Instructions on funding applications for research networks in 2023

26/10/2022

The research networks form of support concerns funding for either creating new networks of researchers or maintaining already established ones. The networks must themselves initiate research and serve the purpose of contributing to future research through academic meetings and contacts where researchers can define, delimit and formulate research ideas that may eventually culminate in applications for research funds.

Eligible to apply: a group of researchers. The project manager may be a researcher from a higher education institution in Sweden, but the network must include researchers at Södertörn University. The great majority of participants must come from research environments outside Sweden. Doctoral students may be included.

Project period: a maximum of one year.

Amount of grant: a maximum of SEK 150,000.

Grant administrator: Higher education institution in Sweden.


Key dates

  • The application system opens on Monday 9 January 2023 at 9:00 am.
  • The closing date of application is Wednesday 1 February 2023 at 3:00 pm.
  • Decisions on whether to approve applications or not will be taken by the Board of the Foundation on Wednesday 18 April 2023.

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 September 2023.

3. The project description, references and CV(s) are uploaded as separate PDF files. No appendices may be attached, other than the PDF files requested in the application system.

4. A Swedish higher education institution must be a grant administrator for a research network. There may be other Swedish grant administrators, but the Foundation’s approval must be obtained before the application is submitted.

5. The application must be approved by the grant administrator and signed by the project manager and the grant administrator’s authorised representative (usually the head of department, prefekt). The signed form must be uploaded to the application system not later than the end of the application period, on 1 February 2023 at 3:00 pm. Applications that have not been signed by the project manager and grant administrator’s authorised representative will not be processed. See more about signing and what it involves under the heading ‘F. Application instructions’, subheading ‘Signatures’.

6. The project manager is responsible for the ongoing work of the network. The project manager is also the contact person for the project vis-à-vis 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 research network are applied for from another funder as well, this must be stated in the application. If funds are received for a research network from another funder, the Foundation’s secretariat must always be notified of this fact. The project manager must then choose which of the grants to utilise.

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

9. 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. Confirmation in the application system that the project manager has received the Foundation’s Data Policy is obligatory before the application is submitted.

10. On its website, the Foundation publishes details of grants awarded. This information is taken from the application and may include the registration number, project manager’s name, project title, department, grant administrator, amount of grant awarded, project period and summary of the project. The scientific part of the final report on the project will also be published on the Foundation’s website.

11. 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.

12. It is possible to apply for funding for an extension of a previous approved grant for a research network.

B. Applicants: project manager and participants

1. The project manager must have obtained a doctorate by the date of application.

2. The project manager may be a researcher from a higher education institution in Sweden. The research network must include researchers at Södertörn University. The great majority of the participants must come from research environments outside Sweden.

3. A core group of participants in the research network must be named in the application and their CVs attached. This also applies to participants from Södertörn University.

4. Research networks may also include doctoral students.

5. A researcher (this also applies to doctoral students) may participate in only one application for a research network in a single year.

6. Both the project manager for and participants in an ongoing project funded by the Foundation may apply for a research network without having submitted a final report on a previous grant from the Foundation. See overview Which grants may be applied for.

7. Both the project manager and the project participants in ongoing projects funded by the Foundation may, while applying for support for a research network, also apply for funding within the Foundation’s other forms of support. See overview Which grants may be applied for.

8. Researchers who, at the time of application, are involved in the Professors Programme funded by the Foundation may apply for support for a research network or be included in a research network application.

9. There is no age limit for applicants seeking research network support from the Foundation.

10. The Foundation is complying with the Government’s request to ensure that contacts and collaborations with Russian and Belarusian state institutions cease immediately and no new ones are initiated. The Foundation will not fund research collaborations linked to the state in Russia or Belarus.

C. Amount of grant and costs

1. The amount applied for may not exceed SEK 150,000.

2. Funding can be applied for to cover costs related to the research network, such as those associated with meetings and indirect costs (overheads).

3. In the estimates for travel, board and lodging, these costs must be compatible with the grant administrator’s rules for travel and work-related entertainment.

4. Funds cannot be applied for to cover salaries, hold conferences, issue publications, conduct pilot studies and the like.

5. Funding to hold conferences may be applied for separately in form of support: conference grants.

D. Project period, grant availability period and monitoring

1. A maximum of one year’s funding for research networks may be applied for. No additional time for grant availability is added to the duration of a project.

2. When the grant availability period ends, a final report comprising a financial part and a scientific part must be sent to the Foundation within four months. The final research report is published in unedited form on the Foundation’s website. Project monitoring may take other forms as well.

E. Assessment

An application for funding for a research network is assessed by a specially appointed assessment panel. See the composition of the panel.

The panel 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. No reasons for the decisions are given.

Assessment criteria

The criteria for assessing applications are:

  • scientific potential
  • relevance of the research network to the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe
  • the quality of the plan for the research network’s activities
  • how the research network will benefit research and/or doctoral studies at Södertörn University.

