Support to research projects
Here you can find information about rules and practical support that can be helpful for researchers in applications to national and international funders.
What to keep in mind when preparing research project proposals
Many funders set up requirements regarding partnerships or social impact, or innovative solutions to societal challenges (even social innovations por policy innovations). It may need a thorough analysis and consideration of a range of factors to decide which calls for proposals are the best match.
We at the Grants Office can assist in interpreting funders requirements, take stock of consortium partners to match a call or to find collaborative (non-academic) partners matching those requirements.
- Read funders’ requirements and guidelines carefully. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need support, for example regarding funders requirements and rules; about various submission portals; or exchange and discuss ideas.
- Ensure that your Head of Department and/or Head of School is briefed about your project. Find out if there are any specific routine processes at your School ahead of some specific calls for proposals (such as specific times your Head of School is available for signing documents or alike).
- Register or update your account in PRISMA, create a so-called EU Login at the ECAS - European Commission Authentication Service or on the relevant submission portal of the funder in question! If it is an organisational account you need, please do not register a new one, check via email@example.com whether there is already one registered for the University.
- Start well ahead of the deadline! It can take time to brief the Vice-Chancellor’s Office about your project’s co-funding needs and to ensure that all signatures are in place (if a letter of support or a co-funding pre-decision is needed for example). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for support two weeks ahead of deadline the latest!
- Request a registration number from the Registrar’s Office (indicating the title of the project, the funder you apply to and the subject filed(s) relevant for the application). Research funding proposals submitted to the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies do have a joint registration number, which you can also get from the Registrar’s Office, then you will get a separate registration number if awarded.
- All research funding proposals are required to have a full cost budget and some of them even a co-funding pre-decision (of the vice-chancellor approving co-funding of overhead costs not covered by the projects indirect costs), so please contact either the Financial Department or email@example.com for support in rolling these out.
- Some calls for proposals require formalities (attached Memorandum of Understanding etc). It can take time to issue these or to ensure that all signatures are in place, if the Vice-Chancellor’s or some else’s signature is required. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get assistance.
- Send the signed (submitted) research funding proposal to the Registrar’s Office, with copy to the finance officer, and your Head of School and Head of Department.
- Some funders require, among them the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies and the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, that final reports of prior funding are submitted before a new proposal is processed.
Support functions allocated to the Head of School assist all researchers with briefing the Head of School of their research project initiatives. Some research funding proposals require even a formal decision delivered by the Vice-Chancellor, the Grants Office usually prepares and processes the documents for signature, please contact email@example.com to get assistance.
Approval by the Head of School
The Head of School signs all research funding proposals and delivers decisions that are made by the executive management of the School. Contact your Head of School regarding how funding proposals are handled and how decisions are delivered at the School. With questions regarding employment and positions, for example salaries, please contact the HR officer at the School.
Approval by the Vice-Chancellor
Some funding programs require an approval by the Vice-Chancellor in the form of an electronic signature or a signed letter of support, for example regarding:
- An internal selection process required by the funder as a quality assurance step (for example Wallenberg Foundations)
- The signature of a validated representative is required (at Södertörn University it is the Vice-Chancellor).
In these cases, the project leader / PI shall always contact firstname.lastname@example.org for support in preparing for submitting the funding proposal.
Research project budget exceeding 5 million SEK per year:
Regarding research project budgets covering costs over 5 million SEK, both the Head of School and the Vice-Chancellor shall be briefed. Please contact email@example.com well ahead of the submission deadline (at least 2 weeks) for assistance.
Research projects requiring co-funding:
If the funder does not provide full cost coverage, meaning that not all costs associated with implementing a project are covered, including full university overhead as well as full employment costs, a co-funding pre-decision by the university is required. This is done a specific process, where signatures of both the Head of School and the Vice-chancellor is required. This demands additional processing time.
The following funders require most often the approval of the University in this form:
- Wallenberg Foundations (internal selection process: nomination)
- STINT (Teaching sabbaticals) (internal selection process: nomination)
- European Union Framework Program for Research and Innovation and other programs for education, regional development, environment and climate, migration and integration, etc. For example: Horizon Europe (including Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions and ERC), Erasmus+, European Structural and Investment Funds (Interreg or other European Regional Development Funding, European Social Fund), EuropeAid, etc.).
- Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (program funding)
- KK Foundation
Vice-Chancellor’s decision meetings
Prior to the Vice-Chancellor’s decision meetings (RF), which take place once a week, prepare colleagues at firstname.lastname@example.org the documentation and supporting information for those research funding proposals which have been received in ample time for getting an approval from the Vice-Chancellor. Since the proposal submission systems of the various funders can differ significantly, some require more time to process than others, such as the Wallenberg Foundations’ to name just one example.
