Proposal Development - Large Collaborative Grants

Last changed: 24 February 2023

Large project grants require collaboration with several partners, often internationally, cross-discipline, and involving organisations within and outside of academia. Several funders offer these types of grants, for example, the European Commission, Mistra, Vinnova and NordForsk. Applications for this type of funding require you to commit a significant amount of time and effort to be successful. The Grants Office can help you to navigate the complexities and provide advice to help you to improve the overall quality of your application. How we do this will depend on whether SLU is the coordinator (leader) of the proposal, or participating as a partner.

When you are coordinating a proposal

We encourage you to coordinate proposals and the resulting projects. It is a fantastic opportunity to develop your CV and showcase your own and SLU’s areas of expertise. At the Grants Office, we have extensive experience in all aspects of application development, and we can help you with many things. From finding the right call, to developing your project idea and consortium, as well as writing a competitive proposal and preparing your budget.

Since there can be a lot of demand for our help, we prioritise support for proposals with multiple partners and a total project budget of SEK 20 million or above. However, depending on our workload, we may be able to provide some support for proposals outside of these criteria, so please get in touch to discuss your application.

Our mission is to provide the support that you need, and therefore no application process is identical. When you are coordinating a large collaborative proposal, our support can include:

  • Providing background information about specific funders, their priorities and evaluation processes
  • Explaining the rationale behind the call and guiding on the rules and eligibility criteria
  • Discussing the development of your project idea and its fit to the call
  • Guiding on consortium building and project design, organisation and management
  • Offering advice on how to write a good proposal (Link coming)
  • Reviewing proposal drafts, and providing constructive feedback
  • Advising on budgetary issues

Please remember that the level of support that we can provide depends on our time and the ability to plan our time efficiently. Thus, the sooner you contact us, the better! By starting early, you can help us to do a good job and at the same time, help yourself to develop a competitive proposal.

Head of department approval

Large grants involve a lot of time, energy and other resources, both in the proposal phase and during implementation if they are funded. For us to commit resources from the Grants Office to support you with your application, it is important that you also have the backing of your Head of Department.

Your project may be entitled to co-funding from SLU centrally, or in three-parts from the department, faculty and central budget. You and your Head of Department should review SLU’s co-funding guidelines and the external funding guidelines to make sure you understand your obligations and the potential financial implications on the department if your proposal is successful.

Potential funding opportunities

You can find information about many different funders and some of the open calls relevant to SLU on our web pages. Below are a selection of funders with a particular focus on large collaborative grants, where you may want to begin looking for funding opportunities.

Horizon Europe Pillar II

Pillar II of Horizon Europe focuses on global challenges and European industrial competitiveness, with top-down calls divided into six thematic clusters. Each cluster publishes annual work programmes, with topics which require collaboration between multiple partners from several countries. 

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Doctoral Networks

MSCA Doctoral Networks (previously called Innovative Training Networks) focus on a common challenge and work towards educating the next generation of researchers. Multiple academic and non-academic organisations from several countries establish a partnership and recruit several PhD students from across the world. 

Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research

Mistra targets major environmental challenges by launching 2-4 annual calls in thematic areas. Mistra projects are led by Swedish research organisations, in collaboration with other sectors such as industry, public authorities and civil society. 


Nordforsk identifies common Nordic priorities and provides funding for research cooperation and research infrastructure. Calls vary from year to year, and projects must involve partners from at least three Nordic countries or autonomous areas.

Vinnova - Sweden’s Innovation Agency

Vinnova creates opportunities and incentives for organisations to work together to meet important societal challenges. They fund research and innovation projects and feasibility studies, and it is usually a requirement to work collaboratively with multiple partners.

When you are a partner in a proposal

When an organisation other than SLU is coordinating a proposal, it can be very rewarding to participate as a partner, and there are often opportunities for you to take on a leadership role such as Work Package or Task Leader. Your responsibility as a partner is, of course, not as extensive as when you apply as a coordinator. However, your contribution to the proposal will still be critical for making it successful. If you have been invited to participate as a partner in a large collaborative proposal, the Grants Office can offer you advice, including:

  • Answering questions about the funder, call, application or evaluation process
  • Providing tips on how to write a description of SLU and what you will bring to the project
  • Offering advice on how to write a good proposal
  • Directing you to any administrative information about SLU that the proposal coordinator requires
  • Advising on budgetary issues

To get advice on your application as a partner, please send a mail to our helpdesk at You may also find answers to some of your questions on our FAQs page.

Contact us

If you would like to talk about support with your coordinated proposal, please contact one of us directly:

Proposal development support

Fiona Reid & Ulf Westerlund

Budget support

Hallvard Wie (EU-funders) & Frank Sterner (Swedish funders)