SRC launches three new strategic research programmes – call texts out now

18 Nov 2020

The Strategic Research Council (SRC) established within the Academy of Finland is launching three new strategic research programmes. The programmes are built around themes adopted by the Finnish Government in October. The new programmes will start in autumn 2021.

The new programmes are:

  • Demographic Changes – Causes, Consequences and Solutions
  • Environmental and Social Links to Biodiversity Loss
  • Pandemics as a Challenge for Society.

Welfare is a cross-cutting priority in all three programmes.

The programmes dealing with biodiversity loss and demographic changes will run for six years. In these two programmes, the SRC is prepared to fund 8–12 projects with a total of some 32–34 million euros during the first three-year period. The progress of the projects will be reviewed at midterm, after which the SRC will decide on the continuation of funding.

In the pandemics programme, the SRC is prepared to fund three projects with a total of 10–12 million euros. Projects in the pandemics programme will run for 40 months, and the funding will be granted to cover the whole funding period. The programme duration is shorter than usually in order to make the solutions to the challenges posed by pandemics available as quickly as possible.

The call has two stages. The first stage opens on 1 December 2020 and closes on 13 January 2021. The first stage is open to all eligible applicants. Projects going through to the second call stage will be selected in March 2021. The SRC will take decisions on the projects to be invited to the second stage based on the first-stage international peer review.

The funding is granted to consortia. Guidelines and terms on consortium structure, composition and activity as well as more detailed application instructions are available in the call texts.

Themes linked to welfare of both individuals and society
The aim of SRC-funded research is to find solutions to major societal challenges. “This time, the themes of the programme call focus on both the challenges posed by long-term trends and the problems raised by the current pandemic. All three themes are closely linked to the wellbeing of both individuals and society, which we hope will run as a red thread in the consortium applications,” says Anu Kaukovirta, vice chair of the SRC.

Kaukovirta underscores the urgent need for solutions to the challenges at hand.

“Demographic changes pose a challenge for the carrying capacity and equality of the welfare society. We need an in-depth understanding of the development paths as well as new solution models that policymakers can use. Biodiversity loss, too, will have a radical impact on our society. The loss of biodiversity endangers not only natural ecosystems but also socioeconomic ecosystems. The COVID-19 pandemic is currently ravaging the whole world and has exposed the fragility of many functions in society. The pandemics programme will seek solutions to how we can better prepare for pandemics in the future.”

The call texts are available in English, Finnish and Swedish.

There will be a webinar for applicants on 11 December. More information on the webinar and sign-up is available on the event page.

Inquiries and more information

Demographic Changes – Causes, Consequences and Solutions

  • Krista Nuutinen, Science Adviser, tel. +358 295 335 043
  • Pilvi Toppinen, Senior Science Adviser, tel. +358 295 335 064

Environmental and Social Links to Biodiversity Loss

  • Tuomas Katajarinne, Science Adviser, tel. +358 295 335 067
  • Samuli Hurri, Science Adviser, tel. +358 295 335 100

Pandemics as a Challenge for Society

  • Jyrki Hakapää, Senior Science Adviser, tel. +358 295 335 020
  • Milja Saari, Senior Science Adviser, tel. +358 295 335 123

Our email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname(at)

Academy of Finland Communications
Anna Oravakangas, Communications Specialist
tel. +358 295 335 039

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