Application to participate in SWECOV


The broad purpose of the SWECOV project (Ett forskningsprogram om covid-19 i Sverige: Smittspridning, bekämpning och effekter på individer och samhälle) is to answer two research questions:

  1. What are the consequences of COVID-19—as well as the interventions and reforms implemented to stop the spread of the virus—on public health, in terms of mortality and morbidity, but also on psychological and physiological well-being more broadly?
  2. What are the consequences of the pandemic—as well as the interventions and reforms implemented to stop the spread of the virus—on central social and economic outcomes, such as jobs, income, and equality?

By answering these questions, we aim to provide individuals, professionals, and policy makers with knowledge to help mitigate the spread of future pandemics and limit their social, economic, and health consequences. We believe that these broad questions are best answered if studied with the best available data, preferably linked individual-level data from a multitude of sources. We also believe that the questions are best answered if studied from multiple perspectives, by scholars from different disciplines. We have therefore set up a process for researchers to participate in the project, which is described below.

Project participants work in separate research studies (sub projects). Each study covers a specific research question and should result in a single publication. Data are accessed through the MONA system—the digital platform for data processing provided by Statistics Sweden. To minimize the risks to personal integrity, access is only granted to study-relevant data. Furthermore, for data security and privacy reasons—and consistent with Statistic Sweden’s interpretation of current European and Swedish law—access is only available from within the EU, or from third countries providing “adequate protection” according to the European Commission.

Participation is free of charge, but the research project offers no financial support for the research itself beyond access to the data. Moreover, participating researchers are expected to take an active role in the activities of the project and contribute to overall project development. This includes improving the data infrastructure, for example by sharing project codes and newly created indexes or variables, documentation, and practical know-how of working with specific data sources. It also includes presenting research plans and results in common seminars and workshops, discussing other participants’ work, and general sharing of expertise.

Application process

If you wish to participate in SWECOV, please send us an application of no more than three pages. An application should typically cover work that will result in a single scientific paper. We discourage broad applications. If the research generates additional questions relevant to the project, we encourage additional applications.

Make sure that your application answers all of the following questions:

  1. What is the purpose of your study and how does it relate to the goals of the Research Project?
  2. Is your study consistent with the prevailing ethical permission of the project both with respect to research question and used methods (see below)? Make sure to motivate your answer.
  3. How does your study relate to previous work on the topic and what is the scientific relevance of the specific question you would like to study?
  4. What is the expected research output of your study?
  5. Who will be the researcher responsible for the study? The responsible researcher needs to be mentioned in SWECOV’s ethical permission. If the responsible researcher is not someone already active in the project, please attach their CV.
  6. Who are the other participating researchers who require access to data? Please name all involved researchers and motivate each instance of required data access. Also note the place of employment of each participant and if it is at one of the participating research principals (see below).

The SWECOV steering committee—its current members are found here—meets regularly and evaluates new study applications. The committee will decide whether or not the proposed study falls under the general questions of SWECOV—as operationalized by the project’s ethical permission—and if the proposal is of sufficient scientific merit.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the SWECOV coordinators when preparing their applications to ask general questions and get access to the ethical permission. We will not provide any advance notice about participation, but the coordinators can give advice on appropriate formulations to those who wish to mention prospective SWECOV participation in a funding application.

We want to promote multidisciplinary studies within SWECOV, but a study that spans more than one discipline is not a prerequisite for application.

The following research principals participate in SWECOV: Stockholm university, Uppsala university, Lund university, Karolinska institute, Gothenburg university, The Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU), and the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN). All researchers with data access need to be employed at one of these institutions. Should your institution not be listed, contact the project coordinators for further instructions.

New SWECOV participants will have to agree with specific conditions. These include a specification of the exact data used, a study time plan, and rules for co-authorship. Participants will also be expected to work actively on the study, starting directly. This is in order to ensure that the research carried out corresponds to the application and that the research that has been approved is carried out.

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