Consumption in line with climate goals

WHAT CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

Research projects focused on consumption-based emissions from a systems perspective and that contribute to sustainable consumption in line with climate goals.

WHO CAN APPLY?

The main applicant and co-applicants must each have a doctoral degree by the closing date of the call. The main applicant must be active at one of Formas’ approved administrating organisations.

HOW MUCH CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

You may apply for a minimum of SEK 3 million and a maximum of SEK 6 million for one project. Grant applications can be for projects of three or four years. The total budget for the call is SEK 60 million.

Current: 8 Days left. Apply before: 2024-04-30 14:00

Global warming continues to worsen. The next decade is decisive for meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. To achieve the agreed climate goals, it is necessary to quickly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. This call focuses on consumption-based emissions from a systems perspective where they can be linked to such aspects as decision-making, culture, norms, justice, and policy instruments. The call intends to enable research that can contribute to sustainable consumption in line with climate goals. The knowledge generated by funded projects should contribute to measures and be translatable into actions that reduce the climate impact of consumption. This new knowledge is to be communicated to relevant target groups beyond academia, and we welcome projects that collaborate with civil, private and public organisations that enable the practical application of the findings.

To limit global warming to the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, society must be fundamentally transformed. The IPCC highlights the great potential of reducing global emissions through new consumption patterns and strategies for changing consumption.

In this call, we are looking for research that focuses on consumption-based emissions from a systems perspective, where questions about consumption are linked to such aspects as policy instruments and decision-making, political influence, culture and norms, justice, and acceptance. Funded projects are to be able to contribute to consumption in line with climate goals. The knowledge generated should contribute to measures and to be translatable into actions that reduce the climate impact of consumption. We welcome projects that collaborate with civil, private and public organisations and that enable practical applications beyond academia.

The call is aimed at researchers at Swedish higher education institutions, research institutes, and authorities whose main mission is related to research.

Limiting global warming to the goals of the Paris Agreement is an enormous challenge. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that this will require a fundamental transformation of society. Changes in consumption are an important part of this transformation, something that is evident from estimates of consumption-based emissions. According to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, in 2021 the consumption-based climate footprint for one person in Sweden was 8.4 tonnes. For the world to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, greenhouse gas emissions need to come down to around 1 tonne per person per year by 2050. In its latest synthesis report, the IPCC highlights the importance of consumption patterns by individuals and the need for strategies to change consumption behaviour. According to the IPCC, these types of lifestyle and consumption changes can reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases by between 40 and 70 per cent by 2050 while having positive effects on health and well-being.

However, consumption and lifestyle should not be limited to questions about the actions of individuals. They also need to be put in a larger perspective. Many factors are important for the consumption patterns of individuals, including income, gender, age, health, family circumstances, and whether the person lives in a city or in the countryside. Additionally, factors such as social and cultural norms, market supply, exposure to advertising, and different types of policy instruments influence people.

Emissions from consumption are unevenly distributed, and there is a strong correlation between high income and high emissions. In a global perspective, the ten per cent of households with the highest emissions per capita account for 34–45 per cent of total household emissions. The majority of Swedish households fall into this category. This shows that fairness perspectives need to be incorporated into efforts to reduce consumption-based emissions.

Public and private consumption results in emissions that cannot be influenced to any significant extent by the choices made by individuals. For example, this can include emissions from producing cement used to build a school, workplace or a home and that were generated at an earlier stage of corporate value chains. To reduce this form of emissions, changes in procurement and purchasing procedures or another form of operational management and management by objectives by public actors, companies, and organisations may be needed.

Reducing emissions from consumption requires political will and leadership, effective and fair policy instruments with broad support and acceptance, technological innovations, and changes to norms about what is considered desirable and what is a good life. There is a significant need for new knowledge about possible ways forward. To develop this knowledge, research is needed from a wide range of disciplines and across disciplinary boundaries.

