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Applying for a Theme: Call for proposals 2018 - 2019

The Pufendorf IAS invites researchers to apply for a “theme” to start in the autumn of 2018. Provided that sufficient funding is granted, the aim of the Institute is to approve three themes for the 2018–2019 period. Below are instructions for how to design the application

How to propose a theme for 2018?

The deadline for proposals to form a theme is the 8th of January 2018 for work that is to begin at the start of the autumn semester 2018. The proposal shall describe a topical transdisciplinary research issue, a group of researchers who want to develop a research project based on the issue and a plan for how the work is to be structured.

A theme group may apply for one or several international visiting researchers as an affiliate of the theme group (the criterion ‘international’ is fulfilled when the guest researcher has worked the main part of their academic career outside of Sweden). The guest researcher (or researchers) is given the opportunity to work at the Pufendorf IAS for 1–4 months (a minimum of 1 consecutive month, up to a maximum 4 month). The application for an international research affiliate may be made separately in the spring semester of 2018 but a suitable candidate should be suggested in the proposal for a theme. However, the costs of this appointment are not to be included in the budget, as it will be financed by the Institute with external funds earmarked for the creation of international networks.

We would also appreciate a basic communications plan with ideas for PR and media for the communication of group work both within and outside of Lund University.



The Pufendorf IAS supplies premises and basic equipment (desk space, computers, IT service, meeting rooms, etc.). A budget must be appended to the proposal listing the salary costs for the theme researchers. The estimated costs are to include employer’s contributions but not overhead costs (these will be calculated separately and added to the total cost applied for; if the proposal is accepted, overhead costs will be automatically added as a complement to the funding). Coordinators cannot be employed to a higher rate than 40%. Researchers will be remunerated through employment at the Institute equivalent to their involvement in the theme. This will replace an equivalent part of their employment at the home department. The Institute is unable to remunerate doctoral students but encourages the inclusion of doctoral students in themes. The maximum amount that can be applied for is SEK 1 800 000. The project may not run for longer than eight months, which must be consecutive.

Other costs, such as for seminars and symposia, are to be specified to the extent possible in the application. A maximum of 100 000 SEK of the theme funds may be used for a concluding conference, or equivalent. The Institute expects groups to apply for complementary external funding for costly seminar series and symposia.

The mission of the Pufendorf IAS is to create and function as a transdisciplinary meeting point and to stimulate the collaboration between researchers from different disciplines at Lund University. Therefore the use of theme funds for travel for conferences or field work is not allowed except in rare cases and only in complementary fashion. Groups are encouraged to seek external funding for such initiatives within the framework of the theme.

The funds for an accepted budget are not the property of the group, they represent the maximum available expenditure for the theme work. Upon conclusion of the theme, but by no later than the last day of the academic spring term 2019, access to budget funds will be terminated and any remaining sum returned to the institute to use for future activities.


What do we mean by transdisciplinary?

Lund University has launched a number of highly successful cross-disciplinary and cross-faculty research initiatives in the 2000s. The Pufendorf IAS was created to provide free and open forms to explore the possibilities for cooperation between researchers in different disciplines and faculties.

A theme must include researchers from at least three faculties. The theme should deal with around topical issues benefitting from a transdisciplinary approach. How to define transdisciplinarity is dependent on the purpose of the inquiry. Emphasis is placed on the creativity and diversity of the application. Further emphasis is placed on potential for further cooperation at the end of the project.

Examples of earlier and current themes are: “The Annual Report”, “Energy Justice” “A Plurality of Lives” and “Work and Organization in the Digital Age” as well as “DATA”, ”Social Innovation” and The Nature of Peace”.


What is expected of researchers at the Pufendorf Institute?

The nature of the work at the Institute requires researchers to be present and to participate in the activities of the theme. The meetings and seminars of the group are to be held in the house. The researchers in a theme will have access to the premises of the Institute during the theme period. The premises are expected to be used at least to the extent made possible by the researchers’ appointment. Researchers and themes are to provide each other and the management of the Institute with information about their activities and to share interdisciplinary experiences.

Researchers should make it possible for doctoral and other students, with expertise of relevance to the topic, to contribute in different ways, to theme work as part of their studies. For example, a doctoral student may be an unpaid member of a theme and/or invited to participate in meetings and workshops.

Each project is to be concluded with an activity, comparable to a conference of workshop, addressing the issues and future work.

A report describing the theme’s activities shall be submitted to the Institute within one month of the theme’s conclusion. The report should be about 5 pages long and related to the original application. The report should include an account of the transdisciplinary process, to describe how the group has worked to use its differing competencies and research experiences for the joint endeavor.

Furthermore, all participants must complete the survey conducted at the end of each project and used by the Institute to evaluate and develop the operation. Three questionnaires are sent to participants within 1–2 years of the end of the theme.


The design of the proposal

The proposal is to be written in English and must reach the Pufendorf IAS no later than the 8th of January 2018. It is to include:

  1. A description of the research issue and a strategy for how the work is to be carried out, one single document no more than 5 pages
  2. A budget, using the supplied template in Excel
  3. CV briefs of all participating researchers, in one single document no more than 1 page/ participant
  4. CVs of the proposed visiting researcher/s, no more than 5 pages per researcher


How is the decision made?

The Pufendorf Institute board decides on themes. External advisers are consulted to aid the decision of the board. The time for processing applications is approximately 2 months, which means that a decision will be available in March 2018.

For more information, please contact:

The Pufendorf Institute director, Professor Sune Sunesson, sune [dot] sunesson [at] pi [dot] lu [dot] se

The Pufendorf Institute coordinator, Eva Persson, eva [dot] persson [at] pi [dot] lu [dot] se

The Pufendorf Institute administrator, Gisela F. Aramburu, gisela [dot] ferre_aramburu [at] pi [dot] lu [dot] se


Call for proposals 2018 - 2019

Excel template for budget


Call for proposals in Swedish


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