Funding to promote research profiling has helped Finnish universities make concrete strategic choices
The final reports of the projects funded in the third round (2017–2021) of the Academy of Finland’s funding scheme to strengthen university research profiles (Profi) have been approved. The Academy’s funding for the projects totalled 50 million euros.
The aim of the Academy of Finland’s Profi funding is to support and speed up improvements in the quality of research at Finnish universities based on the universities’ own strategic choices. The funding is fixed-term and granted with a view to strengthening and accelerating measures that promote the quality of research. The universities’ own contributions play an important role in the success of the development measures. In the final reports, the universities report on the effects that can be seen immediately after the Profi funding period.
Professor Johanna Myllyharju, Chair of the Board of the Academy of Finland, said: “The full impact of the Profi funding will only manifest itself over a longer period of time. However, it’s already clear that the funding has helped the universities to make their strategic choices more concrete.”
Myllyharju added: “Of course, the universities vary greatly in size. Consequently, so too does the scope of the measures to improve the quality of research, even if the measures are similar.”
Based on the final reports, recruitment is emphasised by all universities as the most important means of promoting the quality of research implemented with the Academy’s Profi funding. For example, recruitment has been used to further strengthen the already strong research in a field or to accelerate the launch of a new research field. Recruitment has also helped to expand the national and international networks of research in a given profiling area.
Based on the reports, the creation and development of multi- and interdisciplinary platforms have become one of the key tools for developing the quality of research in profiling areas, regardless of the university’s size. In addition, the platforms have served as effective cooperation forums and points of contact between universities, research institutes, companies and other actors in society.
Riitta Maijala, the Academy’s Vice President for Research, said: “Many universities also reported on the leverage effect of Profi funding in securing other national and international competitive funding. The funding has contributed to the concrete implementation of broad multidisciplinary thematic objectives and helped in submitting funding applications.”
As an indirect impact of the Profi funding, the final reports highlighted the increase in university cooperation both internally and externally. For example, universities have had joint professors in different profiling areas, and some have established new joint professorships for units or faculties in the profiling areas. The chosen profiling areas have also spawned new degree programmes.
Inquiries and more information
- Johanna Myllyharju, Chair of the Board of the Academy of Finland, tel. +358 294 485 740, firstname.lastname(at)oulu.fi
- Riitta Maijala, Vice President for Research, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 002, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
- Anne Heinänen, Counsellor of Science, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 295 335 021, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
- general inquiries: profi(at)aka.fi
- University profiling
Academy of Finland Communications
Pekka Rautio, Communications Specialist
tel. +358 295 335 040