The renewed Academy Research Fellowship funding reached its target group – Funding for Academy Projects increased

20 Jun 2023

The Research Council of Finland (formerly the Academy of Finland) provides funding for 153 recipients of the renewed Academy Research Fellowship. Of the applicants, 15% received funding. The renewed funding was opened for application for the first time in the autumn call for applications last year. Academy Research Fellowships are granted to promising early-career researchers. The aim of the fellowship is to support early-career researchers who have progressed rapidly in their careers, so that they can increase their competencies and make significant career progress.

The new Academy Research Fellowship funding reached its target group well: there were 1,018 applicants from the fields of all three research councils. A total of more than EUR 90 million was granted. The average funding per project was approximately EUR 589,000.

Academy Research Fellowship funding may be applied for by researchers who were awarded their first doctoral degree at least two but no more than seven years prior to the end of the month of application. In the first application round, Academy Research Fellowship funding could exceptionally be applied for by researchers who were awarded their first doctoral degree at least two but no more than nine years prior to the end of the month of application. Of the researchers funded, for 30% two to four years had passed from their doctoral degree, for 50% five to seven years and for 20% eight years or more.

“The first application round met the objectives very well. The general standard of applications was high and promising new Academy researchers were funded from all eligible career stages. The renewed form of funding made it possible to take into account the different circumstances of Academy Research Fellows since applying for and using funding is more flexible than before,” says Riitta Maijala, Vice President for Research.

In their funding decisions, the scientific councils emphasised especially the scientific standard of research and researchers’ involvement in international cooperation and networking, as well as their personal competence and potential, considering their career stage. 

The scientific councils noted that in many applications the description of the applicant's career development plans remained at a very general level. In some cases, the reviewers also needed more information on how Academy Research Fellowship funding would promote the applicant's career. During the first application round of the renewed Academy Research Fellowship funding, the Research Council of Finland collected feedback from applicants, reviewers and research councils, which will be used for developing the application instructions.

Academy Projects represent a wide range of research

Academy Project funding was granted to 18% of the projects reviewed. Academy project consortia, i.e., entities consisting of several projects, have been calculated by sub-project. The number of funded projects and their share of all applications increased from the previous year. A total of almost EUR 120 million was granted. The success rate of applications increased by three percentage points from 2022.

The selected projects represent high-quality, high-impact research that stimulates the renewal of science. Different disciplines are comprehensively represented.

Women's share of reviewers continued to grow

A total 633 reviewers participated in the review of applications submitted in the autumn 2022 call.  The number of joint panels arranged was 60. Women's share of reviewers rose to 43%, compared with 37% in the September 2021 call and 36% in 2020. The reviewers came from 29 countries, the four most common ones being United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and Italy.

Further information:

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The Academy of Finland is adopting a new English name. The new name in English is Research Council of Finland. At the same time, the research councils will become scientific councils. The changes will be introduced graduallyRead more on our website.

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