Call for proposals: project level operational support

The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat’s operational support is given to Swedish researchers to collect data and samples in the Arctic and Antarctica. Priority is given to the type of 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 provided through the planning and implementation of field work.

No support is given 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, 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.


The application shall be written in Swedish or English.

Application deadline

Applications shall be submitted to the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat no later than 31 March 2017 at 24:00. Within a month of receiving the application, the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat will give a statement opinion on the project.

Send the application to

Application process

1. Dialogue

We prefer that you contact us to discuss the project’s conditions before submitting an application. For projects focusing on terrestrial research, contact Magnus Augner. For projects focusing on marine research, contact Ulf Hedman.

Contact information is found here

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). Within a month of receiving the application, 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:

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

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 1 December 2017. Projects will be prioritised according to the scientific evaluation. The different rating scales used by the funding agencies will be normalised. 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 the period 2018–2020.

Projects that, at the time of the application deadline, have already obtained research funding based on field work in the polar regions may also be granted support. For these projects, the Secretariat needs to obtain a project application, evaluation and assessment of application no later than 1 November 2017.

5. Decision on acceptance

The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat will announce a decision on acceptance of projects for continued planning in January 2018.

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.


Ulf Jonsell
Phone: +46 8 450 25 13