Instructions for applying for funds for two- and three-year projects 2021

2020-09-09

Funding support for a project is available for an individual researcher or small group of researchers who formulate the research problem, method and implementation of the project themselves and conduct a well-defined research task within a limited period.

Eligible to apply: an individual researcher or small group of researchers. All the researchers must have obtained doctoral degrees by the date of application.

Project period: two or three years.

Amount of grant: a maximum of SEK 2 million a year.


Key dates

  • The application system opens on Monday 11 January 2021 at 9:00 am.
  • Applications for Stage 1 must be submitted not later than on Wednesday 3 February 2021 at 3:00 pm.
  • Notification of whether applications have been approved to proceed to Stage 2 will be sent in March 2021.
  • Applications for Stage 2 must be submitted not later than on Wednesday 28 April 2021 at 3:00 pm.
  • Decisions on whether to approve applications or not will be taken by the Foundation’s Board on Wednesday 6 October 2021.

Applications are submitted in the Foundation’s application system.


Instructions and conditions

A. General

1.
Please note
that the whole application must be written in English. Incomplete applications and/or applications written partly in Swedish will not be considered. Neither will applications that clearly fail to meet the Foundation’s basic requirement of relevance to the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe.

2.
On this occasion, the application relates to funding from 1 January 2022.

3.
No appendices may be attached, apart from the PDF files that are requested in the application system.

4.
From Stage 1, the project manager must inform the grant administrator and/or head of department in charge that funding from the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies is being applied for.

5.
In Stage 2, applications must have the grant administrator’s approval. This is obtained by means of a form signed by the project manager and head of department. The form is downloaded from the application system. The undersigned form must be uploaded to the application system not later than the end of the application period, 28 April 2021, at 3:00 pm. The signatures represent confirmation that the project, as described in the application, can be accommodated in the department, including positions, fees and assignments for researchers who are not employed at the University at the time of the application, for the period and on the scale specified in the project plan. The signatures also denote certification that a data management plan will be in place when the project starts, and that the plan is maintained (see also point A 10). Applications that have not been signed by the project manager and head of department will not be processed.

6.
The project manager is responsible for the ongoing project work. The project manager is also the contact person for the project towards the Foundation and the grant administrator when the application is created, during the assessment period and after a funding decision has been made.

7.
If funds for the same or a similar project are also applied for from another funder, 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.

8.
The Foundation does not normally approve co-funding of research projects with another funder.

9.
Projects funded by the Foundation must be based at Södertörn University, which must accordingly be the grant administrator. In administrative terms, every project awarded a grant by the Foundation must be affiliated to a responsible Södertörn University department.

10.
If a project is approved, a data management plan is required for data generated in the research that the Foundation has undertaken to fund. This plan must describe how data collected and/or created will be managed in the course of the research, and how the data will be dealt with subsequently. The plan need not be submitted to the Foundation, but the signing of the form by the project manager and head of department mean that the grant administrator also certifies that a data management plan will exist by the time the project commences and, moreover, will be maintained. See the Swedish Research Council’s information page about how to configure central parts of a data management plan.

11.
The project manager is responsible for ensuring that ethical review is carried out, and that approval is granted before the research commences.

12.
Researchers with grants from the Foundation must publish their research findings online with open access. This applies to peer-reviewed journal articles and conference publications.

13.
When an application is submitted to the Foundation, information is collected and processed to enable the application to be dealt with. For applications with more than one participant, the project manager is responsible for ensuring that all the participants are informed that the Foundation collects the personal data required for the application to be processed. See also the Foundation’s Data Privacy Policy.

14.
The Foundation publishes details of grants awarded on its website and in its annual report. This information is taken from the applications and may, for each, include the registration number, project manager’s name, project title, department, amount of grant, project period and project summary. The scientific part of the final report on the project is also published on the Foundation’s website.

