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High time to apply for programme support

2017-10-24

RESEARCH. Support for multidisciplinary research programmes is now being announced. 
The effort is a part of the university’s endeavour for its research to be innovative, prominent and boundary-breaking, and also address important social issues. The programme support will be provided for five years.  

Vice-Chancellor Kerstin Tham made the decision in the matter on Monday (2 October) after a long preparation process – where the issue was addressed on multiple occasions in the Research Committee and the university’s management group. 
“The preparation work for strategically important decisions must be allowed to take time. Now, I think we have found a good level for the content and criteria and obtained a well-conceived funding package,” says Kerstin Tham. 

According to the decision, a request for proposals is issued for “support for a maximum of four research programmes that mean that the Vice-Chancellor’s strategic resources co-finance each research programme with up to SEK 3 million per year for five years”. At the same time, affected faculties and institutions at the university are expected to contribute “input at least on the same scale” through either the basic government funding or external grants. Existing research or skills development time can then be included in the faculties’ contribution.

The various research networks or groupings at the university now have until 1 February to formulate and submit their applications. Among other things, the applications shall state:

  • Background, objective and questions. Such as theoretical starting points and how the programme’s research questions and projects relate to one another and create a thematic whole.
  • Significance to the research domain. What new knowledge the programme intends to add to the academic community.
  • Gender and diversity perspectives for the programme.
  • Working plan – organisation and timetable
  • Knowledge dissemination – both within and outside academia.
  • Budget – which is approved or supported by deans and department heads concerned.

After submission, the applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of internationally experienced research reviewers. The committee intends to evaluate and rank the degree to which the various applications meet such criteria as: scientific quality, implementability, the research team’s expertise and composition and planned knowledge dissemination and academic collaboration.  Vice-Chancellor Kerstin Tham will thereafter decide on the allocation of the funding in question so that disbursements can be made next autumn. 

The research programmes that will be granted support will also be evaluated prior to their fifth year of activity. These evaluations will be done according to the same procedures as used today in the evaluation of the university’s research centres. 
“If the evaluations show good results and recommendations, the next step may be for the research programmes to transition into research centres,” says Kerstin Tham.   

Text: Per M Eriksson