This call aims to enable research that can contribute to sustainable consumption in line with climate goals. The knowledge generated by funded projects should contribute to measures and be translatable into actions that reduce the climate impact of consumption. Research that is funded in the call should adopt a systems perspective on consumption. The research can be conducted within different disciplines and research areas and can be interdisciplinary in nature. The following are some examples of areas to focus on:

Policy instruments: How different policy instruments can be implemented in the short and long terms, how policy instruments interact with each other, what causes policy instruments to be perceived as legitimate, and what effects they have on different sectors of society and on different parts of the population.

Core values: How norms and values around consumption can change, how pressure from citizens, social groups, civil, private and public organisations, and companies can influence political decision-making in the field, or how social and psychological mechanisms can influence the actions of individuals, groups, and organisations towards more sustainable consumption.

Power and responsibility: How highlighting power and responsibility sharing can increase acceptance for the climate change transformation, how pressure from citizens, social groups, civil and public organisations, and companies can influence political decision-making in the area, or what effect leaders and role models in the form of “transformation agents” can have for both individuals and businesses.

Trade and consumption patterns: How local processes for public consumption and procurement can steer towards increased sustainability or how global trade patterns and policy instruments, such as carbon border tariffs, can have an impact on the climate change transformation. How changed consumption patterns can be linked to positive or negative changes in health and welfare for individuals and groups in society.

Research projects can also include how climate change can affect our consumption, how initiatives to change consumption from individuals, civil society, private actors, and the public sector can have a wider impact, or how goals and visions can be translated into measures and actions for more sustainable consumption. Historical studies of previous changes in consumption or governance can also provide valuable insights into our current challenges and help us understand how to promote changes. These types of studies fit within the scope of the call.

Research need not be limited to studying Swedish conditions but must have the potential to contribute to further developing and improving Swedish climate efforts. Projects that are solely aimed at the development of technologies or materials will not be funded. Research projects that are deemed to be outside the call’s purpose and focus cannot be awarded funding and will be rejected before being reviewed. Determining whether an application falls within the scope of the call is based on the complete application. This means that these types of determinations are only made once the call is closed.

New knowledge is to be communicated to relevant target groups beyond academia, and we welcome projects that collaborate with civil, private and public organisations that enable the practical application of the findings. Research findings are to be actively communicated with relevant civil, private and public organisations, such as through recommendations to primary target groups, policy briefs, popular science publications, or other innovative initiatives for communication and dialogues. The application is to include a concrete plan for this, and this plan will be included in the assessment by the application reviewers. We welcome interdisciplinary research and projects that include collaboration with actors outside academia, but this is not a requirement to receive funding.

Applicants are also encouraged to plan the project to reduce its climate footprint. More information is available under “Environmental considerations when planning the project”.

The call is aimed at individuals with a doctoral degree and working at a Swedish higher education institution, research institute, or public authority with a research mission that meets Formas’ requirements for an administrating organisation. The main applicant and co-applicant researchers are to have completed their doctorate no later than the close of the call. The same person can only be the main applicant for one application within the call, but it is permitted for the same person to be a co-applicant in multiple applications.

Formas strives for equitable and inclusive societal development that ensures gender equality. Applicants should design their projects to allow the results to benefit a diverse range of people and groups in society. Appointment of the project group should consider gender balance and different backgrounds among its members. However, this will not be weighed when assessing your application.

Before you apply

All information about the contents of an application, the application process and the assessment process can be found in the sections below.

Grants in this call can only be administered by a Swedish higher education institution, research institute, government agency with a research mandate, or other research-performing organisation.

Who can become an administrating organisation? External link.

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 proposed grant recipient is stated as the project leader 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.
  • People who are project leaders for other ongoing Formas projects can also apply for a grant. However, a person’s total funding must not exceed 100% of a full-time position.

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.

International collaboration: Grants from Formas can be used to fund research conducted by researchers or other project participants who are employed at a higher education institution or research institute outside of Sweden. However, the research must be initiated and managed from Sweden. The administrating organisation must be located in Sweden and approved by Formas, and is responsible for hiring any foreign staff or paying for activities or services outside Sweden in accordance with the administrating organisation’s guidelines. Foreign participation in the project must be limited, well-defined and clearly explained in the project application.

Exceptions – research cooperation with Russia and Ukraine: Due to the war in Ukraine, it will not be possible to receive funds for projects involving research cooperation with state or federal research institutions in Russia or Belarus.

