The changes to the application practices for the Academy of Finland’s mobility funding will be introduced over several years. The new practices will apply to all partner countries, namely India, Japan, China and Taiwan, Germany and Russia. The aim is to simplify the application and funding process and to facilitate the measurement and evaluation of the impact of mobility funding. The first changes will already take effect in the call opening on 1 September 2020, and reforms will continue over the next few years.
As before, the Academy’s mobility funding is intended for travel and living expenses incurred during research visits. The funding needed for the actual research must still be obtained from other sources, as the mobility funding cannot be used to pay research equipment or material costs. Likewise, the mobility funding cannot be used for salaries.
Biggest changes concern China and India
A new model will be introduced in 2020 to the mobility funding related to China. The model is similar to the one that has been used for several years in the Academy’s cooperation with the German DAAD. The Academy plans to implement a similar reform next year with Indian funders.
The changes concerning China will place emphasis on reciprocity in the mobility of Finnish-Chinese research projects. The project parties and their mobility funding applications are treated as counterparts. Both the Finnish researcher and the Chinese collaborator must submit an application to their own funding agency following the agency’s rules. Without a counterpart application, an application will not proceed to the decision-making stage. To make applying easier for applicants, the aim is to open the calls in China and Finland simultaneously.
From the Academy, researchers can apply for funding for the mobility costs of a Finnish party, and, correspondingly, Chinese researchers apply for mobility support from their funder in China. Finnish principal investigators can apply for mobility funding to China for two years. The funding is not a personal grant but paid through a research organisation. Consequently, a single application may include the costs of visits by all Finns (1–5 persons) in the project. If necessary, several visits may be planned for the period applied for.
Changes also to review of mobility applications
As a result of the reform, applicants will receive a statement along with the funding decision assessing the eligibility of the application based on scientific quality, the applicant’s merits and other factors. The statement is issued by the research council to which the application was addressed.
COVID-19 and previously granted mobility funding
If the COVID-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions it has caused have prevented the implementation of planned mobility, the Academy may extend mobility projects for which the funding period will end on 30 June 2021 or earlier. Researchers must apply for an extension in the online services. The funding period may be extended up to 31 December 2021.
- Ulla Ellmén, Science Adviser (India, Japan, Germany, Taiwan), tel. +358 295 335 011, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
- Siru Oksa, Science Adviser (JSPS Fellowship, China, Russia), tel. +358 295 335 125, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi