www.theseedbox.se » Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions

 

To download this FAQ in printer-friendly PDF format, please click here.

 

We will continue to add to this FAQ as new questions arise, so please continue to check back!

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE APPLICATION PROCESS

 

When is the deadline for Seed Box grant proposals?

All applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Central European Time (GMT + 1) on Monday, 15 May 2017.

 

Will applications be peer-reviewed?

Yes, all applications will be peer-reviewed by external evaluators who are experts in the field of environmental humanities.

 

In what language should I write the application?

All applications should be submitted in English.

 

Can I apply for more than one Seed Box grant?

Yes!

 

What does the application consist of?

The primary components are listed on pp. 3-4 of the call text. In short, your application should consist of a single PDF consolidating the following parts:

a. A project description (up to 1200 words) that outlines the proposed activity, explains its aims and implementation, and points to its differentiation from previous research;

b. A budget for the project, with amounts in Swedish kronor;

c. A short statement (up to 800 words) explaining the budget, including the specific costs (i.e., salary, travel, accommodation, equipment, and indirect costs to the involved HEI) and disclosure of other funding supporting this project;

d. A brief (up to 400 words) explanation of how the proposed research or project will benefit Swedish national initiatives in environmentally oriented humanities;  

e. A brief (two-pp., single-spaced) c.v. of the PI; and

f. A scan of the signed form letter from the Swedish HEI that has agreed to manage your grant, available for download from our website.

 

If there is more than one applicant to a project, whose c.v. do we submit? May we submit more than one c.v.?

The Principal Investigator (PI) for the project proposed must submit a c.v. of up to two pages. Other co-applicants may also submit their own c.v.s (each up to two pages) if they wish, but these are not required. 

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INVOLVEMENT OF SWEDISH PARTNER INSTITUTIONS

 

What is a Swedish HEI?

“HEI” stands for “higher education institution.” All universities and “högskolor” in Sweden are HEIs. Additionally, some foundations “count” as HEIs. If you seek a partnership with a Swedish university or högskola, it is automatically an eligible HEI. If you have a question about whether a foundation or institute is an HEI, you can ask that foundation/institute directly.

 

Can researchers from non-Swedish HEIs apply?

Yes, of course! You need only secure the sponsorship of a Swedish HEI. (For US scholars familiar with Fulbright, the affiliation is similar to requesting a Fulbright sponsorship.) Please use our accompanying form to signal to us that you have secured this sponsorship, available for download on our website.

 

What does sponsorship mean for the Swedish HEI?

In most cases, the Swedish HEI will be responsible for covering most “overhead costs” associated with the Seed Box grant. However, if you have another source of funding—such as a grant from your home institution—that could cover these costs for you, the sponsoring HEI may not need to do so, and thus, the sponsorship becomes more about space and academic resources than about financial support.

 

If you do not have funding to cover the overhead costs from another source (such as another grant or research funding from your home institution), the Swedish HEI would be responsible for these overhead costs. Thus, you would need to secure the Swedish HEI’s financial agreement. Our recommended form letter is probably the easiest way to signal to us that you have sorted out this key detail: [insert link here].

 

See “Questions about Budgeting,” below, for more information on these “indirect” (or “overhead”) costs.

 

How do I secure the sponsorship or participation of a Swedish HEI as a partner university?

This process will vary according to your project idea and your personal style. We recommend searching scholarly contacts at Swedish universities, and, once you find a person or persons you would like to work with, send them a cordial e-mail.

 

Our consortium institutions are a great place to start. Within Sweden, the following faculty members from our consortium universities have agreed to field inquiries from prospective project leaders:

 

Outside of Sweden, the following faculty members from our consortium partners have also agreed to field such inquiries:

 

Must projects be sponsored by one of these individuals or universities?

No! But projects must have a Swedish HEI administer the grant, so the Swedish consortium partners above are a good place to start. Of course, projects may be sponsored by any Swedish HEI, including those not in our consortium. For more on the members of our consortium, see our website here.

 

Are Seed Box consortium universities preferenced in the selection process?

No! All applications will be weighed equally according to their merits.

 

Do I have to be physically located in Sweden for the project?

No! You may conduct your project outside of Sweden. The only requirement is that you secure the sponsorship of a Swedish HEI and that you make your project relevant to the Swedish national initiative in environmentally oriented humanities.

 

Is a project that is not focused on Sweden eligible?

Yes, of course! You need not focus on Swedish environments or issues. However, we do ask that all applications express some concordance with the development of the field of environmental humanities in Sweden. Part d of the Application asks you to articulate this connection.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT BUDGETING

 

How do I go about writing a budget and accounting for overhead costs?

Please find two sample budgets to be used as hypothetical example of how a budget could look. Please note that conditions vary between different HEI:s, so as you develop your relationship with a sponsoring Swedish HEI, ask that your contact there also assist you with crafting an appropriate budget.

