As part of the work to implement its strategy, the Academy of Finland has launched a project that will mull over different ways to develop and reorganise the activities of the Academy’s research councils.
The project, to be carried out in active collaboration with various stakeholder groups, will result in a final report to be published by the end of 2016. If necessary, the report will allow the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture to start preparing a restructuring of the Academy’s research councils and a reorganisation of the research council appointment process. The next research councils will be appointed for a term starting in 2019.
The Academy’s research council system, in its current form, has been around for twenty years. Over the years, the research councils have witnessed many changes in how science is done and how the research system works, which has also been reflected in the research councils’ own work.
The objective of the Academy’s research council reform is to produce a report describing the current state of the research councils and the roles of the various actors involved. The report will also present proposals for developing research council activities. Among other things, the project will explore international benchmarks, analyse how the roles of the research councils and their members have changed and contribute ideas on further improving the research councils’ work methods. The report will also lay out an official job description for research council members, so that the members are better informed of their tasks when they commit to the three-year research council term.
Discussions and workshops
The Academy will engage in active dialogue with its stakeholders during the course of the development project. Key stakeholders are, for instance, former and current research council members, members of the Academy Board, representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and various research organisations as well as Academy staff. The Academy will organise discussions and workshops with the stakeholders to deliberate on the significance of the Academy’s research councils and their work as well as to gather views on their role. The discussions and workshops will be held in autumn 2016.
The activities and tasks of the Academy’s research councils have remained largely unchanged since 1995. The implementation plan for the Academy’s strategy from 2015 states that the structure and operations of the research councils shall be examined over the 2016–2018 research council term.
The current research council structure dates from 1995 and consists of four research councils: the Research Council for Biosciences and Environment (until 2002 the Research Council for Environment and Natural Resources), the Research Council for Culture and Society, the Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering, and the Research Council for Health. Each research council has a chair and ten members. The members act as representatives of the entire Finnish scientific community, not of their own organisation or their own particular field of research. The Finnish Government appoints the research councils for a three-year term based on a proposal by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.
- Director Pentti Pulkkinen, Planning and Management Support, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 093, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
Academy of Finland Communications
Riitta Tirronen, Director of Communications
tel. +358 295 335 118