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Call for funding of Thematic Collaboration Initiatives 2023–2025

The External Engagement Council announces funding for up to four new thematic collaboration initiatives starting in January 2023, of a maximum of SEK 1,000,000 per year over 3 years, i.e.,up until the end of December 2025.

Lund University is committed to address societal challenges by collaborative and multi-disciplinary approaches, all in accordance with its strategic map or plan.  

In order to facilitate multi-disciplinary collaboration including external engagement, novel initiatives are essential. Since 2017, the University has announced calls regarding so called “Thematic Collaboration Initiatives” (tematiska samverkansinitiativ).

Based on recommendation from the External Engagement Council, the Vice Chancellor makes the formal decision regarding this fifth call announcement for Thematic Collaboration Initiatives. Previous calls have focused more on research and collaboration/external engagement. With this call, the ambition is to widen the scope to include education. Hence, Thematic Collaboration Initiatives that combine research, education and external collaboration with external stakeholders known as Education Research and Collaboration Environments, are of special interest. The educational activities range from programs to short lifelong learning modules (micro credentials). 


The aims of Thematic Collaboration Initiatives are: 

•    To contribute to solutions of societal challenges within areas where Lund University has well established research and education, which may contribute to future breakthroughs 
•    To create platforms which provide good conditions for collaboration between faculty members at Lund University and established external partners 
•    To stimulate collaboration across faculties and demonstrate good examples of collaboration projects. 

The idea is that a Thematic Collaboration Initiative should create a meeting place for knowledge and development within a specified problem area. Acquired grants should be used for activities which support collaboration. The goal is that the work carried out should result in new projects and common applications, as well as development in working with external partners. The initiative should function as a place for physical and/or digital meetings and should display “digital presence” via a web portal, use of LUCRIS or another apt digital front. It is important that there is one clearly defined “digital home” that can easily be referred to and accessed openly. Further, the outcomes and impact of the initiative should be gathered and communicated. 

Instructions for the application 

A Thematic Collaboration Initiative should be multi-disciplinary and include at least three faculties, as well as at least one external partner, preferably more. The application may be written in Swedish or in English. 

The initiative shall have a coordinator, who is permanently employed by Lund University, and a core group of faculty members at Lund University, as well as external partners. 
The application should include: 

  • A project description, maximum 6 pages, including which external partners and faculty members that are to participate in the initiative. A presentation of the initiative’s goals and objectives, and a presentation of planned activities 
  • A budget for the planned activities, covering both direct costs and indirect costs 
  • An attachment of CVs (max 2 pages per person) for the main applicant(s). Main applicant may be more than one person. 
  • A letter of intent indicating the contribution of each external partner to the initiative 

The evaluation process of the applications includes two steps. Step 1 is an evaluation based on the written application. In step 2 the applications with the highest ranking are invited for an interview. Together this forms the base for the final evaluation. The evaluation is performed by the assigned working group from the External Engagement Council. 
The evaluation of the applications, and the interviews, follow these criteria:

  • Selection of societal challenge: timeliness and relevance (community benefits), research anchoring, depth and breadth 
  • Co-workers' competence: choice of composition of the group, coordinator competence and leadership skills, other skills for main applicants /co-applicants and partners 
  • How the initiative can respond to its goals: choice of activities and planning, expected results and expected effects, implementation of the initiative 

Assessment of expected results

 When the initiatives are assessed, after 1,5 and after 3 years, examples of questions may be: 

  • Have applications, made within the thematic initiative, resulted in research projects? 
  • Has the initiative created external visibility, where the theme has been profiled as a strong area for Lund University? 
  • How has the initiative advanced the field? 
  • Can the impact of the initiative's knowledge transfer and communication be demonstrated? For example, through public sector or company impacts, through referral issues, innovations, new businesses, etc. 

Application dates

The deadline for sending in an application is 23rd of September 2022. Payment of granted funding takes place from January 2023. Application documents should be sent to samverkan [at] lu [dot] se.


Anna Bille
Project manager
anna [dot] bille [at] fsi [dot] lu [dot] se