Each year after the autumn call for applications, we ask applicants for feedback on the call. We also collect feedback from international reviewers and our decision-makers. The feedback we receive helps us improve the call texts, our guidelines and instructions, and also our online services, which you may know as SARA. This year, the biggest change is the revised funding scheme for Academy Research Fellowships. Another important thing to note is that the research plan is again submitted as a PDF appendix.
Calls open in August, deadlines in late September and early October
The calls will open on 25 August 2022. The deadlines are later than normal this year. The deadline for funding schemes targeted at individual researchers (Academy Research Fellowships, Clinical Researcher, international mobility) is 28 September. The calls for Academy Projects and sport science research projects close one week later, on 5 October.
The deadlines for applications for project-based funding have been pushed back to October in response to feedback the Academy has received. In addition, we will continue to speed up the application checking by increasing efficiency and automation.
Research plan returns to PDF appendix
After last year’s round, we received a lot of feedback on the difficulties encountered in using the research plan editor. In order to streamline the checking process and the reviews, the research plan will now be appended to the application as a PDF appendix on a separate tab in the online services. In order to submit the application, the applicant must follow the page configurations and structures that we have provided. The line spacing has been decreased to 1.0 from the previous 1.15, and the list of references does count towards the length of the plan. We have prepared Word and Latex templates to help you write the plan. You can download the templates on our website.
Revised funding scheme for Academy Research Fellowships
For nearly a year now, the Academy has been preparing a reform of the funding opportunities for early-career researchers. Learn more on the page Academy Research Fellow reform.
The review of applications for the new Academy Research Fellowships will focus on the research plan but also on the applicant’s merits and qualifications as a researcher. The funding schemes for Postdoctoral Researchers and early-career Academy Projects have been discontinued. The Academy Research Fellowships provide funding towards the researcher’s salary and research costs for a period of four years. The funding can be used flexibly based on the needs of the research.
In March 2022, we held a discussion with our stakeholders on the main features of the new funding scheme. The proposed eligibility limit, 2–7 years after the first doctoral degree, raised a great deal of concern in the researcher community at that time. The Academy Board took the feedback on board and decided that the eligibility in the first call would be 2–9 years since the first doctoral degree.
Previously, the funding schemes for early-career researchers applied two funding models: the additional cost model and the full cost model. The new Academy Research Fellowships will only use the latter.
Academy Research Fellows will no longer have to apply separately for research cost funding and again halfway through the funding period – one application and one funding decision is enough. We have also dropped the mobility requirement, which was considered unnecessarily burdensome. However, changing research environments remains important. In addition, applicants must describe their career development, how they intend to increase their competencies during the funding period, and their career plans after the funding period. In addition to the above, the applicant must also describe how the research idea has evolved since the doctoral dissertation.
Make sure to read all our guidelines carefully – the call text, the research plan and CV guidelines, and the guidelines on merits and competencies – and follow the instructions when preparing the application.
Two tips on drafting the application
- Tip 1: Upload the incomplete research plan to your application and check if the configurations are as they should be. The system will let you know, if something is wrong.
- Tip 2: Remember that you can submit the application early and supplement/correct/edit it before the deadline.
Participate in our Ask & Apply webinars
We will again organise information sessions on the autumn call in June, August and September. Organised in the form of webinars, the sessions include plenty of time for questions. The sessions are in English. See the webinar programme on our website. The first webinar will be held on 13 June at 13.00. Pre-registration is not required. You’re welcome to join us!
- Tiina Petänen, Counsellor of Science (questions about the call), tel. +358 295 335 091
- Sonja Kuosmanen, Science Adviser (questions about the Ask & Apply webinars), tel. +358 295 335 025
- Vera Mikkilä, Project Manager (questions about the Academy Research Fellow reform), tel. +358 295 335 048
Our email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi.