that require evaluation by an ethics review board, approval must be issued by the relevant board before the project can begin.
  • Members of the various bodies within Formas should work to ensure that the research is performed in an ethically acceptable manner.
  • Members of the various bodies within Formas shall be aware that the school of thought within their own scientific field may result in biased preconceptions towards different scientific approaches.
  • Members of the various bodies within Formas must not participate in the review of applications or other official matters where close friendship, personal conflict or other animosities may exist. Reviews shall not be performed by researchers from the same department or, if the department is large, from the same section. Neither shall review panel members review applications submitted by their own doctoral students or visiting researchers/postdoctoral researchers.
  • Close collaboration with colleagues shall also result in a panel member abstaining from reviewing the application. An absolute limit for when a collaboration with a previous doctoral student or colleague shall no longer be regarded to affect objectivity, of have a negligible effect, is impossible to determine. A general guideline may be 5 years after the collaboration has ended.
  • The panel member in question must leave the meeting room when applications are discussed in which her/his impartiality can be called into question.
  • When applications and official matters are assessed, the grounds for assessment must be the evaluation criteria as determined by Formas. The qualifications of the applicant must be considered in relation to the corresponding qualifications of other applicants. There must be no discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity or other such grounds.

Members of the various bodies within Formas must work to ensure compliance with these guidelines.

Formas’ privacy policy describes how we at Formas collect, use and protect your personal data. You can also read about what your rights are regarding how we process your personal data.

Read the privacy policy

This policy is aimed at all persons who participate in the Research Council's activities: employees, members of Formas' Research Council, the Council for Evidence-Based Analyses and the Climate Policy Council, participants in evaluation groups and other persons who travel on assignment and at the expense of Formas.


Formas is a research council for sustainable development. Through our various business areas, we contribute in many ways to increased sustainability. We must live as we learn; it is our responsibility and that is what others expect of us. As we collaborate with a large number of players and have international assignments, meetings are an important part of our business.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have developed an expertise in online meetings that we must maintain, so that we can also inspire others to reduce emissions from travel. This is in line with our overall environmental goal of reducing emissions from business travel annually and achieving zero-net emissions by 2030. By following the policy, Formas can contribute to all dimensions of Agenda 2030, especially to global sustainability goal 13, Climate Action, but also to goal 3, Good Health and Well-being and goal 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Zero travel is preferable

In order to reduce emissions and at the same time manage costs and our time, we shall strive to keep the number of meetings down. As far as it is appropriate, we shall conduct meetings that do not require travel. We shall strive to keep meetings short and schedule sufficient breaks. In face-to-face, online and hybrid meetings, we shall strive to allow everyone to participate on the most equal terms possible. When we ourselves are invited to meetings, we shall request to be allowed to participate online. We will thus affect more people to continue to offer online participation so we can jointly minimize long-distance travel. Our evaluation group meetings shall be conducted online.

A trip shall only be made if it can be justified as necessary based on the purpose of the meeting and the added value it creates for Formas. Travel must always be approved in advance by the responsible manager. All trips must be booked through Formas' travel agency and carried out as environmentally, cost and time efficiently as possible.

If an international flight is required, several meetings should be encompassed in the trip to make efficient use of time. Flights must be booked in economy class. Train is the preferred mode of transportation for domestic travel. Only in exceptional cases should trips under 500 km be made by air. To ensure that work can be done efficiently while traveling by train, the journey may be booked in a quiet carriage or, after obtaining approval from one's manager, in first class.

For local travel, walking, cycling and public transport shall be given priority over taxis.

Formas acknowledges that every person is unique and that all persons are equal in value and should have the same rights and opportunities.

Based on these fundamental values Formas works actively to maintain an inclusive working environment and culture, where all employees have the same rights and opportunities regardless of gender, gender identity or gender expression, ethnicity, religion or other beliefs, disability, sexual orientation or age.

In order to achieve this, we work actively to integrate gender equality and equal opportunities in all of Formas’ activities. This is a step in strengthening the quality of our operations and developing an inspiring working environment. Formas has zero tolerance for discrimination. Respect and consideration shall be shown in all relationships.This policy covers all employees regardless of their form of employment as well as hired employees, consultants, external experts, and trainees and requires that each individual participates and assume responsibility for Formas’ work environment and for compliance with the policy. This policy also includes members in Formas’ decision-making bodies and review panels.

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Policy for Equal treatment.pdf , 164.3 kB. 164.3 kB

Adopted by the Director-General15th of November 2018. Applies from 15th of November 2018.

In Formas’ appropriation directions, the agency is tasked with continuing its work on gender mainstreaming so that our operations can help achieve national policy goals for gender equality (M2020/01517). Our mission must be reported on by 1 September 2021. This strategy contains the roadmap that will guide our efforts.

It describes our overarching goals and the areas we will prioritise for the period 2022–2025. During the programme period, the focus of our efforts is twofold: developing decision-making input for the areas and processes prioritised in our development efforts, and determining the need for increased collaboration in order to achieve the agency’s overarching goals for gender mainstreaming.

Formas’ overarching goals for the programme period are as follows:

  • Provide knowledge that highlights the conditions and circumstances of different groups in society. This goal aims to ensure that the knowledge we build up and convey within the framework of Formas’ operations is inclusive and, in a relevant way, reflects the conditions and needs of different groups in society. The direction of our efforts in this goal includes broadening participation from different scientific and research disciplines, including various stakeholders, to work to ensure that funded research and innovation largely integrates a sex or gender perspective and improves accessibility to the results.

  • Ensure that researchers and collaborators have equal opportunities to access Formas’ funding and other activities. This goal ensures a gender-balanced distribution of Formas’ funds. It addresses the granting process as well as the percentage of female and male researchers and collaborators who are granted funding from us and to what extent. It also addresses the need to ensure equal participation in other activities and tasks that we carry out, such as evaluations, communication efforts, conferences, reports and systematic research reviews. The direction of our efforts in this goal includes striving for a responsible assessment and evaluation of research and innovation, developing our system for data collection and statistics, and developing analyses that take into account how our funding budget is distributed with respect to gender.

  • Promote a gender-balanced research and innovation system through collaboration. This goal concerns structural conditions in research and innovation, for example in terms of career progression and development, and how both Formas’ operations and our opportunities for collaboration can make these conditions more equal. The direction of our efforts in this goal includes collaboration with other stakeholders to improve the merit system in research and innovation, conducting a pilot project in partnership with 6 (20) research-performing organisations around how our operations can affect conditions for gender equality, and increased collaboration with other government agencies and organisations on gender mainstreaming.

The strategy was adopted on 31 August 2021.


Updated:10 June 2024
Page manager: Jonna Lundberg