Basis for funding decisions

In accordance with our strategy, our research funding stresses the importance of the quality and impact of research and the renewal of science. The Strategic Research Council funds solution-oriented and phenomenon-driven research. The projects to be funded must have societal relevance and impact and be of a high scientific standard. Interaction with society is of key importance throughout the projects’ funding periods.

The preparation of funding decisions follows a document approved annually by the Board, presenting the Research Council's criteria for research funding decisions. The Strategic Research Council has decided to apply the same decision criteria as those applied by the Research Council, except to the extent that they differ from the funding principles of the Strategic Research Council

Additionally, the decision-making bodies have their own criteria and policies on funding decision-making (e.g. different emphases between funding instruments considered in preparing funding decisions). These criteria and policies will be published on the Research Council's website before each call opens.

The Research Council decision-making bodies made the funding decisions based on international peer-review reports, application ranking (excluding SRC decision-making), the Research Council's science policy objectives and the decision-making bodies’ own policies. The decision-making bodies have the right to make positive or negative funding decisions regardless of the panels’ application ranking. The justifications for the funding decision are included in the decision notification. 

Our science policy objectives 

Our science policy objectives that are taken into account in decision-making include the following:

  • promoting the internationality of research
  • renewal of science and research
  • promoting multi- and interdisciplinary research
  • observing the special objectives of Academy Programmes (when making funding decisions on Academy Programmes)
  • advancing the research careers of early-career researchers and women
  • responsible science
    • good scientific practice (e.g. treating research ethics appropriately)
    • considering principles related to IPRs
    • promoting gender equality and nondiscrimination in research
    • implementing and advancing open science
    • considering objectives of sustainable development
    • considering the principles of responsible researcher evaluation
  • impact beyond academia
    • promoting the utilisation of scientific research
    • promoting research that is connected to innovation activities
  • implementing more comprehensive research programmes
  • supporting Centres of Excellence.

Other factors that are considered include the following:  

  • principal investigator’s ability and experience in terms of project management
  • PI’s and research team’s ability to manage funds granted
  • how the project’s researchers are connected to the Finnish scientific community
  • potential for undermining trust in the impartiality and independence of the Research Council's operations.   

In principle, the projects we fund must benefit Finnish research, Finnish society and international collaboration. Ambitious research projects that aim at achieving new breakthroughs always carry a risk of failure. Such a risk is not however an obstacle to being granted funding.  While being aware of the risks involved, the aim is to open up opportunities for scientific breakthroughs and to enhance the renewal of science and research.

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