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Policies of Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering

The Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering is unfortunately unable to fund all top-rated applications (overall ratings 6 and 5), since the increase in the number of applications has outpaced the increase in the Research Council’s funding budget. Against this backdrop, the Research Council has outlined a set of funding criteria and policies that it will systematically apply in making funding decisions and in prioritising between high-quality applications. The criteria and policies applied in the September 2019 call are listed below.

General policies

  1. The Research Council aims to support natural sciences and engineering research of a high international standard and the widest possible scope, considering the special characteristics of different research fields.
  2. As a rule, the Research Council’s funding decisions are based on the review reports.
  3. The Research Council supports scientific regeneration by funding new initiatives, such as high-risk, high-gain research, and researchers who are in a buoyant career phase. The Research Council promotes the development of new methods and technical tools, grants funding to PIs at different career stages and to Academy Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Researchers who transfer to Finland, and – in the case of applicants of equal merit – prioritises applicants in the gender minority.
  4. The Research Council supports the utilisation of research results. When making funding decisions, the Research Council considers the relevance of the research for business and industry or other societal sectors in Finland. It also considers applicants’ previous merits in the scientific, economic and other utilisation of research as well as their networks with end-users and beneficiaries of research.
  5. The Research Council supports high-quality national and international research cooperation and the researcher mobility therein. The supported collaboration may occur between universities, between universities and research institutes or with business and industry or other societal actors. The Research Council’s support for collaboration is researcher-driven and implemented through the funding of Academy Projects, Academy Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Researchers and through participation in strategically selected international funding calls. Consortium-based Academy Projects that include parties from different research organisations are an important tool for promoting international collaboration.
  6. The Research Council supports research that makes good use of both Finnish and international research infrastructures.

Criteria and policies for Academy Projects

Criteria (set out in order of priority)

  1. Scientific quality, novelty, potential for breakthroughs, impact and feasibility
  2. Competence of researcher/research team, particularly recent achievements
  3. Research cooperation and mobility

Policies

  • The goal is to grant four-year projects 450,000 euros on average.
  • The maximum amount of funding per project is 600,000 euros (equivalent to 150,000 euros per year).
  • The maximum total amount of funding per consortium-based Academy Project is 1,000,000 euros (equivalent to 250,000 euros per year).

Criteria and policies for Academy Research Fellows

Criteria (set out in order of priority)

  1. Applicant’s personal competence
  2. Scientific quality, novelty, impact and feasibility
  3. Applicant’s mobility, especially quality of previous and planned mobility as well as its added value for the research plan and the applicant’s career

Policies

  • The Research Council supports the Academy Research Fellows it funds by granting them funding for research costs to the tune of 400,000 euros per five years. The funding will be granted in two parts. The funding for the first three years is a maximum of 240,000 euros and for the last two years a maximum of 160,000 euros.
  • Although a single site of research may include several research environments, the Research Council is of the opinion that the mobility requirement is not met if a researcher changes research teams within the same field and within the same site of research. This applies both to transfers to a new research environment and to mobility after obtaining a doctoral degree.

Criteria and policies for Postdoctoral Researchers

Criteria (set out in order of priority)

  1. Applicant’s personal competence
  2. Scientific quality, novelty, impact and feasibility
  3. Applicant’s mobility in support of increased independence, especially the quality of planned mobility as well as its added value for the research plan and the applicant’s career

Policies

  • The salary of a Postdoctoral Researcher is determined according to a maximum monthly salary of 3,900 euros. Justified research costs will also be accepted (max. 50,000 euros).
  • Although a single site of research may include several research environments, the Research Council is of the opinion that the mobility requirement is not met if a researcher changes research teams within the same field and within the same site of research. This applies both to transfers to a new research environment and to mobility after obtaining a doctoral degree.
Last modified 10 Sep 2019
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