Merits and increased competencies: Academy Research Fellowship

The aim of the Academy Research Fellowship funding scheme is to enable researchers to increase their competencies, make significant career progress towards the most demanding research positions and achieve an established position in the national and international research community. Academy Research Fellows produce high-quality, high-impact research that stimulates scientific renewal.

The review of applications for Academy Research Fellowships is focused on the applicant’s ability to achieve the above objectives.

The Research Council of Finland’s review criteria are in compliance with the principles of responsible science and responsible researcher evaluation. This means, for example, that you should not give journal rankings, journal impact factors or citation metrics (e.g. h-index) in your application.

Fill in your merits and increasing competencies on our template (word, LaTeX).

The description must not exceed one page. The template contains information about the formatting and page settings. The instructions and structure provided must be followed to ensure the equal treatment of applicants. See the How-to guides for the online services on our website for the technical instructions.

The description is submitted as a PDF appendix on the tab ‘Merits and increased competencies’ in the online services.

Content of description

The ‘Merits and increased competencies’ section is essentially a narrative CV designed to allow the applicants to describe their interests, motivation, future plans and means to progress in their career. The description should focus on the personal research career path with as many concrete examples as possible.

When writing the description, consider, for example, how

  • collaboration, mobility and various forms of networking
  • sharing of data
  • establishing a research team and other academic leadership experience
  • supervision and teaching experience
  • various expert positions
  • promotion of scientific or societal impact

will affect your competence and development as a researcher, scientist or expert.

Also familiarise yourself with section 1.1 (Competence and potential of applicant) of the review form for Academy Research Fellowship applications.


Follow this structure in the description. The questions are designed to support and guide you in writing the description. You can use them as appropriate. 

  1. Describe your academic profile and merits to date
  • What is your research topic, and why have you chosen it? What choices have you made so far in your research career? In which areas in particular have you wanted to develop yourself and improve your skills? What have been the turning points in your research career? 
  1. Describe how your research idea has evolved since your doctoral thesis.
  • What factors or experiences have contributed to the evolution of the idea? What new perspectives or methods have you adopted since your doctoral thesis? What is the relevance and potential impact of the new idea in your research field? 
  1. Describe how you plan to increase your competence as a researcher during the funding period.
  • How would this funding benefit your research career? What would you do with this funding to further your career? What kinds of skills are you going to develop? 
  1. Describe your career plan after the funding period.
  • How will you make use of your knowledge and know-how as a researcher or expert after the funding period? What are your short- and long-term career goals after the funding period? What is your scientific vision and ambition for the future, and which scientific disciplines will be your focus? How will you implement these?

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