The Academy of Finland will open a call for applications for the new Academy Programme for Development Research on 1 September. Within the call, the Academy and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland will jointly fund four-year research projects with a total of 6 million euros.
"The programme is intended to provide funding for high-quality, phenomenon-driven and problem-based research that is concerned with issues of global development. It aims to benefit developing countries' economic, social and ecological development while utilising Finnish knowledge and expertise," says Programme Manager Mikko Ylikangas.
The programme will work towards achieving the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals as adopted by UN Member States.
Seeking solutions to existing problems in developing countries
The Academy Programme for Development Research focuses on three main research themes: economic development in developing countries; creating a better-functioning society; and food security, biodiversity, environmental health and sustainable use of natural resources. Research projects are required to address one or several of these themes.
"Additionally, applicants are required to identify which Agenda 2030 goals their project addresses and what impacts their project will have in developing countries, primarily in least developed and fragile countries," Ylikangas says. Agenda 2030 provides a guideline for Finnish development policy by supporting the management of change that benefits the poor and promotes equality in the world.
All research plans in applications submitted to the programme are expected to reflect human-rights-based approaches and incorporate cross-cutting objectives: gender equality, reduction of inequality and climate proofing.
International cooperation required
The research projects selected to the programme are to cooperate with researchers in universities or research institutes in developing countries, from the planning phase to the implementation of the project.
"We aim to create genuine cooperation and to strengthen research capacity in developing countries. The FTEs of the project's funded researchers in Finland and in the development country should be equally divided, and the Academy's funding can be used to pay the salary of the local researcher in the developing country," Ylikangas explains.
The programme will be coordinated to gain added value. The coordination aims to develop a cohesive structure from the participating projects through active exchange of information, cooperation and various coordination activities such as seminars, workshops, events for the general public and meetings with decision-makers, stakeholders and NGOs.
"The purpose is to disseminate new research-based knowledge to support decision-making and better utilisation of research-based knowledge."
Text: Oona Riitala
Learn more about the programme: www.aka.fi/en/research-and-science-policy/academy-programmes-new/current-programmes