15.
Information on grants awarded by the Foundation is submitted 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.

B. Applicants: project manager and participants

1.
All participating researchers for whom salaries are applied for must have obtained a doctoral degree by the date of application.

2.
All project participants to be engaged in research must be named in the application.

3.
See overview of Which grants may be applied for simultaneously and Which grants may be applied for if a researcher has an ongoing project.

4.
In a given year, taking part in only one application for funding of research project from the Foundation is allowed, irrespective of whether the researcher applies as the project manager or a project participant. Accordingly, a person cannot take part in both a project application and, for example, an application for a grand project in the same year.

5.
A project manager for an ongoing project (i.e. one on which no final report has been submitted) 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 submitted. This also applies to projects involving doctoral students where the student’s part of the project has not been completed. Thus, it is not possible to lead two research projects with grants from the Foundation at the same time.

6.
A project manager for an ongoing project on which no final report has been submitted by the application date, may apply as a project participant in one new project at the most; however, see below for maximum working time.

7.
A project participant in an ongoing project may apply as a project participant or project manager in one new project at the most; however, see below for maximum working time.

8.
Researchers who, at the time of application, are involved in the Professors Programme funded by the Foundation may apply for funding, but not for their own personal salaries throughout the forthcoming project period.

9.
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, and to hold a departmental position at the time of the application.

10.
Neither the project manager nor the participants need to be employed by the grant administrator at the time of the application. During the project period, the project manager must be employed at Södertörn University, while the other participants must normally spend some time there.

C. Costs and amount of grant

1.
The budget for a project may not exceed SEK 2 million a year. The budget may be distributed differently from year to year but may not, for a three-year project, exceed SEK 6 million altogether for the entire project period.

2.
Funds may be applied for to cover costs related to the project, such as salaries, payroll overhead in the form of social security contributions (lönekostnadspålägg, LKP), indirect costs, costs of premises and operating costs (including, for example, costs of investigations, travel, workshops and conferences directly related to the project). It is possible to include assistants and technical staff in the budget for ‘other costs’. The Foundation funds costs of disseminating results from the project with a standard grant of SEK 100,000, which is automatically added by the application system. Costs of printing, language editing, translation, publication with open access etc. may therefore not be included in the application.

3.
The project manager’s working time in the project must be equivalent to at least 20% of a full-time annual position. This working time may be distributed differently from year to year. 

4.
Funding for researchers in a project may be applied for to cover up to 50% of a full-time annual position per person. Working time may be distributed differently between the years, but may not exceed 150% altogether for one person in a three-year project. A researcher included in an ongoing project as a project manager or participant may apply as a project participant in one other 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.

5.
Doctoral students may not be included, in any function, in an application for project funding. Accordingly, the application cannot contain any costs, including operating costs, for doctoral students.

D. Project period, grant availability period and monitoring

1.
Either two or three years’ project funding may be applied for.

2.
An additional year of grant availability is added to the duration of a project, counting from the approved start of the project.

3.
When the grant availability period has ended, a final report comprising a financial part and a scientific part must be submitted to the Foundation within four months. The scientific report is published in unedited form on the Foundation’s website. Other forms of monitoring of the project may also occur.

E. Assessment

Applications to the Foundation for funding of new research projects are assessed by the Foundation’s research committee. This committee comprises a group of researchers with a broad composition in terms of subject specialisation. The composition of the research committee is shown on the Foundation’s website.

Assessment of applications takes place in several stages

The research committee reviews the applications on the basis of the set criteria for assessment. A number of applications are selected for further review and approved to proceed to Stage 2, while the others are rejected. The project manager is notified by email. No reasons for rejections are given. For the applications selected for further review, the project managers concerned submit more elaborate applications for assessment by external experts (at least two per application), who submit written statements of opinion.

The experts are appointed by the research committee. Appointees are academically qualified people with knowledge relevant to the application. The committee does not accept nominations of experts from the applicants.

The research committee then assesses the in-depth applications and uses the external experts’ statements as a supplementary basis. The statements are also assessed by the committee.

