The Strategic Research Council (SRC) at the Academy of Finland today selected the applications that will go through to the second round of the first SRC funding call, launched in connection with the Academy’s April 2015 call. The SRC’s first funding call stirred up much interest in the researcher community. The Academy received a total of 130 consortium applications for SRC funding; these included 786 research teams.
The applications were reviewed in May 2015 by panels that assessed the level of societal relevance contained in the projects. The panels consisted of both Finnish and foreign experts with extensive experience not only in science and research but also in the further utilisation of research results. Besides societal relevance, the panels also considered how well the applications matched the programmatic objectives and how the projects aimed to address the goals set for societal significance and impact.
The success rate in the first round was around 40 per cent. In all, the SRC selected 56 applications and 368 research teams to go through to the second round. The applications are from large-scale research projects. The average project includes between six and eight teams, which means that the projects are highly multidisciplinary.
There were a few key reasons why some applications did not succeed in the review of societal relevance. For example, a number of applications did not comprehensively match the objectives set for the programme concerned. Some applications were also too narrow in terms of how the scientific content addressed the challenges presented. Other applications presented interaction plans that had been drafted on a too general level, thus failing to meet the requirements set for societal impact.
The Academy of Finland will get in touch with all applicants whose projects did not make it to the scientific review and they will be able to read the panel reports on their applications in the Academy’s online services.
Next, applications selected to go through to the second round will be reviewed in terms of their scientific quality. The SRC will make the final funding decisions in its meeting on 14 September 2015. Funding will be awarded to approximately 15 projects. The SRC will use both the relevance review and the scientific review to support its decision-making.
Funding from three thematic programmes
The funding call included three thematically distinct SRC programmes: Disruptive Technologies and Changing Institutions provides funding to research into the identification and utilisation of disruptive technologies; A Climate-Neutral and Resource-Scarce Finland is concerned with the sustainable use of natural resources and the mitigation of climate change; and Equality in Society funds research that seeks solutions to support the sustainable and equal renewal of basic public services and benefit schemes.
The funding instrument for strategic research is designed to support research that will produce solutions to the regeneration of the Finnish society as well as ideas for the future of both business and industry and working life. At the same time, the aim is to contribute to developing a method for improved evidence-based policy and for disseminating high-quality research knowledge to users and beneficiaries across society.
- Research Professor Per Mickwitz, Chair of the Strategic Research Council, , tel. +358 295 251 426, firstname.lastname(at)ymparisto.fi
- Executive Director of Thematic Research Funding Riikka Heikinheimo, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 114, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
Academy of Finland Communications
Riitta Tirronen, Director of Communications
tel. +358 295 335 118