Propose new themes for strategic research programmes

21 Oct 2020

The Strategic Research Council (SRC) established within the Academy of Finland will open an online survey in October to collect and develop proposals for new strategic research themes. Strategic research refers to long-term, solution-oriented and scientifically high-level research aimed at finding solutions to major challenges facing Finnish society. SRC research programmes are based on changing themes.

The survey is open from 21 October to 12 November 2020. The survey will launch the preparation of the SRC programmes starting in 2022. 

What makes a good theme?

The SRC seeks to identify themes that

  • are key challenges for the future of Finland
  • require multidisciplinary research to generate new knowledge
  • are horizontal and extensively affect different sectors of society
  • are sufficiently distinct from each other (also in relation to previous themes).
  • The aim is also to develop new, proactive combinations of know-how and research as well as a long-term approach that will carry through the six-year programme period.

Respondents are encouraged to consider the theme proposals in a broad perspective, focusing on major societal challenges. The survey does not seek individual research topics but multidisciplinary wholes that meet the characteristics of a good theme.

Director Päivi Tikka from the Division of Strategic Research emphasises that the theme preparation is in essence an exercise in foresight: “When proposing themes, it’s good to identify long-term information needs rather than questions that require immediate solutions. It’s also worth taking into account which themes and issues have already been funded in the SRC programmes launched based on the previous six theme preparation rounds.”

Submit proposals by 12 November, join discussion on Viima

The survey will be carried out through the Viima platform, which enables respondents not only to submit their own proposals but also to comment on and discuss other proposals. Ideally, it is hoped that the discussion will lead to cross-sectoral and multidisciplinary proposals that open-mindedly combine new combinations of know-how and research as well as interaction.

The themes decided by the Finnish Government in previous years are also included on the platform (marked with a different background colour than the new proposals). The previous themes provide an indication of the desired size of societal challenges and describe the topics already addressed in SRC programmes.

To participate in the survey, respondents must either create a Viima account or sign in with their LinkedIn or Google accounts, for example.

Theme survey

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