Research Council of Finland (former Academy of Finland)


Wind of changes

The holiday is now just a memory and we are already looking for funding opportunities for this fall, winter and next spring. Many researchers are used to apply for academy project funding from the Academy of Finland in the fall. However, a lot has changed recently, and from this autumn onwards, it is no longer possible to apply funding for the so-called basic academy project and Academy Research Fellowship in September. Academy of Finland has made quite remarkable changes recent past so, let’s take a quick look at the latest reforms.

From autumn call to winter call

Previous September call is now Winter call and will be open from 15 Nov 2023 to 17 Jan 2024. Applications are invited for Academy Project funding, Academy Research Fellowships, Clinical Researcher funding and the Academy Programme for Sport Science.  Mobility funding is open in autumn and these call texts are available here.

New English names

In the beginning of June 2023, the Academy of Finland changed its English name. The new name in English is Research Council of Finland. Name is now in line with the names of public research funders in many other countries.

At the same time, the former research councils became scientific councils. In addition, the English name of the Research Council for Culture and Society was changed to better reflect the disciplines concerned. So, the new name is the Scientific Council for Social Sciences and Humanities. A significant part of Univaasa’s applications are addressed specifically to this council.

Applicant chooses the most relevant review panel

Starting from the Winter call, applicants choose the most relevant review panel for their applications. The selection is made among panels announced in advance by the Research Council of Finland. So, in the future applicants will have more influence on the review process and this also increases the review transparency. In May 2, 2023 a draft of the winter call 2024 panels and the descriptions of the contents of the individual panels was published for stakeholders to comment on. The Research Council of Finland received total 526 responses to the survey and now the titles and descriptions of the review panels are expected to be published in Sep 2023, well in advance before the Winter call. Read more about above mentioned changes from the Research Council of Finland’s press release.

Funding scheme for Academy Research Fellowships was introduced in the September 2022 call

After the introduction of the new Academy Research Fellowship funding scheme, no new calls for applications were opened in the schemes for Postdoctoral Researchers, Academy Research Fellows or early-career Academy Projects. The objective of this new funding was to support the most promising and talented early-career researchers in their work and in building up competencies of a professional researcher to help them to become part of the national and international research community. Another aim was to simplify the Research Council of Finland’s funding portfolio and the funding application process, to allow greater flexibility in funding uses during the funding period and to ease the administrative burden on individual researchers, research organisations and the Research Council of Finland. More information about the Academy Research Fellow reform is available here.

The last year was the first call round of this new Academy Research Fellowship funding scheme. Only a few applications from the University of Vaasa were submitted for this form of funding. Research Services and the Vice-Rector of research are hoping that a next call round these applications are going to be submitted significantly more. The Research Services encourages everyone who fits to the criteria to submit the application and offers support to the application preparation.

Research Council of Finland published some statistics of the first application round and 15% of the Academy Research Fellowship applicants received funding. There were 1,018 applicants from the fields of all three scientific councils and a total of more than EUR 90 million was granted. The average funding per project was approximately EUR 589,000. More information and statistics of the applications and decisions are available here.

Academy Research Fellowship funding may be applied for by researchers who were awarded their first doctoral degree at least two but no more than seven years prior to the end of the month of application (first doctoral degree certificate between 30 Sep 2016 and 31 Jan 2022).


How to prepare to the application process?

As presented above, the Research Council of Finland has made or undergone numerous bigger and smaller reforms recently. Therefore, it is very important that each applicant familiarizes herself/himself with the call text and other call instructions with special care. The Research Services help and support with the interpretation of the call text and instructions, as well as with budgeting. In addition to the previous, Senior Specialists of the Research Services are able to help with non-scientific sections and comment on the research plan if the applicant contacts them well in advance.

Academy Project funding and Academy Research Fellowships are bottom-up funding schemes, which means that the applicant decides the research topic but the structure of the research plan must be in prescribed format and the template to be used is found from the call texts. Call texts and guidelines will be published on 26 Oct 2023 here.

In addition to the call text, it is very important to read the guidelines of the specific scientific council. There is relevant information related to the policies. It is also good to be aware that the policies of the scientific councils might differ from each other and this might have an impact on the application.

Research Council of Finland has moved its communication more to LinkedIn, so it is recommended to follow this account and also to subscribe A propos newsletter, which publishes e.g. guidance for the upcoming Winter call. Traditional Ask & Apply webinars are expected to run between 31 Oct and 12 Dec 2023. Themes of the webinars have been slightly reduced.

And finally when the applications have been reviewed, all funding decisions will be published here. Change of the call schedule does not affect the timing of the funding periods. Decisions for 2024 are made in early summer of the same year and this way the new funding periods can start on 1 Sep 2024.

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Research services

Research services - Research support blog

Various research services are offered by several different university service units for different phases of the project's life cycle. However, this blog is mostly written by research services staff who focus on pre-award services. We will ask writings from everyone who has something to contribute to the project's life cycle services. In this blog, we aim to collect various useful tips and tools for researchers. If you have story tips or wishes about topics, send an email to