On this continuously updated page, we collect and answer frequently asked questions about Theme- and ASG- applications.
Budget, payments and costs
A calculation of costs is to be included in the Theme application. Expected salaries for all participating members, costs for short term visitors and activities is to be entered in a specific budget template, provided in the call. This template has been designed to calculate expected adjustments in salaries and applicable surcharges. Note that overhead costs are not to be included in the cost frames/budgets for Themes.
How much can a Theme cost?
In general a Theme may cost between 1000 000 - 2000 000 SEK , depending on number of members and their respective salary costs. Note that costs for posts other than salaries cannot exceed 100 000 SEK. As a general rule, costs for salaries should therefore not amount to more than approx. 1900 000 SEK (including surcharges, excluding overhead costs).
Who can apply for a Theme?
Employed researchers from any faculty at Lund University can apply for a Theme. Main applicants have to be LU researchers, as does the majority of the Themegroup. If certain expertise needed to successfully approach the research questions put forward in the application is not to be found within LU, researchers from other institutes of higher education may join as members. The requirements are the same as for LU researchers; all members commit to weekly meetings at the Institute and the home department will be compensated for salary costs on parity with the commitment (usually 20 %).
Can members - and especially in cases where they are from other institutes of higher education - participate online?
No. The odd meeting may be online, but as a rule all members must commit to meetings on site.
Can someone who has time limited employment at LU be a member of a Theme?
Employment may be either permanent or time limited, but it is necessary that employment covers the period of 8 months the researcher agrees to be a member of a Theme. Further, the employment must have a range which allow for the rescheduling of salarycosts; the researchers´ home departments continue to pay salary to the employees and are reimbursed by the Pufendorf IAS for the salary part agreed upon, for the period of time agreed upon.
Can researchers be on more than one Theme application?
It is possible for a researcher to be on two Theme applications at once if he/she will actually be able dedicate the necessary time required to participate in more than one Theme and is intent on doing so should they be granted. It must be noted that it is unusual (though not completely unheard of) for researchers to be able to take time off from other obligations to such an extent. In such cases it is therefore advisable to add a letter stating intent and signed by the researcher´s head of department – it should clarify that should both Themes be granted, the researcher is willing and able to participate in both Themes on the terms stated in the applications. It is not advisable to take chances and be on two applications without this intention made clear; if there is a question of whether or not the researcher will actually participate in both Themes applied to, this will constitute a weak link in both applications.
Can postdocs be members of a Theme?
Employment with postdoc grants are generally set up in such a way that wages cannot be deferred. The Pufendorf IAS reimburses salary costs for the period of time agreed upon. As the postdoc grant cannot be postponed to have salary funds used at a later date, this means that postdocs themselves must consider if they indeed wish to use part of their grant´s time span for a Theme. The Pufendorf IAS accept postdocs as members on this condition.
Can doctoral students be members of a Theme?
PhD candidates can, in exceptional cases, join a Theme on the condition that their Head of Department and their supervisor allow it. They can however not receive salary from the Pufendorf IAS. Note that as unsalaried members, they do not have any individual responsibility towards the Institute; sufficient expertise to successfully approach the research problems must be secured by members who do. A PhD candidate cannot be main applicant, nor coordinator of a Theme.
Can doctoral students be members of an ASG?
PhD candidates can, in exceptional cases, join an ASG if their Head of Department and their supervisor allow. They cannot be main applicants, nor coordinators of an ASG.
What happens if a Theme member has to quit?
If for some reason a Theme member is no longer able to continue in the Theme group and cannot fulfill their commitment to the Institute, the agreement will be terminated. The Theme group may replace the member with another researcher from Lund University, to be approved by the Institute´s director.
Can we pay our visiting guests?
As a rule the Institute agrees to cover travel and accommodation for visiting guests. In exceptional cases, it may be possible to remunerate guests. A request to use the budget for such a purpose should be made to the Institute´s director. Note that employees at Lund University can never be remunerated by the institute, the exception applies to external guests only.
But I thought guest researchers got payed?
Yes, guest researchers who are invited for longer stays (1 - 8 months) get payed through the guest researcher program. When we speak of visiting guests, we are referring to guests invited for shorter stays, 1 - 7 days. These shorter visits are not covered by the program, costs for shorter stays must be covered by the Theme´s own budget.
What about overhead? It's not in the budget template - why surely overhead must be included?
The Institute pays overhead to LU just like everybody else, this shows in the Institute´s overall budget. However we do not reimburse overhead to our Theme member´s respective departments and it is therefore not to be included in the budget we ask for from our applicants. The template is correct, surcharges; yes, overhead; no
What if our ASG wants to organise a final seminar for an audience?
ASGs used to be able to organise workshops and seminars for larger audiences. In the updated call for ASG applications, inviting national and international guests to take part in the ASGs internal meetings is encouraged, as is inviting colleagues and peers to participate in meetings. Plans to organise events and activites for an audience or external target groups will however not be granted.
Exceptions to this rule can be made after the fact and only in cases where an event can be shown to clearly support the objective and outcome of the ASG: the group may request to organise this once they have begun working together, events may also be initiated by the Institute. Costs for these events will not burden the ASGs budget.