Sometimes it is required that the partners sign supporting documents first, before the Vice-Chancellor signs them (like in the case of Erasmus funding proposals), which may take a month to return and collect before it can be registered for RF.
If all supporting documents are available and ready, the request shall be registered for RF, 10 calendar days ahead the exact date (Tuesdays 9 am). Please note, that in some specific cases only the Vice-Chancellor may sign, in these cases we have to make sure that it is registered ahead of deadline for a RF where the Vice Chancellor is present and not substituted.
As a research, you can get practical assistance in the process of putting together research proposals. Contact grants office at the External Relations Unit. Support is provided in accordance with prior agreement with the researcher in question and well ahead of the deadline.
External Relations Unit
External Relations Unit offers support in several aspects. There is expert capacity in the Unit with regards to a range of questions and a working group with roots in the various Departments in University Support Services has started to build broad support functions for research funding proposals and project management.
The support provided may look different depending on which funder is targeted (national funders or EU-program for example).
Local and international projects
Both local and international project funding proposals are offered consultations with research advisors in the following questions:
- Budget and resource management
- Nomination processes
- Co-funding issues
- Internationalisation perspectives
- Relevance of the proposal in relation to the Call for Proposal and the form of funding in question
In most cases we can even offer support with regards to impact design/strategies (if the funder requires that, for example Vinnova or the European Commission).
Research proposals to EU-program and other international funders
We offer support for funding proposals to EU-program and international funders in the following aspects:
- Support in putting together an implementation and project management strategy
- Assistance in assessing the added value of the partnership / consortium, as well as describing its structure in relation to implementation strategies
- DEC-strategy (Dissemination, Exploitation and Communication)
- Impact, social impact, innovation support in accordance with prior agreement.
All funding proposals have to be signed by the respective Head of School. A full cost budget put together with the assistance of a finance officer have to be attached to each and every funding proposal when sent to the Head of School for approval. The full cost budget shall be signed by the project leader (PI at Södertörn), the finance officer, and the Head of School, regardless if the submission is done in PRISMA or on another submission portal.
If you plan to raise funding for doctoral students, please keep in mind that you need to raise funds for the doctoral students fourth year, as well as their supervision, expenses and dissertation costs, which may be difficult when many calls for project proposals have a 3-year duration limit. Dissertation costs are seldom awarded by external research funders, but they still need to be included in the full cost budget and eventually may be co-funded by the School. If the project covers academic staff without permanent status at Södertörn University, you need to discuss the participation of these academic staff in your project with the relevant Head of Department and with the HR officer at the School.
Co-applicants in a project proposal at another university
If a researcher included in a project proposal as a co-applicant, but another university shall be their respective grant recipient, the following rules apply:
The main option is that the appointment of a researcher in question continues to be based at Södertörn University. Therefore, even in this case a full cost budget have to be prepared covering Södertörn University’s costs regarding the researcher’s collaboration in the project. The same rule applies even when the project funding proposal foresees necessary co-funding, which have to be approved in the usual internal process in the University (see above).
Projects requiring co-funding in the form of work time
Certain funding programs require (for example Interreg, other ERDF-funded programs, ESF and Erasmus) that Södertörn University becomes the project partner and requires even co-funding in from of a certain share of the project’s direct costs or full costs. In case of funding proposals where it is required that Södertörn University provides co-funding in the form of allocated staff costs, faculty funds, internal research funding or professor’s worktime dedicated to research may be used.
The main rule is that a person contributing to a research project with their own worktime allocated for research being the university’s co-funding contribution, have to have a status and a form of appointment that covers the project period. The School cannot guarantee under all circumstances co-funding in the form of worktime, in case a person’s appointment that was explicitly included in the project contributing with their internally funded research time or ÖSS-professorship, terminates their appointment at the university under the duration time of the project in question.
Project leaders at Södertörn University have to ensure that funds are not allocated for a project participant who cannot complete their tasks in the project (due to for example retirement). In case this can happen, the project leader have to contact the respective Head of School without delay.
Inquiry about the status of participating researchers
Find out what are the preconditions for appointing the project participants. This shall be done in consultation with the HR officer, the Head of Department and the Head of School.
When planning to submit a research funding proposal to the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies which involves several researchers based in Sweden, both the project leader and project partners shall be appointed at Södertörn University under the project’s duration. This shall apply even to a project leader based abroad at the time of submitting the research funding proposal.
