Strategic research programme: Demographic Changes – Causes, Consequences and Solutions (DEMOGRAPHY), invited applicants

10 March 2021
5 May 2021 at 16.15 Finnish time (invited applicants)
approx. €32–34 million in total for first three-year period (to be distributed between two of the programmes open for application)
1 Oct 2021–30 Sep 2024 (1st funding period) and 1 Oct 2024–30 Sep 2027 (2nd funding period)
  • NB! The call text was supplemented on 30 March: The heading 'Mobility' was added under the section 'Full application parts and guidelines'.

The Finnish Government decided the 2021 themes and priorities for strategic research in its plenary session on 1 October 2020. Welfare is the cross-cutting priority in all themes.

This strategic research programme seeks research-based solutions for adapting to changes in the population’s age structure and maintaining the functional and renewal capacity of society. The Finnish population is ageing, birth rates are declining, and the number of working-age people is decreasing. The decline in the birth rate and the ageing of the population will comprehensively challenge the institutional structures of society from working life to democracy. They will affect family structures, social relationships and life stages, both the need for and the supply of services and the resources available. Pension, health and social expenditure will increase, tax revenue will decrease, the dependency ratio will deteriorate. What will our welfare state look like in a different Finland with a changed age structure? In order to safeguard the future of the welfare society, it is essential to examine how demographic changes will shape the Finnish society and how the changes can be adapted to and influenced.

The Strategic Research Council (SRC) established within the Academy of Finland provides funding for long-term, solution-oriented research of a high scientific standard that is aimed at finding solutions to major societal problems and challenges. SRC funding has the following characteristics:

  • The funding is only granted to consortia. The consortia must follow the consortium structure required by the SRC.
  • Solving societal challenges requires not only research but also interaction aimed at societal impact between researchers and knowledge users throughout the project’s lifecycle.
  • The funding follows the full cost model, and the SRC’s funding contribution comes to 100%.
  • Funding can be used to cover the salary of the consortium PI for the duration of the funding period. The SRC requires that consortium PIs commit themselves with a sufficient level of input to heading the consortium.
  • The consortia should work towards a balanced gender composition.
  • The funded projects shall commit to following the principles of responsible science.
  • The funded consortia form a thematic programme that is coordinated by a programme director separately hired by the SRC.

The SRC programme structure is such that each programme also has a part-time programme director, who is employed at their own host organisation, such as a university of research institute. Programme directors are selected through a separate call. The key tasks of the programme director are to be responsible for cross-programme cooperation with other programme directors and to promote the societal impact of research together with the Division of Strategic Research. Funded consortia shall actively participate in programme activity. Programme activities include joint events, compilation of data and participation in the drafting of newsletters.

The present SRC call has two stages. The first stage is open to all eligible applicants. SRC consortia shortlisted in the first call stage will be invited to submit full applications. The SRC decides which consortia are invited.

SRC consortium PIs must have a doctoral degree and hold the title of docent or have research experience at the docent level. To be eligible, a consortium must include at least three subprojects, two organisations and three research fields. An SRC consortium must also have an interaction coordinator qualified in their own field.

The project duration is 3 + 3 years. The SRC is prepared to fund a total of 8–12 projects within two of the programme calls open for application. The calls’ funding budgets for the first three years has been set at a total of some 32–34 million euros. The cost estimates of the projects must be realistic.

Before you fill in your application in the online services (SARA), carefully read the call text and the ‘Read more’ section, especially the funding terms and conditions. Also familiarise yourself with the section on responsible science available on the Academy of Finland’s website. If the call text and the funding terms and conditions conflict, the terms and conditions should always be considered primary. If the translated English or Swedish version of the call text is in conflict with the Finnish call text, the Finnish version should always be considered primary.

Any changes in the call guidelines between the first and the second call stage will be notified on this page.

Read the full call text on this page.

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