The research committee ranks the applications in order of priority and proposes to the Foundation’s Board which applications should be rejected and approved respectively.

After the Board has made its decision, the applicants are notified by email, and also receive the external experts’ statements. No reasons for the decisions are given. For the applications that are approved, a contract for the project is signed by the project manager and the head of department in charge, and by the Foundation.

Assessment criteria

The criteria for assessing applications are:

  • scientific quality
  • relevance of the research to the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe

These criteria are specified in more detail below.

Scientific quality
Research funded by the Foundation must be of consistent highest scientific quality. Overall, the research must contribute to theoretical and methodological development, and display originality and depth.

Relevance of research to the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe
According to the Statutes, the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies funds research related to ‘the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe’. ‘Eastern Europe’ refers to post-communist Central, Southern and Eastern Europe. The ‘Baltic Sea Region’ is the Baltic Sea and the states surrounding it (see further information here). The Foundation does not fund research relating exclusively to Sweden or Swedish conditions. However, support may be provided for research that concerns Sweden, or countries entirely outside the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe, in comparative studies where this is scientifically justified.

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

Overall assessment
The Foundation’s research committee reaches a balanced assessment of which applications can be approved in light of the criteria specified above. In this connection, every individual application is first assessed on its own merits, whereupon every individual project is assessed in relation to the other applications. How the application relates to the current international state of research and the feasibility of the project is also assessed. Where applications are assessed as being of equivalent scientific quality, the committee considers gender composition and the distribution of disciplinary research domains in selecting the projects for which support is proposed.

F. Application instructions

1.
Applications are submitted in the Foundation’s application system. See Instructions for users of the application system.

2.
The whole application must be written in English.

3.
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.

4.
It is important to choose the correct form of support. Otherwise, there is a risk of the application not being considered.

5.
Once the application has been submitted, it cannot be changed. If you need to make changes, please contact the Foundation’s secretariat.

6.
Between the applications in Stages 1 and 2, the project description must be developed. Only minor changes may be made in other parts of the application.

Stage 1 of application

The summary may have a maximum total of 1500 characters including spaces. It must describe and give reasons for the research task, and report on theory, method and empirical basis. The summary must be formulated in a way that people with other research specialisations can understand. If the application is approved, the summary of the project will be published in unedited form on the Foundation’s website.

The project description for a project, whether with one or more participants, must, in Stage 1, comprise a maximum of four pages of text (Times New Roman 12 points, line spacing 1.5).

The project description must give a clear account of:

  • purpose and research question
  • contribution to new knowledge and to the international research frontline
  • theory and method
  • materials
  • time schedule and design
  • scientific relevance to the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe, and usefulness of the project for overall knowledge building in the area
  • researchers’ functions and responsibilities in the project
  • collaboration with guest researchers, if any, and any other research contacts both in the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe, and both national and international.

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.

CVs may not exceed two pages in length per participant. Every CV must contain the following information: date of doctoral degree, employment, the applicant’s five most important academic publications, previous external research grants, experience of project management and supervision, and international research stays.

Project costs must be specified in the form of a budget in SEK for the whole project period. Fill in the form according to the instructions in the application system. All the research staff must be named in the budget.

Budget commentary. Please note that all direct costs, and resource requirements for non-research staff and costs of travel and material collection, must be specified and justified in detail in the space for ‘Budget commentary’. 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 obligatory. The budget commentary may be up to 3,000 characters including spaces in length.

Stage 2 of application

The project description must contain the same information as in Stage 1 but be more detailed and include a plan for how both information about the project and the research results are to be communicated, both within the discipline and to society at large.

In Stage 2, for projects with several participants, the project description may not exceed ten pages (Times New Roman 12 points, line spacing 1.5) in length. For projects with one applicant only, the project description may not exceed six pages (Times New Roman 12 points, line spacing 1.5).

Signatures. 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 then uploaded to the application system. The Foundation processes signed applications only.