February 15th was the deadline to make pre-notifications with the preliminary title and a contact person of proposed profile areas. We received 26 pre-notifications. Based on the preliminary titles, the 26 proposed profile areas that are being developed cover the breadth of the university very well. They contain many expected topics in which Lund University has a strong track-record, but also some welcome surprises. These 26 pre-notifications constitute a great base for the next steps in the process.
Next the full notifications of interest in becoming a profile area at Lund University are to be developed by the teams that have submitted their pre-notifications. The deadline for the notifications of interest is March 15th at 14.00. In order to make sure that everybody has the information they need, to complete their notifications of interests, we will in early March have an information and discussion meeting with all 26 contact persons that have submitted pre-notifications. See timetable.
After we have received the notifications of interest on March 15th a process of assessing the notifications and discussing them with the faculties and the Lund University management, will follow. This process will involve judgement of the individual notifications, but also an assessment of which combinations of profile areas are seen as best serving Lund University as a whole. After the notifications have been submitted the process will be characterized by dialogue and interactivity. Some potential profile areas may be asked to combine their notifications and some might be asked to complement their notifications of interest.
From what we know today, Lund University will be allowed to include 5 profile areas in our application. Meanwhile, until we decide which 5 profile areas to include in Lund University’s application, up to 10 of the suggested profile areas will receive some support to develop further and consolidate their work.
Finally, as I wrote in my previous blog post (at the national level the funding of profile areas has moved forward), the Swedish government has given the Swedish Research Council and the other major research funding agencies the task to further develop how funding of profile areas could be implemented. This work might change the time schedule, the number of profile areas Lund University can include in the application, the specific criteria for profile areas or the weight of the criteria. We are following this process closely and we might adapt our process when we get more information. However, before the deadline for the notifications of interest to become profile areas on March 15th we do not foresee any changes in the process at Lund University.