Rules and instructions for research funding, 2019

Please read through this document carefully before you start your application. We recommend that you start to work on your application in good time so you have a chance to deal with unexpected problems during the submission process. 

Download the information (pdf, 442 kB)


Sports science may include all areas of scientific research, however, all applications must be clearly relevant to sport. Applications should demonstrate reasons and considerations for choosing to study women and/or men.

Two areas of special interest are research projects focusing on sporting excellence and research into sports for children and young people. The term “children and young people” includes individuals up to 20 years of age.

Applicants who have previously received project funding or have held a salaried position over a stipulated period of time, and where this period has expired, must have made their final report by the 17th of September 2018 at the latest. To be eligible for new funding for 2019, a final report and financial accounts must have been presented on, or before, this date.

Application period

Applications for research funding from the Swedish Research Council for Sport Science (Centrum för idrottsforskning, CIF) are made once a year. The application system for the next financial year (2019) opens at the end of June and closes on Monday the 17th of September 2018 at 5 PM (CET). Please note that we accept only on-line applications. A new requirement in 2018 is that the application should be electronically signed using bankID and that has to be done before the system closes on 17th of September at 5 PM.

Who can apply?

All applications should have a chief applicant. The chief applicant is the formal project leader with scientific responsibility for the project. The chief applicant must take an active part in the project, and hold a Swedish PhD or an equivalent overseas qualification, or possess a similar level of expertise. He/she must have an established link to an academic institution 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.

The project leader must be employed by the academic institution which receives the funding on the date the period of funding commences. However, the applicant does not need to be employed by the institution before making an application.

Associate applicants are scientists who play an important role in the success of the suggested project.


Funding for projects and services can be administered by academic institutions based in Sweden only.

What types of applications can you make?

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.

Project funding

This is indicated by the prefix P2019.

What period of time does the funding cover?

Funding may cover one year provided that resources made available to CIF remain at current, or higher, levels.

How much money can you apply for/be awarded?

The maximum sum which can be awarded from CIF to a single chief applicant is 400,000 SEK a year.

The applicant can apply for funds both from CIF and The Swedish Sports Confederation (Riksidrottsförbundet, RF) for the same project and can be granted with 400,000 kronor from CIF and 400,000 kronor from RF. If the application is made for both CIF and RF grants, the applicant must enter a budget of up to SEK 800,000.

How many applications can you make/be awarded?

A chief applicant may apply for a maximum of two projects per year and one post-doctoral position from CIF and in addition one application from RF.

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


Applications may be written in Swedish or English. 


The only way to apply for research funding is on-line through the CIF application system. You can find the link on the website:  There is also a direct link: .

New users – creating an account

  • The project leader should enter his/her first name, surname and an email address.
  • A password will be sent to the email address provided.
  • When you log in to the system with your new password, click on “Edit personal information” and enter your personal and contact information. Add also your ORCID iD. It is important that this information is registered, as it is linked to your application.
  • Please note that it is the project leader who needs to create the account and provide the contact information. A correct email address is particularly important.

Personal data processing

The personal data you enter into the application system are stored and processed in this system to administer applications. The applications are administered by CIF’s administrators and will also be handed out to external reviewers in the Scientific Review Panel and the Board of the Swedish Research Council for Sport Science.

By electronically registering the application, the user agrees that the data submitted is processed by CIF. Provisions for right of registry and correction of incorrect or misleading data are contained in the General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679).

By electronically registering the application you agree that the personal data you have submitted in your application are processed by CIF. This approval is a prerequisite for applying for a research grant at CIF.

Personal data is entered into the digital system by the applicant itself and can only be corrected and adjusted by the applicant. The only personal information that CIF can correct is the e-mail address. When changing e-mail address, contact

Existing accounts

If you already created an account in a previous application process, please use the same account this year. If you have forgotten the password, click on the link “Forgotten password?”.  If you have changed your email address, please contact CIF at so we can alter it. If you already have an account, do not create a new one.

How does the system work?

The system automatically saves all the text entered in the fields. You do not need to use a “save” function. You can change, adjust or delete your text as many times as you wish until the system is closed. For your own safety, it is important that you do not save the application on the back space of your computer. Please use only the buttons you can see at the top of the screen to move backwards and forwards in the system; otherwise you will be logged out.


There is a help function on every page, in the form of a button marked “(?) Anvisningar” (Instructions). When you press the button a new window with instructions opens. You can also find Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of the start page when you log on to the system.