Participants of a research project funded by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies are expected to participate actively in the research environment at Södertörn University, under the project’s duration. In the case of research project proposals submitted to the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies which involves researchers based abroad, but who are not project leaders, the general rule is that their appointment continues at the university abroad and the contribution in question is contracted. They shall as well take part in the research environment at Södertörn University, in accordance with a project plan that is included in the project proposal.
The general rule is that permanently employed researchers at Södertörn University lead externally funded research at the University. The project shall be placed at the School where the project leader has their employment. If a project participant is employed at another university, that university shall requisition/invoice project funds from Södertörn University. If an employee at Södertörn University collaborates in a project at another university, both staff costs and overhead is requisitioned.
There is an important exception to this general rule in the case of funds from the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies if the project members are active researchers based in Sweden, in this case research in the project have to be conducted via employment at Södertörn University.
For researchers based in another country, the main rule is that employment continues at the university abroad and the contribution in question is contracted. They shall as well take part in the research environment at Södertörn University, in accordance with a project plan that is included in the project proposal.
Conditions for collaborating in a research project
Prior to starting a research funding proposal, there are questions raised often about opportunities regarding those who do not have permanent status at Södertörn University and regarding the conditions for their collaboration in the research project. In order to provide more clarity in the general question the relevant regulations are presented here as follows.
Södertörn University’s Appointments Procedure
All academic appointments and appointment processes have to comply with the University’s Appointments Procedure which is issued by the Governing Board of the University. It is the operational needs that determine which appointments are to be made. The Appointments Procedure is based on legislation, regulations, central collective agreements and local agreements. Regarding temporary positions, it is the Law on Employment Protection (Lagen om anställningsskydd, LAS) and the collective agreement on post-doctoral appointments that regulate the grounds for appointment of researchers in a project.
Project research, opportunity for a temporary position?
When it comes to research project, all parties involved: project leaders, Heads of Department and finally the Head of School have to consider for how long the proposed or awarded funding may cover costs, as well as if there are any grounds for temporary appointments. In the case of persons not having a permanent status at the university are to be included in the project, a discussion have to be concluded with the HR officer. The discussion have to cover remuneration, grounds of appointment and duration of appointment.
What rules apply to lecturers?
Lecturers who hold a permanent appointment and are awarded research project funding can conduct research within their existing appointment in accordance with their respective Head of School / Head of Department (regular functioning may require that teaching have to be included in the appointment as a minimum percentage).
What rules apply if the person in question does not have a permanent position?
For persons who are included by name in research projects awarded by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, or are included by name in research projects awarded by another funder (but does not hold a permanent position elsewhere), there are primarily the following alternatives available:
1) Temporary appointment in accordance with the Law on Employment Protection (LAS)
From the perspective of the Schools at Södertörn, the solution for researchers not holding a permanent position is offered by the Law on Employment Protection (LAS).
- In terms of the general rule, the temporary appointment for maximum 2 years, regardless of percentage of full-time employment, is the appropriate form of appointment for researchers not hold a permanent position at the university. However, other forms of appointments may also be relevant, such as a post-doctoral appointment.
- Regarding researchers who are (or had been) already temporary appointed at the university, a discussion have to be led with the HR officer on the possibility for continued temporary appointment, before the funding proposal is submitted.
- Regarding researchers who have already been working a little while at Södertörn University, this fact have to be taken into consideration when the project is being planned. The project leader should consider solutions including concentrated activities in the project, albeit during a shorter term.
2) Post-doctoral appointments
A post-doctoral appointment has a duration of up to two years, and the main limitation is that the doctoral degree shall not have been awarded earlier than three years at the time of the start of the appointment.
- A post-doctoral appointment presupposes that the person in question has not had a prior post-doctoral appointment at Södertörn University. A discussion shall be led with the HR officer in this regard. The appointment is a full-time position and may include a total of 20% teaching or other tasks as part of the position.
3) Permanent appointment of project researcher
Exceptionally, permanent appointment as project researcher may be considered. Project researcher is not a specified ground for appointment though, but a title.
- A project researcher may have up to a total of 20% of the position tasks other than project-based research. The scope of the appointment (part-time / full-time) depends on the availability of project funding.
- At the university may permanent appointment of project researchers only considered as an exception to the rule.
Finally, it is important to note that every person appointed as project researcher shall have a salary-setting discussion with their Head of Department. The salary is determined by Södertörn University’s salary levels and remuneration policy, so a person is not entitled automatically the same salary level as in another ongoing appointment (at another workplace).
Digital submission platforms for research proposals
Prisma is the joint platform for the processing of research funding proposals and relevant case management at Forte, Formas and the Swedish Research Council.
