Formas actions due to the ongoing war in Ukraine

2022-03-10

Minister for Research and Higher Education Anna Ekström announced 2 March 2022 that Sweden will cease research collaboration with Russia and Belarus due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. We are currently identifying all collaborations affected by this decision and undertaking measures concerning the affected international projects that are funded by Formas.

The minister’s announcement also affects this year’s calls including the Annual Open Calla. This year it will not be possible to apply for funding for projects involving collaborations with researchers based at Russian and Belarussian institutions.

– It is important that we differentiate between collaborations with state institutions in Russia and Belarus, which we are discontinuing, and collaborations with individual researchers from Russia and Belarus who are conducting research outside of these countries or in other international contexts, says Ingrid Petersson, Director General of Formas.

She also stresses the importance of maintaining international contacts for sustainable development and the importance of free and independent research.

– Just as Minister for Research and Higher Education Anna Ekström said, this is a fundamental issue of freedom of thought and democracy. We mustn’t forget that many researchers who collaborate with us in Sweden are themselves critical of the actions of the current regime in Russia.

Funded projects

Formas has identified three active international research projects where Formas funds the Swedish participants and where Russian institutions also participate. We have initiated a dialogue with the Swedish institutions that participate in these collaborations. Individual research projects funded by Formas may have some form of collaboration with researchers in Russia that is not formalized at the institutional level.

In the case where these collaborations involve state or federally controlled institutions from Russia or Belarus it is the responsibility of the Swedish university or research institute as the grant administering authority to decide if and how the project can continue or if the project should be discontinued. No transfer of funds from Sweden to recipients in Russia or Belarus can take place due to the current economic sanctions.

Formas calls

As a consequence of the Swedish Government’s decision Formas will not award grants to projects with participating researchers employed at Russian or Belarussian institutions. Funds awarded by Formas cannot be transferred on to institutions in Russia and Belarus. This includes projects awarded in the annual open call which opens shortly. It is important that applicants for Formas grants also check their own university or research institute’s guidelines concerning collaborations with Russia and Belarus.

Peer-review process

Formas will not engage researchers who are based at Russian and Belarussian institutions in the expert panels for this year’s calls. Russian and Belorussian researchers who are based at institutions in Sweden or other countries can participate in our peer-review processes and in our panels.

Multilateral collaborations

Russian agencies and in certain cases Belarussian agencies participate or are members in various international organizations and networks for research collaboration. We are currently gathering a picture of which multilateral collaborations are affected. Formas is engaged in dialogue with other research funders nationally and internationally in these cases.

Updated:10 March 2022
Page manager: Elisabet Blomberg