Time to apply for strategic research funding

5 Nov 2015

On 2 November 2015, the Strategic Research Council (SRC) at the Academy of Finland officially decided to open a funding call within four new programmes and one existing programme. The new programmes are built around the themes decided by the Finnish Government on 15 October 2015. The Government also outlined that a common priority area for 2016 would be to take into consideration the effects of immigration on Finnish society.

The SRC’s call will be implemented in two stages. The first stage, for letters of intent, will be open in the Academy of Finland’s online services between 5 November and 9 December 2015. The English-language call text is available here. Based on the letters of intent, the SRC will select the projects that will be invited to the second stage in February 2016.

Funding is available under the following new strategic research programmes:

  • Skilled Employees – Successful Labour Market
  • Health, Welfare and Lifestyles
  • Security in a Networked World
  • Urbanising Society

In addition, the SRC will open a supplementary call within the 2015 programme A Climate-Neutral and Resource-Scarce Finland.

More information on the programmes, the programmatic questions that form the basis of the research plan and the application guidelines are presented in the call text. Letters of intent can be submitted in the Academy’s online services as of 5 November. The call closes on 9 December.

SRC wants to reduce applicants’ workload

At the first stage, research consortia will be asked to submit six-page letters of intent and appendices. After a review conducted by an international panel, the SRC will invite the best applications in each programme to submit full applications in February 2016. The full applications will go through both a scientific review and a review of societal relevance.

“We received a lot of suggestions from the scientific community saying that we should go two-stage. We estimate that a two-stage review process can save researchers much time and trouble. It has already helped us put together the new funding programmes quite quickly,” explains Per Mickwitz, Chair of the SRC.

Funding granted to three-year projects

The new strategic research programmes will provide funding for three-year research projects. The total funding for three years is estimated at 2–4 million euros per consortium. In 2016, the SRC will have some 52 million euros to distribute within the programmes.

By shortening the funding period, the SRC is trying to gather experiences of more concentrated programmes, where the results of research can quickly be put to good use in policy-making. With the launch of five different programmes in this funding round, the SRC also wants to provide broad-based support to societally topical research with real significance for the future.

Compared to the previous round of SRC funding, the per-consortium funding amounts have been kept largely the same. The SRC believes this will contribute to creating a new breed of multi- and cross-disciplinary research collaboration while also promoting fruitful cooperation and interaction with end-users and beneficiaries.

The SRC will regularly monitor the activities within the programmes and the funded projects. The SRC may also open a supplementary call in 2018 under one of the themes launched in 2016, if that theme proves particularly successful.

Call session in November

The SRC’s funding programmes and the call specifications will be presented at a call session to be held in Helsinki on 10 November 2015 at 12.00–15.30 in the auditorium of the Nation Museum of Finland. The session will be videotaped and can be followed live on the Academy’s website. There will also be a message board at the event, so you can ask questions even if you cannot attend in person.

More information

  • Call text
  • Research Director Per Mickwitz, Chair of the Strategic Research Council, per.mickwitz(at), tel. +358 400 148 847
  • Executive Director Riitta Maijala, Academy of Finland, firstname.lastname(at), tel. +358 295 335 114

Academy of Finland Communications
Riitta Tirronen, Director of Communications
tel. +358 295 335 118

Last modified 12 Nov 2015
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