The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

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 this spring it is open for applications between March 27 and May 7, 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 have been active in the research project at Lund University on which the application is based. We specifically encourage young researchers, and female researchers to apply. 

An individual may only be the main applicant in one application. The main applicant must be employed by the hosting department at Lund University during the entirety of the project period. This is due to the department's responsibility for managing all project expenses. Confirm your employment status for the project period with the department before submitting an 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 cost can include the salaries of personnel other than the main applicant. All expenditures must follow the rules and guidelines of the hosting department at Lund University.

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. The projects may not start before July 1st, 2024 or later than January 1st 2025.

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. 

Apply today!

To apply, fill in the application form and send it to sustainabilityfund [at] innovation [dot] lu [dot] se no later than May 7th, 2024. You may also direct any questions about the call to this same email address

Meetings for general information about the call

Two zoom-meetings with information and time for questions will be held. Join with LU-account.
The meetings will be held on:  
15 April  —  12:00-12:45
24 April  — 09:00-09:45
Send email to sustainabilityfund [at] innovation [dot] lu [dot] se (sustainabilityfund[at]innovation[dot]lu[dot]se) to sign up and receive an Outlook-invite.

Information if an application is granted or rejected will be given by mail in the middle of June.

Contact information

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