Call for proposals: project level operational support

The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat’s operational support is granted to Swedish researchers to collect data and samples in the Arctic and in Antarctica. Priority is given to initiatives that would be difficult for a single research group to carry out on their own.

The support consists of access to the Secretariat’s research platforms and other operational capacity and is also provided in the form of collaboration with other countries’ national polar programmes. Support is also provided through planning and implementation of field work.

Support is not provided in the form of direct financial aid to the research group. Nor is support provided for research costs, such as salaries, research instruments, analysis costs, etc. This type of support must be sought from research funding agencies. Having secured research funding is a requirement to obtain operational support.

Who can apply?

Operational support for polar research can be sought by researchers who are active at a Swedish university, university college or research institution, and who is also the project leader and scientifically responsible for the project. The researcher must have a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country. The doctoral degree must have been completed no later than the final application date for each call for proposals.

Employer relationship and terms of employment

The project leader shall be employed by the host institution for the research project for which the operational support is sought, unless otherwise agreed upon. The person does not need to be employed at the time of application.

How to apply

Applications are continuously accepted throughout the year. The applicant must submit a financial statement for the project by 2 December 2019.

Download application form (docx 250 kB, opens in new window)

Send the application to Please add reference number 2019-9 to the subject line.


The application shall be written in Swedish or English.

Application process

1. Dialogue

We prefer that you contact us to discuss the project’s conditions before submitting an application.

For projects focusing on land-based research, please contact:

Magnus Augner
Head of Department, Land-Based Research Support
Phone: +46 8 450 25 12
Mobile: +46 70 639 80 04

For projects focusing on ship-based research, please contact:

Åsa Lindgren
Head of Department, Ship-Based Research Support
Phone: +46 8 450 25 16
Mobile: +46 70 785 56 01

2. Application

The application shall contain:

  • Application form
  • Applicant’s CV

Indicate on the application form which funding agencies research funds will be sought or have already been obtained (also see point 4 below). The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat will give a statement opinion on the project’s chances of being completed within the time frame of 1–3 years supported by the Secretariat’s resources.

The assessment is based on the necessity of operational support from the Secretariat for the completion of the project, its operational feasibility and the Secretariat’s available resources during the intended implementation period. The statement of opinion is intended to give the applicant an indication of the future chances of completing the project and, if needed, will reject the application directly, irrespective of research funding.

A more detailed description of the operational aspects that are assessed can be found here (in Swedish only):

Underlag för återkoppling från Polarforskningssekretariatet (pdf 60 kB, öppnas i nytt fönster)

The assessment will be sent to the applicant within one month of receipt of the application, except for applications received during June, July and August, where answers will be given in September.

3. Scientific evaluation

To ensure that the project is at a sufficient scientific level, the research funding must be obtained from a funding agency that uses peer review. When it comes to applications to the Swedish Research Council, the Secretariat will, as external reviewer, be participating in the feasibility assessment.

4. Research funding

Projects that have been granted research funding shall submit statements from the funding agencies no later than 2 December 2019. Projects will be prioritised according to the scientific evaluation. If necessary, the Secretariat will obtain external guidance for the final relative ranking.

Projects that have obtained research funding will not automatically be approved for operational support. Based on available resources, the Secretariat will take on projects in order of priority for continued planning in preparation of implementation in 2020–2022.

5. Decision on acceptance

The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat will announce a decision on acceptance of projects for continued planning in January 2020.

Projects that have not obtained funding may apply again in the next call for proposals for operational support at the project level. Provided that sufficient resources are available, there will be an annual call for proposals.


Anna-Maria Perttu
Research Officer
Mobile: +46 70 550 99 85

Last modified: 12 September 2019