Russian invasion of Ukraine and its effects on Academy of Finland operations

7 Apr 2022

The Board of the Academy of Finland has decided on the principles to be applied to the cooperation with Russia and Belarus and to suspension of such cooperation. The decision comes as a result of a policy adopted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, which recommends that all official cooperation be suspended.

The Academy of Finland’s bilateral cooperation with the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, which started in the 1990s, will now be stopped, and no new collaborative projects with Russian or Belarusian organisations will be launched. In practice, this means that the Academy will not open the call for applications for Finland-Russia mobility funding, which has provided funding for both Finnish research teams to invite Russian researchers to Finland and for individual Finnish researchers to travel to Russia. The Academy has not engaged in bilateral cooperation with Belarusian organisations.

The principles for granting and using research funding laid down by the Academy Board respect the equal treatment of researchers irrespective of nationality. There are currently no organisations in Russia or Belarus within the scope of the Academy’s funding, nor will funding be granted to a recipient in Russia or Belarus in the future. These principles will remain in force until further notice.

In projects funded by the Academy, cooperation with individual Russian researchers and research teams can only continue if the instructions of the site of research, the sanctions against Russia and Belarus, the export control provisions, the travel recommendations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs or other such factors do not prevent it. If the funding granted by the Academy cannot be used for the purpose stated in the funding decision, the recipient must relinquish the funding. The same principles will also be applied to decisions on applications for changes in funding decisions.

In line with the guidelines of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the Academy of Finland has already taken steps to suspend official cooperation with Russia in international research infrastructures and organisations where Russia is involved and where the Academy acts as Finland’s representative. These include the international accelerator facility FAIR, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the European University Institute (EUI). The same steps concerning the suspension of cooperation also applies to co-funded European research programmes in which Russia is a funding partner.

The Academy of Finland is also investigating possibilities to support researchers fleeing Ukraine. Academy-funded research projects can already now use their funding to recruit researchers from Ukraine.

Currently, the Academy is in the process of making funding decisions on the autumn 2021 call. As a result of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the operating environment for conducting research has changed so much that the feasibility of the autumn 2021 applications will be checked separately. If necessary, applicants will be requested to provide a brief explanation.

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