Project follow-up and reporting
The follow-up of funded projects is part of the statutory duties of the Strategic Research Council (Act on the Academy of Finland, section 5 b). For follow-up purposes, SRC-funded projects shall report on their activities to the SRC in accordance with programme-specific guidelines. A consortium reports on its activities as a whole, not separately for each subproject.
The report includes three or four parts:
- Situational picture at start of project
- Annual reporting
- Interim report in connection with application for follow-on funding (applies to long-term programmes)
- Final report upon project completion.
The exact content and reporting practices of these reports vary somewhat from one programme cohort to another, as the reporting practices are reviewed and developed at regular intervals. The purpose and contents of the reporting are described briefly below. More detailed instructions and forms are available at the end of the page by programme.
Situational picture report
SRC-funded research projects will initially produce a situational picture report. The consortium will draw up the situational picture based on the research and interaction plan submitted at the application stage, and it will serve as a basis for further descriptions and monitoring of activities. The reports will be published on the SRC website.
The purpose of the report is to present the concrete research and social impact objectives of the project. The consortium can use these objectives later to compile contents for impact stories and other information on its activities.
The situational report is written in Finnish and its length is 5–10 pages.
The aim of the annual reporting is
- to encourage projects to regularly review their activities in relation to the joint objectives of the SRC programme and the project’s own impact objectives
- to compile information on the activities and progress of the projects to support cross-programme activities for social impact and communications
- to compile information on the research and interaction work of the projects for the mid-term review and the programme evaluation.
The annual monitoring of projects is primarily carried out through impact stories. The impact stories are reports that describe and discuss the research and interaction carried out in the project in relation to the joint impact objectives of the programme and the project’s own impact objectives. The impact stories continue on the descriptions given in the situational picture reports and serve as a tool for the project to compile and reflect on its activities. We encourage that projects prepare the stories in cooperation between work packages and reflect on the added value of multidisciplinary cooperation in the pursuit of impact.
The annual monitoring of projects that started before 2019 is also based on so-called performance indicators (see below). The projects that started in 2019 and after are not asked for separate annual data on performance indicators. Instead, the most important actions for the projects’ impact objectives are listed at the end of each impact story. Deadline for the annual reporting is 30.11.
Follow-up data will be processed by Academy officials, members of the SRC, programme directors of SRC programmes and, at the end of the programmes, by (Finnish and) foreign reviewers.
The SRC encourages funded consortia to post the impact stories on their own websites. At the end of the programme, the stories or some of them will also be published on the SRC website. The versions to be published will be agreed with the projects.
Most SRC programmes run for five to six years. In these long-term programmes, the funding period is divided into two parts. The follow-on funding is granted based on an application and an interim review. Projects shall submit an interim report for the interim review.
The content of the interim report corresponds to that of the final report (see below) with a few exceptions.
The final report of a project funded under an SRC programme focuses on the project for which the SRC has granted funding. The Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers obliges the Academy of Finland to monitor that the research funding it has granted is used for the purpose originally applied for. In selecting and outlining the information to be reported, a suitable guideline is whether the funding granted by the SRC has been an essential prerequisite for the creation of the outputs or results, etc., in question and whether they have emerged as a result of the implementation of the project’s research and interaction plan.
The final report includes information asked in the annual reports, as well as more detailed information on the resources, outputs and results, effects and impact related to the work of the project.
The information provided in the final report will be used in the programme evaluation to be carried out after the end of the programme. If the information is incomplete, the project may be requested to correct or supplement it.
Programme-specific instructions and forms
- Situational picture report (delivered)
- Annual reporting: impact story and performance indicators (instructions in Finnish)
- Interim report (delivered)
- Final report: part 1 and 2 (instructions in Finnish)
- Situational picture report (instructions in Finnish)
- Annual reporting: Impact story and expert work (see below, final report instructions items 17 and 15)
- Interim report (see below, final report instructions, items 1–17)
- Final report (instructions)
The reporting of projects in programmes launched in 2019 or after, with the exception of the situational picture report, will be made on the report form available in the Academy of Finland’s online services. The reported data will be collected on the form throughout the project’s lifetime. The right to report lies with the principal investigator of the consortium, and they may also authorise other persons to report, if necessary. The reporting form is in Finnish and English, but the reporting language may be Finnish, Swedish or English.
The projects in the programmes that started in 2019 (CULT, FOOD, IMPRES, STEER) have started their reporting in the same way as the projects in the programmes that started in 2015–2018, but they will move to a new reporting method (where appropriate) in spring 2022 in connection with the interim reporting. In order not to cause disproportionate effort to the projects, the projects may, if they so wish, continue their impact stories based on the model with which they started. In this case, the impact stories are submitted as a separate attachment to the annual report.