Academy of Finland selects new Postdoctoral Researchers and Academy Research Fellows in natural sciences and engineering

17 May 2018

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering today decided on funding for 37 new Postdoctoral Researchers and 22 new Academy Research Fellows. The funding for the Postdoctoral Researchers amounts to some 9.5 million euros and the funding for the Academy Research Fellows to some 9.7 million euros.

In addition to salary funding, the Academy Research Fellows will receive funding to cover costs of setting up a research team and other research costs. The Research Council has set aside 7.7 million euros to fund the research costs of the new Academy Research Fellows over the next five years.

The funded researchers will explore, for instance, new approaches, methods and materials to advance sustainable development and health technology. Research topics include optically driven smart microrobotics, X-ray musculoskeletal imaging and biomaterials for emerging solar technologies.

The Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering had 258 applications for Postdoctoral Researcher funding and 182 applications for Academy Research Fellow funding reviewed following the September 2017 call. The applications were primarily reviewed by panels of international experts. The reviewers focused on the scientific quality and innovation potential of the proposed research plans. High-level international peer review is the Academy of Finland’s key tool for identifying the best and most promising research projects.

The panels gave top ratings (final rating 6 or 5) to 33 per cent of the Postdoctoral Researcher applications and to 43 per cent of the Academy Research Fellow applications. The Research Council was unable to fund all top-rated applications, so in prioritising between these high-quality applications it utilised the review reports and its own funding policies and criteria.

The Research Council’s most important funding criteria were the personal competence of the applicant and the quality, impact and novelty of the research. The success rate for Postdoctoral Researcher applicants (the proportion of applicants who were granted funding) was 14 per cent. The success rate for Academy Research Fellow applicants was 12 per cent. The Research Council supported natural sciences and engineering research by placing particular emphasis on a wide thematic coverage.

Professor Leena Paavilainen, Chair of the Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering, said: “We received many applications of excellent scientific quality in the September 2017 call. However, we’re slightly concerned about the significant drop in the number of Academy Research Fellow applications from the ICT field compared to last year. We were pleased to see so many top-rated women; their proportion among the highly rated applicants increased on the previous year for both Postdoctoral Researcher applicants and Academy Research Fellow applicants. The proportion of women among the Academy Research Fellow funding recipients is 36 per cent, which is clearly higher than their proportion among the applicants.”

By conducting high-quality research with funding from the Academy of Finland, Postdoctoral Researchers and Academy Research Fellows contribute to strengthening the scientific and societal impact of Finnish research and to promoting science renewal.

More information and inquiries

Inquiries about Postdoctoral Researcher funding:

  • Science Adviser Maaria Lehtinen, tel. +358 295 335 061, firstname.lastname(at)
  • Science Adviser Minna Räisänen, tel. +358 295 335 072, firstname.lastname(at)
  • Senior Science Adviser Kati Sulonen, tel. +358 295 335 110, firstname.lastname(at)

Inquiries about Academy Research Fellow funding:

  • Science Adviser Jan Bäckman, tel. +358 295 335 010, firstname.lastname(at)
  • Science Adviser Anna Kalliomäki, tel. +358 295 335 035, firstname.lastname(at)

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