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Swedish Research Council Distinguished Professor Grant 2020

Publish Date: Jan 24, 2019

Deadline: Feb 26, 2019

Distinguished professor grant

The aim of the distinguished professor programme is to create conditions for the most prominent researchers to conduct long-term, ground-breaking research with great potential for achieving scientific breakthroughs. The grant shall also enable the establishment and build-up of a major research environment of the highest quality around a leading researcher.

Type of call

Research environment and collaboration support

Subject area

Humanities and Social Sciences, Medicine and Health, Natural and Engineering Sciences, Educational Sciences




Individual researcher who completed a doctoral degree more than 12 years ago.

Participating researchers

No participating researchers can be invited to join the application.

Grant period

10 years

Grant amount

5 million SEK per year

Budgetary framework
A maximum of 10 grants will be awarded

Publication of grant award

No later than the beginning of December 2019

Start of grant period

January 2020

The following requirements must be fulfilled in order for you to be eligible to apply for the grant. We carry out checks to ensure ineligible applications are rejected from further processing.


The applicant must be an individual researcher. You shall be the project leader and have scientific responsibility for the project. You must set aside adequate time for the project throughout the grant period, with a scope (activity level) that corresponds to at least 50 per cent of a full-time equivalent. You must hold a Swedish doctoral degree or a corresponding foreign degree, awarded more than 12 years before the deadline for this call (please see “Career age”).

Grants from the Swedish Research Council shall be administered by a Swedish HEI or another Swedish public organisation that fulfils our criteria for administrating organisations. Your organisation must therefore be approved as an administrating organisation for you to apply.

If you are awarded a grant, you must be employed by the administrating organisation at the start of and throughout the grant period and any additional availability period, unless the Swedish Research Council approves an exception. The employment must equal at least 50 per cent of a full-time equivalent. You do not have to be employed by the administrating organisation at the time of applying.

Career age

To apply for a distinguished professor grant, your doctoral degree must have been awarded more than 12 years ago at the deadline for the call, that is to say awarded 26 February 2007 or earlier. The degree award date we use is the date you fulfilled all the requirements for a doctoral degree, such as mandatory courses, oral defence and an approved doctoral thesis. For applicants with Swedish doctoral degrees, the award date listed in Ladok applies. You will not be able to complete your application if your doctoral degree was awarded at a later date.

Participating researchers

You can not invite any participating researchers in this application. Any collaboration partners and their roles shall be described in the research plan (please see instructions under “Research plan” below).

Costs and grant amounts

The grant is in a standard amount of 5 million SEK per year, including indirect costs, and may fund all types of research-related costs, such as

  • salaries (including your own salary, however no more than corresponding to your activity level in the project)
  • premises
  • running costs (such as consumables, travel including stays at research facilities, publication costs and minor equipment)
  • depreciation costs.

Grants may not be used for scholarships. If a doctoral student participates, project funds may not be paid out as salary for the period when the doctoral student is teaching.

The Swedish Research Council assumes that the administrating organisation will cover any costs in excess of the amount received.

Grant period

The grant period is 10 years, starting in January 2020. The first payment will be made in January 2020 at the earliest.

Reporting and follow-up

Five years after the start of the grant period, an activity report focusing on the state of the establishment and build-up of the research environment shall be submitted to the Swedish Research Council. The activity report shall also include a description of the HEI’s contribution to the research environment, and may result in a reassessment of the amounts awarded for the remainder of the grant period.

Please refer to the application form in Prisma in parallel with reading the instructions below, which describe the call-specific content of the application. More information on what to do in practical terms is available in our Guide for applicants.


Foreign experts only are involved in the scientific assessment of the applications. To ensure fair and equitable assessment and efficient processing, please therefore complete your application in English.

Sections of the application

The application form includes the following tabs:

  • Descriptive information
  • Establishment and development plan
  • Budget and research resources
  • Publications
  • Letter of support
  • Administrating organisation
  • Review panels
  • Participants (only administrators in this call)
  • CV

Descriptions of the call-specific information requested under each tab follow below.

Descriptive information


The abstract shall include a brief description of the following:

  • what is to be done
  • how the research is to be carried out: project organisation, time plan and the scientific methods to be used
  • what is important about the planned research
  • a statement on the programme’s importance for the research area, in particular with reference to innovation and the potential for a break-through.

The abstract shall provide a summary guide to the purpose and implementation of the research. Please use wording to ensure persons with another subject specialisation can understand the information.

The description may cover a maximum of 1 500 characters including blank spaces (approximately one third of an A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing).

Popular science description

Describe the project in such a way that a person who is not familiar with the subject can understand it. Describe what is to be done and why, and explain in what way the new knowledge may be important.

The popular science description is an important tool when we inform about the research funded by the Swedish Research Council. If we grant your application, we reserve the right to use the description for information purposes.

Note: The popular science description must be written in Swedish, unlike the rest of the application.

The description may cover a maximum of 4 500 characters including blank spaces (approximately one A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing).

Establishment and development plan

Ethical considerations

Describe the ethical issues raised by your project or corresponding. You must also describe how you plan to address ethical dilemmas that may arise. Please justify why the research should be carried out against the background of the ethical issues you have identified. How do your research questions and expected results measure up in relation to the ethical issues? Please also state whether the research involves any handling of personal data, or experiments on animals or human subjects. If no ethical issues are raised, please justify this.

Establishment and development plan

The plan shall consist of a brief but complete description of the research task, and also a justification of the added value of the planned research environment in the short and long term. The focus of the plan shall be forward-looking. The plan shall cover a maximum of 10 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing, including references and any images.

