Stiftelsen för Strategisk Forskning

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Forms of support

SSF issues open calls for proposals for research grants, which are awarded in competition. In order for SSF to approve a research grant, the research should be scientifically excellent and commercially exploitable in Sweden. The research must lie within the areas prioritized by SSF.

An application must also satisfy any other criteria in effect for the particular call for proposals. Applicants must be employed or be able to be offered employment at a Swedish university or a Swedish research institute.

Strategic Research Centres

A strategic research centre is characterized by the fact that several independent, preferably co-located research groups at a university or a research institute collaborate to solve an important research problem under the strong, unifying leadership of a centre director. The director is assisted by a steering group and a scientific advisory group.

Applications are evaluated with regard to the scientific quality and strategic value of the research programme, the composition of research groups, the envisioned organization for the centre in relation to how the research problem is intended to be solved, the scientific competence of the main applicant and co-applicants, and the leadership qualities of the main applicant. Another very important evaluation criterion is the added value of the proposed centre compared with the equivalent individual projects. Funding period: about 6 – 8 years including mid-term evaluation. Grant level: about SEK 7 – 10 million per year.

Framework grants

A number of researchers from a large research group or from a few independent research groups, co-located or at different universities or institutes, collaborate to solve an important research problem. One of the researchers is the chief applicant and is responsible for coordinating the scientific activities within the project. If the chief applicant is active at a research institute, at least one of the co-applicants must work at a university. In some cases, SSF appoints a programme committee consisting of experts from both academia and industry who follow and support the projects in the programme.

Individual grants

An individual researcher at a university or research institute applies for funding for an individual project or for his research group. Examples of such programmes are: The Ingvar Carlsson Award, Future research leaders and Senior Individual Grants.

Applications are evaluated with regard to the scientific quality and strategic value of the research programme, and the scientific competence of the applicants. Funding period: about 3 – 6 years. Grant level: about SEK 1 – 3 million per year.

The programme Future research leaders
The purpose of this programme is to identify and support young, particularly promising researchers with leadership potential and offer them grants to put together their own internationally competitive research groups. The programme also includes special leadership training for the grant recipients.

The programme Ingvar Carlsson Award
The purpose of this programme is to give homecoming postdocs an opportunity to launch their own independent and creative research careers in Sweden. This programme also includes leadership training.

Mobility grants

Grants to promote mobility between sectors, universities, countries and disciplines. Examples of such programmes are Strategic Mobility, where a researcher at a university or a company applies for funding for his/her salary as a visiting researcher at a company or a university, and Strategic International Recruitment, where a researcher at a Swedish university applies for funding for the work of a very prominent foreign visiting researcher in the applicant’s research group.

Co-funded grants

SSF cooperates fairly regularly with other research funding bodies in joint calls for proposals in co-funded research programmes. A prerequisite for SSF’s participation in such a joint project is that the research programme lies within an area that is prioritized by SSF and that the diverse experience and competence of the different research funding bodies provides added value for the research programme. Responsibility for such a programme may rest with SSF, but it may also rest with another funding body. Joint research programmes may vary widely in character.

International cooperation
International cooperation is of great importance for maintaining and raising the scientific quality of the supported research. The Foundation therefore considers it an important task to promote cooperation between leading Swedish and foreign research groups. The initiatives are primarily focused on collaborations with countries in Asia, since the added value of lowering the thresholds for scientific collaboration is greater there than in western countries. Cooperation agreements exist with Korean organisations, among others.

Information grants

Only in exceptional cases can SSF award grants for information activities. To be considered for grants, these activities must have a potential to improve Swedish research, competitiveness or society.

Infrastructure support

SSF would like to see an increased and more efficient utilization of the infrastructure of research. Such support can be given, for example as a framework grant, for the purpose of involving new user groups, or a mobility grant to make the infrastructure more accessible. Support may also be targeted at individuals with unique competence who choose a research engineer type of career rather than a professorial career, for example a beam-line scientist or the like.

Brain drain

Over the course of the years, SSF has received applications from universities and colleges for funds to prevent leading researchers from leaving Sweden after receiving attractive offers from abroad. In order to obtain aid from SSF, the researcher in question must be among the top 10% of researchers within a broad scientific field. Also the Swedish host institute must take the larger share of the financing.


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