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Academy of Finland 2009 R&D activities Academy of Finland Funding opportunities Application procedure and processing of applications Funding decisions Public research funding actors in Finland R&D in Finland in 2008 • Employed some 80,000 people • R&D funding amounted to €6.4 billion,

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Academy of Finland 2009

R&D activities

Academy of Finland

Funding opportunities

Application procedure and processing of applications

Funding decisions


R&D in Finland in 2008

• Employed some 80,000 people

• R&D funding amounted to €6.4 billion,

business companies accounted for 72%

• R&D input 3.4% of GDP

• Finland among the leading R&D investors and

clearly ahead of the EU average

• 20 universities and 26 polytechnics

• More than 1,500 doctoral graduates from



R&D expenditure in Finland 1991–2008, by sector

Total €6.4 billion

*Statistics Finland estimate for 2008


R&D investment in selected OECD countries,

and in China and Russia (% of GPD)

Source: OECD, Main Science and Technology Indicators 2009


Number of scientific articles by Finnish researchers 1991–2008

Source: Thomson Reuters, Web of Science databases


The Academy's operating environment in Finland

• Government resolution on the structural development of the public research


• Government resolution on the Development Plan for Education and Research


• Government Programme, decision on spending limits 2009–2012, and budget for

2009 provide the basis for the development of research funding

• The Finnish Research and Innovation Council's review of education, science,

technology and innovation policy in the near future (Review2008)

• National Innovation Strategy

• Structural reform of the system of higher education and research institutes

• Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation (SHOKs)

• Amendments to the Act regarding the Academy of Finland


The Academy's operating environment

In Europe

• EU 7th Framework Programme for Research,

European Research Council (ERC), European

Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT),

European Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and

the European Science Foundation (ESF)

• Funding cooperation within ERA-NETs and


• Joint Programming

• Nordic cooperation through NordForsk and

NOS Committees


• Strategic partnerships and priorities: India, Japan,

China, Russia, Brazil, Chile, Canada and the US


Academy of Finland in brief

• Tasks:

• to provide funding for cutting-edge scientific research and

other promotion of science

• to promote scientific research and its application

• to develop international scientific cooperation

• to act as a science policy expert

• In 2009, the Academy will provide some €295 million in funding for high-level

scientific research

• The Academy's operations cover all scientific disciplines

• Each year, some 5,000 people benefit from Academy research funding


Academy of Finland Strategy

• Scientific research and the practical application of

its results are vital to the development and

welfare of society

• The Academy is committed to strengthening its role

as the prime funding agency for scientific research

and as a major force in the Finnish research system

• Success requires the ability to

• identify the most promising and highest-level

researchers and research projects

• raise the quality of research and the innovation

potential and improve the application of

research results

• support and facilitate the internationalisation of

research and researchers


The Academy as an expert in science and science policy

• Science policy strategies and statements

• Review of applications

• Evaluation of research

• evaluation of research programmes

• evaluation of science, research and disciplines

• Science and research foresighting and

impact analysis

• Cooperation with national and international

science and research funding agencies

• Science policy publication series


Academy personnel

• The Academy's Administration Office has a staff of

159 (excl. research posts)

• Out of the staff, 73% have permanent posts,

while 27% are fixed-term

• Women account for 73%, men for 27% of staff

• The education level of staff is very high, with

a training index of 6.6% for men and

6.1% for women

• In accordance with the Academy's personnel

strategy, the aim is

• to ensure employee well-being and an inspiring

atmosphere at work

• to develop staff competencies and well-being

in the workplace

• to ensure fair and equitable management


Academy research funding

• Several funding instruments for different purposes

• Aim is to reduce overlaps

• Funding for research projects mainly through

a single decision – makes it possible to view

the project as a whole

• Funding granted in larger sums

• In making funding decisions, the Academy applies

the principles outlined in the document "Criteria for

research funding decisions"

• Independent and competent evaluation

forms the basis for funding decisions

• Joint project funding


Academy research funding

• Open and transparent decision-making

• equal treatment of applicants (the same criteria apply to all applicants)

• criteria, procedures and decisions available on the Academy's website

• Integral part of all research funding

• internationality

• equality

• breakthrough research

• Application dates and deadlines

• two annual application rounds: January and October

• international calls may also be open at other times


Funding opportunities

Project funding:

• Research projects

• Research programmes

• Centre of Excellence programmes

Research posts:

•Academy Professors and Academy Research


• Finland Distinguished Professor Programme


• Postdoctoral Researcher's projects

• Researcher mobility in working life and

doctoral studies of employed persons

• Other funding


Funding opportunities, by intended use

• Research project funding

• General research grants

• Development studies

• Antarctic studies

• International joint project calls with foreign funding agencies

• Research programmes and Centre of Excellence programmes

• Targeted funding from Research Councils

• Research career and researcher training

1. Funding applied for by researcher:

• Academy Professorships and Academy Research Fellowships

• Promotion of clinical research careers

• Postdoctoral Researcher's projects

• Researcher training and research abroad

• Senior Scientists

• Researcher mobility in working life and doctoral studies of employed persons

2. Funding applied for by university or graduate school:

• Finland Distinguished Professor Programme (FiDiPro)

