FIRI roadmap call 2020: guidelines for action plan

To ensure that the applications are as comparable as possible, research infrastructure action plans should follow the structure below. Additionally, applicants are requested to take into account the requirements set for the research infrastructure by its current life cycle stage.

The recommended length for an action plan is 20 pages. If the specific nature of the research infrastructure requires a longer description, the action plan may be up to 30 pages, including the bibliography. All bibliographic references must be added directly into the text: (Author(s) Year) or [number]. The font is Times New Roman (font size 12 pt, line spacing 1.15 and margins 20 mm).

The action plan is written in English and appended to the application under ‘Appendices’ in the online services.

Please read the call text carefully before you start writing the action plan.

Begin the action plan with the following information:

  • Name of research infrastructure: in the same format as the name found in the drop-down menu or written under ‘Other’ in the online services
  • Name of international research infrastructure: only if the research infrastructure applying for inclusion in the roadmap is a national node in an international research infrastructure whose member Finland is
  • Stage of research infrastructure’s life cycle: (a) planning/construction/implementation or (b) operation/termination
  • Applicant organisation (head organisation)
  • Other participating research organisations (consortium parties)
  • Name of research infrastructure director
  • Name of vice director (if relevant)

Short description (summary) of research infrastructure

  • Describe the national and/or international functions of the research infrastructure (e.g. with the help of the image below)
  • Why has the research infrastructure been established?
  • Which services does the research infrastructure offer?







Figure 1. National and/or international operations of the research infrastructure.

1. Scientific and educational relevance of the research infrastructure

Relevance of the research infrastructure for promoting quality, renewal and competitiveness of research in a national and international context

  • How does the research infrastructure facilitate excellent science and promote scientific achievements and renewal nationally and internationally?
    -      What was the annual number of scientific and educational outputs (e.g. publications) affiliated with the research infrastructure during 2013–2018? How accurate are the figures?
    -      What are the new research results and/or developed technologies (realised and/or anticipated) produced through the research infrastructure?
    -      What impact have the scientifically most important publications and/or other breakthroughs had on the development of the field?
    -      How are different scientific disciplines utilising or how could they utilise the infrastructure?
  • How is the infrastructure linked or how will it be linked to the national and international infrastructure and research landscape? How will the infrastructure strengthen it? How do the research infrastructure and its networks promote national and international collaboration in research, education and innovation?
  • What value will the infrastructure add for science and education both nationally and internationally?

2. Wide and versatile impact

  • Describe the research infrastructure’s expected/realised openness, societal added value and impact beyond academia, for example:
    -  its effects on business and industry, society and employment as well as its connections with business activities and new business initiatives
    -  its effects on knowledge and innovation ecosystems.
  • What is the significance of the membership in the international research infrastructure to Finland and to Finnish research and society at large? This question only applies to research infrastructures that are a national node in an international research infrastructure whose member Finland is. Applications that are formed as a consortium between more than one international research infrastructure (Figure 1, level C) will describe the significance of each membership.

3. Ownership, financing, know-how and organisation

  • Which organisation(s) own(s) the research infrastructure? How is the ownership reflected in the infrastructure’s activities? Does the research infrastructure have a legal personality, and if so, which one? How are the infrastructure’s activities and the research it facilitates in line with      the research strategies of the host organisations?
  • Overall financial plan for 2015–2030
    -      Specify the research infrastructure’s total funding (incl. expenditure and income) from the last five years and a financial plan until 2030 (incl. the funding contributions of other host organisations and funders). If the research infrastructure consists of more than one operational unit, take this into account in the financial plan.
  • What are the qualifications of the infrastructure’s director and key personnel regarding the infrastructure’s activities? How many of them (%) have a permanent employment relationship? What is the competence of other staff at the infrastructure regarding the infrastructure’s activities? How many of them (%) have a permanent employment relationship? What are the staff competence needs and requirements? Describe the plan for staff skills development and possible staff career paths. Are there plans for or does the infrastructure already offer training, work rotation or other essential support to staff?
  • How are the research infrastructure’s activities organised in Finland? How is the work divided  between different operational units (Figure 1, level B and/or C)?

4. Research infrastructure activities

4.1 Life cycle

Describe the chosen life cycle category (a/b) in more detail. Describe, for instance, the following:

(a) planning/construction/implementation

  • Is the research infrastructure in the planning, construction or implementation stage?
  • What steps are required before the infrastructure can move to the implementation stage?
  • When is the implementation stage expected to begin?
  • Describe the possible exit plan.

(b) operation/termination

  • Which parts of the research infrastructure require upgrades and/or development before 2030?
  • Is there an exit plan for the research infrastructure or its functions?

4.2 Responsibility and sustainable development in research infrastructure activities

  • How are the principles of good scientific practice and good governance considered in the infrastructure activities?
  • How does the research infrastructure consider sustainability in its operations, for example the UN sustainable development goals? How does it monitor the achievement of the objectives?
  • Has the research infrastructure assessed or planned to assess its own carbon footprint? If it has, how was it done and what were the results?

4.3 Long-term perspective and dynamism

Services provided by the research infrastructure and their usage. If the research infrastructure consists of several operational units (Figure 1, level B and/or C), answer the questions below separately for each unit.

  • Which services will the research infrastructure offer during the next ten years? Are there any plans for new services?
  • How is the user base of the research infrastructure defined (e.g. person, research team, download)?
  • What is the research infrastructure’s current or expected number of users per year on average, and which are the key user groups?
  • What is the research infrastructure’s current or expected utilisation rate (%)?
  • Is it possible to expand the activities or increase the number of users? If it is, explain how.
  • What are the research infrastructure’s usage policy and possible service models? Describe, for instance, the following:
    -      Is information about the uses of the infrastructure widely available? Describe how.
    -      Do different actors have open access to the infrastructure or is the use restricted? Please note that open access does not mean that the use is free of charge. Does the infrastructure have a development plan to promote open access nationally or internationally?
    -      Are there any restrictions to the use of the research infrastructure? For example, describe if the use is restricted to research only, internal use or other uses.
    -      Are there any terms and conditions that apply to using the research infrastructure? For example, describe if passing a scientific review, evaluation of the research plan or other conditions are required.
    -      How are the access rights administered?
    -      Is there a usage fee for the research infrastructure?
    -      Can the research infrastructure be accessed remotely?

5. Digital platforms and data

The research infrastructure’s data management policy should be described on a separate appendix.

Are there any needs for change because of digital platforms and data intensiveness, such as new technologies, service models, remote access or remote use?

6. Risk management plan

What are the critical points for success and alternative implementation strategies for the research infrastructure? Briefly describe the infrastructure’s risk management plan.

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