Henrik Cederquist
Henrik Cederquist. Photo: Niklas Björling

The SEK 500 million will be drawn from the permanent funding provision to the sector. In 2021 and 2022 performance-based allocation will take place in the same way as previously, being based partially on bibliometrics and the ability to attract external research funding.
The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet/VR) has been tasked by the government, in conjunction with other state research advisory bodies and in consultation with Swedish universities and university colleges (the latter being represented by the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions), to develop a proposal for how the allocation of money should be managed. This proposal is to be presented to the Ministry of Education and Research by June 1st, 2021 at the latest. It is clear that the Swedish Research Council will manage the profiling applications from the higher education institutions, but beyond that there is much which we still do not know.
Stockholm University will argue, via the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions, that the institutions should apply for funding on a flat rate, for example SEK 10 million per year over a 10-year period. With around 40 higher education institutions in the country which each ought to be able to have at least one profile area, there is barely space for more than 3 to 4 profile areas per institution, even in the case of large institutions such as Stockholm University.
How should we plan for a profile area declaration? I think that we can start from the University’s 16 current profile areas and see how various parts of these different profiles may be combined in ways which create new opportunities and new collaborations, with the potential of breaking new ground.
In the two areas of science and human science, work is now beginning on developing ideas and documentation which will then be discussed further by the senior management of the University. Collaboration is strongly stressed in the Research Bill, but it is so far unclear what significance this factor will have on the evaluation phase. In my judgement a good, clear link to new, interesting education programmes will be important in achieving success with profile applications.

This article is written by Henrik Cederquist, Deputy Vice President for Science and professor at Fysikum (the Department of Physics) at Stockholm University. It appeares in the section “Words from the University’s senior management team”, where different members of the management team take turns to write about topical issues. Words from the University’s senior management team appears in every edition of News for staff which is distributed to the entirety of the University staff.