Working off‐line

The system is not designed to be used off-line. It is a web-based system and functions work only when the user is logged in.

The system works best with a rapid internet connection. Avoid using mobile connections as it is likely that the connection will fail and you will be logged out.

Filling in fields

There is an empty field to be filled in by each tab. These fields vary in size depending on the subject. Beneath each field, you will see the maximum number of characters and spaces you can use. (NB The number includes spaces.) 

If you work on the application on your own computer, you can then paste your text into the blank fields. However, formatting (e.g., bold, italics, superscript) disappears when you paste in your text. In addition, different programmes, systems and web browsers calculate numbers of characters differently.  For example, the programme used by the application system and the Word programme calculate the number of characters and spaces differently. It is the character and space limits used by the application system which apply. 

If you write too many characters this is registered by the counter under each field, but you receive no warning until you try to submit the application. You will then receive an error message with information about which part of the application is too long, or whether something is missing. It is important throughout the process that you are aware of how many characters and spaces you have used so that you do not need to make adjustments to your application immediately before the system closes.

After you have sent in your application, you may recall or change it until the application system closes on 17th of September at 5 PM (CET). After the system has closed it is not possible to recall or make further changes to the application. 


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)

Please fill in the name of the project, choose the most relevant subject area and give an overall description of the project. The application 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 you choose between the pre-determined subject areas, three of the most common research areas are given. Apart from these three, you can also choose “Another subject area.” If you choose this, you must specify a specific area.  You can choose one of the three main subject areas even if your topic is sports science. CIF has decided not to have a specific area for sports science. If you choose, “Another topic area” we will bring in other experts with the necessary expertise to evaluate the research application. If the application touches on several topic areas, we may ask different groups of experts to evaluate it. CIF is responsible for the final decision as to the placement of an application in a given subject area.

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. (See below.) By doing so, research aimed at treating disease through sports can not currently be financed.

The relevance of sport in research: 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 research: traumatology, rehabilitation and orthopaedics

Research shall be from the perspective of the prevention and treatment of sports-related injuries. Research may deal with the mechanism of injuries and methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of importance to sports performance.

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

Give a short account of the purpose and goals 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)

Please 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 shold include a description of how the work is to be organized, any sub-projects or power calculations, and a time-schedule.

Preliminary results (2,500 characters and spaces)

Please 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.


Project funding may be requested to cover costs for personnel (including National Insurance – Swedish LKP), operations and equipment. It is important to state whether there are other possible sources of project funding. The applicant can apply for both funds from CIF and RF for the same project and can be granted with SEK 400,000 from CIF and SEK 400,000 from RF. If the application is made for both CIF and RF grants, the applicant must enter a budget of up to SEK 800,000.

Cost specification

Under this tab costs for personnel, equipment and operations are specified and justified. Only costs which apply to the applications for funds from CIF should be included.

Salaried positions/salary costs

Personnel costs may include the salary of the project leader and salaries for other people in the project. Salaries should be specified for each individual. Costs/payments related to participants is specified separately.


Travel costs include costs for travel in connection with the project as well as costs for international meetings between researchers (i.e., travel and living costs).

Publishing costs

Costs of publishing and translation.

Administration costs

If a claim is made for shared university/college overhead costs, these costs must be given here.

Other sources of finance

You are required to specify the names of other bodies you have applied to, or plan to apply to, for funds. Please give the name of the body and the amount you have applied for or already received. You do not need to give any further details.

Reporting previous funding

Ongoing projects from 2017 and 2018 need not be reported in September 2018.

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 2019. 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 17th of September 2018 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 2018 are projects and salaried academic positions which have been extended up to, and including, 2018‐06‐30.

Curriculum vitae (9,500 characters and spaces)

The main applicant must submit a short description of his/her qualifications. Points which are not applicable may be left blank. It is only the chief applicant who shall submit a CV.


  • Degree (year, subject area)
  • PhD (year, discipline/subject area, title of thesis)
  • Post-doctoral appointments (year and placement)
  • Associate professorship (year)
  • Professorship (year)
  • Current position, period of contract, proportion of research time.
  • Previous position, period of contract (specify type of position).
  • Reasons for periods of absence from active research. These include: parental leave, illness, civic/elected duties, military service, general and specialist medical training. Give the date and number of months.
  • Doctoral students you have supervised who have been awarded PhD’s. (Names, year PhD degree was awarded.)
  • Doctoral students who are currently under your supervision (Name, estimated year PhD to be awarded)
  • Other information relevant to the application.

