The Swedish Research Council (VR)

Last changed: 21 November 2020
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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

CO-FUNDING

The Swedish Research Council (VR) grants provide full cost coverage, unless otherwise stated in the call text.

HOW TO APPLY

Prisma

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;

  1. Scientific quality of the proposed research
  2. Novelty and originality
  3. Merits of the applicant
  4. Feasibility

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 externalfunding@slu.se.

Budget

Please contact the Financial Officer/Administrator at your department for support with making the budget for your VR project in the SLU project calculator. The budget form in the Prisma application system can vary slightly between calls, but in most cases, the cost structure is similar to the one used in SLU´s project calculator.

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 organization must confirm that a DMP will be in place when you start your project or equivalent, and also that the plan will be maintained.

To assist both researchers and other staff at SLU to manage data, we have designed a DHP template that meets the requirements of VR (the Swedish Research Council), FORMAS and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. You find it here.

If you have questions concerning data management plans or need help to create one, please contact SLU’s Data Curation Unit at dcu@slu.se.

Succesful applications

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 registrator@vr.se 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.  The scientific report is registered and approved by the project leader. The financial reports (often yearly) are registered by a Financial Administrator at the department. After registration the financial report is sent to the project leader for approval. Approval means that the report is submitted to the funding body.

Page editor: frank.sterner@slu.se