The establishment and development plan shall consist of four sections, under separate headings in the following order:

1. Research plan
Describe summarily the plan for the research to be conducted at the HEI within the framework for the grant (this part of the establishment and development plan may form a maximum of 5 of the total 10 A4 pages). The research plan shall include a description of all following sections:

  • Purpose and aims
  • State-of-the-art
  • Significance and scientific novelty
  • Project description
  • Need for and access to equipment and infrastructure
  • International and national collaboration

2. Research environment
Describe the proposed research environment and how you, with the support of the HEI, intend to build up and manage it and, if applicable, how you intend to integrate it with any existing environment.

3. Added value
Describe the added value the research and environment described will provide for the activities and quality of research within the area at the HEI, in Sweden and internationally. Please focus particularly on the aspects of innovation and potential for research break-through. A description of potential risks and the management of these shall also be included.

4. Gender equality aspects
Give an account of how the described research environment will promote gender equality at the HEI.

Leadership in research

Describe your documented experience of creating an attractive and creative research environment, and how you have contributed to promoting research excellence, including supervision of doctoral students and postdocs.

The document shall cover a maximum of 2 A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.

Budget and research resources

Please state your activity level (per cent of a full-time equivalent) in the project. Your activity level as project leader must correspond to no less than 50 per cent of a full-time equivalent.

The grant is a standard amount and you therefore do not need to enter any budget applied for in the application form.

Justification of the budget

Describe briefly the primary costs you intend to cover within the framework for the grant budget. The description may cover a maximum of 2 000 characters including blank spaces (approximately half an A4 page in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing).

Other funding

Please state any other funding for the planned research environment during the period, over and above what is applied for in this application. Please state rounded amounts in SEK.


Applicant’s publication list

Please attach your publication list drawn up according to the headings and information below. The list shall cover a maximum of 8 page-numbered A4 pages in Arial, font size 11, single line spacing.

Please sort the publications under each heading in reverse chronological order, so that the latest publication is at the top of the list. Please only include articles or corresponding that are published or accepted for publication at the time of applying. The author order shall be identical to that of the published work. The application cannot be supplemented with publications after the deadline for the call.

  1. Selection of publications: List the maximum 10 publications of greatest importance to your application. For each publication, please state how you contributed to it, and its relevance to the research project described (maximum four lines per publication). Highlight your name in bold in the author list.
  2. Relevant publications from the last 8 years: Sort the publications, with your name highlighted in bold in the author list, under each heading (publication type) in the following order:
    • Peer-reviewed original articles
    • Peer-reviewed conference contributions, the results of which are not included in other publications.
    • Peer-reviewed edited volumes
    • Research review articles
    • Peer-reviewed books and book chapters
    • Other publications including popular science books/presentations

Letter of support

Please attach a formal letter of support from the HEI in question where the research will be carried out. The letter shall be signed by an authorised representative of the HEI, for example the head of the hosting department, or equivalent. The applicant’s name shall be stated clearly, as well as the name and function/position of the person writing the letter of support.

The document may cover no more than 2 A4 pages, and must include a description of

  • how the HEI intends to support and contribute to the establishment and build-up of the research environment
  • how the HEI intends to manage the research environment in the short and long term.

The HEI’s undertakings in relation to the resource requirements that follow from the research environment described shall be clearly shown, as shall the HEI’s plans for the development of, and support for, the research environment after the end of the grant period.

By signing the application in Prisma, the administrating organisation confirms these undertakings.

Administrating organisation

Please state the administrating organisation and project site.

Review panels

Please propose the review panel or panels (in priority order) that you wish to carry out the scientific assessment of your application. The final allocation of applications is determined by the Swedish Research Council.


Here you as applicant may invite participating administrators to your application. Please note that participating researchers may not be invited in this application.


Under this tab, please upload your relevant CV information from your personal account in Prisma.

The following information, where available, must always be included in your CV, taking into account the stated limitation in numbers:

  • Education: First, second and third cycle higher education and specialist degrees.
  • Work: Current employment (including employment form) and longer relevant employments, postdoctoral visits (also included as employment if relevant), research exchanges relevant to the research described and any longer interruptions in the research that have impacted on your opportunity to gain merits as a researcher.
  • Merits and awards: Docentship/associate professorship, supervisees (postdoctoral and doctoral students; state the overall number of each category and list the 10 most relevant to you), up to 10 of your most relevant grants awarded in competition, up to 10 of your most relevant prizes and awards, and up to 20 other merits relevant to the application.
  • Intellectual property rights: For example, patents and open access computer programs developed by you; state up to 10 of your most relevant.

Evaluation process

Your application is evaluated by one of three review panels with broad skills in their respective subject areas and consisting of international reviewers. Each review panel’s work is led by a Swedish Chair. As an applicant you suggest in what review panel your application should be assessed.

At least three members review and grade your application individually. If necessary, statements from external experts may also be obtained. The entire review panel then meets at a review panel meeting to discuss and prioritise the applications, and finally to make a proposal for a decision to the Director General.

A certain proportion of the applications with the lowest grades from the members’ individual reviews are screened out ahead of the review panel meeting. These applications will not be the subject of discussion, which gives room for more detailed discussion and prioritisation of the applications of higher quality, which have a reasonable chance of being funded.

The applications screened out only receive an overall grade and a standardised final statement after the decision is made. The other applications receive an individual final statement that reflects the review panel’s discussion and overall assessment of the scientific quality of the application.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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