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Mobility: Academy Research Fellow and Postdoctoral Researcher

Researchers need a wide range of experience from working in different research environments to be able to increase their independence. By working in different kinds of research groups or in other research-related positions, researchers can further strengthen their personal networks and improve their chances of securing research positions or other expert tasks. For today’s researchers, it is also important to be able to acquire new methodological skills and adopt new means of communicating with people with different backgrounds.

Wide-ranging expertise can help to increase the impact of research and promote science renewal, which are among the Academy of Finland’s most important strategic objectives in addition to improving scientific quality.

The Academy encourages international researcher mobility. Our funding can be used within the limits of the funding period for research spells abroad and for returning to Finland. International mobility is of particular importance to early-career researchers in improving the quality of their research and supporting their career development.

In assessing the scientific merits of a funding application, the reviewers consider the international and national collaborative contacts and research mobility presented in the application.

Describe your international and national mobility on the application form under Mobility. The mobility description is divided into three parts: mobility requirement, other previous mobility and planned mobility.

1. Mobility as an eligibility requirement.

Mobility since PhD completion is required from applicants for funding for a research post as Postdoctoral Researcher or Academy Research Fellow.

  • If the application concerns the same research environment where the applicant worked while completing their doctoral degree, the applicant must give an account of a total of at least six months of research experience from another foreign or Finnish research environment since PhD completion (and before the call deadline expires). 
  • The mobility requirement is met if you apply for funding for a research post to a research environment other than the one in which you worked while completing your doctoral thesis. Our funding is paid via a site of research based in Finland.

In very exceptional cases, the Academy may make an exception for individual applicants. For instance, an exception can be made in the case of severe illness (either the applicant’s or a close relative’s) that significantly impedes the applicant’s mobility. In these exceptional situations, applicants must get in touch with the contact person at the Academy before submitting the application. The contact persons are named in the call text.

You are eligibile to apply only if you meet our mobility requirement.

If you are eligible to apply based on the above item, fill in the following information: 

2. Other previous mobility (if relevant).

  • Enter information on your visits and workplaces in connection with your research. We will use this information to assess your experience as a researcher.

3. Planned mobility linked to implementing the research project

  • Enter information on your planned visits and workplaces during the project and how these mobility periods will benefit your research. We will use this information to assess your application.

 

Questions and answers

What counts as a different research environment?

Here, 'research environment' refers to the local research community or group in which the researcher works. The research environment is often located within a single site of research (usually a university or research institute), but it may also extend to several organisations. There may be several different research environments at one and the same site of research.

If an applicant changes research environments within the same site, we require a distinct change of work environment, so that it justifiably promotes the Academy’s objectives for mobility. Applicants must provide a concrete justification for the change of work environment and for meeting the Academy's objectives on the online application form.

Changing the name of the research unit or merging to units does not count as a change of research environment.

Our funding is paid via a site of research (usually a university or research institute) based in Finland. Academy-funded researchers may also spend time working abroad during their funding period. Planned mobility is considered in reviewing the research plan but not in determining eligibility. Read more about the research councils' policies under Research councils on our website. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the principles of the research council to which you will submit your application.

What does 'working elsewhere' mean?

The key criterion is that if the applicant will continue at their former site of research and not change research environments, they must have gained experience also from outside their current research environment before the call deadline expires. The post-PhD experience may have been gained in Finland or abroad.

The six-month requirement may be fulfilled by, for instance, working in another field’s research team, institute or association, in administration, the business sector or an occupation that is legitimately linked to the proposed research or that contributes to promoting the research career.

Work somewhere else can also refer to working on a grant or through some other arrangement in some other environment than the physical research environment that the application concerns. For example, applicants may have worked at a foreign university with funding from their own university. Working in a collegium of researchers may also be eligible as work somewhere else if the researcher in question has changed work communities.

Must the applicant have had an employment contract to the organisation at which the work experience was gained?

No, that is not a requirement. This means that working on a grant, for instance, may count towards the required six months. The funding source of the six-month work period is irrelevant.

When must the six months have been completed?

The required mobility period of at least six months must have been completed after the PhD certificate was issued and no later than by the call deadline.

The work may have been performed over several periods. However, the two longest periods must equal at least six months.

Part-time employment will count towards the required mobility period of six months. For example, if the researcher has worked on a 50 per cent contract, the total work period must cover twelve months.

Planned mobility is not considered in assessing eligibility unless the applicant changes research environment. Planned mobility is assessed as part of the research plan. 

 

Last modified 17 May 2019
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