On the online platform researchers can submit funding proposals, manage their awarded funding; Head of Schools can sign off proposals, agreements and a range of inquiries; while finance officers can register financial reports as well.
There is information in the following boxes on how to create a personal account in Prisma and where can you ask for technical support.
You have to create a personal account in Prisma in order to be able to submit a funding proposal. This is also true for collaborating researchers. In the personal account you have to register your CV and your publications list.
Since this demands some time commitment, it is important that you create an account well ahead of the submission deadline.
As a proposal writer, you can also invite administrative persons to join your proposal. It may be a person who can check your whole proposal or parts of it (the budget for example), but who does not collaborate in the project itself. Administrative persons have to have a personal account as well in Prisma, but do not need to register their CVs and publications lists.
Follow these three steps to create a personal account in Prisma:
1. Create an ORCID-account
ORCID, Open Researcher and Contributor ID, is an international register for researchers. ORCID is mandatory in Prisma and if you have not yet created a personal researcher-ID, you can do so on ORCID:s webpage External link, opens in new window..
2. Create a personal account in Prisma
Go to Prismas webpage External link, opens in new window., choose ”Create personal account” and follow the instructions. Södertörn University joined SWAMID, so if you choose to create your personal account via SWAMID, you can even login to Prisma with your Södertörn University login.
3. Activate your account in Prisma
When you have created your account, you will get an email with your username and password so you can activate your account. Follow the email instructions.
User Support in Prisma
Prisma has set up a thorough user support External link, opens in new window. page on their website, there you will find instructions for example for how to create an account in Prisma, how to fill out a proposal template or how to report on an approved grant.
If you have technical problems or questions about your personal account, contact the Support at Prisma or use their chat to get the help you need.
If you have further questions for the funder, for example regarding specific calls for proposals, contact the persons included in the specific call text.
If you have questions on the organisational Prisma account for Södertörn University, please contact Gabriela Hinchcliffe Voglio, who is in charge of the organisational account for the University and research advisor at University Support Services.
Tasks in Prisma
The task of the Head of School in Prisma External link, opens in new window. is to sign off research funding proposals, agreements and a range of inquiries for their School (such as prolongation of project duration, change of project leader, termination of the grant ahead of the agreement period, etc.).
The task of the project finance officer in Prisma is to register financial reports for their respective organization.
Both roles demand personal accounts in Prisma, without registering a CV and publications lists though. In order to execute tasks such as signing off or to register financial reports in Prisma, those persons holding these roles have to accept an invitation (sent via email), to be able administer projects at Södertörn University in Prisma. Please, contact the person in charge of the organisational account of Södertörn University to get invited.
Funding & Tenders Portal
The EU’s digital proposal submission portal is called Funding & Tenders Portal, and their case management system can be reached via this portal as well. Calls for proposals in Horizon Europe and in other EU funding programs are published here.
Via the Funding & Tenders Portal can researchers submit their proposals for research funding, manage their awarded grants, the Vice-Chancellor can also sign the necessary supporting documents, agreements and respond to inquiries, while finance officers can register financial reports.
In the boxes below you can find information on how to create a personal account at the portal and even to other submission platforms, like the one for Erasmus+, as well as information on where you can get technical support.
Södertörn University is registered under the name SODERTORNS HOGSKOLA and got the following identification number, also called the PIC number: 998344080. The official abbreviation at the portal is SH. These identifiers have been validated by the Commission, together with the Vice-Chancellor’s personal data since he is the legal representative of the university towards the Commission.
If you put in, choose or register other data for Södertörn (for example another PIC-number or another official name), your proposal will not be linked to the validated organisational account (organisation profile). It also means that your participation will not be approved by the Vice-Chancellor.
We recommend you to add Brigitta Jaksa as the organisation’s contact person when you register a proposal at the portal, in that case will your proposal (and eventually your participation in a consortium) be processed and managed in a more flexible and smooth manner. Brigitta Jaksa has the main admin role (LEAR) linked to the organisational account of Södertörn University at the portal.
User support at the Funding & Tenders Portal
There is a thorough user support function available for the Funding & Tenders Portal. We recommend you to use their Online Manual External link, opens in new window., it is relatively easy to navigate. You can also contact email@example.com to get help.
At the Funding & Tenders Portal you can also find a list of reference documents, a specific IT Guide, a Glossary with the Commission’s most frequently used terminology in the funding context, as well as a digital public procurement guide (eProcurement WIKI). Via this link you can also start identifying what kind of support you may need External link, opens in new window. .
The Portal provides IT-support through a webform External link, opens in new window.. Responses usually come fast, though we recommend you to take a look at the above mentioned guides and information sites, in order to be as specific in you inquiry as possible.
