Researchers can apply for planning grants

The Centre for Welfare Studies (CVS, for its Swedish name, Centrum för välfärdsstudier) 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 developing expertise and increasing the proportion of external funding at CVS and the University of Borås, the centre has recurring calls offering planning grants.

The planning grant allows for researchers at the University of Borås to write an application to at least two external research councils and/or research funders during 2023.  During this year, the researchers who receive planning grants are invited to CVS research workshops, which provide a supportive forum so that the application that is being developed is in line with CVS's main issues and focus areas. Those who receive planning grants are encouraged to turn to the Grants and Innovation Office (GIO) for review and discussion of the application.

Conditions

The planning grant comprises SEK 125,000 including overhead costs and will thus be worked out during 2023. Please note that funds are not given to author two so-called outline applications. At least one of the applications to the funders must consist of a full application.

Grants can be applied for by researchers at the University of Borås. A condition for obtaining a grant is that the project accommodates collaboration outside the original research environment, i.e. between different Faculties/centres/platforms at the university, or collaboration with another higher education institution or other external organisation.

Additional conditions for receiving a planning grant are that the funds are located at CVS and that the planning grant does not normally entail a reduction in the applicant's professional development time. In addition, CVS's planning grants do not pay for premises costs.

In the first instance, CVS also wants the research funder to provide full financing. If this is not the case, the matter shall be discussed with the Director of CVS and opportunities for co-financing are to be explored.

Applicants who receive planning grants must, after the research funders have informed them of their decisions, report this in writing to CVS. This is to be done via a special form provided by CVS.

Format

Planning grant applications are to be one page long (max. 4400 characters incl. spaces) as well as a summary (max. 1000 characters incl. spaces). The application should briefly describe the project: Purpose, implementation, societal relevance, the research group's competencies, collaboration partners, intended research funders (with an explanation of relevance to the application's focus and purpose), schedule for when the applications are to be submitted. An additional page with the project manager's CV (max. 2000 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 21 November.

Assessment

The application will be assessed by the CVS Steering Group, which will meet on 8 December. 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.

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 actors work together to organise and develop sustainable well-being.

In this area, CVS is looking for projects that focus on issues of collaboration and organization for a sustainable living environment or cross-sectoral collaboration to counter polarization 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. How the challenges of welfare are defined in collaboration between different private, public and civil society actors and what this collaboration entails in terms of issues of power and interpretive prerogative is another central theme area.

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, and a developed management and organisational work with integration. Here, CVS likes to see projects that follow and study similar organisational work or that investigate how welfare organisers work with "age management" to retain the older workforce or develop generational transfer. 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 third focus 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, 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 daily working life. How can AI be perceived as an opportunity or threat for the professional practice of different professions, users and clients' rights?