It is possible to apply for 3- to 4-year projects with a budget of between SEK 3 million and 6 million per project. The total budget for the call is SEK 60 million.

For this call, payment for the project’s first fiscal year will begin before the end of 2024. For this reason, the start date of 1 December 2024 is set by default in Prisma.

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, greenhouse gas 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

Grant applications are filled in and submitted in our application system, Prisma. This is where you will add the information needed for your application. You will need a personal account for this.

Apply for a personal account in Prisma External link.

All limits for maximum number of characters include spaces. One recommendation is to use the font Arial with font size 12 for the information entered in all text boxes.

Include a clear description of the project under the following sections:

Basic information

  • Number of years for which you are applying.
  • Project title in Swedish and English (max. 200 characters including spaces).
  • Popular science description in Swedish (4,500 characters including spaces). If the application is successful, the popular science description will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality assessment. As such, the contents of this field should not include sensitive information.
  • Abstract in Swedish and English (max. 1,500 characters including spaces for each language version). The abstracts of successful applications will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality assessment. As such, the contents of these fields should not include sensitive information.

Research programme

  • Goals and purpose of the project and background description containing an overview of the research domain (7,000 characters including spaces).
  • Project description that includes design, theory, method, implementation, and a plan for scientific publication (15,000 characters including spaces).
  • Description of possible societal benefits of the project, who the relevant stakeholders/users of the research are, and how you plan to communicate the research and findings with these stakeholders (8,000 characters including spaces).
  • References included in the text above are listed in a separate field (5,000 characters including spaces).

Budget

The project’s budget is provided in Prisma. Note that the budget and budget specification should be written in English. If the budget specification is in Swedish, it will not be translated and will be assessed by the international review panel as is. In Prisma, write the entire requested amount in numbers, for example 1 million kroner is written: SEK 1,000,000.

The budget is divided into:

  • Salaries, including social contributions for each project participant. The amount you may be awarded for the salaries of each researcher, doctoral student, and other staff may never exceed 100 per cent of full-time employment. This also means that an individual with full salary funding during the entire project period may not receive additional salary funding. Researchers that are fully retired may not receive funding for their own salary.
  • Percentage of salary refers to the per cent of the applicant’s full-time salary that corresponds to the salary in the project.
  • Degree of activity in the project refers to the percentage of a full-time position the participant will be contributing. This shows whether the applicant is contributing in-kind or with other funding to complete the project.
  • Operating costs refers to consumables, travel, conferences, publication in open access journals and databases, etc. Specify operating costs according to the administrating organisation’s standard procedure.
  • Equipment and depreciations. List equipment costs and depreciations for equipment if relevant to the application. The maximum awarded amount for equipment and depreciations for equipment is in total SEK 500,000.
  • You can apply for funds for premises costs if they are not already included in the overhead cost in the project budget. List premises costs as per the administrating organisation’s standard procedure.
  • Total applied for/Subtotal refers to costs already included in the previous budget tables and that will automatically be transferred to these items.
  • Indirect costs refers to overhead costs. When entering overhead costs in the application, do so as per the administrating organisation’s standard procedure. If funds are to be transferred from the administrating organisation to another organisation participating in the project, the receiving organisation’s overhead cost can instead be applied to these funds. Explain and report the various overhead costs in the budget specification. The total overhead cost for the project should be listed in the budget table. Formas does not award funding for overhead on costs that you indicate are for equipment or for premises.
  • Other cost refers to funds that are not applied for but are relevant to completing your project. Examples of this include co-funding from partners and if the project receives funds from other sources.
  • Total cost refers to a budget total.
  • Budget specification is intended to explain the budget in words. State how the applied for grant is divided in amounts per year and the total amount per organisation if funds are to be transferred to another organisation. Provide a brief explanation for the salary costs listed in the budget. All other costs must be explained, such as participation in conferences and fees for open access publications and data. Also describe the project’s total budget, including funding from other sources. The budget specification is included in the assessment of the application.

Ethics

Indicate whether there are special ethical issues with the project. Present what these ethical issues are and how you plan to address them. This can include research that uses personal data or research the involves human or animal experiments.