• Graduate school call


Funding opportunities for internationalisation and

researcher mobility

• Finland Distinguished Professor Programme (FiDiPro)

• General research grants

• Academy Research Fellowships

• Postdoctoral Researcher's projects

• Grants for researcher training at the EUI and Postdoctoral

Researcher at the EUI

• ERA-NET calls

• Researcher mobility and other contractual bilateral


• International joint project calls with foreign funding agencies

• Researcher training and research abroad

• Preparation of international joint projects

• Research programmes and CoE programmes: joint calls and



The Academy's general research grants

• Single largest funding opportunity of the Academy

• Aim is to promote the diversity of research and its capacity for renewal by

providing an opportunity to take on scientifically ambitious research

• The funding is granted to top-level researchers and research teams

• for hiring scientific, in particular doctoral-level, and other staff

• for acquisition of material and equipment

• for travel and seminar costs

• The Academy may grant funding for the salary expenses of the responsible

leader of a research project for a maximum of one year and only for special



Research programmes

• The Academy's new Research Programme Strategy

• A research programme is a cluster of research projects focused on a defined subject area or

a set of problems, funded for a fixed period, and with a coordinated management

• Research programmes generate added value in comparison to project-based separate funding

• Research programmes have special science policy objectives, such as

• to raise the scientific level of a research field important in terms of science or society

• to develop a field of research or science

• to piece together scattered research capacities

• to promote multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity

• to increase national and international cooperation between researchers, funding agencies

and end-users of research results

• Research programmes promote international cooperation

• through the international networking of programmes

• by means of co-funded international programmes

• by opening up programmes or programme elements to the international research


• by fostering collaboration not only between funding agencies, but also between other

national and international actors


Research programmes ongoing in 2009

• Information Technology in Mechanical and Automation Engineering,

KITARA (2005–2009)

• Business Know-how, LIIKE2 (2006–2009)

• Nanoscience, FinNano (2006–2010)

• Neuroscience, NEURO (2006–2009)

• Sustainable Production and Products, KETJU (2006–2010)

• Nutrition, Food and Health, ELVIRA (2007–2010)

• Power and Society in Finland, VALTA (2007–2010)

• Substance Use and Addictions, ADDIKTIO (2007–2010)

• Sustainable Energy, SusEn (2008–2011)

• The Future of Work and Well-being, WORK (2008–2011)

• Responding to Public Health Challenges, SALVE (2009–2012)

• Ubiquitous Computing and Diversity of Communication, MOTIVE (2009–2012)

The Academy of Finland will also participate in the joint European Baltic Sea research programme (2010–2016).


New research programmes

Call launched in 2009

• Child Welfare and Health of Children and

Young People

• Computational Science

• Photonics and Modern Imaging Techniques

In preparation

• Climate Change Management, Mitigation and


• The future of Living


National Strategy for Centres of Excellence in Research


• to raise the quality standards of research

• to improve the international competitiveness of research and increase its

visibility and esteem

• to integrate cutting-edge research as part of research, education and

technology policy

• to develop high-level, innovative and efficient research and

researcher training environments


• consists of one or more top-level research teams

• is at or close to the international cutting edge of research in its field

• has distinct and common research objectives and a common management

Four CoE programmes as of 2000:

• 2000–2005, 2002–2007, 2007–2011 and 2008–2013


Nordic Centres of Excellence in Molecular Medicine 2004–2009

The Joint Committee of the Nordic Medical Research Councils (NOS-M) and NordForsk provide funding worth €6 million to three Nordic Centres of Excellence within NCoE Molecular Medicine:

• NCoE Research in Water Imbalance Related Disorders

Coordination: University of Oslo

• NCoE Disease Genetics

Coordination: University of Helsinki

• NCoE Neurodegeneration

Coordination: Lund University


NCoE Programme for the Humanities and Social Sciences 2005–2010

The Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS) and NordForsk provide funding worth €8.5 million to four Nordic Centres of Excellence within NCoE HumSam:

• NCoE Cognitive Control

Coordination: Umeå University

• NCoE Empirical Labour Economics

Coordination: Uppsala University

• NCoE Microcomparative Syntax

Coordination: University of Tromsø

• NCoE The Nordic Countries and the Medieval Expansion of Europe

Coordination: University of Bergen


NCoE Programme on Food, Nutrition and Health 2007–2011

NordForsk and Nordic research funding agencies provide funding worth about €11.5 million to three NCoEs within the programme:

• NCoE HELGA: Nordic Health – Wholegrain Food

Coordination: Danish Cancer Society

• NCoE MitoHealth: Centre for Bioactive Food Components and Prevention of

Lifestyle Diseases

Coordination: University of Bergen

• NCoE SYSDIET: Systems Biology in Controlled Dietary Interventions and

Cohort Studies

Coordination: University of Kuopio


NCoE Programme on Welfare Research 2007–2011

NordForsk and several Nordic research funding agencies provide funding worth about €9.3 million to two NCoEs within the programme:

