Winter call replaces autumn call
Changes are coming to the Academy of Finland’s call schedules and review of applications. The next application round for Academy Project Funding, Academy Research Fellowships and Clinical Researcher Funding will open in November 2023, not in September. The new winter 2024 call will also include a new Academy Programme for sport science. The funding allocated under the new Academy Programme was previously granted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. The deadline for applications in the winter 2024 call is in January 2024, and the funding decisions will be made in spring 2024. Starting with the winter call, applicants can choose the most relevant panel for their application.
The changed call schedules will not affect the timing of Academy funding periods. The Academy aims to expedite its decision-making process so that funding decisions for 2024 will be made in early summer of the same year, and the new funding periods can start on 1 September 2024. From now on, applications for Academy Project funding, Academy Research Fellowships and Clinical Researcher funding will be invited in winter.
The changed call schedule will be taken into account in determining the eligibility of Academy Research Fellowship applicants. To be eligible in the winter 2024 call, Academy Research Fellowship applicants must have received their first doctoral degree certificate between 30 September 2016 and 31 January 2022.
Changes in the review process
Starting with the winter 2024 call, the review of applications will be based on a procedure in which the applicant chooses the most relevant panel for their application. The selection is made among panels announced in advance by the Academy. The possibility to choose the panel means that applicants have more influence on the review process, and it also increases the transparency of the review. To help applicants choose the panels, the Academy will make the panel titles and the descriptions of the panels’ research fields and topics available in advance.
On 2 May 2023, the Academy announced a draft panel structure with descriptions of the individual review panels for the winter call. Stakeholders were invited to have their say on the structure. The Academy received 526 responses by the deadline of 23 May.
The changes to the application and review process are part of the Academy of Finland’s reform programme, which aims to speed up the processing of applications, increase the transparency of the Academy’s review and decision-making and at the same time adapt the Academy’s operations to the available resources. As part of the reform programme, the Academy’s online services (SARA) will also be revamped.
The Academy’s reform programme will be carried out in 2023–2024, and the new online service is due to be introduced in 2025.
As part of the preparation, applicants and other stakeholders will get an opportunity to participate in a consultation in May 2023.
- The new panel structure will be prepared during spring 2023.
- Consultation for applicants and other stakeholders in May 2023 as part of the panel preparations.
- The panel titles and descriptions will be published in September 2023 at the latest.
- The call text, including the application guidelines and the details on the review criteria and the review procedure, will be published in late October 2023.
- The winter call opens in November 2023.
- The deadline for applications is 17 January 2024.
The funding decisions will be made by June 2024.
Frequently asked questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the Academy’s new winter call, which is replacing the autumn/September call.
You can send us more questions via our helpdesk at www.aka.fi/feedback (recipient: Division of Research Funding Development).
Why the change from autumn call to winter call?
The Academy is aiming for quicker application processing times. The Academy has also received requests from applicants to ease the start of the academic year at universities.
When will the call texts be published?
The call texts will be published on 26 October 2023. This will allow applicants enough time to prepare and draft their applications and research plans.
How does changed call schedule affect the eligibility of Academy Research Fellowship applicants?
We will take into account the changed schedule in the winter 2024 call. To be eligible in the winter 2024 call, Academy Research Fellowship applicants must have received their first doctoral degree certificate between 30 September 2016 and 31 January 2022. In future, the eligibility (2–7 since first doctoral degree) will be determined based on the call date.
When will the funding decisions be made, and when can I start using the funding?
The decisions on the winter 2024 call will be made in June 2024. The funding period starts on 1 September 2024.
Will the structure of the research plan change?
The structure of the research plan will not change. The subheadings of the section on responsible science have been combined, but the content remains unchanged.
Last autumn, there were some problems in attaching the research plan to the online application. Have the issues been fixed?
Last autumn, we introduced Word and LaTex templates, and the templates have now been improved. As of the winter 2024 call, applicants must use the templates we provide for the research plan, the CV and the Academy Research Fellow applicant’s ‘Merits and increased competencies’ appendix.
The templates will be published with the call texts, on 26 October 2023.
The press release of 9 March 2023 mentioned changes to the review. What will it mean in practice that applicants choose the review panel?
Starting with the winter 2024 call, Academy Research Fellow, Academy Project and Clinical Researcher applications will be reviewed in panels that have been named and described in advance. The applicant selects the most appropriate panel for the application from among the panels provided. The possibility to choose the panel means that applicants have more influence on the review process, and it also increases the transparency of the review. The names and descriptions of the panels will be published in the autumn, before the call for applications is published, to give applicants plenty of time to familiarise themselves with them. The draft panel structure will be opened for comments in May 2023, and we will collect feedback through a survey. More information will be provided in early May.
Will there be changes in the review? What kind of review feedback will applicants receive?
There will be some changes in review as regards the way applications are processed and the feedback given to applicants – we are aiming for increased transparency. The review will have two stages. For each application, at least two statements will be invited from panel members or, where appropriate, from supporting members outside the panel before the panel meeting. Only applications with a rating of 5 (excellent) or 6 (outstanding) at any stage of the preliminary review stage will proceed to the panel stage. All applicants will receive feedback in the form of the preliminary reviews, and those who progress to the panel stage will also receive the panel review report.
- Academy of Finland decides dates for winter 2024 call (news 25 May 2023)
- Panel structure for Academy of Finland’s winter 2024 call now open for comments (press release 2 May 2023)
- Explore the draft panel structure:
- Academy of Finland introduces new call timelines, moves autumn call to January 2024 – changes also in review process (press release 9 March 2023)
- Academy of Finland launches reform programme to develop its research funding activities (news release 10 October 2022)
- Please direct all questions about the changes to the Academy via the helpdesk at aka.fi/feedback (Division of Research Funding Development).
- Jussi Vauhkonen, Director of Development, tel. +358 295 335 114
- Tiina Petänen, Counsellor of Science, tel. +358 295 335 091
- Kata-Riina Valosaari, Counsellor of Science, tel. +358 295 335 128
Our email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi.