Magnus Dalén, heart surgeon at Karolinska University Hospital, received funding from SSMF in 2019 for postdoctoral studies on children who have had heart surgery.

About the grant 

SSMF’s postdoctoral grants are for three years, and are intended to give young researchers the opportunity to obtain qualifications to enable them to establish themselves as independent researchers. The grant is for postdoctoral education in medical science, and applications are accepted for both full-time and half-time studies. The grants for half-time studies are intended for persons who are clinically active in their regular employment, such as medical practitioners. 

SSMF’s postdoctoral grants are administered by a Swedish University or University College, and the grant recipient must be employed by the grant administrator and must be resident in Sweden throughout the period of the grant. 

For full-time studies, the following applies: : 

International: Years 1-2 abroad and year 3 in Sweden. For postdoctoral studies which are located abroad, the recipient may choose to receive a stipend rather than a salary during years 1-2.

National: 3 years in Sweden. For full-time studies in Sweden, applications can be accepted only for grants (salaries). 

For half-time studies, the following applies: 

National: 3 years in Sweden. Studies are combined with 50 percent clinical practice in Sweden. For half-time studies, applications can be accepted only for support in the form of grants (salaries).

Application period

The application period runs from 15 October to 15 November.

The application system will be closed on 15 November at 24.00, after which it will no longer be possible to register applications or make changes in existing applications. 

Applications are submitted electronically. There is a link to the application system at the bottom of this page, as well as a guide to the application form.


Persons who have been awarded doctorates in a preclinical or clinical medical discipline, or within a subject area closely related to medicine, no more than three years before the end of the application period and latest February 1 the year following the current call, are eligible to apply. 

This period may be extended by a maximum of 24 months for sick leave or parental leave, medical internship/specialist residency (AT/ST service) or military service. 

To be eligible, the applicant must have held a research post in Sweden for at least one year. This must be confirmed by the applicant’s employer or supervisor. Another requirement is that the applicant intends to carry out his or her future research in Sweden. 

Amount of the grant and its terms and conditions

The amount of the grant for full-time studies is SEK 1 000,000 per year. 

For half-time studies, in combination with 50 percent clinical practice, the amount of the grant is SEK 700,000 per year. 

Applicants who choose to carry out their postdoctoral studies abroad during the first two years of the grant, may opt to have the grant paid in the form of a personal tax-free stipend for the period, rather than a salary. In that event, the amount is SEK 300,000 per year. This option applies only for full-time research. In addition, a supplement may be applied for to cover higher living expenses in the host country. The supplement is applied for separately, and is payable after an individual assessment. 

A recipient who spends the first two years of full-time postdoctoral studies abroad is also eligible to apply for a returning grant in the form of a framework grant of SEK 500,000 for the third grant year. During the third year, all recipients must be employed by a Swedish University or University College, and must be remunerated for this by the payment of a salary. The grant is intended to cover the applicant’s salary, including social security contributions. SSMF assumes that the grant administrator will cover any expenses over and above the grant. 

Before the call opens, think about discussing budget details such as indirect costs with your intended grant manager to make sure that you have support for your project.

Review process

As a first stage, the applications are assessed by SSMF’s Review Board and external reviewers from a range of areas of expertise. Those applications which progress beyond the stage are reviewed in a second assessment round by members of SSMF’s Review Board. Innovation, the scientific quality of the project, the applicant’s skills and the practicability of the project are taken into consideration when assessing the applications. The different categories are graded on the basis of a 5-point scale: 1 not sufficient, 2 adequate, 3 good, 4 very good and 5 excellent.

For full-time grants, mobility is prioritised, particularly abroad, but also within Sweden. The assessment focuses on the ability of the candidate to use the proposed project to develop his or her expertise and independence as a researcher. A typical measure for this may be achieving Readership level expertise in teaching.

Decision and take-up

The decision on the award of grants is announced at the beginning of April. 

SSMF’s postdoctoral grants are intended to be taken up at the earliest on 1 July of the decision year and at the latest on 1 January of the subsequent year. The disbursement period for the grant is 3 years, but this may be extended if such a request is approved by SSMF under certain circumstances.

Submitting your application 

Applications are submitted electronically in the TEKLA application system. The protocol from the defence of the thesis or the degree diploma are to be attached to the electronic application in PDF format. Where the defence has not yet taken place, the defence application must be submitted and a copy attached to the application. 

A certificate from the grant administrator and the proposed host institution must be attached, showing the guaranteed workplace and basic equipment necessary for the intended research activity. The certificate is to be attached to the electronic application in PDF format. Incomplete applications will not be considered.