How decisions are made

The Research Council of Finland's funding decisions are made by various decision-making bodies:

The bodies attend to their tasks within their respective domains, as is laid down in the Act on the Academy of Finland. The new English name, the Research Council of Finland, was adopted in June 2023.

The funding decisions are made based on a proposal. The proposal process is a decision-making method used in public administration where the presenting official collects the material used in decision-making, assesses the facts and forms their own opinion as the basis for their proposal, prepares the decision documents and presents the decision proposals to the competent decision-makers. The presenting official also sees to that the decision is implemented. The presenting official is usually a science adviser or programme manager.

The funding decisions are prepared based on the review reports and the panel rankings. Additionally, the decisions are prepared considering the Research Council of Finland’s criteria for funding decisions and other guiding policies.

The winter call follows a single-stage process, with decisions on applications for Academy Project, Academy Research Fellow and Clinical Researcher funding and funding under the Academy Programme for Sport Science and Physical Activity taken in May–June. A decision notice will be sent to the applicant’s email immediately after the decision has been taken.

Applications that receive rating 1–4 in the review will be rejected at the discretion of the scientific council concerned. Applications with a rating of 5–6 may be approved or rejected.

Thematic programmes, such as Academy Programmes and strategic research programmes, usually have two-stage calls. In the first stage, applicants submit a letter of intent including a short plan of intent. As a rule, the decision-making body concerned decides which applicants are invited to the second stage based on the peer review of the application and the Research Council’s science policy objectives. The other applications are rejected.

The applicants selected to the second stage are requested to submit full applications, which are then reviewed. The decision-making body makes the funding decisions (approves or rejects) based on the full applications.

Below is a more detailed description of the basis for the funding decisions.

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