International research infrastructures where Finland is a member, call for invited applicants 2023
- This call invites applications for funding for membership fees to international research infrastructures for the period 2024–2028. Applications can be submitted by the following international research infrastructures: BBMRI-ERIC, CLARIN-ERIC, ELIXIR, EPOS-ERIC, ESS-ERIC, EU-OPENSCREEN ERIC, Instruct-ERIC, PRACE, GBIF and IML.
- The application is submitted by an individual research organisation.
- Addendum 11 May 2023: The call text has been edited in section ’How the application is reviewed’: an updated version of the review form has been added.
Memberships in international research infrastructures give the Finnish science and business communities access to research infrastructure services that could not be provided by national means only. International research infrastructures are also a platform for international collaboration in research, development and innovation and a means to advance cooperation and engage in science diplomacy between countries.
The Academy of Finland is prepared to fund the membership fees of the international research infrastructures invited to this call with an estimated 4 million euros for a maximum of five years, from 2024 to 2028.
Before you fill in your application in the online services (SARA), carefully read the call text and the funding terms and conditions. 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.
Read the full call text on this page. Also read all the FIRI guidelines that are available on the Academy’s website.
Background and objectives
The vision stated in the Strategy for National Research Infrastructures in Finland 2020–2030 (PDF) is that high-class research infrastructure services increase the impact and international attraction of the Finnish research, education and innovation system. The objective the Academy’s research infrastructure funding is to promote the quality, renewal and competitiveness of research, strengthen the versatile impact of research environments and increase national and international cooperation.
Memberships in international research infrastructures give the Finnish science and business communities access to research infrastructure services that could not be provided by national means only. International research infrastructures are also a platform for international collaboration in research, development and innovation and a means to advance cooperation and engage in science diplomacy between countries. Becoming a member is always a strategic decision.
International research infrastructure membership
Memberships in international research infrastructures are a means to promote the quality of research and education. The memberships create platforms for cooperation in international RDI. The memberships also contribute to strengthening the diverse impact of research environments on society.
A research organisation refers to an organisation whose primary goal is to conduct independent basic research, industrial research or experimental development or to disseminate its results widely by means of education, publication or knowledge transfer. Research organisations are, for example, higher education institutes, research institutes, technology transfer organisations, innovation intermediaries, and research-oriented physical or virtual collaborative entities, regardless of their legal status (organised under public or private law) or financing source. When such an entity is also engaged in economic activities, separate accounts must be kept of the funding and costs of and the revenue generated by such activities. The enterprises exercising a controlling interest in such an entity (as shareholders, members, etc.) may not enjoy any preferential access to the results generated by the entity.
Characteristics of international research infrastructure memberships
Wide and versatile impact
Membership brings added value to the wide and versatile impact of the research infrastructure in the research community, in national research infrastructure activities, in international research infrastructure cooperation and in society as a whole. There must be a long-term plan for how the international research infrastructure membership can be utilised in Finland.
Services and users
The international membership provides research infrastructure services that cannot be provided at national level alone. The services of the international research infrastructure are openly accessible. The international research infrastructure has a sufficient user base in Finland.
Ownership, organisational structure, and competence and know-how
National activities related to international research infrastructure memberships are professionally coordinated and managed. The ownership and the actors’ roles, rights and obligations are clear. The coordinating body has sufficient expertise to make full use of the membership.
Digitalisation and data
The international research infrastructure aims to adhere to the FAIR principles in its data management. The international research infrastructure provides guidance and support for users in open access to research data.
In its activities, the international research infrastructure must take into account research ethics, equality and nondiscrimination and the objectives of sustainable development, including the green transition.
Budget and funding
The international research infrastructure must have a long-term funding plan for maintenance and development of services. The funding base of the international research infrastructure must be sustainable.
Who can apply?
The applicant is a research organisation. The research organisation selects the person who will be responsible for submitting the application.
This person may be the director of the research infrastructure in Finland or some other person approved by the research organisation. The responsible person shall be responsible for the application in its entirety. The application is filled in and submitted in the Academy of Finland’s online services. Persons authorised by the responsible person may also participate in drafting the application. The authorisation is given on the tab ‘Authorisation’ in the online services. The duration of the authorisation may be determined case-by-case. However, the authorisation will expire with the call’s deadline. Responsible persons must not authorise themselves.
The commitment by the site of research is issued by the senior management of the research organisation. The commitment is issued in the online services after the call has closed. NB! Only the senior management (rectors, etc.) can issue the commitment of the site of research.
If the application includes cooperation with Russia or Belarus, you must take into account the Academy’s policies on the matter.
We will not process an application if the responsible person has been found guilty of research misconduct in the three years preceding the year of the call.
Funding to be applied for and funding period
Through the present call for applications, the Academy of Finland is prepared to fund the membership fees of the international research infrastructures invited to this call with an estimated total sum of 4 million euros for a maximum of five years, from 2024 to 2028.
The funding to be distributed through this call depends on the Finnish Parliament’s decision to allocate the necessary funds to the Academy.
How applications are submitted and become pending, publicity of applications
The person responsible for the application shall submit it in the Academy of Finland’s online services. The deadline is non-negotiable. The call opens on 9 May 2023 and closes on 8 June 2023 at 16.15 Finnish time.
Make sure to submit the application in good time before the deadline. The system will only accept applications that contain all obligatory information. The consortium PI submits the joint consortium application. The PI can submit the consortium application only after all subprojects have tagged their applications as complete.
