Research eligible for support from the STI
Taxonomic research projects should study groups of multicellular organisms which are poorly known, i.e. is in need of taxonomic revision in Sweden/the Nordic countries. When justified, the projects may also include investigation of higher systematics and cover a larger geographic area.
The Swedish Taxonomy Initiative’s (STI) research priorities can be downloaded here. Please note that the research needs in many groups of organisms are heterogeneous - some subgroups may be more or less well known, while others are very poorly known. The list of Swedish STI research priorities, are continuously revised and expanded. Your comments and suggestions are more than welcome and can be e-mailed to Rikard Sundin.
Grants for inventories
Small-scale inventories may be included in the research projects, but grants for inventories can also be applied for separately. To be eligible for support such inventories should be likely to result in several new species for the country. The application should include a thorough plan for the processing of samples incl. species identification, taxonomic treatment (if necessary) and deposition of material in a public natural history collection. Certificates from the specialists who have agreed to process the material from the planned inventory should be enclosed. For medium to large inventories or for workshops including collection and/or processing specimens of poorly known groups, we recommend that you contact our Research Officer, Rikard Sundin.
Publication of results
The project results should be published in the scientific literature. The STI will have the right to use the information e.g. for publishing of information on organismal groups and species and/or identification keys.
- Project grant
- Ph. D. project
- Postdoctoral project
- Visiting Researcher
- Senior Researcher
A maximum of three years can be applied for.
Ph. D. projects
These grants are available for a maximum of four years. The main supervisor's supervision is to be funded by the host institution, which should provide a certificate to ensure satisfactory supervision during the entire project period. Only in exceptional cases, funds may be granted for supervision costs – in these cases, the project must be very relevant to the STI.
Doctoral students, for which funding is granted, will be included in the STI’s systematics network and offered to participate in activities within the network without tuition fees. Travel expenses to and from the activities are expected to be covered by the basic project grant and are thus not sought for separately.
Funding for postdoctoral projects can be applied for:
- by a Swedish PhD who wants to perform taxonomic studies at a foreign or a Swedish university
- by a Swedish scientist who wants to invite a foreign scientist for a postdoctoral project or announce an open postdoctoral position (for Swedish or foreign citizens).
Funding for postdoctoral projects are usually granted for a period of one to two years, but in exceptional cases, a third year could be applied for. Postdoctoral projects are allowed only in the form of a postdoctoral position. The doctoral degree of the postdoctoral candidate should normally not be older than three years.
Funding for visiting researchers in Sweden is normally granted for a maximum of three years. The main applicant is the host, who invites a visiting researcher.
Funding for senior researchers may be applied for by well-qualified researchers who intend to taxonomically revise particularly diverse and poorly known groups of organisms. The senior researcher should tackle new and poorly known groups, rather than continue to work in a group they have previously studied. Funding for a senior researcher position is granted for three years. During the third year of the project, extension can be sought for another three years.
More about grants for taxonomic research
Applications may include costs for salaries as well as other costs associated with projects, but not bench fees, which should be included in the indirect costs. In many cases a fixed sum for salary costs are used (see the current announcement), in other cases, funds can be sought for the estimated actual costs.
The STI encourages hosting universities/museums to co-fund the research projects.
Who can apply?
The main applicant is the person with the main responsibility for the project and who sign the contract. A co-applicant is any other person who actively takes part in and contributes to the project. A cooperative partner is a person who, normally to a limited extent, contributes to the project (e.g. through sharing collections and/or data) and who doesn't benefit economically from the project grant.
The main applicant should normally have a Ph. D. degree and have documented experience of taxonomic and/or systematic research. He/she should normally be employed by a host institution in Sweden (at least during the project), but co-applicants may be based in other countries. If well justified, even the main applicant can be based in another country. The main applicant will normally be the person doing the main part of the research. Exceptions are PhD projects, open postdoctoral projects and visiting scientists, where the supervisor/host applies. If the applicant is not already a permanent employee at the specified hosting institution, a certificate is required, showing that the applicant is welcome and will be given opportunities for research. A certificate from research partners showing that they will contribute to the project must be enclosed.
Employees of the SLU cannot be main applicant or co-applicants. However, they can be cooperative partners, if it is made clear in the project description that they do not benefit economically from a successful application.
Funds for travel. Long-distance journeys can only be funded if they are well justified and relevant for the Swedish Taxonomy Initiative.
Moderate to high cost equipment (> 100 000 SEK) are only granted support in exceptional cases, based on thoroughly justified needs.
Researchers who previously have received funding from the STI must enclose a brief (1-2 pages A4) report on the results from the last approved project and compare those results with the original project description.
Describe possible synergies with other projects and agents, focussing on cooperation with on-going or planned Swedish/Nordic projects (e. g. project within the Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative). Also describe other planned international cooperations.
A list of all hitherto known species in the group that will be treated should be included in the application, with notes on which species that hitherto have been found in Sweden (if possible also the other four Nordic countries; Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway).
For what period are the grants available?All research grants are automatically available one year after the project period, with a possibility of extension.
