The Strategic Research Council (SRC) funds high-quality research that has great societal impact. The research should seek to find concrete solutions to grand challenges that require multidisciplinary approaches. An important element of such research is active collaboration between those who produce new knowledge and those who use it.
Each year, the SRC prepares a proposal on key strategic research themes and priorities to be approved by the Finnish Government. The Government determines the research needs and decides the final themes, which the SRC then formulates into research programmes and funding calls. SRC programmes run for 3–6 years. The SRC’s annual funding budget is some 55 million euros.
- The funding can be applied for by consortia that meet the following criteria:
- They must consist of at least three research teams.
- The teams must be from at least two different organisations.
- The researchers must represent at least three different scientific disciplines.The funding covers all costs and is granted under the full cost model. Host organisations need not contribute to the costs with their own funding.
- Funding can also be applied to cover the consortium PI’s, subproject PI's or coordinator’s salary.
- The projects will run for 3–6 years.
- The main review criteria are societal relevance and impact as well as scientific quality. The call has two stages. At the first stage, consortia are asked to submit six-page letters of intent. Based on the letters of intent, a panel will review the projects for their societal relevance and impact as well as scientific quality. They will also consider how well the applications match the programme objectives. Based on the reviews from the first stage, the SRC will decide which applications will be asked to submit full applications.
- Interaction with society will be of key importance during the course of the funded projects. The applications must therefore include an interaction plan.