• NCoE Reassessing the Nordic Welfare Model

Coordination: NOVA – Norwegian Social Research

• NCoE The Nordic Welfare State – Historical

Foundations and Future Challenges

Coordination: University of Helsinki


Research posts*

Academy Professors (40 posts**)

• top researchers who contribute to the progress of research within their field

of research

• carry out their own research plan and lead their own research team

• provide supervision to junior researchers and teaching in context with

the research

• appointed for a maximum term of five years at a time or for an indefinite period

Academy Research Fellows (267 posts**)

• posts provide a fixed-term opportunity to qualify for advanced research tasks or

other expert tasks

• have been successfully engaged in scientific research and publication after

earning their doctorate

• posts intended for independent scientific work as laid down in the research plan

• duties include teaching and supervision in context with the research

• appointed for a maximum term of five years at a time

Appointment for a second term is only available on the basis of exceptionally successful activity and a competitive research plan.

(*until 31 Dec 2009)

(** on 1 Jan 2009)


Researcher training

The Academy of Finland

• provides funding for research projects including

doctoral students working on their theses and

postdoctoral researchers who have recently earned

their doctorate

• provides funding to advance the professional

competence of young postdoctoral researchers

(Postdoctoral Researcher's projects)

• supports graduate schools

• provides funding for researcher training abroad

• supports doctoral studies of employed persons


Scientific research and working life

• Doctoral studies of employed persons

• supports doctoral training of persons employed in the business sector,

research institutes and public administration

• to complete their doctoral thesis, persons employed in the business sector

may also be granted support at an earlier stage of their training

• employers are granted a monthly sum of €2,000 for salary costs,

for a maximum period of 1.5 years

• Researcher mobility in working life

• supports researchers with a doctorate to transfer from e.g. business and

industry to a Finnish university or research institute for a maximum of

one year

• salary based on the salary of the applicant's primary task


Other funding opportunities

• Promotion and preparation of national and

international research collaboration

• International joint activity and researcher mobility

based on bilateral agreements

• Researcher training and research abroad

• Grants to Senior Scientists

• Doctoral studies of employed persons

• Researcher mobility in working life


Finland Distinguished Professor Programme (FiDiPro)

• Joint funding programme of the Academy and Tekes for recruiting non-Finnish or

expatriate Finnish top researchers to Finland

• Objective:

• to strengthen Finnish scientific and technological know-how

• to bring a more international element to the Finnish research system

• to generate added value for the national innovation system

• to support research-driven profiling of universities and research institutes

• Recruited for scientifically, technologically and industrially significant fields

• The applicant is a Finnish university or research institute

• Funding is competition-based and fixed-term

• The Academy funds 28 and Tekes 17 visiting professors.


Postdoctoral Researcher's project

• For researchers who have recently earned their

doctorate and are gaining qualifications as

a professional researcher

• Postdoctoral Researchers carry out their own

research plan and provide supervision and teaching

• Three-year funding, includes funds for direct

research costs

• Funding available also for setting up a research


• In 2008, the Academy granted funding for

169 three-year Postdoctoral Researcher's projects


Application for Academy research funding

• Applications invited mainly in January and October

• Open competition

• Targeted at the best researchers and the most promising young researchers

• Funding decisions based on a scientific review of the research plan and

the applicant as well as on research and science policy strategies

• Fixed-term funding

• In 2008, the Academy

• received applications worth a total of €1.2 billion

• made funding decisions worth a total of €285 million

• In 2008, the Research Councils processed 4,228 applications


Evaluation criteria applied by the Academy

• Scientific quality and innovativeness of

the research plan

• Competence of the applicant/research team

• Feasibility of the research plan

• Research contacts

• Significance of the research project for

the promotion of professional careers in research

and for researcher training

• Other research policy objectives adopted by

the Academy


Factors affecting funding decisions

The Academy's research policy objectives

• To advance the research careers of women and young people

• To promote gender equality in research

• To promote multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity in research

• To develop innovative research environments

• To work for the internationalisation of research

• To implement larger research entities

• To promote researcher mobility

Funding instrument-specific objectives

• To define special objectives for research programmes

• To provide support for Centres of Excellence in research

• To promote research that serves the Strategic Centres for Science, Technology

and Innovation (SHOKs)

Other factors

• Quality of the research environment

• Funding received from the Academy or from other sources

• Applicants' ability to manage research funds

• Good scientific practice (incl. ethical issues) and IPR issues


Academy research funding in 2008

Total €287.2 million


Academy funding decisions 2001–2008*, by university

* The ten Finnish universities that received most funding

(ranked according to funding received in 2008)


Success rate of funding applications

(in calls for general research grants, 2000–2008)


The Academy of Finland in Brief

• The Academy's operations cover all fields of

science and research

• The Academy makes research funding decisions to

a total value of €295 million in 2009

• Research funding by the Academy accounted for

16 per cent of central government R&D expenditure

• The Academy provides funding for 12 research

programmes and 41 Centres of Excellence

• The Academy has national responsibility for two

specific programmes and six sub-programmes

under the EU's 7th Framework Programme for

Research. The Academy is involved as a partner

in 14 ERA-NETs and is the coordinator of one

• More information:,