If you will be conducting research on humans, human tissue, or sensitive personal data, you must submit an application for ethical review to the Swedish Ethical Review Authority and have it approved. If your research involves experiments on animals, you must also have approval from an animal research ethics committee. You can apply for this through the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s e-services.

Indicate in your application whether you have a valid ethical approval or not. If you do not have one and your application is granted funding, you are to obtain ethical approval before starting the part of the research that requires this approval.

If your research is not expected to involve aspects requiring ethical approval, write this and explain how and why.

Classifications

Formas uses the project’s classifications in analyses and supporting documentation on an overall level. These classifications are made when the applicant determines the subject area, research topic (SCB code), at least one sustainable development goal that the project can contribute to, and keywords.

  • Subject area

Choose at least one and at most three subject areas and add a subheading.

  • Research topic (SCB code)

Select at least one and at most three research topics and two sublevels that combine to 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 and in order of relevance.

More about the meaning of these goals (In Swedish). External link.

  • Keywords

Enter one to three keywords describing the project.

Administrating organisation – the organisation that receives the grant

In this call, only applicants from administrating organisations approved for all Formas calls may submit an application. Approved administrating organisations are listed as defaults in Prisma.

  • Select your administrating organisation from the drop-down menu.
  • Select the project site from the dropdown list.

Co-applicants

  • The main applicant invites co-applicants to the application in Prisma.
  • A co-applicant is a researcher with a doctorate who is considered a co-applicant for the project.
  • Participating administrators may also be included. They are not involved in the project, but are individuals who help you complete the application form. Participating administrators cannot register the application for final submission. Only the main applicant may do so.
  • All participants are to have their own personal account in Prisma.
  • Main applicants invite those who will participate in the application by searching for their first and last name and email address in Prisma (note that the exact spelling of names and email addresses is required).

CVs

The project manager and co-applicants retrieve the data from their respective personal accounts in Prisma and add these to the application. Applicants should confirm well in advance that their CV in Prisma is complete and up-to-date. If co-applicants have not accepted the invitation to participate or have not filled in the required fields correctly, the main applicant will not be able to complete final registration of the application until the invitation is deleted. Participants who are not co-applicants cannot add their CV information. Instead, their qualifications and expertise for the project are to be described in the research programme.

The following information from CVs is added to the application:

  • Education
    • Doctoral education
    • Bachelor’s and master’s education
  • Work experience
    • Current employment and longer relevant previous employment
    • Postdoctoral fellow positions
    • Researcher exchanges relevant to the described research
    • Longer breaks in research (e.g. parental leave, illness, military service, or political appointments).
  • Qualification and awards:
    • Docentship (associate professor)
    • Supervised individuals: doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and bachelor and master’s students working on a degree project. Add as individuals and/or add as a group. When adding a group, enter the total number for each category. When adding individuals, name the most relevant (max 10).
    • Grants received in competition, indicate the most relevant (max 10).
    • Prizes and awards, indicate the most relevant (max 10).
    • Other qualifications including a publication summary:
  • Under Other qualifications, list other relevant qualifications, such as popular science publications and documented experience of collaboration and research communication (max 10).
  • Here, the main applicant and co-applicants provide a brief summary of their publication history for the most recent five-year period and in total, if the applicants’ active research time is longer than five years (max. 800 characters including spaces). This summary should include the following:
    • Number of publications of various types (such as articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, books and other monographs, conference contributions, popular science contributions).
    • The summary should not include information on Journal Impact Factors or any other type of measure used to rank publishers or journals.

Publications

The main applicant and co-applicants list their most relevant publications. Up to ten publications can be listed per person. Link the publications from the applicant’s personal profile in Prisma.

Appendices

The following appendix can be uploaded if relevant to the application:

Appendix 1: Illustrations. If figures, tables, or images are needed to describe the project idea, attached these as an appendix. At most one appendix (PDF) of 4 MB can be uploaded.

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.

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 leaders, 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.

All applications are assessed by an external review panel based on the contents of the application. It is therefore important to write the application as clearly as possible and include all important and relevant information.

