Applying for new funding of projects and postdoctoral projects from the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies. Instructions for 2020

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Two types of funding are available from the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies: grants for projects and for postdoctoral projects. Up to three years’ funding for projects and two years’ funding for postdoctoral projects may be applied for.


PLEASE NOTE

  • The Foundation has introduced a two-stage procedure.
    In brief, this means that the project description in the applications, in Stage 1 consists of an outline. The Foundation’s research delegation assesses the applications. Selected applications then proceed to Stage 2, the others being rejected with no review by external specialists. For an application that proceeds to Stage 2, an in-depth project description must be written. This in-depth application is sent for review by external specialists. Based on the in-depth applications and the specialists’ statements of opinion, the research delegation carries out assessment and prioritisation of applications that the Foundation’s Board is recommended to approve.
  • The Foundation has a new application system.
  • The terms and conditions for grant applications to the Foundation have changed since the previous call for proposals.

Applications are sent in on the Foundation’s website, ostersjostiftelsen.se.


Key dates

  • The application system opens at 9:00 am on Wednesday 8 January 2020.
  • The closing application time and date for Stage 1 are 3:00 pm on Wednesday 29 January 2020.
  • Notification of approval for applications to proceed to Stage 2 is sent in mid- March 2020.
  • The closing application time and date for Stage 2 are not later than 3:00 pm on Wednesday 22 April 2020.
  • Decisions on whether applications have been approved or not are taken by the Foundation’s Board on Tuesday the 6th of October 2020.

Contact

Coordinator Erika Jansson, erika@ostersjostiftelsen.se, tel. +46-(0)70-338 9897.
Research Director Britta Lövgren, britta.lovgren@ostersjostiftelsen.se, tel. +46- (0)70-646 0584.


Terms and conditions

PLEASE NOTE: The whole application must be in English. Incomplete applications and/or applications written partly in Swedish are rejected, as are applications that obviously fail to meet the Foundation’s fundamental requirement of relevance to the Baltic Sea and East European region.

