Over 80% of the applications we supported editorially were successful in obtaining research grants from the Swedish Research Council this year. This greatly surpasses the typical average success rate of 25% or so for submitted applications.

The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet, VR) recently published the list of successful applications for research grants from various disciplinary areas.  We are very pleased that over 80% of the applications we supported editorially this year were successful. These include one from the Natural Sciences and Engineering area and five from the Medicine and Health area. These results build on our success from last year, when 75% of the applications we supported were successful. The fact that only about 25% or so of all applications submitted to VR during 2017 and 2018 were successful in obtaining funding highlights the value added by our support.


“Elevate Scientific was instrumental in helping us secure this grant. I am convinced that their editing allowed the reviewers to very quickly put our application in an appropriate context, to precisely understand the question at hand and to understand the novelty and significance of our project.” Prof. Michelle S Chew, Linköping University Hospital and Lund University.

As we have underscored in previous posts, the key to successful applications is a strong narrative. Such a narrative identifies the main problem, tells reviewers why solving this problem is important, outlines in detail how the proposed research will go about solving the problem, and convinces reviewers that the proposed work is feasible and achievable.

At Elevate, we have developed an effective approach to developing narratives that considers their macroscopic (framing and overall structure) and smaller-scale (flow and language) dimensions. For grant applications, the importance of framing and story structure cannot be overemphasized. For each application we support, the structure and flow are informed by the overall framing and narrative (in harmony with the funder’s guidelines, of course), just as form can be seen to follow function. Our success with VR applications has much to do with the consistent and rigorous application of these principles – the same principles that we also convey in our trainings.

The calls for applications for next year’s round of VR funding for research projects will open in February/March 2019, depending on the disciplinary area. The application deadlines are in late March/early April. We look forward to providing editorial support as well as trainings (one-day VR-specific workshop or coaching session) for applications within the biomedical sciences and the climate/sustainability science area. For the former service, it is best to contact us at least two months in advance of the application deadlines so that we can assure space in our schedule. For the latter, do get in touch as soon as possible.

We look forward to working with you!