You can make changes to a submitted application (e.g. change appendices), but you must make them before the deadline. If you notice that your application lacks important information after the deadline, immediately get in touch with the call’s contact person, so that they can reopen the application for you. Make sure to re-submit the application after you have supplemented it. We will consider the supplemented information insofar as it is possible in view of the review and decision-making schedule.
We may ask you to supplement the application. If you do not supplement the application by the given deadline, we may decide not to process it. You must make sure that your contact details (email address) are up to date. If you have not submitted a final report on a completed, Academy-funded project, we may decide not to process your application.
An application will not be processed if the applicant or the application does not meet the competence requirements or other key requirements, or if the application otherwise does not qualify for processing. A research council or another decision-making body may decide not to process and not to fund an application based on science policy objectives or if it is apparent for some other reason that the applicant cannot receive funding with the submitted application. Read more: Review and decision-making
How the application becomes pending
According to section 17 of the Finnish Administrative Procedure Act and section 8 of the Act on Electronic Services and Communication in the Public Sector, the sender is responsible for the application arriving by the set deadline. An application becomes pending when the online application and the obligatory appendices have been submitted in the online services. The system will confirm a successful submission by sending an email to the address you have provided.
If you have not submitted a final report on a completed or ongoing Academy-funded project by the set deadline, we may decide not to process your application.
Publicity and data protection
Except for the action plan, abstract and progress report, which are primarily subject to professional secrecy, the application and its appendices are public documents. This publicity is based on the Finnish Act on the Openness of Government Activities. The Academy of Finland is committed to following regulations on data protection. The GDPR-compliant privacy statement concerning the research funding process is available on the Academy website under Data protection.
Application parts and guidelines
The application consists of a form completed in the online services and its PDF appendices. As an applicant, you have the right to submit your application in Finnish or Swedish, but we ask you to submit it in English.
The online application contains the following parts
Most of the links below take you to the A–Z index of application guidelines and the Academy’s website.
- Personal details of the person responsible for the application
- Degrees (most recent one first)
- Titles of docent and professorships
- Details on the site of research
- Details on the research infrastructure (select from list)
- Research fields (at least one, no more than five). See the research field classification.
- Keywords in English and Finnish/Swedish
- Found guilty of research misconduct (yes/no). We will not process a funding application if the person responsible for the application has been found guilty of research misconduct in the three years preceding the year of the call.
- Guilty of illegal employment within the meaning referred to in section 7(2) of the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (yes/no)
- See the ethical guidelines.
- The funding to be applied for is entered by year under ‘Other costs’.
Commitment by site of research
- Commitment by site of research. Make sure you have a commitment from your site of research to supporting the project. NB! Only the senior management (rectors, etc.) can issue the commitment of the site of research. Read more on the commitment by the site of research.
Public project description
- Maximum length 1,000 characters including spaces
- Popular and reader-friendly description of the project in English and Finnish/Swedish, including how it supports the overall functioning of the research infrastructure and the call’s objectives
- You may add a link to the research infrastructure’s website.
- We use the public description to disseminate information on the research infrastructure. The project description is also stored at fi, a service that makes available information on research conducted in Finland.
- Read the guidelines on the public project description.
- The action plan may be no longer than five pages.
- In order to streamline the review, the action plan and the review form have the same structure. That is why it is important that the action plan follows the guidelines and structure provided. Be as concise as you can. See the guidelines on the structure of the action plan. Write the action plan on the Academy’s template and append it as a PDF appendix on the dedicated tab in the online services.
- You can submit the application when you have filled in or attached all the necessary information.
- A red warning triangle on the tab tells you that some information is missing. NB!
- You can supplement the application until the deadline. Resaving will replace the earlier version.
- If you want to supplement the application after the deadline, please get in touch with the Academy’s contact persons listed in the call text.
- You can authorise another person to supplement or view your application.
- The person must have an account in the Academy’s online services (SARA).
- Start by entering the person’s name in the field. Then select the correct person in the drop-down menu.
- You cannot authorise more than one person at a time to edit a field in your application, and you cannot edit that same field while the authorisation is active.
- Do not authorise yourself.
- See technical instructions on the authorisation process in the how-to guides for the online services.
How the application is reviewed
Applications will be reviewed by an international panel of experts in September 2023.
Based on the applications, the experts will assess the benefits and significance of the membership for Finnish RDI. The review panel will give an overall rating (1–6) to the whole application.
Read the review questions that will be used in the review: review form. The review guidelines and forms are only available in English.
The Finnish Research Infrastructure Committee will take a decision-in-principle on the funding for the membership fees at the end of 2023. The decisions will be prepared based on the review reports. The decisions will be prepared considering the Academy of Finland’s criteria for research funding decisions and other policies that guide the Academy’s activities.
The FIRI Committee will also consider the following aspect:
- expected effects on national and international research infrastructure activity.
If shortcomings are identified in the reviewed application, the FIRI Committee may decide to fund the membership fee for a period shorter than five years.
Applicants will receive an automatic email message after the decision has been made. After receiving the email, you can log in to the online services with your user ID to view the decision and its justifications. There you can also read the review report on your application.
Contacts primarily by email firstname.lastname@example.org and via the Academy’s helpdesk (Division of Research Environments)
- Merja Särkioja, Senior Science Adviser, tel. +358 295 335 111
- Paula Leskinen, Science Adviser, tel. +358 295 335 145
- Marjut Kaukolehto, Science Adviser, tel. +358 295 335 169
- Tiina Ilo, Coordinator, tel. +358 295 335 150
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