The Swedish Institute for Educational Research finances practice-based research on teaching and learning in preschools and schools. Projects funded by the institute should primarily focus on ways of developing and improving planning, performing and/or evaluation of teaching to promote children’s and student’s learning and development. In other words, relevance to teacher’s, school head’s and other school staff’s everyday challenges is highly important and will be weighted equally with the scientific quality of the projects.
The Institute’s research profile
Research emanating from the questions and challenges which school professionals encounter on a daily basis, thus research emerging from school activities. Research that presupposes school structures and resources, is grounded in a symmetrical partnership between school professionals and researchers, research that can also initiate the emergence of new research environments.
The results should be intended to have a substantial impact on school practices in the short to medium term (1–5 years).
Scientific quality and professional relevance equally important
The Institute’s directive (2014:1578) details the same requirements for the scientific quality of projects financed by the Institute as for other Swedish research councils.We also require the same high standards regarding the relevance of research questions for those who work in the preschools and schools where the research takes place.
Applications are reviewed in two steps. The first step is performed at the institute and exclusively concerns formal requirements. The second step is a regular peer review process by a group of external researchers. The review in this step concerns both relevance and scientific rigor.
The Institute sees a need for both what is traditionally described as quantitative and qualitative approaches to research and research methods, and a combination of these approaches and methods. We also encourage the research teams to involve teachers in the projects.