Forskning på Skagerak
Photo: Göteborgs universitet

National funding to boost research at sea


The high cost of hiring ships often limits the ability of researchers to undertake the research that is needed to better understand our oceanslonger expeditions. But in the fall of 2024, it will be possible to apply for ship-time funding to cover the cost of the vessel for research on board any of the Swedish research vessels Ocean Surveyor, KBV181, Svea, Electra, Oden and Skagerak, via the new national infrastructure SWERVE.

'This is something that will enable more oceanic research expeditions,' says Louise Newman.

She is the manager of the University of Gothenburg's research vessel R/V Skagerak, but also Director of SWERVE. SWERVE stands for Swedish Research Vessel Infrastructure and is a newly established national infrastructure funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR). The purpose of SWERVE is to enhance the ability of Swedish researchers to undertake high quality marine research in board Swedish research vessels.

POV fartyg
More research expeditions might be possible in the future. Photo: University of Gothenburg
Photo: Göteborgs universitet

Ship-time funding through SWERVE

"The cost of hiring a research vessel is often prohibitive for researchers today, and many funding grants cannot cover more than a limited number of days. By centralizing the funding of Swedish marine research, we will be able to create the conditions for more marine research," says Louise Newman.

In the fall of 2024, SWERVE will announce funding for ship time on board one six research vessels included in SWERVE.

Louise Newman says that now is the time for interested researchers to start planning projects as the applications will undergo a competitive review to ensure scientific quality. In case of a positive decision, ship-time will be granted without rent. However, other costs may be incurred, such as fuel and food during the expedition. 

The vessel time granted can vary from a single berth on an existing trip, combined trips, multi-project trips, or a single project trip. In terms of the geographical area for voyages, the main activity extends from the Baltic Sea to the Skagerrak.

"However, trips further afield can also be supported," stresses Louise Newman.

More information on the application process will be communicated shortly. 

Text: Agnes Faxén

Swedish Research Vessel Infrastructure (SWERVE)
  • SWERVE is a national infrastructure funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR). 
  • The goal of SWERVE is to improve access to vessels, equipment, technical expertise and data for the Swedish marine research community. 
  • SWERVE consists of a consortium comprising the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat (SPRS), the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU), SMHI, Stockholm University (SU), Umeå University (UmU), and the University of Gothenburg (GU).
  • To stay informed about SWERVE and receive information on when the application period opens, you are welcome to register on the SWERVE mailing list