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Sustainable Idea Exploration

A great chance to let your research make a difference

Solar cells of the future, the optimal solution to a global carbon tax or a policy that creates peace? Your idea can be a piece of the puzzle in the transition to a sustainable society.

This is an opportunity to explore the innovative potential and fund activities outside the scope of your existing research project. The purpose of this grant is to support the development of early innovative ideas from research projects with an impact on sustainable development.

Granted proposals receive funding up to 150 000 SEK per project. The Sustainable Idea Exploration is a recurring call, and will open for applications again late 2023 or early 2024.

What do we mean by sustainability?

This grant targets projects that deliver positive environmental and social impact with potential financial viability. Sustainable development is about fulfilling today’s needs without jeopardising future generations’ opportunities to satisfy theirs. This requires a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being.

In the application form, we will ask you to motivate the idea’s sustainability impact.

Learn more about sustainable development on Sustainability Forum's website

What do we mean by early ideas?

The Sustainable Idea Exploration Grant enables you to develop and verify an innovative concept. Most likely you have an idea or some basic principles from your research results, but to explore the innovative potential you need to carry out activities outside your existing research project. The focus in this is call is early stage ideas, meaning you have probably not investigated much before. It is possible to have started investigating the innovative potential of your research, but most likely you only have a hypothesis based on your research which you want to investigate more.

Who can apply?

The main applicant must be a researcher or PhD-student employed at Lund University. Additionally, the applicant must have carried out, or been active in the research project on which the application is based. We specifically encourage young researchers, and female researchers, to apply. It is only possible to be the main applicant in one application.

What can be funded?

Eligible expenses should be related to specific activities needed to develop/demonstrate/verify/investigate the innovative potential of the research results and/or salary costs when relevant.

The funding is paid to the appropriate host department for the duration of a maximum of 12 months. Granted projects are expected to be reported within one month after termination/conclusion.

Evaluation Criteria

The applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Possible sustainability impact

  • Does the project contribute to economic, social, and/or environmental sustainability with a holistic perspective and positive impact in both scope and duration?
  • How well integrated is sustainability in the scope of the project? Is sustainability the core of the project or a positive side effect?
  • Is there a clear connection and good explanation of the connection between the sustainability goals and the problem the project is aiming to solve/investigate.

Novelty and originality

  • Will the project lead to new/original/innovative solutions? Is there a clear description on what makes the solution and the research behind the project new?
  • Is it known if there are any similar solutions on the market or if other solutions to the problem is in development?
  • Is there a clear description on how the approach of the solution could be valuable/competitive compared to other solutions? 

Connection to prior and present research

  • Is the project based on a solid scientific, pedagodical or administrative basis?
  • Is there a clear description on what research the project is based on and how the proposed project will use a develop the results from the research?

Feasibility, expected results and effects

  • Is there a realistic plan and budget for the project?
  • Will the result from the proposed activities substantially take the project closer to innovation/utilisation?
  • Is there a clear explanation of the purpose of the activities planned in the project?

The evaluation criteria concerning sustainable development will be weighted higher than the other criteria. In addition to the criteria above, the applications will be reviewed if they fit within the scope of the grant. The focus of the project should investigate and develop the innovative potential of a research based early stage idea. 

Contact information

For general questions about the fund: sustainabilityfund [at] innovation [dot] lu [dot] se