Finnish universities receive €50m from Academy of Finland to build up stronger research profiles

18 Mar 2016

The Academy of Finland has today announced the decisions on its funding to strengthen university research profiles. The main target of the Academy’s funding instrument is to support Finnish universities in profiling their research into distinct areas of strength. The 50 million euro funding scheme was launched in 2015. 

In their applications, submitted to the Academy in autumn 2015, the universities proposed profiling measures for one or several of their strategic research fields, most of them multidisciplinary fields. 12 of the fourteen universities that applied were granted funding. The sums vary between 559 000 euros and 12 million euros. The funding is granted for four years.  

Each university could submit one application. They were asked to present their intended measures for profiling themselves into select focus areas. The Academy of Finland makes the funding decisions based on the review reports drafted by the international panels.

“This new funding instrument provides Finnish universities with an excellent opportunity to fortify their development efforts. After the first funding round in 2015, we now have clear evidence that the universities are better able to carve out their research niche: their applications include versatile and creative approaches and highly collaborative projects. In reviewing the applications, it has been interesting to note how unique and promising several of the key strengths of the Finnish universities actually are, and how the universities view their joint distribution of work and their partnership opportunities,” the review panel said in its report. The panel both reviewed the applications and interviewed the university rectors.   

The panel consisted of leading experts (rectors, vice rectors, etc.) from European universities with wide and versatile experience of university research reforms. Three of the panel’s six members also participated in reviewing last year’s applications.   

The panel reviewed the applications, interviewed university managers and drafted the review reports. The review focused on the scope and clarity of the proposed solutions, plans for reaching the international level of research and on the universities’ commitment to the profiling measures and to advancing the quality of research.  

Among this year’s proposed profiling measures and initiatives, research in the social sciences and humanities stood out as particularly strong fields.  

More information:     

  • Professor Heikki Ruskoaho, Chair of the Board of the Academy of Finland, tel. +358 294 159 472
  • Executive Director Riitta Maijala, tel. +358 295 335 114, firstname.lastname(at)         

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

Last modified 18 Mar 2016
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