Duties and conditions
If funds are granted the contract establishes a number of duties and conditions:
- Annual project reports
- Annual financial reports
- Annual taxon reports including information on taxa new to science (n. sp.), other taxonomic changes and taxa new to Sweden
- Final report including summary (abstract) in English and Swedish
- ArtDatabanken (SSIC) also has the right to follow the project in a suitable way and can demand further reports to a reasonable extent.
- The scientific results of the project should be published in a scientific journal with international distribution or dispersed in a similar way. Whenever possible, publishing should be made in journals with an ”Open Acess-policy”.
- Publications resulting from the project should also be reported and sent in (preferably both in printed form and as a pdf-file).
- Results of public interest should also be spread outside the scientific community.
- As results are dispersed, it should always be made clear that the research has been granted support by the Swedish Taxonomy Initiative, STI.
- The project should also actively contribute to keeping ArtDatabanken’s database of Swedish taxa – Dyntaxa – updated. A minimum requirement is that, by the end of the project, a checklist of the treated group is delivered to the STI.
- At the latest when the final report is sent in, an identification key (digital or printed, in English and/or Swedish) covering at least the treated group should be presented to ArtDatabanken. The SSIC have the right to publish this identification key as well as versions of it (with credit to the author) in the Encyclopedia of the Swedish Flora and Fauna or on SSIC's web pages. Inventory projects do not have to produce an identification key.
- ArtDatabanken welcomes species descriptions (in Swedish and/or English) including description of important characters, ecology and distribution of all studies species, as well as images of as many as possible of the studied species. These images should show habitus and/or important characters and should be tagged with taxon-ID from Dyntaxa (if such an ID exists).
- All the observation data of the project (specimens with collecting date, georeferenced localities and other relevant parameters) should be entered in public databases, primarily Artportalen (Species Gateway) or in a database in any of Sweden’s major natural history museums (available through DINA).
- Biological specimens collected within the project should be deposited in a public collection, preferably in one of the larger natural history museums in Sweden. Tissue or whole specimens should be conserved in a way that allows DNA-extraction.
- Any gene sequences produced within the project should be deposited in GenBank, BOLD and/or other relevant and public database for sequence data (such as e. g. UNITE).
- The project should, when applicable, follow the international guidelines for ’DNA Barcoding’ agreed upon by the CBOL (Consortium for the Barcode Of Life), as well as to any further instructions by SWEBOL (whenever suitable and applicable). The sequences should be tagged ‘SWEBOL’, ‘STI’ and with further suitable project tags, such as ‘SWEMA’ and/or ‘NORBOL’, ‘GBOL’, ‘FINBOL’ etc.
- Scientific images produced by the project should, apart from in the usual publications, be published in Morphbank.
- ArtDatabanken (Swedish Species Information Centre, SSIC) at SLU, has the right to publish copyrighted material (illustrations and text) that is produced within the project and financed by this project grant. This copyright extends to all types of publication and is not time-limited. The name of the originator/author should be stated in accordance with good custom.
- ArtDatabanken has the right to publish data on the project (e. g. the name of the project leader and other participants in the project, administrative body, result summaries/abstracts, identification keys, publications in electronic format such as a pdf-file – when allowed by the publisher – and links to the project’s web pages) on ArtDatabanken’s web pages on the Internet.
- ArtDatabanken also has the right to inform about the project in other ways. When requests for information about the project are more substantial, ArtDatabanken will normally direct them to the project leader.
Report Forms. Forms for project reports, financial reports and taxon reports can be obtained from STI’s Research Officer Rikard Sundin.
This criterium means that research results should be useful for the taxonomic identification of the Swedish multicellular flora, funga and fauna. Note that a high research priority, according to STI’s list of research priorities (see above) is not necessarily synonymous to high relevance, because relevance is also linked to priorities within SSIC's work towards spreading information on species and taxonomic groups and production of identification tools.
Projects that significantly could increase the knowledge of the Swedish multicellular flora, fauna and funga, such as description of new species or the revision of problematic species complexes, which at the same time are of high scientific quality will ge given priority. Projects that affect many species in poorly known groups, generally are of high relevance, while projects involving single species are of relatively low relevance.
The fact that an application has a high degree of relevance is not sufficient to make it eligible for an STI grant. The application must also meet high standards of scientific quality and feasibility. Projects that are of low relevance to the STI, however, always have low priority in the final selection process, regardless of their levels of scientific quality and feasibility.
Scientific quality and feasibility:
The assessment of scientific quality and feasibility are based partly on the project application, partly on the applicant’s/applicants’ publications and other scientific merits. When it comes to scientific quality the following factors are assessed: choice of method, the applicants' documented experience and scientific skills as well as ability to inform society about the research. Feasibility is how probable it is that the project will be possible to realize as planned, taking the following factors in consideration: the applicants' documented experience and scientific skills as well as the reasonableness of the work- cost- and publishing plans.
The final assessment also take in account a few additional criteria. The STI aims to actively contribute to the emergence of a new generation of taxonomists and systematists, to secure endangered skills and to enhance the systematic research environments in Sweden. In addition, STI actively takes account of gender issues, which means that the underrepresented sex may be favoured in the case where two applications are assessed as equally strong.
- shorter research visits
- small-scale inventories
- small checklist projects
Minor research grants are limited to a maximum of SEK 100 000 including indirect costs and can be applied for at any time during the year. Please contact Rikard Sundin for further instructions and application form.