Housing supply issues have long been in focus in Sweden, but they gained renewed interest during 2020–2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and discussions about market rents at the highest national level of Swedish politics. Sweden faces several challenges if it is to achieve a socially sustainable housing supply, and these challenges take on different forms in different parts of the country.
We need to better understand how we can achieve socially sustainable housing that is available to social groups with fewer resources. Although there are good examples of previous research on the challenges and solutions around Swedish housing, there is a need to create a coherent picture of the current state of knowledge in different disciplines. For this reason, Formas is announcing a call for knowledge and research overviews for researchers with a PhD degree at Swedish universities, higher education institutions and research institutes who address socially sustainable housing from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Through Agenda 2030, goal 11, Sweden has pledged to ensure that Swedish cities and communities are inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and that by 2030 we will ensure access to adequate, safe and affordable housing for all (target 11.1 External link.).
Sweden faces a number of challenges in achieving a socially sustainable housing supply. These challenges include rising housing prices and rents, fewer rental apartments, growing income inequality, difficulties for some social groups in entering the housing market, overcrowding and housing segregation. The challenges vary depending on where you live in the country: sparsely populated areas, peri-urban areas and metropolises face different kinds of difficulties. What issues that are perceived as problems for a socially sustainable housing supply also vary between political perspectives and, as a result, the proposed solutions to the problems also differ.
The theme of the call also links to current initiatives in design issues, both nationwide and internationally. Within the EU, the New European Bauhaus Initiative External link. has been launched with the aim of improving how we live together in the built environment by promoting innovative solutions that touch on three complementary dimensions: sustainability, aesthetics and inclusion. The goal is to create a movement around design, construction and spatial planning that are guided by these dimensions. In Sweden, the “Policy for Designed Living Environment” External link. was presented in February 2018 with the goal of taking a holistic approach to public architecture and design and formulating a comprehensive national architecture policy. According to the policy objective, architecture, form, design, art and cultural heritage are crucial to spatial planning since the design of public spaces affects the everyday lives of all citizens in terms of health and well-being. According to the policy, public architecture and design should be considered a cohesive area where all these perspectives interact and enrich each other. Public architecture and design are thus closely aligned with the intentions of a new European Bauhaus. The knowledge and research overviews should aim to contribute to these initiatives and to developing Sweden’s social housing policy.
Sweden has a strong housing research tradition, and there is a lot of knowledge available from previous research projects and reports in different disciplines. In order to create a coherent picture of the state of knowledge, identify research needs and knowledge gaps, and find solutions to the challenges we face, this call is open to applications for creating knowledge and research overviews that highlight socially sustainable housing supply from an interdisciplinary perspective.
There is a need for more knowledge about how we can achieve a socially sustainable housing supply that is available to social groups with fewer resources. This call will fund overviews of national and international research that has been conducted on socially sustainable housing supply and that can contribute to knowledge about solutions to the challenges in this area and to the development of Sweden’s social housing policy. The knowledge and research overviews can also include examples of completed initiatives in socially sustainable housing supply in practice, such as in a municipality or the construction industry.
The knowledge and research overviews must highlight the current state of knowledge in this area through methodologically sound reviews of the scientific literature, reports, studies and more. International contexts and examples can be used to learn lessons from a comparative perspective and enable the project’s results to be applied in the development of Swedish housing policy.
After completion, the knowledge and research overviews must be made available in order to promote knowledge building for different target groups, such as politicians, stakeholders within the construction industry, municipalities and regions, special interest groups and others. The projects must result in a policy brief and a summary report in Swedish about the key findings that can be communicated to the relevant target groups. Disseminating the knowledge generated by the knowledge and research overviews is an important part of the project.
Formas aims to fund up to 10 project proposals with a maximum budget of SEK 1 million per project. A project can run from 6 months up to one year.
The call is being implemented within the framework of the national research programme for sustainable spatial planning External link.. The call relates primarily to the programme objective of sustainable housing for all.
Researchers from any discipline who hold a PhD and are active at a Swedish university, higher education institution or research institute can apply under this call. Formas encourages applicants from the economic, engineering and legal sciences, as well as applicants from the humanities, architecture and social sciences.
Formas strives for an equitable, gender-balanced and inclusive development of society. Applicants should design the project so that its results can help to advance social housing policy in Sweden towards becoming sustainable for everyone.
Before you apply
All information about the contents of an application, the application process and the assessment process is described in the sections below.
Grants in this call can only be administered by a Swedish university, higher education institution, research institute, government agency with a research assignment, or other organisation that primarily engages in research.
