Public access to documents and information is governed by the Act on the Openness of Government Activities. Based on the Act, for instance, plans of intent, research plans, abstracts, progress reports and review reports are treated as confidential documents. Application documents must be handled and stored with due care and confidentiality.
Professional secrecy means, for example, the prohibition to express confidential information. Professional secrecy applies both to Academy of Finland’s staff and to its council members. If the confidentiality of the document or information continues, professional secrecy applies even after the employment or council membership has ended.
The party concerned has the right to receive information about a confidential document if it may affect or might have affected how the matter is processed, which means that the applicant, and only the applicant, has the right to receive information about the review report or review concerning themselves.
Reviewers commit to professional secrecy while they act as experts. Reviewers are not allowed to disclose any information concerning application documents or review reports to outsiders, nor are they allowed to use this confidential information to their own or anyone else’s advantage or disadvantage. In addition, they may not reveal to outsiders that they are reviewing the research plan of a particular researcher. Once the review has been completed, all application documents and any copies made of them must be destroyed or returned to the Academy. The non-disclosure obligation applies also after the review assignment has been completed.
After the funding decisions, the Academy will publish a list of the names, titles and organisations of the experts who participated in the call. Applicants will receive the review reports on their research plan after the funding decisions have been made. The report shows the names of the review panel members or the individual reviewers.
Any inquiries concerning application documents or review reports must be submitted to the Academy’s Registrar’s Office (kirjaamo(at)aka.fi).