Academy of Finland selects new Academy Research Fellows in biosciences and environmental research

3 May 2018

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Biosciences and Environment today decided to fund eleven new research posts as Academy Research Fellow. The Research Council’s total funding for the five-year posts amounts to some 4.8 million euros.

The Research Council had 95 applications for Academy Research Fellow funding reviewed following the September 2017 call. The applicant success rate (the proportion of applicants who were granted funding) was 11.6 per cent. Slightly more than one-third of the funding recipients are women.

The Academy Research Fellow funding is intended to advance and strengthen the opportunities of the best researchers to qualify themselves for academic leadership and establish themselves as independent researchers. When applying for funding for a research post as Academy Research Fellow, researchers apply for funding for their own salary for up to five years.

The new Academy Research Fellows will explore topics such as how animals adapt to urban environments, the gene regulation mechanisms that steer the differentiation of nerve cells, and the functional genomics of the silver birch.

The most important criteria for selecting Academy Research Fellows are the scientific quality of the research plan, the researcher’s independent status and their positive career development. Other key criteria include the applicant’s international engagement and previous mobility experience.

Professor Kai Lindström, Chair of the Research Council for Biosciences and Environment, said: “Academy Research Fellows serve as the compass for Finnish research. It’s therefore crucial that they’re provided with opportunities to establish themselves as active participants in building and reforming the future of research in their fields.”

The Academy of Finland allocates funding to the best researchers and research teams and to the most promising early-career researchers. The Academy’s funding is allocated on a competitive basis. The objective is to support researchers in carrying out scientifically ambitious projects.

High-level international peer review is the Academy’s key tool for identifying the best and most promising research projects. In the case of applications for multi-year research grants, the Academy usually requests a written review report by an expert panel or at least two written reviews by external experts who are esteemed researchers in their field. The panel drafts one review report on each application.

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