Consortium application guidelines

These guidelines describe what consortium applications are, how they are submitted, which appendices are needed and how to draft them. For consortium guidelines specific to calls by the Strategic Research Council (SRC), please see the SRC’s call texts. The SRC’s consortium guidelines differ from the consortium guidelines listed on this page.

International joint calls may define a consortium differently from what is presented here.

A consortium is a collaboration between research projects and a fixed-term body of subprojects. A consortium has a joint plan (e.g. research plan) that it implements together with a view to achieving more extensive added value than through normal cooperation. Each consortium subproject applies for funding to implement the plan as part of the joint consortium application.

In terms of Academy funding, a consortium may be considered in Academy Project, Academy Programme and research infrastructure funding. Some Academy calls are for consortium applications only. The call texts will clearly indicate which type of application is invited. A consortium application is not possible when applying for personal funding for research posts.

Consortium subproject PIs are subject to the same funding terms as other applicants. A consortium application is reviewed as a single application.

Consortium application step by step

Consortium PI

  1. Creates the consortium application.
  2. Adds the subproject PIs. NB! The subproject PIs must have created an account in the online services (SARA).
  3. An automated message is sent to the subproject PIs that they can start their own applications.
  4. Fills in the application for their own part.
  5. If necessary, updates the consortium composition before the call deadline.
  6. Follows that all subprojects complete their applications on time.
  7. Submits the consortium application. NB! All subproject applications must be tagged as complete.
  8. Receives an email confirmation that the application has been submitted.

Subproject PI

  1. Creates an account in the online services SARA (if they have not already created one).
  2. Waits for an invitation (email message) from SARA.
  3. The application to be filled in is on the tab ‘My applications’, ‘Incomplete’.
  4. Fills in the application for their own part.
  5. Tags the subproject application as complete.
  6. The consortium PI sees all completed subproject applications.

Read more in the instructions on how to fill in a consortium application in the online services.

The consortium selects the principal investigator of the consortium. The consortium PI bears the responsibility for the drafting and submission of the consortium application. The PI is also responsible for reporting on the research of the consortium. The consortium PI can submit the consortium application only after all consortium subprojects (i.e. the subproject PIs) have completed their own applications in the online services (i.e. tagged them as complete).

A consortium application is a single application that is created in connection with the consortium PI’s own application. The applications and appendices of consortium subprojects will be joined together with the consortium PI’s application.

The consortium PI’s application includes:

  • title and abbreviation of consortium project
  • keywords and research fields of consortium project
  • collaborators of the consortium
  • consortium’s most important publications and other research outputs that are most relevant for the project
  • research council to which the application will be addressed (Academy Project applications)
  • joint abstract for consortium
  • joint research or action plan for consortium
  • public description of consortium project
  • details on the PI’s own project
  • cost estimate and funding plan for the PI’s own project, and the commitment by the PI’s site of research
  • any other details requested as well as appendices.

The subproject PI’s application includes:

  • cost estimate and funding plan for the PI’s own project, and the commitment by the PI’s site of research
  • any other details requested as well as appendices.

Make sure that the cost estimate and the funding plan are as realistic as possible. They must follow the cost coefficients for overheads, indirect employee costs and effective working hours used by each site of research. These details are maintained by the sites of research. The consortium parties should request a commitment by the site of research, as is standard Academy practice.

Drafting a consortium application in the online services

The consortium parties can authorise a person to view or transfer the authorisation to edit the application on the tab ‘Authorisation’.

Entering consortium parties in the online services

Under ‘Consortium parties’, the consortium PI enters the PIs of the consortium subprojects. Please note that the consortium PI can enter the consortium parties only after the parties have signed up in the Academy’s online services. When the consortium PI starts writing the name of a subproject PI in the online application, the system will give a list of persons with the same name who have already signed up in the online services. If a subproject PI is not on the list, they must first sign up in the online services.

After the PI has entered and saved the consortium parties into the system, the parties will receive an email confirmation to indicate that they have been added to the consortium. The email includes a link with which subproject PIs can log in to the online services to draft their own application and appendices (under ‘My applications’ > ‘Incomplete’).

The consortium PI may add or remove consortium parties while the call is open. The changes will take effect after they have been saved. 

What subproject PIs must do in the online services

Each subproject PI enters the subproject’s research costs and the cost coefficients (overheads, indirect employee costs, effective working hours) and VAT practice of the site of research – unless the site of research already has entered them. They should also enter information on mobility, possible research teams and all other information requested on the form. Applications must include all requested appendices. The consortium PI will receive an automatic message after the subproject PIs have completed their applications (by tagging them as complete).

Submitting the consortium application

The consortium application (application of the consortium PI and the applications of the consortium subprojects) must be submitted by the set deadline.  Please note that the consortium PI can submit the consortium application only after all subprojects have tagged their applications as complete. All consortium parties can follow the completion of the application in the online services. The PDF version of the application is updated as information is saved in the system. Consortium compositions cannot be changed after the call deadline.

Read more in the technical instructions on consortium applications.

Decision-making and reporting

When applying for Academy Project funding, the consortium application is submitted to the research council whose field best matches the field of the consortium project. The funding decision is made for the whole consortium by a single research council, subcommittee or committee at the Academy. The funding is allocated to the sites of research of each subproject.

While the consortium project is ongoing, the consortium can apply to change the subprojects’ funding plans without having to change the consortium’s overall funding. This option is possible in the following funding opportunities: Centres of Excellence, Academy Programmes, funding for research infrastructures and funding programmes by the Strategic Research Council.

After the funding period has ended, the consortium PI must submit a scientific final report on behalf of the whole consortium. Read more about reporting.

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