The Swedish Research Council met Umeå researchers

1 December 2017

The Swedish Research Council management with Director General Sven Stafström visited Umeå University on 1 December to take part in an open hearing. The representatives described the Council's outlook on the future and answered questions from a committed audience.

Director General Sven Stafström spent some initial minutes to talking about the Swedish Research Council's assignment and portraying a picture of its view on Sweden as a research nation.

"Sweden has a place among the top nations in the world if you look at quantitative indicators in the international research barometer – which is a good thing. What's not so good, however, is that we're lagging behind when it comes to citation impact, which is the only qualitative factor in the comparison."

"If you look back a couple of years, we used to be much stronger on citations. Sweden has improved in quantity, but lost in quality," according to Sven Stafström.

Albeit, he suggested that the tendency is understandable based upon a steady increase in research volume in a country can lead to dilution of the most cited ten per cent of scientific publications, which in turn forms the basis for the estimation of citation impacts in the aforementioned barometer.

Sven Stafström described the Swedish Research Council's long-term strategy for research funding, but also pointed to some areas to further develop from a short perspective. Clearer guidelines for peer review and open access were also two areas that Sven Stafström highlighted.

After the initial presentation, Sven Stafström was accompanied on the stage by colleagues from the Research Council: Björn Halleröd, secretary general of the Department of Research Infrastructures, Sofie Björling, director of the Department of Research Infrastructures, Kerstin Sahlin, secretary general of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Mikael Jonsson, head of Communications.

Questions posed by Umeå University researchers and members of staff for instance concerned funding strategies in general, and practical details concerning application procedures and committees in particular. In the video from the seminar with the Swedish Research Council, the open hearing starts 24 minutes into the recording.


Watch the hearing


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