With increasing societal urgency to address sustainability challenges, funding agencies continue to announce new calls for proposals that address sustainable development. However, as researchers, it can be difficult to stay on top of all the latest funding calls. Thus, we have collected the most relevant funding opportunities and resources to support your next application.
The Sustainability Forum supports researchers to find, write, and submit funding proposals that reflect the University's principles to advance knowledge about sustainable development. As part of this effort, we have collected the most relevant funding opportunities available internally at Lund University, as well as national and international calls for funding.
Lund University Internal Funding Calls
As a large research university, there are recurring and strategic funding calls available to staff that wish to research sustainability. These range is scope, including funds to support grant writing, develop an interdisciplinary collaboration, or establish a cross-university project to support Agenda 2030.
Deadline: 25 November 2022
Lund University has set aside up to SEK 100 million for a university-wide investment in excellence at Lund University with a focus on Agenda 2030 and sustainable development for the period 2021-2025. The Research Board is now announcing funding for interdisciplinary projects for the second and final time. The projects must be relevant for creating new knowledge for sustainable development and Agenda 2030.
The Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies has two regular calls for funding to establish interdisciplinary research collaborations, each providing different levels of support and commitments among researchers.
Advanced Study Group
Deadline: 10 May & 10 September
An Advanced Study Group consists of researchers from different disciplines working together on a complex idea at an early stage of development. The objective is to support the group to develop preliminary knowledge, which can lead to future research or proposals.
Deadline: Beginning of calendar year
A Theme consists of 5-8 researchers from different disciplines working together on a more advanced research problem, which requires collaboration across disciplines. Researchers are expected to work 20% at Pufendorf Institute over eight consecutive months, with their departments being reimbursed for this working time.
Beginning 2022, Lund University has implemented the LU Sustainability Fund to promote innovation for sustainable development and reduce the University’s impact on the climate. A total of SEK 12 million has been earmarked between 2022-2024. All students and staff will have the opportunity to apply for funding for the development of ideas across all aspects of sustainability, including ecological, social and economic aspects. The specific calls target researchers, students, and employees with varying deadlines.
- Sustainable Idea Exploration - Researchers
- Scholarship for Early-Stage Ideas - Students
- Test Bed Experimentation - All Employees
The Lund University Agenda 2030 Award aims to promote innovative, interdisciplinary research on sustainable development among early career scholars at Lund University. PhD students, post docs, and researchers with a PhD exam no older than five years can be nominated. Articles, PhD theses, essays, and other types of publications related to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals that may be of general interest and published within the last five years can be nominated for the award, as well as performances or non-textual artefacts. The winner will be awarded 25 000 SEK and the announcement and prize ceremony will take place at the annual Lund Sustainability Week (Hållbarhetsveckan).
Swedish & Nordic Funding Calls
Lund University Research Services has compiled a list of over 50 financiers in Sweden and the Nordics. However, not all these financiers offer funding for research on sustainable development. Thus, we have sought to highlight the most relevant funding agencies and calls for funding to research sustainable development.
Formas is a Swedish government research council for sustainable development, focusing on the environment, agricultural sciences, and spatial planning. They fund projects that advance research and innovation, as well as other initiatives that communicate research results to society and relevant stakeholders.
Relevant recurring calls include:
- Annual open call
- Annual open call for early-career researchers
- Mobility grants for early-career researchers
- Communication call
Forte is a Swedish government agency under the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. Their calls are guided by governmental directives, usually in the areas of health, working life, and welfare. Every year, Forte distributes approx. SEK 700 million to research projects.
Relevant recurring calls include:
- Project grants
- Postdoc grants
- Visiting researcher grants
- Conference grants
- Network grants
- Journal grants
The KTH Great Prize totals SEK 1.2 million, awarded to a Swedish citizen who makes a substantial contribution to scientific research and society. Past award winners include Johan Rockström, Kristina Edström, Sara Snogerup Linse, and Hans Rosling.
Mistra - the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research - is an independent Swedish foundation that supports research which promotes a good living environment and sustainable development. Mistra's research programmes are conducted in close cooperation with companies, public agencies, and other relevant stakeholders to ensure practical use of research findings. Every year, Mistra distributes approx. SEK 200 million to research projects.
The Nordic Centre is an initiative between 29 institutions across the Nordics to support collaboration between Nordic and Chinese scholars. Funding is available to initiate research and educational opportunities, including projects, visits, events, and long-term collaborations.
The Foundation supports research projects that are conducted at Swedish universities or institutes, which explore topics relating to waste and recycling. Examples of applications include concise research problems as well as Master's, licentiate, or doctoral thesis work. However, funding is not provided for travel expenses, or to companies or private individuals. Applicants are encouraged to provide a detailed research plan or demonstrate adequate supervision. Applications are accepted continuously.
