Henrik Cederquist
Henrik Cederquist. Photo: Niklas Björling

We have been informed that a potential new system for the performance-related portion of the appropriation for research and third-cycle education will be introduced as soon as 2024. We do not yet have the details for how such a system would work, but according to the proposal presented by the state research councils under the leadership of the Swedish Research Council, larger higher education institutions such as Stockholm University will be able to apply for up to five profile areas at SEK 20 million per year and research area for six years. We also do not know for certain that this new system will be introduced, but we believe that it is very likely.

During the spring, a process was carried out within the natural sciences where our four section deans worked in collaboration with the heads of department and directors, who in turn held discussions within their departments and research centres to develop initial proposals for profile areas. This process resulted in 18 proposals. The faculty management then created a preliminary compilation of these proposals under six headings. The working group that was tasked with this initial step will now continue the process based on the six general proposals in consultation with the departments and other relevant bodies. This will be an open process, and we will of course welcome proposals to change or modify the initial proposals as well as other ideas. I believe that the profile areas should be broad and inclusive and should be based on existing areas that are already a strength for the University on the international level, where uniting and developing the activities in new ways, by strategically strengthening specific parts, creates clear added value for the whole. It is important that the profile areas are formulated in a way that reflects Stockholm University’s current strengths and also points the way towards new areas of growth. For example, one of the natural science’s preliminary proposals is “Climate, Seas and the Environment: Future Scenarios and Extremes”. 

Corresponding preparatory work is being carried out within the human sciences, and we will maintain a dialogue between the human sciences and natural sciences as well as within the senior management team on how Stockholm University can best formulate five powerful profile area 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.