Decision-making for the Academy of Finland autumn 2018 call begins – decisions to be made in two stages

2 Apr 2019

Multistage decision-making will be employed for the applications for Academy projects, Academy researchers, clinical researchers and postdoctoral researchers submitted in the September 2018 call.

At the first stage, applications given a score of 1–4 in the scientific evaluation may be given a negative decision immediately, at the committee’s discretion. For clinical researchers, the score range for the first stage is 1–3. The decision notification will be sent to the applicant via email.

The remaining applications will be processed at the second stage. Funding decisions for the second stage can be either positive or negative.

The Academy has received several questions concerning the background of this reform. A summary of these is given below.

FAQ concerning the change to the decision timetable

Why is the multistage decision-making process being tried out for the September 2018 call?

  • The most important basis for decision-making comes from the evaluation of scientific merit through international peer review. To receive a positive funding decision, an application must have excellent scientific merit. The purpose of the two-stage decision-making process is to shorten the processing times of applications that do not do well in the peer review. This will enable the applicants in question to begin searching for other sources of funding sooner.

How much earlier are the first-stage decisions made?

  • Depending on the committee, the first-stage decisions are made at anything from two weeks to two months before the second-stage decisions.

Is the processing for the applications scored 1–4 different at the evaluation or decision stage than for the applications scored 5–6?

  • All applications are peer reviewed in the same way. At the decision-making stage, the committee has the option at its discretion to put applications through to the second stage even if they have a score of 1–4.

How will the procedure be developed for future calls?

  • After the funding decisions are published, a survey will be sent to the applicants to find major development points for the process. The Academy will assess how successful the multistage decision-making process was after the decision-making period and improve the process based on the feedback.

More information and inquiries

  • Director Pentti Pulkkinen, tel. +358 295 335 093, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
  • Senior Science Counsel Kata-Riina Valosaari, tel. +358 295 335 128,  firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi

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