To apply for a grant in this call, the following criteria must be met:
- The main applicant has completed their PhD degree by the time the call closes.
- Participating researchers have completed their PhD degree by the time the call closes. Other staff involved in the project do not need to have a PhD degree.
- The main applicant must be the project manager on the application.
- There is no upper age limit for the main applicant and participating researchers. However, researchers who are full-time pensioners are not eligible to receive funding towards salaries.
When you apply for project funding, you can apply for a grant to cover both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include costs for salaries, equipment and travel. Indirect costs are costs that are shared with others in your organisation, such as for administration, IT and renting of premises. Indirect costs are sometimes called overhead costs.
You can apply for a maximum grant amount of 1 million kronor for a project. Projects must start on 1 August 2022, and funding can be sought for between 6 and 12 months. The funds can be used for up to three months after the project ends. Applications with a requested amount or project duration that are not within the specified ranges will be rejected in an early stage and will not proceed to review. The application’s budget must indicate how the funds will be used in the project.
For administrative reasons, Formas can apply a payout plan that differs from the application’s allocation of the budget over time.
You should write your application in English, since the review panel that will assess your application is international. If you do write your application in Swedish, a professional translator will translate into English only the section describing the research programme. You will not be able to change the translation before the application proceeds to assessment. However, the popular science description must be written in Swedish, while the abstract should be in both Swedish and English. Your budget specification and CV will not be translated. So, please write these in English, even if you write the other sections in Swedish and submit your application in the Swedish version of our application system.
According to Swedish law, your application and its appendices are considered as general public documents once they have been submitted to us. This means that anyone can request and read your application. Information can only be concealed if it is confidential as defined in the Public Access to Information and Confidentiality Act (2009:400).
Formas has limited possibilities to keep personal data confidential. Therefore, your application should not contain the personal data of anyone who is not included in the application.
The popular science description and project abstracts in Swedish and English will, if the project is awarded funding, be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality review. Therefore, the contents of these fields should not contain sensitive information.
We at Formas are eager to fund projects that maximise positive and minimise negative impacts on the environment and climate. We therefore encourage grant applicants to design their projects so that collaboration takes place primarily through online meetings and that any necessary travel takes place in a climate-smart way. We also suggest that you include measures that minimise energy use and other resource consumption, emissions and waste in project planning. However, this will not be part of the assessment of your application at this time.
Please read about Formas’ own sustainability work External link..
How to apply
You apply for a grant in our application system, Prisma, where you add the information you need for your application. In Prisma, you must create a personal account.
All limits for the maximum number of characters refer to characters including spaces. We recommend that you choose the Arial font in font size 12 for the information you enter in all text boxes.
Your application must include a clear description of the project under the following sections:
- Number of months for which the application applies.
- Start month: The default date in Prisma is 1 August 2022.
- Project title in Swedish and English (max. 200 characters including spaces).
- Popular science description in Swedish (max. 3,000 characters including spaces) If the project is awarded a grant, the popular science description will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality review. The contents of this field should therefore not contain sensitive information.
- Abstract in Swedish and English (max. 1,500 characters each including spaces). Project abstracts for awarded projects will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality review. Therefore, the contents of these fields should not contain sensitive information.
- Goals and objectives of the project, and a description of why a knowledge and research overview of the chosen research topic is needed (max. 7,000 characters including spaces).
- Project description, including structure, method, implementation, and a plan for disseminating the results of the knowledge and research overview. The method must be systematic. Also describe and justify how the project will use the resources and experts necessary for implementing the project proposal. Include a timetable (max. 9,000 characters including spaces).
- Description of the project’s potential societal relevance and the relevant stakeholders/users of the knowledge and research overview, as well as how the research and its results are planned to be communicated with these stakeholders (max. 6,000 characters including spaces).
- References included in the text above should be entered in this field (max. 4,000 characters including spaces).
You report the project budget in Prisma. Note that you must always write the budget and budget specification in English; any Swedish budget specification will not be translated but will instead be assessed as is by the international review panel. In Prisma, enter the total amount you are applying for in kronor using digits. For example, 1 million kronor should be written as: 1 000 000 kronor.
The budget should include the following:
- Salaries, including social security contributions for each project participant. The total amount of the salary for a single researcher, PhD student or other staff must not exceed 100 percent of full-time employment. This implies that someone who already has full salary funding from any funding source cannot receive additional salary funding. Researchers who are full-time pensioners cannot receive funding for their own salary.
- Percent of salary refers to the percentage of the applicant’s full-time salary that corresponds to their salary in the project.