More information about the call - rangsells.se (in Swedish)
Region Skåne funds several strategic projects to support regional development through its initiative Development Skåne. Projects focus on various development arears relevant for sustainability, including climate, environment, urban planning, business development, public health, and social sustainability. Grants are open on a continuous basis.
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) is an independent foundation with the goal of promoting and supporting research in the Humanities and Social Sciences. In addition, it places significant emphasis on research that has the capacity to attain international prominence. There are various calls for funding available:
- Research Initiation
- Research Infrastructure
- Research Projects
- Research Programmes
- Research Sabbatical
- Research Collaborations with Industry
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is a government agency for environmental issues, guided by Sweden's environmental goals on behalf of the government. The Agency's mission includes distributing government grants to other actors who work with, for example, protection and management of valuable nature, remediation of contaminated areas, and compensation for wildlife damage. Various grants are available, with deadlines throughout the year.
The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research awards grants to strategic research in science, engineering and medicine totalling SEK 600 million annually. The goal is that the research should ultimately be of benefit to Swedish industry and society. Some ten or so calls for proposals are announced each year, formulated slightly differently according to the nature of the research being funded. The grants mainly take the form of research group grants, mobility grants, and individual grants, the latter with an emphasis on early career researchers.
The Swedish Institute is a public agency that builds interest and trust in Sweden around the world. They work to promote Sweden, cooperation in the Baltic Sea region, and global development. They provide grants and scholarships that reflect this mission, occasionally relevant to research and collaboration initiatives for sustainability.
This standing call is aimed at researchers in Sweden who are about to get deeply involved in writing proposals and preparing research relevant for future international space research projects. This is often done through participation in an international consortium of scientists who jointly produce a proposal for a space project or a scientific instrument for space flight. Parts of this call may also be suitable for scientists preparing to participate in projects within the Elips program and at the International Space Station.
The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet - VR) is the largest public funding body for research at Swedish universities. The Swedish Research Council is a government agency within the Ministry of Education and Research. They fund research and research infrastructure in all scientific disciplines, totaling approx. 8 billion SEK annually.
Vinnova is Sweden's innovation agency, providing financing for research and innovation projects that may not become a reality with government support. Formally, Vinnova is a government agency under the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, and the national contact authority for the EU framework programme for research and innovation.
The Volvo Environment Prize recognizes researchers who have made a significant research impact. Nominations are made by colleagues and institutions - self-nominations are not possible. The span of disciplines and activities for which nominations can be made is wide and includes all disciplines which have relevance to the environment. The research of nominees should be based on scientific grounds but must clearly show impacts outside of the specific discipline. The Prize is awarded annually and consists of a hand-crafted diploma, a glass sculpture and a cash award of SEK 1.5 million.
International Funding Calls
Securing international funding has many merits:
- Research findings often make substantial academic and societal contributions
- Projects lead to meaningful collaborations among many stakeholders
- Successful proposals positively reflect the capabilities of the researcher(s)
- Grants are generally large
While there are many reasons to pursue international funding, these calls are often competitive and require advanced planning and additional support. Lund University has internal rules for participation in EU applications. These concern matters such as who approves your participation, who signs the contract, and what documentation is needed. At Lund University, these aspects are managed by Research Services. Therefore, we suggest planning well in advance and contacting research services for support.
Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion (2021-2027). With such a large budget, there are numerous programmes and initiatives that are organised into one of three pillars.
Pillar I - Funding Advanced Science & Programmes
- European Research Council
- Marie Sklodwoska-Curie Actions
- Research Infrastructures
Pillar II - Research to Address Global Challenges and European Competitiveness
- Culture, Creativity, and Inclusive Society
- Civil Security for Society
- Digital, Industry, and Space
- Climate, Energy, and Mobility
- Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment
Pillar III - Innovative Europe
- European Innovation Council
- European Innovation Ecosystems
- European Institutes of Innovation and Technology
The European Research Council (ERC) is the premier European funding organisation for excellence in research. It funds researchers of any nationality and age to run projects based within Europe. They offer several grants:
- Starting Grants (€1.5 million, 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD)
- Consolidator Grants (€2 million, 7-12 years of experience since completion of PhD)
- Advanced Grants (€2.5 million, 10+ years of significant research achievements)
- Synergy Grants (€10 million, collaborative team-based research programmes)
Under the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) carry out activities that cover the entire innovation chain: training and education programmes, reinforcing the journey from research to the market, innovation projects, as well as business incubators and accelerators. Various communities exist that work with sustainability:
- Raw Materials
- Urban Mobility
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are the European Union’s flagship funding programme for doctoral education and postdoctoral training of researchers. Its objective is to fund excellent research and innovation that equip researchers at all stages of their career with new knowledge and skills, through mobility across borders and exposure to different sectors and disciplines. It offers the following calls:
- Doctoral Networks
- Postdoctoral Fellowships
- Staff Exchanges
- Research Training Initiatives (COFUND)