Proposal Development – Large Individual Grants

Last changed: 26 November 2020

Several national and international funders offer special grants that support career development, allowing individual researchers to advance their academic career and position as research leaders. Many of these large individual grants are awarded based on excellence, such as those offered by the European Research Council (ERC) and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW). Still, others focus on researchers that work more closely with industry and other sectors, including the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF).

When you apply for a large individual grant, it is essential to have in-depth information about the funder and the evaluation process. It is also critical to clearly define your unique research profile, explain the novelty of your research and highlight your expertise and future goals. At the Grants Office, we have the knowledge to guide you through the priorities of different funders and help you to develop a competitive proposal that clearly visualises you and your research.

Our mission is to provide the support that you need. Therefore, no application process is identical - from idea development and writing a competitive proposal, to developing a budget and providing advice on project management and reporting. When you are applying for a large individual grant, 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
  • Offering advice on how to write a good proposal
  • Reviewing proposal drafts, and providing constructive feedback
  • Organising interview training, including mock expert panels
  • 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. If we come to an agreement with you on support from the Grants Office, we will ask that you have your Head of Department send us a simple approval form. This is a commitment that if your application is successful, the department will support the project in whichever ways are necessary for the Grant Agreement to be signed and the project to begin.

You can download a copy of our approval form here, and your Head of Department should email the completed version to grantsoffice@slu.se.

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 individual grants, where you may want to begin looking for funding opportunities.

Contact us

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

European Research Council (ERC)

ERC offers three different types of individual excellence grants, which you can apply for depending on your career stage - the Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grants. In addition, ERC funds small interdisciplinary teams through the ERC Synergy Grant.

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW)

KAW funds several career development programmes, including the Wallenberg Academy Fellows programme for promising young researchers, the Wallenberg Scholars programme for researchers who are already established leaders in their fields, and the Wallenberg Clinical Scholars programme for clinically active researchers.

Swedish Research Council (VR)

VR has dedicated part of their annual budget to supporting individual researchers that are either starting an independent career (VR Starting Grant) or are in the phase of consolidating their position as research leaders (VR Consolidator Grant). VR further offers several guest professorships.

The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF)

SSF funds the Future Research Leaders (FFL) career development programme, which announces a new call every three years for promising young researchers who conduct excellent research of strategic relevance for Sweden.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), Postdoctoral Fellowship

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships (previously called Individual Fellowships) give experienced researchers the opportunity to enhance their career by working abroad. Applications are a collaboration between the researcher and a supervisor at a host institution. The call opens once a year and is a chance for us to recruit excellent new researchers from across the world to SLU.

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