- Activity level in the project refers to the percentage of a full-time position that the participants contribute. It indicates whether the applicant is contributing in-kind or other funding to complete the project.
- Operating expenses include, for example, travel, collaboration activities, conferences and workshops, purchases of data or materials, analyses, premises, publication in open-access journals and databases, and other related costs. Specify operating costs in accordance with practices at the administrating organisation.
- Premises. You can apply for funding to cover the cost of premises if this is not already included as overhead in the project’s budget. Specify premises costs in accordance with the applicable practices at the administrating organisation.
- Total amount sought/Subtotal refers to costs already entered in the previous budget tables, which will be automatically transferred to this table.
- Indirect costs refer to overhead costs. When you specify overhead costs in the application, you should do so according to the practice of the organisation that will manage the grant. If funds are to be transferred from the administrating organisation to another organisation involved in the project, the overhead cost of the receiving organisation can be applied to the funds transferred. Explain and report the different overhead costs in the budget specification. The total overhead for the project must be entered in the budget table. Formas does not grant funding for overhead costs that you write off for equipment or premises.
- Other costs refer to funds not sought but relevant to the completion of the project. An example is co-funding from partners or project funding from other sources.
- Total cost refers to a budget summary.
- Budget specification explains the budget in words. State how the grant amount you are applying for will be distributed each month, as well as the total amount for each organisation if funds will be transferred to other organisations. Provide a brief justification for the salary expenses stated in the budget. All other costs must be justified, such as costs for participating in conferences, publication fees for open-access publications and data, and similar. A description of the total project budget, including funding from other sources, should also be included. The budget specification is part of the application assessment.
You should specify whether or not there are specific ethical concerns in your project. If so, state what these ethical concerns are and how you plan to manage them. Examples include research that uses personal data or research involving experiments on humans or animals.
Even if you do not expect your research to involve ethical concerns, you should state this in your application and briefly explain why not (max. 4 000 characters including spaces).
Formas uses the project’s classifications in analyses and supporting documentation on an overall level. The classifications are made when the applicant states the subject area, research topic (SCB code), at least one sustainable development goal the project can contribute to, and keywords.
- Subject area
Select at least one and a maximum of three subject areas and add a sub-heading.
- Research topic (SCB code)
Select at least one and a maximum of three research topics and two sub-levels that together form the entire code.
- Sustainable development goals
Select at least one and up to three sustainable development goals (SDGs) the project can help to achieve, in order of relevance.
Enter at least one and a maximum of three keywords describing the project.
Administrating organisation – the organisation receiving the grant
In this call, only applicants from Formas’ administrating organisations that are approved for all calls can submit an application. Prisma contains a default list of approved administrating organisations. From the dropdown list, select:
- Your administrating organisation
- The domicile
- The main applicant invites participating researchers to the application in Prisma.
- A participating researcher is a PhD researcher who is considered to be a co-applicant for the project.
- You can also have participating administrators who are not involved in the project but help you fill in the application form. Participating administrators cannot register the application; only the main applicant can.
- All participants must have created their own personal account in Prisma.
- Main applicants invite people to participate in the application process by searching for their given name, surname and email address in Prisma (note that exact spelling of names and email addresses is required).
The project manager and participating researchers retrieve the CV information from their personal account in Prisma and add it to the application. Applicants should review in good time that their CV in Prisma is complete and up to date. If the participating researchers have not accepted the invitation to participate or completed the required fields correctly, the main applicant will not be able to complete registration of the application. Participants who are not co-applicants are not able to attach CV information. Instead, their qualifications for the project should be described in the research programme.
The following CV information should be added to the application.
- Education. Postgraduate, undergraduate and graduate level.
- Employment history. Current employment and major relevant prior positions, postdoctoral stays, postgraduate exchanges that are relevant for the research, and any significant gaps in the research (such as parental leave, illness, military service or political duties).
Qualifications and merits:
- Supervised students: PhD students, postdocs, graduate thesis students; add either as an individual person or as a group. When adding a group, enter the total number for each category. When adding an individual person, name the most relevant ones (max 10).
- Grants received in competition: Specify the most relevant ones (max. 10).
- Awards and distinctions: Specify the most relevant ones (max. 10).
- Other qualifications, including summary of publications:
- List other qualifications that are relevant to the application, such as popular science publications and proven experience of collaboration and research communication (max. 10).