Roles in the Funding & Tenders Portal
Roles and access rights restrict the information a user can view and the tasks they can perform.
For instance, only a person with the coordinator role can delete a draft project proposal.
Access rights are linked to a user's 'roles' in the electronic exchange system (which are in turn linked to their functions within their organisation or in relation to a particular project/contract).
Roles are divided into two main sections:
- Organisation roles are linked to the whole entity and its data (but without any access to the projects/contracts)
- Project roles are defined project by project and cover all possible cases for allowing access to a project/contract's data (read/write/submit)
One user can have several roles at the same time. Most of these roles can be freely assigned and managed by the organisations and consortia, according to their needs: you can start creating a proposal yourself, you can be invited by other users - who have created a proposal - to join their proposal, persons in your organisation can give you (and revoke) access to roles of your organisation, persons involved in on-going grants can give you (and revoke) access to roles in their grants. All access rights are linked to the user's EU Login account.
There are still two exceptions to the main rule when the Commission needs to intervene in the assignment of key roles:
1. LEAR (Legal Entity Applied Representative) – organisation role
The LEAR serves as a trusted administrative contact for the Commission, providing reliable information at the level of the organisation (not at the level of individual grants). Usually LEARs are administrative staff members in the central administration of the organisation. The LEAR handles all the organisation-related data on the Funding & Tenders Portal and appoints representatives within their organisation to electronically sign grant agreements or financial statements for project costs. There can only be one LEAR per organisation. LEARs are validated by the Validation Services of the Commission as part of the organisation registration process.
2. PCoCo (Primary Coordinator Contact) – project role
PCoCo (Primary Coordinator Contact) is the main person responsible for a project. As such, they can submit requests, reports and notifications to the Commission on behalf of the consortium. There can only be one PCoCo per project.
In order to use the European Commission’s services for submitting and managing funding proposals in Horizon Europe among others, you need to create a personal login and profile that is called EU Login, at the ECAS - European Commission Authentication Service. Follow the instructions carefully.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help with creating an EU Login.
Project proposals in Erasmus Cooperation Partnerships
Erasmus Cooperation Partnerships (which used to belong the program part ’KA2’) is the short name of Program area 2 of Erasmus+ where cooperation on innovation and good practices are put in the focus, and project participants are organisations like Södertörns University.
You can search for Erasmus KA2 projects on the program's own portal, called Erasmus + Applications. In this digital system, researchers can apply for Erasmus + grants where the participant is Södertörn University, for example in the so-called Erasmus Cooperation Partnerships (used to be called Strategic Partnerships) or Knowledge Alliances (collaboration projects with businesses and other private stakeholders). You log in to Erasmus + Applications (eForms) with the same EU Login that you use for the Funding & Tenders portal.
The plus box below contains information on how to create a project proposal in Erasmus + Applications eForms and how to get help if you need support.
Registration in the ERASMUS+ Applications eForms
Södertörn University is registered with the name SODERTORNS HOGSKOLA and got the following identification number, also called the PIC number: 998344080. The official abbreviation at the portal is SH. Linked to Erasmus+ funding proposals, there is also another, organisational ID number, the IOD: E10202374.
Södertörn University has been validated and awarded access to the new Erasmus program (2021–2027), and thus can be found in the EU’s database for validated organisations under the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) code: S HUDDING01.
If you put in, choose or register other data for Södertörn (for example another PIC-number or another official name), your proposal will not be linked to the validated organisational account (organisation profile). It also means that your participation will not be approved by the Vice-Chancellor.
We recommend you to add Brigitta Jaksa as the organisation’s contact person when you register a proposal in the eForm, in that case she can help you with questions and insights during the submission process. She is in this context one of the two main contact persons towards the Universitets- och högskolerådet (UHR) which processes funding proposals in this part of the Erasmus program (KA2). Your funding proposal can get flexible and prompt support if the organisational contact persons are linked to the proposal templates.
Roles in Erasmus+ Cooperation Partnerships
Program area 2 of the Erasmus+ program is a so-called decentralized program scheme, in which a designated national agency in each EU member state processes funding proposals and the grant management process entirely. In Sweden this grant making agency is Universitet- och högskolerådet (UHR).
The place of registration of the coordinator organisation (project leader) determines where the person (in the name of their respective coordinator organisation) may submit a funding proposal. In other words, if you apply for E+ Cooperation Partnerships funding in Sweden (at UHR) you have to choose a coordinator organisation that is registered in Sweden for the project. In order to be eligible for these grants, you need to have at least two other partners in two different EU member states.