The Swedish Research Council (VR) is the largest funder of research in Sweden.
The Swedish Research Council (VR) is supporting research in all areas with an annual budget of about 7 billion SEK. Besides multiple types of individual career support grants, VR offers project grants for individual researchers and collaborative teams, primarily with a basic research character, as well as funding for large research infrastructures.
Types of funding
1 Annual open call for project grants
Almost half of VR’s budget is distributed through the annual open call, where individual or small groups of researchers are invited to suggest high quality research projects in any area of science. Guidelines for project duration, maximum amount of funding and deadline may differ depending on the subject area, which broadly are grouped into;
- Natural and Engineering sciences
- Medicine and Health
- Humanities and Social sciences
- Artistic research
- Development research
- Educational sciences
2 Career support funding
VR supports individual researchers at multiple career stages, to improve the opportunity of pursuing an academic career and develop an independent research profile.
- International post doc – A possibility for young researchers (maximum 2 years after PhD) to conduct research in a different country during 18-36 months.
- VR starting grant – Grants for young researchers, 2-7 years after PhD, who wish to establish themselves as independent researchers in Sweden.
- VR Consolidator grant – Generous grants to researchers 7-12 years after PhD, with scientifically interesting ideas and a potential to become future research leaders in Sweden.
- Visiting professorships – VR offers several visiting professorships in different areas, providing an opportunity for higher education institutions to recruit an internationally prominent professor during a limited time period.
- Grants for employment as a half-time researcher in a clinical environment
3 Research infrastructure funding
VR offers several grants for the construction, operation and decommissioning of national or international research infrastructures. In addition, VR supports work towards making research infrastructure more accessible and more used by the business and public sectors.
4 Other types of funding
- Research environment grants
- Network grants
- Grants supporting international collaboration
- Grants supporting clinical therapy research
- Scientific journal grant (humanities and social sciences)
- Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR)
- Doctoral programme grants
- Visiting researcher programmes
Project calculator, co-funding & financial reporting
For universities VR allows that all charges for indirect costs, caused by the VR-grant according to university rules, are covered by the VR-grant. A co-funding need to indirect costs, in grants from VR, will therefore not occur for SLU.
On the other hand some VR calls can have a demand on co-funding of direct costs (including charges). In such cases co-funding can be possible according to SLU´s guidelines for co-funding.
Questions about using SLU´s financial system for financial reporting to VR can be put to firstname.lastname@example.org
How to apply
All applications to the Swedish Research Council should be submitted via Prisma.
Applications are evaluated by a specialized subject review panel, consisting of researchers working in Sweden or abroad, who evaluates the scientific quality of the proposal based on the following four criteria;
- Scientific quality of the proposed research
- Novelty and originality
- Merits of the applicant
In general, all parts of a VR application should be written in English, except for the popular science description, which is written in Swedish.
Sex and gender perspectives in research
From 2020, VR requests all applications to include a description of whether sex and gender perspectives are relevant for the proposed research and, if so, in which way the involved researchers will use such perspectives, or why they choose not to. How sex and gender perspectives are managed in the research project will form part of the assessment of scientific quality.
Support with your application
If you have questions about applying to VR, please contact email@example.com.
Data management plan
VR demands that all research projects that they fund have a data management plan (DMP) for data generated within the project. The DMP does not need to be submitted at the proposal stage, but the administrating organisation must confirm that a DMP will be in place once the project has started and that it will be maintained.
To assist both researchers and other staff at SLU in managing data, SLU maintains a data management plan template that meets the requirements of Formas, the Swedish Research Council, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. See more on this at SLU’s Data Management Support.
If you have questions concerning data management plans or need help to create one, please contact SLU’s Data Management Support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reading successful applications is a great way to learn about proposal writing, and VR makes all successful applications publically available. You can search on their website for published decisions, to find proposals relevant to your area of research. You can then submit a request to email@example.com for a copy of the proposal(s) you would like to read – remember to include the relevant project number(s) in your request.
Managing a project
All project reporting is handled in Prisma.