The core values guiding the Research Council of Finland in all activities are openness, transparency, reliability, equality and nondiscrimination. We fund high-quality, high-impact and innovative research in a responsible manner. In the context of responsible science, we take into account equality and nondiscrimination.
We actively contribute to the building of a transparent research ecosystem free of structures or operating models that treat people differently on the basis of gender or other personal characteristics. Equality and nondiscrimination are among the most important horizontal principles of a transparent research ecosystem.
When it comes to issues related to equality and nondiscrimination, responsible science has to do with promoting equality and nondiscrimination in research projects or in society at large.
Research Council of Finland’s equality and nondiscrimination policy
- ensuring a balanced representation of the sexes
- in the composition of decision-making bodies
- among beneficiaries
- measures aimed at achieving a more even gender distribution also in research groups’ managerial roles: for example, in 2018, the Strategic Research Council added to its funding principles a balanced gender composition in consortium managements or evidence of steps towards a more balanced gender distribution during the funding period
- among the Research Council’s candidates for various committees and Finland’s representatives in international organisations
- among speakers and panellists at Research Council events, nominees for Research Council of Finland Awards and researchers featured on the Research Council’s website or in interactions with the media
- eliminating and preventing structural inequality
- The Research Council can grant flexibility in funding periods to allow for a better work–life balance.
- The Research Council assesses gender and equality impacts when developing research funding instruments.
- actively supporting the gender perspective and promoting nondiscrimination in research
- All research funded by the Research Council of Finland must promote gender equality and nondiscrimination.
- The Research Council’s peer reviews take into account whether the proposed research promotes equality and nondiscrimination within the project or in society in general: for example, the review process and the review form include questions about how projects promote gender equality and nondiscrimination.
- The Research Council’s decisions factor in whether the proposed research promotes equality and nondiscrimination within the project or in society in general and whether the decisions support women’s research careers.
- The Research Council systematically incorporates the principles of gender equality as well as a diversity perspective into the composition of its review panels and pursues a balanced gender distribution of experts in panels.
- The effects of the Research Council’s funding on equality and nondiscrimination are tracked through statistics and studies.
- The Research Council’s work and development efforts and cooperation in networks
- The Research Council is committed to developing its review practices in line with the recommendations for the responsible evaluation of researchers published by the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies in 2020 (PDF). The recommendations emphasise the need to ensure nondiscrimination in evaluation processes and the proper instruction of reviewers.
- The Research Council is also an active member of several international networks that promote equality and nondiscrimination in research funding, such as the EU’s Horizon 2020: Promoting Gender Equality in Research and Innovation working party.
The Research Council of Finland Equality and Nondiscrimination Plan (2022–2023)
The Research Council’s Equality and Nondiscrimination Plan applies to those working with Research Council research funding as well as to employees at the Research Council’s Administration Office. The latest version of the plan was adopted by the Academy Board in December 2021, and it covers the period from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2023.
The plan covers gender equality as well as discrimination within the meaning of the Finnish Non-Discrimination Act: Nobody may be discriminated against on the basis of age, ethnic or national origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics. Harassment also counts as discrimination.
Research Council’s measures for promoting equality and nondiscrimination in 2022–2023
|Measures for promoting equality and nondiscrimination in the Research Council’s research funding and Administration Office operations
1. Systematic data collection (incl. follow-up indicators) on the realisation of equality and nondiscrimination in the Research Council’s research funding activities and among the Research Council’s personnel will be further developed.
2. Communications and training related to equality and nondiscrimination will be developed.
|Measures for promoting equality and nondiscrimination in operations and services
3. The Research Council of Finland will define methods for supporting both women’s careers in research as well as the reconciliation of work and family in all funding opportunities.
4. A gender and nondiscrimination impact assessment will be carried out for the Academy Research Fellow reform. The assessment will be integrated into future development projects.
5. Perspectives of equality and nondiscrimination will be strengthened as part of responsible science and evaluation.
|Measures for promoting equality and nondiscrimination among Administration Office personnel
6. A nondiscrimination perspective in personnel planning, recruitment and pay will be strengthened alongside gender equality, and a diversity perspective will be incorporated into the planning.
7. The Administration Office’s new operating approaches (remote and hybrid work of personnel, review/panel work and facility development) and their impact on equality and nondiscrimination will be assessed.