  • On this occasion, applications refer to funding from 1 January 2021. No appendices may be attached, apart from the PDF files required in the application system, nor is Södertörn University’s cost estimate to be sent.
  • From Stage 1, the project manager must inform the head of department in charge that funding from the Foundation is being applied for.
  • Applications in Stage 2 are to be approved by the grant administrator and signed by the project manager and head of department. The signed form must be uploaded into the application system no later than at the closing application time and date, 3:00 pm on Wednesday 22 April 2020. The two signatures confirm that the project, as described in the application, can be accommodated at the department concerned, including positions, remuneration and assignments for researchers who are not, at the time of the application, employed at the University, for the period and on the scale specified in the project plan. Applications that have not been signed by the project manager and head of department will not be processed.
  • The person who creates the application must also be the project manager. The project manager’s email address must be used to log in to the application system.
  • The project manager is responsible for ongoing project work. The project manager is also the contact person for the project in relation to the Foundation and Södertörn University when the application is created, during the review period and also after the grant decision has been taken.
  • Once an application has been submitted, it cannot be changed. If you need to do changes in the application, you must create a new application. It’s the last application submitted that will be taken into account by the foundation.
  • Projects may be approved for a maximum of three years and postdoctoral projects for two years.
  • For both project and postdoctoral project applications, every participating researcher whose salary funding is applied for must have obtained a doctoral degree by the application date.
  • Funding of postdoctoral projects may be applied for up to three years after the doctorate is obtained (with the option of deducting periods of parental leave, illness, service in the Armed Forces, and trade union or political office).
  • A project manager for an ongoing project (i.e. one on which no final report has been issued) funded by the Foundation may not apply, as a project manager, for a new project until after the final report on the ongoing project is issued. This also applies to projects involving doctoral students where the student’s part of the project has not been concluded. Thus, it is not possible to lead two projects with grants from the Foundation at the same time.
  • A project manager for an ongoing project on which no final report has been issued by the application date may apply as a project participant in one new project at the most; however, see below for maximum working time.
  • Taking part in only one application for a project or postdoctoral project is allowed, irrespective of whether the researcher applies as a project manager or project participant. Thus, a researcher may not for example be involved in both a project application and a postdoctoral project application.
  • A project participant in an ongoing project may apply as a project participant or project manager in one project at the most; however, see below for maximum working time.
  • All project participants to be engaged in research must be named in the application.
  • It is desirable for projects with two or more participants to be of a multidisciplinary composition.
  • Projects funded by the Foundation must be based at Södertörn University, i.e. Södertörn University must be the grant administrator. In administrative terms, every project for which the Foundation awards a grant is considered to be the responsibility of a department at Södertörn University.
  • Projects may have project managers and participants from other higher education institutions as well, in Sweden or abroad. However, during the project period the project manager must be employed at Södertörn University, while the other participants must normally spend some time there.
  • Funding for researchers in a project may be applied for to cover up to 50 per cent of annual full-time employment per person in the project. Working time may be distributed differently from one year to the next, but may not exceed 150 per cent altogether for one person in a three-year project. A researcher included as a participant in an ongoing project may apply as a project participant in one project at the most. However, total working time for the ongoing project and the one applied for may not amount to more than 75 per cent of a full-time position annually.
  • For postdoctoral projects, salary funding for up to 80 per cent of salary per year for two years may be applied for. Any teaching or other assignments (amounting to a maximum of 20 per cent) within the framework of a postdoctoral position are not funded by the Foundation.
  • Researchers who, at the time of application, are involved in the Professors Programme funded by the Foundation may apply for project funding, but not for their own personal salaries throughout the project period ahead.
  • The project budget may not exceed SEK 3 million a year. The budget may be distributed differently among the years but may not, for a three-year project, exceed SEK 9 million altogether for the entire project period. Following presentation of special reasons, a higher sum may be accepted in exceptional cases. The salary budget for a postdoctoral project may not amount to more than 80 per cent of full-time salary.
  • There is no age limit for applicants seeking grants from the Foundation. The requirement for receiving salary in the project is for the researcher not to be in full-time retirement.
  • If funds for the same or a similar project are also applied for from another funder, such as a research council or foundation, this must be stated in the application. If funding is received from another funder for the project, the Foundation’s secretariat must always be notified of this fact. The project manager may then choose which of the grants to utilise.
  • The Foundation does not normally approve co-funding of projects and postdoctoral projects with another funder.
  • An extra year is added to the duration of the funding from the approved start date of the project.
  • When the funding period ends, a final report comprising a financial and a research part must be submitted to the Foundation within four months. The final research report is published in unedited form on the Foundation’s website.
  • The project manager is responsible for ensuring that an ethical review is carried out, and that approval is in place before the research is commenced. Read more here.
  • Researchers with grants from the Foundation must publish their research results online with open access. This applies to peer-reviewed articles in journals and contributions to conference publications. The Foundation awards a standard grant to fund costs of publication with open access. Read more here.
  • When an application is submitted to the Foundation, information is collected and processed to enable the application to be dealt with. For project applications with two or more participants, the project manager is responsible for ensuring that all the participants are informed that the Foundation collects personal data required for dealing with the application. See also the Foundation’s data privacy policy. Read more here.
  • On its website and in its annual report, the Foundation publishes details of grants awarded. This information is taken from the applications and may, for each, include the file or reference number, project manager’s name, project title, department, amount of grant approved, project period and project summary. The academic part of the final report on the project is also uploaded to the Foundation’s website.
  • The Foundation issues information on grants awarded for publication in SweCRIS, a national database of grant-funded research. The Swedish Research Council is a data controller for the purpose of processing data in SweCRIS.

Assessment criteria

The primary criteria for assessment of applications are:

  • academic quality, followed by
  • relevance of the research to the Baltic Sea and East European region
  • the contribution of the research to multidisciplinary knowledge.

These criteria are specified in more detail below.

Academic quality
Research funded by the Foundation must be of consistently top academic quality. Overall, the research must contribute to theoretical and methodological development and also show originality and depth.

Relevance to Baltic Sea and East European region
According to the Statutes, research funded by the Foundation must be associated with the Baltic Sea and East European region. The ‘East European’ part of the region comprises post-communist Central, South and East Europe. The ‘Baltic Sea’ part is the Baltic itself and the surrounding areas. The Foundation does not fund research relating exclusively to Sweden or Swedish conditions. However, support may be granted for research concerning Sweden, or countries entirely outside the Baltic Sea and East European region, in comparative studies when this is scientifically justified.

For research to be judged as highly relevant to the Baltic Sea and East European region, it must make a concrete contribution to our knowledge of this region. Research within this area that involves collaboration with researchers and research institutions, and with other stakeholders in the Baltic Sea and East European region, is particularly relevant. Research with a more theoretical main question, in which the importance of the Baltic Sea or East European region is not reflected in the main question or the link to the region is indirect, is regarded as less relevant.

Contribution of the research to multidisciplinary knowledge formation
Knowledge-building about the Baltic Sea and East European region is fostered by scholarly breadth and depth. Individual research projects can help to generate multidisciplinary knowledge in two ways. They can either take a multidisciplinary form or collectively contribute to a multidisciplinary research environment.

