Rules and instructions for applications for post-doctoral researchers, 2020

Please read through this document before you start your application. Start to work on your application in good time so you have the opportunity to deal with unexpected problems. 

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General conditions

Who can apply?

The applicant must have reached a Ph.D. degree within the last seven-year period (within the span from 1 January 2012 to 1 November 2019) and have a Swedish doctorate or equivalent foreign degree or other equivalent competence and be attached to a university in Sweden. The PhD degree is considered to have been awarded when all requirements, including all compulsory courses and oral examinations, have been met and the doctoral thesis has been approved.

If further interruptions from research have been made, you may be crediting this time. These include: parental leave, illness, civic/elected duties, military service, general and specialist medical training.

On the date the period of funding commences, the project leader who has received the award from CIF must be employed by the academic institution which receives the funding. However, an individual does not need to be employed before making an application.

What types of applications can you make?

The grant is 450,000 SEK per year. The funds granted include shared university/college overhead costs. Please note that funding for the research project is sought separately. See rules and instructions for applying for project grants.

CIF has four different types of applications and in the on-line application system they all have specific prefixes. Please take care to select the correct type of application when you enter the system:

Post-doctoral positions

This is indicated by the prefix D2020.

Academic positions in continuing projects (year 2, 3 and 4)

This is indicated by the prefix FO2020.

What period of time does the funding cover?

Funding may cover 2020 and 2021 provided that resources made available to CIF remain at current, or higher, levels. The granting of salary is one year at a time and may be extended for up to four years after a renewed application annually. The project plan will be written for four years.

How many applications can you make/be awarded?

A chief applicant may apply for one project and one post-doctoral position per year.

A chief applicant can receive a maximum of funding of 400,000 SEK per year, in addition to funding for a post-doctoral position.


The application should outline as complete as possible a description of the research programme. The headings below correspond to tabs in the on-line application system.

Project (2,500 characters and spaces)

Here you fill in the project title, choose the subject area, if you have an ethical review, and state the person responsible on the administrative body (head of department or equivalent) who certifies that the study can be carried out at the stated university. In addition, you should write a summary project description which should provide a short summary of the purpose of the research and how it is to be carried out.

The summary of the research project shall contain a short description of:

  • Background
  • Main questions to be addressed
  • Schedule of work and methods
  • Describe the importance of the programme in its area of research, particularly in terms of its creativity and originality.

Choosing the subject area

When choosing the evaluation group, there are three specified main groups. You choose the group that best matches your own subject area. In addition to these three main groups, it is possible to choose “Other subject area” – if so, specify which. If the application is multidisciplinary, we can allow several groups to make an assessment. If so, specify it under “Other subject area”. CIF is responsible for the final decision as to the placement of an application in a subject area. If needed, CIF we will bring in other experts with the necessary expertise to evaluate the research application.

Relevance and importance to sport (1,500 characters and spaces)

Please outline the relevance and importance of your project to sport. All applications need to demonstrate a clear relevance to sport and we welcome projects which are the result of collaborations with sports associations.

Definition of relevance to sport

Sport can be broadly defined as, “all physical activity in which individuals consciously engage for reasons including the maintenance and improvement of health and performance, competition or recreation.”

The Swedish Research Council for Sport Science supports research into sport. In the current financial situation, when resources are very limited, the Board has drawn up definitions of “relevance to sport”, which define the types of research which it supports. By doing so, research aimed at treating disease through sports cannot currently be financed.

The relevance of sport in physiology, medicine and biomechanics

The starting point of the research must be physical activity of importance to health or physical performance or both. The research will deal with biological functions, as well as mechanisms and methods that promote health and sporting performance.

The relevance of sport in the social sciences and humanities and appropriate areas of research

In humanities and social sciences studies of activities regarded as sports by society as well as participants are relevant. Studies of movement cultures that are usually not referred to as sports, but is nevertheless included in the definition of sport given above are also relevant.

In addition, relevant studies should aim at problematizing and developing sport activities in relation to for example performance, accessibility and diversity.

The relevance of sport in traumatology, rehabilitation and orthopaedics

Research aims at prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries, and includes projects focussing on mechanisms of injuries and methods related to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of importance for sports performance.

Specific goals and purpose of the project (2,500 characters and spaces)

Give a short account of the purpose of the project.

Background and previously published results (3,500 characters and spaces)

Give an account of previous and relevant research as well as general concepts, theories and hypotheses which led to the creation of the main questions to be addressed in the project. References from the literature should be outlined in a coherent way. References are listed under the tab Reference list (Ref. list).

Reasons and considerations for studying women and/or men (1,500 characters and spaces)

Applicants shall, with respect to the project’s main questions, outline:

  • What current research tells us about women and men in this context
  • Whether research into women and/or men is lacking in this context
  • Reasons, if any, for studying only women or only men in this context

Methodology and plan of work (7,000 characters and spaces)

Give a full description of the methodology and set of theories which are to be used. List the available equipment and what needs to be procured (to be specified under the “Finance” tab). The plan of work shall include a description of how the work is to be organized, any sub-projects or power calculations, and a schedule.

Preliminary results (2,500 characters and spaces)

Describe any preliminary results arrived at in the course of, or associated with, the project.

It is not possible to enter figures, tables or diagrams in fields intended for text. Below the text field for preliminary results there is a link where you can upload a PDF containing figures, tables or diagrams along with short, written descriptions.

Reference list (3,500 characters and spaces)

The list of references should be outlined in a coherent way (author, title and source) in Swedish or English (one or the other).


The amount allocated for funding to postdoc position is a fixed amount of 450,000 SEK per year. Granted funds include National Insurance – Swedish LKP. The first year you can also apply for a grant of up to 100,000 SEK for operating costs. If the applicant receives funding for a project (P2020) the grant for operating costs will not be awarded.

Operating costs

Under this tab costs for other personnel costs than your own salary, equipment and operations are specified and justified.

Reports on previous funding

Ongoing projects from 2018 and 2019 need not be reported in September 2019.

Reports on completed projects

Researchers who have been awarded project funding from CIF from 2008 onwards, must have sent in their final accounts by the stipulated date. If they do not send in these accounts, they are not eligible to apply for new funding during 2020. Ineligible projects are not considered for new funding and will be removed from the system.

To conclude the project, the project leader needs to send in a scientific report and final financial accounts. This must be done in the on-line application system by Monday 16 September 2019 at the latest. Read more about this in, “Rules and instructions for final accounts of project funding.”

Projects which must submit final reports in the on-line application system in September 2019 are projects and salaried academic positions which have been extended up to and including 2019‐06‐30.

Abstract (3,500 characters and spaces)

A short summary of the doctoral thesis.

Time frames

Time frames for the post-doctoral funding is from 2020-01‐01 to 2021‐12‐31.

Further questions

For more information, contact the office at CIF:

Marie Broholmer, tel: +46(0)8 120 537 62,
Christine Dartsch, tel: +46(0)8 120 537 60,