Researchers can apply for planning grants

The Centre for Welfare Studies (CVS) is a research centre for contemporary welfare issues. Its activities are interdisciplinary, university-wide, and take place in collaboration with external actors. With a special focus on governance, organisation and management, current challenges and opportunities facing the welfare society are analysed.

With the goal of increasing the proportion of external funding at CVS and the University of Borås, the centre has recurring calls offering planning grants. The planning grants allow researchers at the University of Borås to write an application to at least two external research councils and/or research funders. In this way, competence and current research analyses are promoted by CVS. A condition for receiving planning grants is therefore that the funds are placed at CVS.

Call for four planning grants

Currently, CVS is announcing four planning grants within the framework of its three focus areas (see below). Two of the planning grants are specifically earmarked for analyses of the changed approach in health care known as “good and close care” that has the aim of increasing patients' and relatives' participation in more accessible and continuous care, in which primary care is a key player. As this change entails increased collaboration between authorities and regional and municipal health and medical care, CVS prefers applications with the aim of analysing its implications when it comes to organisation, what collaboration between different actors entails for risks and opportunities, or which sheds light on what the change entails in terms of work and skills for different occupational groups.

Planning grant application, conditions, and form

The planning grant can be applied for by researchers at the University of Borås, but a condition is that the project includes collaboration outside its own research environment, i.e. between different Faculties/centres/platforms at the University of Borås, or collaboration with another university or other external actors.

The grant covers SEK 125,000 including overhead costs and is to be used as soon as possible, but no later than the financial year 2022. Please note that funds cannot be provided for two short outline applications. At least one of the applications to councils/funders should be longer.

Planning grant applications are to be one page long (max. 4,400 characters incl. spaces) as well as a summary (max. 1,000 characters incl. spaces). The application should briefly describe the project: purpose, implementation, societal relevance, the research group's competencies, intended research councils/funders (with an explanation of relevance to the application's focus and purpose), schedule for when the applications are to be submitted, and partners. An additional page with the project manager's CV (max. 2,000 characters incl. spaces) should be attached to the application.

The summary, application, and CV should be collected in one document and sent to CVS@hb.se, no later than 25 November.

The application will be assessed by a jury and the assessment will be focused on the possibility of obtaining external funding and the project's relevance in relation to CVS focus areas. Applications that do not follow the instructions will not be assessed.

Applicants who receive planning grants are to inform CVS in writing of the results of their applications to funders after they have been received. This is to be done via a special form provided by CVS.

If the project idea receives external funding, these funds must be placed at CVS.

Those who receive planning grants are encouraged to turn to the Grants and Innovation Office (GIO) for review and discussion of the application well in advance of submission.

CVS focus areas

Cross-sectorial and collaborative organisation for a sustainable welfare society

CVS focusses on the opportunities and challenges that the modern welfare society faces in terms of governance, organisation, and management. One way to gain knowledge about development is to investigate how public and private actors, civil society and non-profit forces work together to organise and promote sustainable well-being.

In this area, CVS is looking for projects that focus on issues of collaboration and organization for a sustainable living environment in urban and sparsely populated areas, social development, and cross-sectoral collaboration to counter polarisation between social groups and areas / places. Both site development for a sustainable sparsely populated area, as well as urban development for a sustainable living environment and economic development, are interesting study objects. For example, projects can be about examining how the challenges of welfare are defined in collaboration between different organisations, as well as what this interaction between different private, public, and political actors brings to issues of power and interpretation preference regarding definitions of a sustainable welfare society. Issues of power, democracy and what constitutes social sustainability and sustainable well-being are therefore central.

Governance, management, and organisation for competence provision in welfare (recruitment, onboarding, integration, and generational transfer)

This focus area concerns the issue of future recruitment and competence provision in the welfare sector and how welfare can meet these challenges in the long term. The challenge is linked to a broader and crucial question of how to maintain living standards in the welfare society in the long term. This requires an increase in both younger and older people's labour force participation, and a reduction in unemployment among foreign-born people.

In health care, strategies for recruiting workers educated abroad are currently in place, leading to developed management and organisational work with integration. This is where CVS prefers projects that both follow and study similar organisational approaches, or that investigate how welfare organisers work with age management to keep the older workforce, generational transfer, or evaluate organisation and management strategies for the recruitment or so-called onboarding of young employees (i.e. the work done so that new employees become part of the organisation's culture and feel like an important part of the team).

Projects may also aim to examine the efforts made to enlist a younger generation into welfare professions with an understanding of what constitutes pull factors (what attracts) for young people into these professions, as well as identify possible push factors (with risk of lack of participation in education and professional activities).

The challenges and opportunities of digitalisation for the organisation of welfare and its professions and users

A priority area within CVS is the implication of digitalisation for organising welfare services; users and professions; and collaboration and organisation. Questions about what AI will mean for different aspects of welfare professionals’ work (e.g. in health care, police work and social services), and what governance and leadership factors mean in this context are important. Studies may aim, for example, to examine the impact of digital decision support on professional autonomy and competence; steering of work settings; meaning in professional practice; and complexity of organisations. In what ways is AI perceived as an opportunity or a threat to different professions, professional activities, and the rights of users and clients?