Please calculate your budget in Swedish kronor. You may use a number of free online tools to convert your own currency to Swedish kronor.

 

What are “social fees”?

“Social fees” are costs usually paid by employers in Sweden. Only those applicants who apply for salary replacement need to account for social fees. Applicants can ask for these costs to be covered by the Seed Box grant; if they do so, a maximum of 50% of direct salary costs are allowed. If the social fees exceed 50% of salary, the applicant needs to cover the cost from other funding sources. Please see the sample budget for one way to include social costs in salary calculations.

 

What are “indirect” or “overhead” costs?

“Indirect” or “overhead” costs (OH) are costs that all HEIs in Sweden have, such as administration, infrastructure, facilities, and so on. These costs are “indirect” because they are not attributed to a specific project.

 

Generally, these indirect or overhead costs are a percentage of the direct costs of a particular project. They average around 30% but could be more or less—check with the HEI hosting your project for the exact percentage.

 

As you are calculating your budget, first decide what the “direct costs” of your project are—for example, transportation, accommodation, honoraria, and so on. Then, add the percentage associated with your sponsoring Swedish HEI as “indirect costs.” This is the total cost of the project.

 

Does the Seed Box grant cover indirect costs?

Maybe, depending on your application—and if so, only partially. The Seed Box grant can cover some of the indirect costs associated with salary replacement only.

 

If your budget includes salary replacement, you may apply for some of these indirect costs to be covered by the Seed Box grant. In these cases, our funder allows an amount equivalent to 140,000 SEK per full-time equivalent (FTE) worker annually. Thus, for a full year’s salary, you could apply 100,000 SEK toward “indirect costs” and 40,000 SEK toward “premises” (e.g., the costs for office space at your sponsoring Swedish HEI). For a half year, you could apply 50,000 SEK toward indirect costs and 20,000 SEK for premises; for three months, you could apply 25,000 SEK toward indirect costs and 10,000 SEK toward premises.

 

If your budget does not include salary replacement, you must cover these indirect costs yourself (using existing funding or sponsoring funding from a Swedish HEI). 

 

Who pays for the “indirect costs” and/or “social fees”?

For those applying for salary replacement, the Seed Box grant can cover certain indirect costs, costs for premises, and up to 50 % of the social fees. Additional indirect costs, costs for premises, and social fees have to be covered from other sources than the grant.

 

For those applying for all other types of grants, the Seed Box cannot pay any indirect costs.

 

Applicants must arrange for payment of these costs in one of two ways: 1) requesting and receiving financial sponsorship of a Swedish HEI, or 2) using existing funding from another source.

 

Unfortunately, our funding regulations do not allow the Seed Box grants to cover all indirect costs or to cover more than 50% of social fees.

 

I already have some major funding for my project. Could the Seed Box funding be used as partial or supplemental support?

Yes, we encourage applications that will utilize Seed Box funding as a supplement to existing funding.

 

Moreover, it is possible that the rules for your other funding allow you to apply it to the “overhead costs”—in that case, your additional funding would mean that you would not need a Swedish HEI to cover these costs. Consequently, you need only secure their collegial sponsorship rather than a fiscal one!

 

Are there financial guidelines for budgeting for capacity-building activities?

We’ve purposefully left this information open-ended so that you might design a budget to fit your individual proposal. If you have questions about how to design such a budget, please contact the financial administrator at the Swedish HEI that is sponsoring your project.

 

When will the funds be disbursed?

We expect to announce awards in October 2017. Grant decisions will be finalized by the Executive Board at its fall meeting, and awardees will be notified afterwards via e-mail and via our website, at which time they will sign formal agreements between themselves and the Seed Box. Revisions to budgets may also be necessary at this time. After these signed agreements and revised budgets are processed, the funds can be released to the awardees. We expect that for most recipients, this process will take up to two months. At the latest, funds will be available by January 2018.

 

When must all funds be used?

The funding should be used in calendar year 2018—thus, it should be used by 31 December 2018. Under extenuating circumstances, the funding period could be extended for individual projects; however, in no circumstance may it be extended past 31 December 2019.

 

ALL OTHER QUESTIONS

 

Will there be another call for funding in the future?

This is the only call we have budgeted right now, but this situation could change in the future. We encourage those who want to keep up with Seed Box funding opportunities to follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/theseedboxatlinkopinguniversity) or Twitter (@the_seedbox). You may also join our electronic mailing list by messaging us at theseedbox@liu.se.

 

I do not have a PhD or an MFA. May I apply for a Seed Box grant?

Not directly. All applicants must hold a terminal degree. However, you may apply with someone who does hold one of these degrees: that person can serve as the Principal Investigator (PI) for the project, and you can be part of his/her application.

 

I’ve read over this entire FAQ and I still have questions! Who can I contact at the Seed Box for help?

 

Send us an e-mail at theseedbox@liu.se and we will be happy to respond to your individual concerns!