Funding criteria and policies

The funding criteria and policies of the Scientific Council for Social Sciences and Humanities are rooted in the Research Council of Finland’s strategy to support the quality and impact of research and promote the renewal of science. The policies are also based on the Research Council’s general criteria for funding decisions.

The scientific quality of the application is the most important factor influencing the funding decisions. The Scientific Council primarily funds applications that receive the highest ratings of 5 or 6. However, it is not able to fund all highly rated applications. The Scientific Council aims to fund exceptionally high-quality research in all of its research fields.

The renewal of science refers to significant breakthroughs, new theories and concepts, critical assessment and sometimes challenging of previous studies, methodologically innovative approaches as well as using and analysing new kinds of data.

The impact of research comprises both scientific and societal impact.

In preparing and making funding decisions, the Scientific Council follows the Research Council of Finland’s Equality and Nondiscrimination Plan.

The Scientific Council is also committed to promoting the principles of open science and research. The goal is to make publications used in and produced by research, research data and material, metadata and methods widely available for reuse.

Academy Project funding

The Academy Project funding scheme is the most important funding instrument of the Scientific Council for Social Sciences and Humanities for promoting the impact and renewal of research. As per its policy, the Scientific Council spends about half of its available funds on Academy Projects. 

The high scientific quality of the research plan is the most important funding criterion. In its decisions, the Scientific Council prioritises projects that combine high quality with strong academic and societal impact and/or science renewal. 

Other factors that are considered include the project’s feasibility, the competence of the principal investigator and the research team, national and international contacts and international mobility. 

The PI of an Academy Project must be an advanced researcher who is qualified to head a research team. The Scientific Council’s policy is that Academy Projects include researchers who are at different stages of the research career, but the focus is on promoting postdoctoral careers. The projects may hire researchers at the doctoral candidate level, but the funding for that career stage should primarily come from the universities. 

The Scientific Council’s funding for a single Academy Project comes to a maximum of 500,000 euros for four years; for a consortium subproject, the funding is a maximum of 280,000 for four years.

Academy Research Fellowships

An Academy Research Fellowship supports early-career researchers on fast career tracks. The funding supports the researcher so that they can increase their competencies and make significant career progress towards more demanding research positions and achieve an established position in the national and international research community. Academy Research Fellows produce high-quality, high-impact research that stimulates the renewal of science. 

In the case of Academy Research Fellowships, the Scientific Council’s most important funding criteria are the competence of the applicant and the scientific quality of the research plan. The future potential and career stage of the applicants are taken into account in decision-making. 

In its decisions, the Scientific Councilprioritises projects that combine excellent quality with scientific renewal and/or strong academic and societal impact. 

The Scientific Council is keen to emphasise the diversity of fields, themes and methods to be funded, as well as the international cooperation and networking of researchers in different forms.

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