The content of the research network must be highly relevant to the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe. The same description of this relevance as the one applying to research projects is also applied with respect to research networks. See below.

Research network’s relevance 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’. The ‘Baltic Sea Region’ is the Baltic Sea itself and the surrounding areas. ‘Eastern Europe’ refers to post-communist Central, Southern and Eastern Europe (see further information on the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe). 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 where the link to the region is indirect, is regarded as less relevant.

F. Application instructions

1. Applications are submitted in the Foundation’s application system.

2. The whole application must be written in English.

3. The project manager must be the person who creates the application in the application system. The email address used to log in to the application system must be that of the project manager.

4. In the application system, it is important to choose the application form for the correct category of support. Otherwise, there is a risk of the application being rejected without consideration.

5. All the information filled in is saved automatically in the application system. A project manager who stops working in the system for 60 minutes is automatically logged out (with the information saved automatically).

6. Once the application has been sent in, the project manager personally cannot change it. If changes in the application are necessary, please contact the Foundation’s secretariat.

7. The application system does not send confirmation that an application has been submitted. To verify its submission, log in to the application system and check that the space under ‘Status’ in the application shows ‘Submitted’. There, the application sent in can also be downloaded as a PDF file.

8. For a person with no Swedish Personal ID number, write ‘-XXXX’ after the date of birth, as follows: YYYYMMDD-XXXX.

Summary 

The summary may be up to 1500 characters, including spaces, in length. It must report on the research network’s purpose and implementation. If the application is approved, the summary of the project is published in unedited form on the Foundation’s website.

Project description 

The project description for research networks must comprise a maximum of three pages of text (Times New Roman 12 points, line spacing 1.5).

The project description must give a clear account of the research network’s

  • purpose
  • planned activities
  • research relevance to the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe
  • how the research network contributes to research and/or doctoral studies at Södertörn University
  • time schedule (with dates as precise as possible) and implementation
  • participants’ functions
  • expected output.

If the application is for an extension of previous approved funding for a research network it must also, in addition to the above points, clearly describe what has been achieved in the network and how the network is to be managed in the period ahead.

References 

References are listed in a separate file, with complete references for the sources referred to in the project description. The references may not exceed five pages in length. References relate to the literature to which the project description refers, and not to letters of recommendation or other testimonials, for example.

CVs 

CVs for the project manager and the core group of participants in the research network may not exceed two pages in length per participant. Every CV must contain the following information: date of doctorate; employment position, the applicant’s five most important academic publications, preferably with reference to the proposed project; previous external research grants; experience of project management and supervision; and international research stays.

Project costs 

Here, a budget in SEK for the whole project period is provided, with the form filled in according to the instructions in the application system.

Amount for indirect costs must be calculated according to and compatible with the grant administrator’s rules for indirect costs.

Please note that, for the research network form of support, funding may be sought only for arranging meetings. Within this support form, funds cannot be applied for to cover salaries, nor to hold conferences or issue publications, conduct pilot studies and the like.

Budget commentary

Note that all costs must be specified and justified in detail in the space for ‘Budget commentary’. This means, first, that you must provide a realistic calculation of individual costs, and define them precisely at a level of detail that permits assessment of their suitability in relation to the purpose of the network. Second, it means that the costs must be justified and arguments for them presented, based on the purpose and implementation of the individual network. Unspecified or unjustified costs are not approved.

The calculation of the amount for indirect costs must be explained in the budget comment.

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.

Signatures

The application must be signed by the project manager and the grant administrator’s authorised representative, who is usually the head of the department (prefekt) where the research network is intended to be based. The Foundation processes signed applications only.

A special form for these signatures is downloaded from the application system. The signature form can either by signed by both parties manually, on paper, and then scanned, or signed electronically by both parties. In both cases, the form is uploaded to the application system.

The Foundation approves digital signing of signature forms with the following digital signature services: EduSign, DocuSign, Scrive and TeamEngine. Signing by means of Bank ID is recommended. The same digital signature service must be used by everyone who digitally signs one and the same document. Signing digitally by means of different digital signature services is not approved by the Foundation.

If digital signing is used, the signatures are not visible in the final PDF version of the application that the project manager can download from the application system. The digitally signed form remains, however, in its original form in the application system, and this is the file that is checked by the Foundation’s secretariat.

The project manager’s signature represents confirmation that:

  • the information in the application is correct and in line with the Foundation’s instructions
  • the project manager will comply with all the conditions applying to the grant.

The grant administrator’s signature represents confirmation that:

  • the activity described can be accommodated at the department during the period and on the scale specified in the application
  • the applicant will be employed by the grant administrator for the period to which the application relates
  • the grant administrator approves the cost calculation in the application
  • the grant administrator will comply with all the conditions applying to the grant.

The parties must have discussed all the above points before the project manager and the grant administrator’s representative approve and sign the application.

Contact

Zofia Makowska, zofia.makowska@ostersjostiftelsen.se