Publications (15,000 characters and spaces)

Please outline a list of your publications during the previous five years. Among these, indicate with an asterisk (*) the five publications which are most relevant to your current project.

List the publications under numbered headings in the following order:

  1. Peer-reviewed articles and book chapters
  2. Peer-reviewed contributions to conferences, where results have not been published elsewhere
  3. Review articles, book chapters and books
  4. Popular scientific articles
  5. For post-doctoral researchers: List the articles included in your thesis, or the title of the monograph which made up your doctoral thesis.

Please note! Include only articles which have already been, or have been accepted for, publication.


In the project you can have collaboration with three co-researchers, and if you have a collaboration within the Swedish sports movement, you must indicate a partner in the form of a contact person or organisation.

Your fellow applicants

Provide names, titles, email addresses, names of academic institutions, and schools/departments of a maximum of three co-applicants.

Also enter the organization, name, function and e-mail address of any partner in the sports movement.

Curriculum vitae and publications for the co-applicants (9,500 characters and spaces)

A brief description of the co-applicant’s qualifications and publications. Note that the space will be sufficient for all co-applicants.

Collaboration plan (2,500 characters and spaces)

Write a short description of who does what in the project and what each one should contribute. The collaboration plan is an important part of the assessment of feasibility.

Research projects that are being applied in the framework of RF grants may be in close collaboration with partners within the Swedish sports movement, such as sports federations, the Swedish Sports Confederation or their district federations. The application shall state the manner in which collaboration takes place, with which cooperation is taking place, if contact is established and contact details of the partner.

Ethical reviews

Please note that certain types of research can be carried out only after an ethical review. The objective of an ethical review is to protect participants in research programmes from personal, physical and psychological harm.  Similarly, animal rights legislation controls the use of animals in experiments, requiring approval from an Ethics Committee before experiments start. An ethical review must have been carried out, and approval given, before any research starts.  This approval need not be sent to CIF as it is assumed that approval has been granted before research commences.

Sending in the application

When you have filled in all the fields and your application is complete, go back to the first page and click on the application you wish to send in. Click on “Send in.” When the application has arrived, you will receive email confirmation that the application has been registered.

It is possible to recall your application, make adjustments and re-send it at any time until the system closes at 5 PM (CET) on 17th of September. Just click on “Recall.”

A new requirement in 2018 is that the application should be electronically signed using bankID and it has to be done before the application system closes at 5 PM on 17th of September.

By signing the application digitally, the chief applicant certifies that the managing body has approved its commitment to support the current research and to provide employment, facilities and equipment. The Head of Department, or equivalent, which is the contact person of the managing body, must be given by name, title and e-mail address.

The chief applicant is responsible for ensuring that the application is complete. Other material accompanying the application will be disregarded. We do not accept information sent after the last date for applications, other than that we have specifically requested.

Save your application

If you wish, you can save your application as a PDF on your computer by following these instructions:

  • Click on Show/Print.
  • Locate the menu on your browser screen (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Opera). At the top of this menu you will find a PDF icon. Click the icon to save your application as a PDF. Check that your browser has this feature installed; otherwise contact your IT department.
  • Save in a chosen place on your computer.
  • A square will appear stating ”Converting to PDF.”
  • Wait until it says ”Complete.”


The Board of the Swedish Research Council for Sport Science receives advice in their application assessments from different scientific committees for each subject area. The names of those on the Scientific Review Panel can be found on the website. If an application is found to fall outside the expertise of a committee, other experts may be consulted.

The assessment is carried out in two stages: first, the relevance to sport is assessed. If the application is assessed to have no relevance to sport it cannot progress further. For projects which are relevant to sport a seven-point assessment (1-7) is carried out. There are four main headings: (a) innovation and originality (b) the scientific quality of the project (c) the expertise of the chief applicant in regard to the project (d) feasibility. The Board makes the decision on how the funding is distributed.


The final decisions on the distribution of funding are made on the 29th of November 2018, and the announcement is published the day after on the website . Letters about the awarding of funding and contracts are sent out in December. The recipient then signs and returns the contract. The funds are paid to the relevant academic institution in January and September 2019, in two equal sums.

Time frames for projects

The time frame for a one-year contract is from 2019‐01‐01 to 2020‐12‐31.

Further questions

For more information contact the office at the the Swedish Research Council for Sport Science:

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