Rules and instructions for research funding, 2021

Please read through this information 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. 

General conditions

Sports science may include all areas of scientific research and all applications must be clearly relevant to sport. Read more about CIF’s definition of sports relevance on CIF’s website.


Application period

Applications for research funding from the Swedish Research Council for Sport Science (Centrum för idrottsforskning, CIF) are made once a year. The call for the next financial year (2021) opens in June and closes on Tuesday 15 September 2020 at 5 PM (CEST).  

Please note that we accept only on-line applications. The application should be electronically signed using bankID and sent in before the application system closes. If you do not have the opportunity to obtain bankID, please contact us.

Who can apply?

Every application should have a chief applicant, who also acts as project leader and has scientific responsibility for the project. The chief applicant must be active in the project. The chief applicant should have a Swedish doctorate or equivalent foreign degree or other equivalent competence and be attached to a university in Sweden.

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, unless the academic institution and any other employer agree otherwise. However, an individual does not need to be employed at the time of application.

Retired researchers with an employment (at least 20% on an academic institution) as a senior professor or equivalent may be the chief applicant. The researcher must be employed at the time of application.

Three co-applicants can be added to the application and it should be clear how the work is distributed among you. Read more in the section on “Research collaboration”.

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 2021.

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 Tuesday 15 September 2020 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 2020 are projects and salaried academic positions which have been extended up to and including 2020‐06‐30.

What types of applications can you make?

The Swedish Research Council for Sport Science has four different types of applications and in the on-line application system and they all have specific prefixes. Please take care to select the correct type of application when you enter the system:

How many applications can you make?

A chief applicant may apply for:

  • One application for project funding
  • One application for funding for post-doctoral researchers including funding for operating costs
  • One application for funding for associations, collaboration and networking

How much funding can be awarded?

A chief applicant can receive a maximum of funding of SEK 400,000 per year for a project. If you are also applying for a post-doctoral position, you can be granted:

  • SEK 550,000 for a post-doctoral position plus a basic grant of SEK 100,000 for operating costs or
  • SEK 550,000 for a post-doctoral position and a project funding of a maximum amount of SEK 400,000


Applications must be written in English. Please note that the possibility of writing the application in Swedish has been removed and the application system is only available in English.

Guidelines for writing

Keep in mind that your application will be assessed by reviewers who have many applications to read. It is therefore important that your application is readable. Some guidelines for writing text with good readability:

  • Write clear headings.
  • Avoid headings and texts in capital letters only.
  • Replace paragraph after 3-5 sentences.
  • Use bulleted lists.
  • It is better to write an airy and easy-to-read application than to get as many words as possible into the text fields.

One tip is to make your application as interesting to the reader as possible. Emphasize what is unique about your research project.

How do I apply for funding?

The only way to apply for research funding is on-line through the Swedish Research Council for Sport Science’s application system. You can find the link on the website or via the link.

New users – creating an account

  • The project leader should enter the first name and last name, and the email address.
  • An email with 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 his/her contact information which should be registered. The project leader’s email address is particularly important.
  • Your personal identity number (personnummer) must be registered under “Personal data” in order for confirmation with BankID to be made.
  • If you are unable to obtain a Swedish personal identity number and bank ID, please contact us.

Existing accounts

If you 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 us at so we can alter it. If you already have an account, do not create a new one.
  • A novelty with the electronic signing is that you have to register your personal identity number. Go to your account’s home page and click on “Edit personal information” to add this.

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. This approval is a prerequisite for applying for a research grant at CIF. Provisions for right of registry and correction of incorrect or misleading data are contained in the General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679).

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 email address. When changing email address, contact

A novelty with the electronic signing is that you have to register your personal identity number (personnummer). This will only be used for you to be able to sign the application and will not be used for any other purpose.

How does the system work?

You do not need to use a “save” function as the system automatically saves all the text entered in the fields. You can change, adjust or delete your text as many times as you wish until the system is closed. It is important that you do not use your computer’s back space. 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.


In each tab you have a help section, which is marked with (?) Guidelines. Pressing this link opens a new window with instructions.

The system does not work off-line

The system is not designed to be used off-line. It is a web-based system and various 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

Under every tab there is an empty field to be filled in. 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 (eg bold, italics, superscript) disappears when you paste in your text. Also, 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 is applied. 

If you write too many characters this is registered by the counter under each field, but you receive no warning until you try to send in 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 text immediately before the system closes.

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 “Submit.” 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 (CEST) on 15 September. Just click on “Unsubmit.”

The application should be electronically signed using bankID and it has to be done before the application system closes.

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 email address.

You do not need to submit the front page of the application form if you signed your application with bankID.

If you do not have bankID, you print the front page and sign yourself and allow the Head of Department or equivalent to sign. The front page with original signatures must be sent to the CIF’s office and must be delivered to CIF by September 15.

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

In order to save your application as a PDF file, you need to install Adobe Professional. Contact your IT department for this.

What happens to the application after the call is closed?


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 four criteria are assessed: (a) innovation and originality (b) the scientific quality of the project (c) the expertise of the applicants in regard to the project (d) feasibility. For the assessment of a-c, a seven-point scale (1-7) is used, with seven (7) being the highest grade. For the assessment of (d), a three-grade scale (1-3) is used where 3 is the highest grade.

The Board makes the decision on how the funding is distributed.

Decisions on funding

Decisions on the distribution of funding are made on 2 December 2020, and the announcement is published on 3 December, on the website of the Swedish Research Council for Sport Science.

Decisions and contracts are not sent to the applicant. Instead, you will have access to the decision, assessment, and possibly a contract directly in CIF’s digital application system according to instructions from CIF’s office in December 2020.

The grant recipient prints the contract from the system, signs and lets the managing body sign it. Then the contract is sent in two copies to CIF. The funds are paid to the relevant academic institution in January and September 2021, in two equal sums.

Further questions

For more information, please contact the office at CIF:
Marie Broholmer, tel: +46(0)8 120 537 62,
Christine Dartsch Nilsson, tel: +46(0)8 120 537 60,

Mailing address

Centrum för idrottsforskning
Box 5626
114 86 Stockholm