Announcement 2020-12-21

Launched by a group of Swedish foundations, the call addresses prominent early-career researchers with host institutions in Sweden who in tough competition scored among the best (”A”) in the most recent European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant call — yet narrowly missed out on a grant due to the limit funding available.

Swedish Foundations’ Starting Grant 2020
awarded three life scientists:

Linda Johansson, University of Gothenburg


Iben Lundgaard, Lund University

Carl Sellgren Majkowitz, Karolinska Institutet

Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell biology, University of Gothenburg

Funded by: Ragnar Söderbergs stiftelse

Developing microscopic techniques in the study of melatonin receptors
Following a successful postdoctoral stint in the USA that lead to several extensive studies in the journal Nature, Linda Johansson recently returned to the University of Gothenburg to continue her path as lead researcher. Johansson is a medical structural biologist who develops pioneering microscopic methods to study the interaction between receptors for the hormone melatonin in our brain. This research may prove helpful in developing more effective methods and medicines for the treatment of type-2 diabetes and sleep difficulties.

Learn more: Research page at the University of Gothenburg
Photo: Elin Lindström. © Göteborgs universitet 2020.


Department of Experimental Medical Science, Lund University

Funded by: Olle Engkvists stiftelse

At the forefront of studying our brain’s cleaning system
At the Biomedical Center in Lund, Iben Lundgaard leads a lab conducting translational studies of the human glymphatic system, a recently discovered network of vessels that serves to clear our brain of waste in the form of dissolved substances and proteins. Disruptions to our glymphatic system can increase the risk of central nervous system damage and the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease; Lundgaard’s studies can potentially contribute to novel discoveries for improved brain health of great benefit to a large group of affected patients.

Learn more: Research page, Lunds universitet

Photo: Kennet Ruona. 
© Lunds universitet 2017.

Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet

Funded by: The Erling-Persson Family Foundation

Close to a breakthrough in the early treatment of schizophrenia
Sellgren Majkowitz leads a research group that develops and studies cellular models to better explain and predict the breakdown of nervous synapses, which has been observed in the brains of sufferers of schizophrenia. The psychiatric disease usually develops in late adolescence and the research group is well on its way to contributing to novel treatments that could be deployed early on for those at high genetic risk of disease onset.

Learn more: Research page at Karolinska Institutet
Photo: Ada Trepci. © Karolinska Institutet 2019.

About the call

Meet all the fellows >
17 prominent young researchers have now been granted approximately 240 million SEK in funding via the initiative.

The grant >
SFSG relies on the ERC:s well-renowned peer-review process as the basis of its quality assessment to minimise the administrative effort in offering prominent researchers a second chance at funding from one of the participating five, private Swedish research foundations: The Erling-Persson Family Foundation, Kempe Foundations, Olle Engkvist Foundation, Ragnar Söderberg Foundation and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

The grant

Awarded in the amount applied for at the European Research Council

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For applicants

When and how to apply?

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About us

A joint initiative between five private research foundations.

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