Applications will be assessed by an international review panel that is qualified to cover the current theme in the call. Each application is read and evaluated by several members of the panel. The review panel is composed of practicing researchers as well as individuals outside academia with the expertise necessary to evaluate the relevance of the research. The review panel is appointed by Formas. Discrimination, such as on the basis of sex, is prohibited in the assessment of applications.

Applications are assessed with respect to scientific quality and societal relevance. This includes the following five criteria.

Criteria for scientific quality:

Research question

- Scientific relevance of the purpose

- Originality and novelty of purpose, theory and hypotheses

- Possibility of scientifically significant results

- Whether the purpose is aligned with the call.

The assessors also look favourably upon multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches as they relate to the current research question. It is therefore important that you include these considerations in your application if they are relevant to your project.

Method and performance

- Feasibility and suitability of the scientific method

- Whether the execution plan and timetable are well-defined and realistic

- Whether the publication and communication plan is well-defined and realistic

- The coordination of the project and research team

- The appropriateness of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, if these are chosen

- Whether the proposed research requires ethical considerations, and if so how the applicant plans to address them

- Whether the budget is reasonable relative to the project’s organisation and expected results.

Of these points, the feasibility and suitability of the scientific method carry the most weight.

Scientific competence

Here, the review panel weighs the following:

- Scientific quality of publications

- Ability to complete the project according to plan

- Supervisory experience

- Project management experience

- National and international activities, including projects, networks, assignments, honorary assignments, and participation in or arranging workshops or conferences

- Interest, experience and ability to communicate the research and research results with stakeholders and users

- Strength and competitiveness of the research team.

The review panel assesses the quality of scientific publications with respect to standards within each discipline. The assessment focuses on the content and quality of the publications rather than on where they were published.

Publications are only part of what is factored into the criteria of scientific excellence. In their assessment, the reviewers also consider other forms of results achieved and experience. This includes, for example, the dissemination of knowledge, training, patents, products, or impact on policy.

The assessment takes into account relevant reasons for any gaps in research, such as parental leave or sick leave, that might have had an impact on the applicant’s overall productivity. So, the results and experience described by the applicant are assessed in relation to periods of active research.

Criteria for societal relevance:

Societal value of research question

The review panel will assess how well your research proposal addresses the following four considerations:

- The research question addresses important issues in society within the call’s focus, nationally, internationally or both.

- The project can help to achieve sustainable development in the short or long term, nationally, internationally or both.

- In the project’s design, applicants consider the needs of stakeholders and/or users.

- The purpose of the research is aligned with the call.

Taking into account the needs of stakeholders or users can include references to directives, environmental objectives, the UN’s sustainable development goals and related targets, and discussions with the relevant stakeholders or users.

The terms “stakeholders” and “users” are broadly defined as beneficiaries or enablers of the research results. This includes stakeholders outside or inside the research community (depending on whether the project is of a more basic or more applied nature), nationally or internationally.

Communication with stakeholders and users

The review panel assesses whether the application contains the following:

- A description of relevant stakeholders or users.

- A concrete and realistic plan for (a) the project’s involvement of relevant stakeholders or users and (b) the project’s plan for communicating the research and its results with the stakeholders or users.

Communication with stakeholders and users can take place in different ways and with different timeframes, depending on the research question. However, it should include various forms of dialogue with stakeholders and potential users of the research.

All the criteria must be addressed in the application, and we advise applicants to clearly relate their application to these criteria. We also advise applicants to clearly and accurately organise and formulate their applications, as the review is based solely on the information contained in the application.

Formas expects to decide which projects are awarded grants on 22 October 2024. We publish our decisions the following day at the latest on the Formas website, and you will receive an email when you can view the decision in 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 grant availability period. For projects longer than 18 months, a financial statement must also be submitted to Formas annually. All reports are submitted in Prisma.

How to report expenses and results External link.

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.

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.

Open access to research results and data External link.

Formas shares information about awarded grants to Swecris, a national database of grant-funded research that was instituted by request of the government.

Contact information

For questions about the content of the call

For administrative questions and questions about Prisma

Updated:29 February 2024