Research plan structure – projects

This structure of the research plan applies to applications in the following funding schemes: Academy Projects, Targeted Academy Projects, Academy Programmes, and sport science research projects funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.

Fill in the research plan in the Academy’s online services on the tab ‘Research plan’. Read the call text carefully before you start writing the plan. Also, familiarise yourself with the review guidelines and review form. Please note that the research plan cannot be submitted as a separate PDF appendix.

The research plan must be no more than twelve pages long, unless the call text indicates otherwise. A consortium research plan must be no more than 15 pages long, unless the call text indicates otherwise. The font is Source Sans Pro (font size 12 pt, line spacing 1.15 and margins 20 mm).  All bibliographic references must be added directly into the text, for example as follows: (Author(s) Year or [number]). You cannot use footnotes. The list of references (no more than 2 pages) does not count towards the length of the plan.

Fill in the sections of the plan where applicable and according the practices of your own discipline.


1. Aim and objectives

1.1 Significance of research project in relation to current knowledge, research-based starting points:

  • How the project and the methods used are linked to previous international and/or national research (state of the art)
  • Research premise, aims and objectives

1.2 Research questions and/or hypotheses

1.3 Expected research results and their anticipated scientific impact, potential for scientific breakthroughs and for promoting scientific renewal:

  •  Research impact within the scientific community
  • Project’s novelty or added value for science

1.4 Special objective of call (concerns Academy Programmes and other thematic calls):

  • Justifications for how the project will address the call objectives and questions

2. Implementation

2.1 Work plan and schedule:

  • Detailed description of the research to be performed, starting from objectives, scientific references and preliminary data (if available)
  • Description of research tasks, their implementation and interconnections
  • If necessary, description of the responsibilities and management related to these tasks
  • Schedule for project implementation, incl. research tasks and work packages, distribution of personnel resources, and project milestones and deliverables

2.2 Research data and material, methods, and research environment:

  • Research data to be used, justifications and information on data collection or acquisition, data analyses and use of data, taking into account issues such as intellectual property rights
  • Research methods and how they will contribute to answering the research questions or confirming the hypotheses, or how they will support the chosen approach
  • Description of local, national and/or international research environment including research infrastructures. Enter the infrastructures to be used also on the tab ‘Affiliations’ in the online services.

2.3 Risk assessment and alternative implementation strategies:

  • Critical points for success, probability of risks, means by which risks can be managed, and alternative implementation strategies

2.4 Added value of consortium (concerns consortium applications):

  • Description of the value that working as a consortium will add compared to traditional forms of research collaboration.
  • Read more in the consortium application guidelines.

3. Research team and collaborators

3.1 Project personnel and their project-relevant key merits:

  • Tasks, roles and key merits of the project PI and the project’s researchers
  • Names and/or level of education of the project’s researchers (if known)
  • Project’s links to previous research by the PI or the research team, or to some other research
  • How researcher training will be organised and research careers promoted (concerns Academy Projects, Targeted Academy Projects and Academy Programmes)

3.2 Collaborators and their project-relevant key merits:

  • National and international collaborators of key significance to project implementation as well as their merits
  • Justifications for the collaborators, description of what is achieved through the collaboration

4. Responsible science

4.1 Research ethics:

  • Information on ethical issues (e.g. ethical governance procedures, informed consent, anonymity of subjects and withdrawal from research) that concern the chosen topic, methods and data
  • Information on research permits granted or pending
  • Read more in the ethical guidelines.

4.2 Equality and nondiscrimination:

4.3 Open science:

  • Publication plan that supports open access (Academy-funded projects are required to commit to open access publishing)
  • Read more in the open science guidelines.
  • Brief plan for data management: how the data will be stored during the project, how any legal and ethical issues related to data distribution will be resolved, and where the data will be made available after the end of the project. Funding recipients must submit a full data management plan. The payment of the funding is conditional on the submission of the plan.
  • Read the guidelines on the data management plan.

4.4 Sustainable development objectives:

5. Societal effects and impact 

5.1 Effects and impact beyond academia:

  • Brief description of the appeal, utilisation potential and application areas of the research results beyond the scientific community
  • For instance, provide a self-assessment of the expected societal impact of the research in the long or short term. Impact beyond academia may come in many different forms depending on the research field and the project. For example, science is a source of wealth and prosperity, but it also improves our understanding of the world and enhances the level of civilisation, supports the development of good practices and informs decision-making.
  • Read more about the broader impact of research.

6. References

  • List of all of the sources used in the research plan
  • The list (no more than 2 pages) does not count towards the length of the research plan.
  • Please note that the text type, font size and line spacing of the list are the same as elsewhere in the research plan.

Do you have questions or feedback for us?