Policies of the Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering

The Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering is unfortunately unable to fund all top-rated applications (overall ratings 6 and 5). Against this backdrop, the Research Council has outlined a set of policies and criteria that it will systematically apply in making funding decisions and prioritising between high-quality applications.

The policies and criteria applied in the September 2020 call are presented below. Please contact us if you want to access the criteria and policies used in other calls.

Policies and criteria for September 2020 call

General policies 

  1. The Research Council supports natural sciences and engineering research of a high international standard and a wide scope. The specific characteristics of different disciplines, such as engineering research traditions, will be taken into account in decision-making.
  2. As a rule, the Research Council's funding decisions are based on review reports.
  3. The Research Council supports scientific regeneration by funding new initiatives, such as high-risk, high-gain research, and researchers who are in a buoyant career phase. The Research Council promotes the development of new methods and technical tools, grants funding to PIs at different career stages and to Academy Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Researchers who transfer to Finland, and – in the case of applicants of equal merit – prioritises applicants in the gender minority.
  4. The Research Council supports the utilisation of research results. When making funding decisions, the Research Council considers the relevance of the research for business and industry or other societal sectors in Finland. It also considers applicants' previous merits in the scientific, economic and other utilisation of research as well as their networks with end-users and beneficiaries of research.
  5. The Research Council supports high-quality national and international research cooperation and the researcher mobility therein. The supported collaboration may occur between universities, between universities and research institutes or with business and industry or other societal actors. The Research Council's support for collaboration is researcher-driven and implemented through the funding of Academy Projects, Academy Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Researchers and through participation in strategically selected international funding calls. Consortium-based Academy Projects that include parties from different research organisations are an important tool for promoting international collaboration.
  6. The Research Council supports research that makes good use of both Finnish and international research infrastructures.

In addition, the Research Council will use the following funding-specific criteria and policies when making funding decisions:

Criteria and policies for Academy Projects 

Criteria (in order of priority)

  1. Quality of research, new initiatives, breakthrough potential, impact and feasibility
  2. Competence of researcher/research team, particularly recent achievements
  3. Research cooperation and mobility

Policies

  • The goal is to grant an average of EUR 450,000 for four-year projects.
  • The maximum funding per project is EUR 600,000 (equivalent to EUR 150,000 per year).
  • The maximum total amount of funding per consortium-based Academy Project is EUR 1,000,000 (equivalent to EUR 250,000 per year), and the maximum funding per consortium subproject is EUR 600,000 (equivalent to EUR 150,000 per year).

Criteria and policies for Academy Research Fellows

Criteria (in order of priority)

  1. Applicant's personal competence
  2. Quality of research, novelty value, impact and feasibility
  3. Applicant's mobility and collaborative networks, for mobility especially quality of applicant's previous and planned mobility as well as its added value for the proposed research plan and the applicant's research career

Policies

  • The Research Council supports the Academy Research Fellows it funds by granting them funding for research costs to the tune of EUR 400,000 per five years. The funding will be granted in two parts. The funding for the first three years is a maximum of EUR 240,000 and for the last two years a maximum of EUR 160,000.
  • Although a single site of research may include several research environments, the Research Council is of the opinion that the mobility requirement is not met if a researcher changes research teams within the same field and within the same site of research. This applies both to transfers to a new research environment and to mobility after obtaining a doctoral degree.

Criteria and policies for Postdoctoral Researchers

Criteria (in order of priority) 

  1. Applicant's personal competence
  2. Quality of research, novelty value, impact and feasibility
  3. Applicant's mobility and versatile collaborative networks in support of increased independence, especially the quality of the applicant's planned mobility and collaboration as well as the added value for the proposed research plan and the applicant's research career

Policies

  • The salary of a Postdoctoral Researcher is determined according to a maximum monthly salary of EUR 3,900. In addition, reasonable costs arising from the researcher's mobility and research costs, as a rule up to EUR 20,000, are accepted, but research costs can justifiably be increased in experimental research.
  • Although a single site of research may include several research environments, the Research Council is of the opinion that the mobility requirement is not met if a researcher changes research teams within the same field and within the same site of research. This applies both to transfers to a new research environment and to mobility after obtaining a doctoral degree.

Policies and criteria for September 2019 call

General policies

  1. The Research Council aims to support natural sciences and engineering research of a high international standard and the widest possible scope, considering the special characteristics of different research fields.
  2. As a rule, the Research Council’s funding decisions are based on the review reports.
  3. The Research Council supports scientific regeneration by funding new initiatives, such as high-risk, high-gain research, and researchers who are in a buoyant career phase. The Research Council promotes the development of new methods and technical tools, grants funding to PIs at different career stages and to Academy Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Researchers who transfer to Finland, and – in the case of applicants of equal merit – prioritises applicants in the gender minority.
  4. The Research Council supports the utilisation of research results. When making funding decisions, the Research Council considers the relevance of the research for business and industry or other societal sectors in Finland. It also considers applicants’ previous merits in the scientific, economic and other utilisation of research as well as their networks with end-users and beneficiaries of research.
  5. The Research Council supports high-quality national and international research cooperation and the researcher mobility therein. The supported collaboration may occur between universities, between universities and research institutes or with business and industry or other societal actors. The Research Council’s support for collaboration is researcher-driven and implemented through the funding of Academy Projects, Academy Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Researchers and through participation in strategically selected international funding calls. Consortium-based Academy Projects that include parties from different research organisations are an important tool for promoting national collaboration.
  6. The Research Council supports research that makes good use of both Finnish and international research infrastructures.

Criteria and policies for Academy Projects

Criteria (set out in order of priority)

  1. Scientific quality, novelty, potential for breakthroughs, impact and feasibility
  2. Competence of researcher/research team, particularly recent achievements
  3. Research cooperation and mobility

Policies

  • The goal is to grant four-year projects 450,000 euros on average.
    The maximum amount of funding per project is 600,000 euros (equivalent to 150,000 euros per year).
  • The maximum total amount of funding per consortium-based Academy Project is 1,000,000 euros (equivalent to 250,000 euros per year).

Criteria and policies for Academy Research Fellows

Criteria (set out in order of priority)

  1. Applicant’s personal competence
  2. Scientific quality, novelty, impact and feasibility
  3. Applicant’s mobility, especially quality of previous and planned mobility as well as its added value for the research plan and the applicant’s career

Policies

  • The Research Council supports the Academy Research Fellows it funds by granting them funding for research costs to the tune of 400,000 euros per five years. The funding will be granted in two parts. The funding for the first three years is a maximum of 240,000 euros and for the last two years a maximum of 160,000 euros.
  • Although a single site of research may include several research environments, the Research Council is of the opinion that the mobility requirement is not met if a researcher changes research teams within the same field and within the same site of research. This applies both to transfers to a new research environment and to mobility after obtaining a doctoral degree.


Criteria and policies for Postdoctoral Researchers

Criteria (set out in order of priority)

  1. Applicant’s personal competence
  2. Scientific quality, novelty, impact and feasibility
  3. Applicant’s mobility in support of increased independence, especially the quality of planned mobility as well as its added value for the research plan and the applicant’s career

Policies

  • The salary of a Postdoctoral Researcher is determined according to a maximum monthly salary of 3,900 euros. Justified research costs will also be accepted (max. 50,000 euros).
  • Although a single site of research may include several research environments, the Research Council is of the opinion that the mobility requirement is not met if a researcher changes research teams within the same field and within the same site of research. This applies both to transfers to a new research environment and to mobility after obtaining a doctoral degree.

Do you have questions or feedback for us?