Overall assessment
The Foundation’s research delegation reaches a balanced assessment of which applications can be approved in light of the three criteria specified above. In doing so it assesses, first, each individual application and, second, each individual project in relation to the other applications. An assessment is also made of how the application relates to the current international state of research and the feasibility of the project. Where applications are assessed as being of equivalent academic quality, the delegation considers gender composition and the distribution of academic fields in their selection of the projects recommended for support.


Review

Applications to the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies for funding of new research projects are processed by the Foundation’s research delegation. The researchers making up the delegation represent a wide range of subjects. The composition of the research delegation is shown on the Foundation’s website. Read more here.

Review of applications takes place in several stages.

The research delegation reviews the applications on the basis of the set criteria for assessment. A number of applications are selected for further review, and approval is given for them to proceed to the Stage 2, while the rest are rejected. The project managers concerned are notified by email. No reasons are given for rejection. For the applications selected for further review in Stage 2, the project managers submit more highly developed applications that are assessed by external specialists (at least two per application), who issue written statements of opinion.

The specialists are appointed by the research delegation. Appointees are academically qualified people with knowledge relevant to the applications. The delegation does not accept proposals for specialists from the applicants.

The research delegation then assesses the in-depth applications and uses the external specialists’ statements as supplementary decision support. The specialists’ statements, too, are examined by the delegation.

The research delegation selects the applications to be given priority and issues a recommendation to the Foundation’s Board on which applications should be rejected and approved.

After the Board has taken its decision, the applicants are notified by email, and the applicants get the external specialists’ statements for information. No reasons for the decisions are given. For every project that is approved, a contract for the project must be signed by the project manager and head of department in charge, and also by the Foundation.


Instructions

  • Applications are submitted on the Foundation’s website, ostersjostiftelsen.se. See the instructions for users of the application system. Read more here.
  • The whole application must be written in English.
  • Between the applications in Stages 1 and 2, the project description must be developed. No other parts of the application may be revised.

Application Stage 1

  1. The summary may have a maximum total of 1500 characters including spaces. It must describe and give reasons for the research assignment and also report on theory, method and empirical basis. Remember that the summary must be formulated in such a way as to be accessible, for reading and studying, to a broadly composed (multidisciplinary) group. If the application is approved, the summary of the project is published, without being edited, on the Foundation’s website.
  2. The project description, whether for a project with only one participant or for one with two or more participants, must comprise no more than four pages of text (Times New Roman, 12 points, spacing 1,5).
    The project description must give a clear account of the following aspects of the project:
    • Purpose and research question
    • Contribution to new knowledge and to the international research frontline
    • Theory och method
    • Material
    • Time schedule and layout
    • Academic relevance to the Baltic Sea and East European region, and how the project will contribute to overall knowledge about the region
    • Connection to Södertörn University and its contribution to quality development of research and PhD education at the University
    • The researchers’ functions in the project
    • Collaboration with guest researchers and any other research contacts, if any, both in the Baltic Sea and East European region and nationally and internationally.
  3. References are listed separately, with complete references for the sources referred to in the project description. The references may not exceed five pages in length.
  4. A CV may be no longer than two pages per participant. The CV must contain the following particulars: degree(s), employment, the applicant’s five most important academic publications, previous external research grants, experience of project management and supervision, and international research
  5. Costs of the project must be specified in the form of a budget in SEK for the whole project period: a maximum of three years for projects and two years for postdoctoral projects. Fill in the form according to the instructions in the application system. All research staff must be named in the budget.
    • It is possible to include assistants and technical staff in the budget for ’other costs’.
    • A grant of SEK 30,000 per project for open access publication is automatically added by the application
    • Note that all direct costs, including resource requirements for non- research staff and also costs of travel and material collection, must be specified and justified in detail in the ‘Budget commentary’ space. Implementation of the project must be reflected in this commentary. Unspecified or unjustified costs are not approved. Note that the commentary, too, must be written in English and that it is compulsory. Applications with inadequate commentaries are rejected without quality assessment. The budget commentary may be up to 3,000 characters including spaces in length.

Application Stage 2

  • The project description must contain the same information as in Stage 1, but be more detailed. It must also include a plan for how first, information about the project and, second, the research results will be communicated both within the discipline concerned and to society at large.
  • The project description for projects with two or more participants must be no more than ten pages long (Times New Roman, 12 points, spacing 1,5). For projects with one participant only, the project description may not exceed six pages in length (Times New Roman, 12 points, spacing 1,5).
  • The application must be signed by the project manager and the head of department in charge. A special form for these signatures is downloaded from the application system, signed and uploaded into the application system. The Foundation processes signed applications only.