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Policies of Research Council for Biosciences, Health and Environment for the September 2019 Call

 

In its meeting in June, the Research Council for Biosciences, Health and the Environment has decided on the funding criteria and policies for the Spetember 2019 call. These policies supplement the guidelines in the Academy’s September 2019 call text and the criteria for research funding decisions by the Academy Board.

Applicants are required to be closely connected to the Finnish scientific community so that the funding benefits Finnish research and society. This means that the funding will be administered by a Finnish organisation. In addition, the Research Council primarily funds projects where both the PI and the research team mainly work in Finland.

Academy Projects

The primary funding criterion is the scientific quality of the research plan.  

The Academy supports the careers of early-career researchers and promotes the quality and renewability of research and innovation. This can be implemented through Academy Project funding, which requires, in addition to other policies, that no more than ten years have passed since the applicant's first doctorate.

Regarding consortia, the Research Council pays attention to the added value of the collaboration. Consortium subprojects are required to be of the same scientific quality as the main applicant, or to contribute significantly to the project implementation.

The Research Council requires that the leadership and research tasks of the PI be clearly described in the application.

In addition to scientific quality, the Research Council will consider the following criteria in making funding decisions (in order of priority):

  1. initiatives that promote the renewal of science

  2. supporting project applicants with promising careers

  3. strong potential for societal impact.

Typically, the Research Council’s funding for a project is 500,000 euros, for a consortium subproject a maximum of 300,000 euros and for an entire consortium a maximum of 1 million euros.

According to the Academy’s policy, a researcher with an ongoing Academy Project or ongoing funding for a post as Academy Professor will not be granted funding for an Academy Project.  If the applicant has ongoing Academy Project funding as a consortium party applicant, they can be granted Academy funding only for well-substantiated reasons.  If the applicant has ongoing funding for a post as an Academy Research Fellow, they will not be granted funding for an Academy Project during the first three years of their term. These Academy policies ensure that the Research Council is able to provide funding to as many researchers as possible.

If so inclined, the Research Council can grant two-year project funding to selected high-risk Academy Projects if they find a particularly promising, high-quality project includes great risks.

Funding for research post as Academy Research Fellow

The primary funding criterion is the scientific quality of the research plan. Additionally, attention is paid to the applicant’s competence.  

The Research Council supports researchers with capacity for reinventing themselves who are or are on their way to becoming independent, and who are in a buoyant career phase. The researcher describes in the application how the project supports their independence.

The Research Council especially supports the Academy Research Fellows with previous international mobility. Additionally, attention is paid to the mobility of the researchers who work in the project.

In terms of applications of equal merit, the Research Council will consider the following criteria in making funding decisions (in order of priority):

  1. clearly positive career development as evidenced by, for instance, high-quality publications, scientific courage, good international networks and successful project management

  2. bold initiatives that promote the renewal of science

  3. potential for societal impact (e.g. collaboration with end-users of research, science popularisation).

The Research Council’s Academy Research Fellow funding is aimed at helping the researchers to carry out their research plan by providing sufficient funds to cover the research costs during the first years of the funding period. Research costs of both old and new Academy Research Fellows will be funded with no more than 100,000 per year during the whole term.

Clinical Researcher

The primary funding criterion is the scientific quality of the research plan. Additionally, attention is paid to the applicant’s suitability to the objectives of the clinical researcher funding instrument.

The funding for a research post as clinical researcher is a funding opportunity to support part-time research by physicians and other researchers engaged in clinical practice.

The funding decisions are based on the scientific quality of the research and the applicant’s competence and suitability. The aim is to promote clinical research careers and to encourage healthcare professionals to engage in research alongside clinical practice.

The Research Council’s funding covers a 20–50 per cent salary as well as research costs. A requirement is that clinical practice accounts for at least 50 per cent of the applicant’s work. The funding period is a maximum of four years.

Those who have received clinical researcher funding may have a concurrent Academy Project.

Funding for research post as Postdoctoral Researcher

The primary funding criterion is the scientific quality of the research plan.  In addition, the Research Council will consider the applicant’s competence and opportunities to gain more independence during the project.

In the review of applications, particular attention will be paid to the international dimension of the research plan, including international research collaboration and mobility. Applicants must justify in their research plan if the plan does not involve researcher mobility. From the Research Council’s perspective, a good objective is to have at least six months of uninterrupted international mobility. The Research Council is also keen to emphasise the significance of international mobility for later career advancement.

In terms of applications of equal merit, the Research Council will consider the following criteria in making funding decisions (in order of priority):

  1. supporting scientifically promising researchers

  2. supporting the increasing independence of researchers

  3. the scientific courage of the project

  4. how the potential for societal impact comes across in the project description.

The Research Council’s funding for Postdoctoral Researchers is 270,000 euros on average, including salary costs and minor research costs.

Last modified 13 Aug 2019
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