- The main applicant and participating researchers should also provide a brief summary of their publications during the past five years as well as the total number of publications if the applicant’s active research period exceeds five years (max. 800 characters including spaces). This summary should include the following:
- The number of publications of various types, such as articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, books and other monographs, conference papers and popular science contributions.
- Any citation metrics should be given, excluding self-citations, and the database they are retrieved from.
- The summary should not contain information about the H-index, the journal impact factor, or any other type of metric used to rank publishers or journals.
The main applicant and participating researchers should list up to ten of their most relevant publications. The publications should be linked from the applicants’ personal profiles in Prisma.
Appendix for illustrations. If you need figures, tables or images to describe the project, you can upload them as attachments here. A maximum of one PDF attachment of 4 MB can be uploaded. Note that a CV should not be attached as an appendix.
After submitting your application
First, Formas verifies that the application meets the procedural requirements set out in the call. If the application does not meet these requirements, it is rejected.
The following requirements will be verified in this call:
- The administrating organisation has signed the application within seven calendar days of the call’s closing date.
- The application has been approved by the administrating organisation.
- The application’s focus falls within Formas’ areas of responsibility.
- The focus of the application falls within the call’s areas.
- The application is complete and contains all mandatory information.
- The requirements for project managers, project participants and organisations under “Applicant and organisation requirements” are met.
- The main applicant responsible for other projects or activities funded by Formas has submitted any requested reports by the stated deadline.
Applications will be assessed by an international review panel that is qualified to cover the current theme in the call. Applications are assessed based on their contents. It is therefore important to write the application as clearly as possible and include all important and relevant information. Each application is read and assessed by several members of the panel. The review panel is composed of active researchers as well as individuals outside academia with the expertise necessary to evaluate the relevance of the research.
Formas will take the project portfolio into consideration before finalising the decision, in order to enable the funding of projects that address a wide range of themes within the framework of the call.
The applications are assessed based on the following criteria on a scale of 1-7, where 1 is the lowest and 7 is the highest.
The applications are assessed based on the following criteria:
Criteria for scientific quality
- Objectives aligned with the call
- Originality of the knowledge and research overview
A consideration of gender equality, class, ethnicity or other critical social perspectives should be included in the research question where relevant.
Methods and implementation
- Feasibility and suitability of the methodology for the knowledge and research overview
- Well-defined and realistic work plan
- Well-defined and realistic plan for publication and information dissemination
- Ethical considerations
- The budget is reasonable in relation to the project’s organisation and expected results
The feasibility and suitability of the methods must be a priority consideration.
- Interdisciplinary expertise in the field surveyed
- Interest, experience and ability to communicate the research and its results with stakeholders and users
When several researchers collaborate, each individual researcher’s scientific expertise is evaluated as well as the team’s overall scientific expertise.
Criteria for societal relevance
- The knowledge and research overview relates to important societal or sectoral issues within the call’s focus
- The proposal provides solid arguments for why this particular knowledge and research overview is needed.
- The knowledge and research overview can help to advance a socially sustainable development of Swedish housing policy
- Relevant stakeholders/users are described
- The needs of stakeholders/users are taken into account in the project’s design
- The dissemination of results is accounted for
Decisions on which projects are granted funding are expected to be taken on 16 June 2022. We publish our decisions the following day at the latest on the Formas website and later by email from Prisma. Grant award decisions cannot be appealed.
All awarded projects must submit a report to Formas containing financial and project results within three months of the end of the availability period. This is done in Prisma.
Formas may impose requirements on how projects must be reported in terms of content and results to enable distribution and application. In such cases, the award decision will contain more information about this. Formas may also require you to participate in conferences and similar events in order to create synergies and platforms for learning and knowledge sharing.
In this call the awarded projects must also, in addition to submitting the final scientific and financial reports, submit a policy brief summarising the project’s conclusions and making recommendations on how to develop Swedish housing so that it becomes more socially sustainable.
Results of research funded by Formas must be published using open access.
You must also have a data management plan for the data produced in the project. This plan does not need to be submitted to Formas but should be presented on request. By signing our grant terms and conditions, you certify that a data management plan will be available before the research begins and that it will be maintained.
Formas shares information about awarded grants to SweCRIS, a national database of grant-funded research that was instituted by request of the government.
Support and shortcuts
Seminar: Hållbar bostadsförsörjning för alla
On November 9th 2021, 10.00-11.00 CET during the seminar on sustainable housing supply, we will present the call and you will be able to ask questions. The seminar will be held in Swedish but you can ask your questions in English.
A digital application is submitted in the Prisma application system. Guidelines and information about what your application should contain can be found in the call text.
Open for applying 3 November 2021.