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COFAS 2

Final Report Summary - COFAS 2 (COFAS 2)

The Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte), formerly known as the
Swedish Research Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS), funds research for people’s
health, working life and welfare. Forte is a government agency under the Swedish Ministry of Health
and Social Affairs. Forte funds and initiates both basic and needs-driven research which means that
the results benefit both research and society. Forte is also responsible for coordinating research
within the areas of socio-scientific alcohol and drugs research, functional impairments, international
migration and ethnic relations, children and young people and the elderly.

Within the COFAS2 programme, opportunities for internationalisation and researcher mobility
within Forte’s research areas have been provided for researchers at the postdoc level. The COFAS2 programme has been supported by Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions within the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Union. COFAS2 has offered researchers a great opportunity to go abroad to advance their research and career, and it was aimed at both outgoing fellows from Sweden: Forte Outgoing International Postdoc (FOIP), as well as incoming fellows to Sweden: Forte Incoming International Postdoc (FIIP). The grants were primarily open to recently graduated researchers. Applicants could apply for up to 24 consecutive months abroad, and for the FOIP fellows followed by a re-integration period in Sweden of maximum half the time spent abroad. Both FIIP and FOIP applicants had to be connected to a Swedish research institution, which were responsible for administrating the grant.

The objective of COFAS2 has been to develop competence and at the same time promote international
research mobility and cross-border research collaboration. Table 1. shows the host organisations that have been involved in Sweden and other countries. The upper part of Table 1. specifies the collaborations between universities in Sweden and organisations in other countries that the COFAS2 programme has supported.

Three separate COFAS2 calls for applications have been carried out during the COFAS2 project period 2013-2018. In these three calls, a total of 137 applications were received, and 28 fellows (11 incoming and 17 outgoing) have been awarded. The number of applications increased throughout the programme: 36, 47 and 66 applications, respectively, were received in the three calls. Since the programme objective was to fund 10 fellows in each call, the success rate decreased with the number of applicants from 25% in call 1, to 19% in call 2, and finally to 15% in call 3.

The programme was open to applications within Forte´s three research areas. However, two of the areas of Forte, the area of Health followed by the area of Welfare, showed to be more often represented than the area of Working Life. This was the case both in the applications as well as in the awarded projects, as can be seen in Table 2. It may mirror the tradition of international collaborations within these areas.

Forte has produced a book of abstracts for the projects of the 28 awarded postdoc projects, where more information about each of the project can be found. A pdf is available at: https://forte.se/app/uploads/2015/11/cofas2-book-of-abstracts-2018-04-25.pdf .