Guidelines for application
Please read the guidelines for application before applying.
The link to the grant application system is at the bottom of the page.
Book a coaching session for the Tandem Industry Academia Postdoc 2023 application!
What is the funding for?
Funding will be awarded to the academic party, i.e. a university or a research institute. The funding is primarily intended to cover the salary costs of the postdoc researcher for the duration of the project.
TIA funding also requires an industrial partner who is committed to the project and actively involved in defining the research questions, executing the project and supervising the postdoc. The industrial partner will contribute to the costs of the project in a form of an in-kind contribution by providing resources for the project.
How to apply for funding?
The funding is applied by the project’s Principal Investigator (PI), who completes the application form. The application can also be completed by a delegate authorized by the PI. The Principal Investigator is a senior-level researcher employed by the academic partner organisation and supervises for the duration of the project the work of a postdoc. The PI shall be primarily in the employ of the academic organization for the duration of the project, not in the employ of the Industrial Partner, for example.
The postdoc researcher does not necessarily have to be identified at the funding application stage; the postdoc hired with the funds may also be appointed after the application review process.
What outcomes are expected?
The project should clearly demonstrate the impacts of the collaboration for both parties and beyond. The project is expected to produce high-class scientific publications and scientific knowledge and/or intellectual property with high-impact future innovation potential.
For what period is project funding provided?
Projects are funded for a total period of 24 months, and it shall primarily be used over the period of two years. Postdocs are expected to divide their time equally between the academic and industrial partner. Note that the working periods do not have to be continuous, but can be allocated flexibly depending on the project plan.
What is expected from the industrial partner?
The industrial partner shall be a company operating in Finland and having relevant functions related to the project in Finland. The industrial partner is expected to provide working facilities and infrastructure for the postdoc. The industrial partner will also provide supervision for the postdoc researcher throughout the project. The funding is intended for companies that are going concerns and that have at least one full-time employee.
A postdoc works for 12 months with an industrial partner. The postdoc’s salary will be paid by the academic partner’s organisation through the funding awarded, and (s)he will remain employed to the academic organization for the duration of the project.
In the industrial partner’s application form, we ask the industrial partner to provide the following information:
- Basic information about the company
- Basic information about the postdoc’s supervisor in the company
- Short CV of the company supervisor (to be submitted as a PDF attachment)
- Brief description of the company’s in-kind contribution to the project
- A brief evaluation of the anticipated impact of the project for the company.
General terms of the funding and IP issues
The Foundation will sign a project agreement, in accordance with the general terms of the funding, with the academic partner that receives TIA funding. The terms of the funding are approved when the funding is received.
The Foundation encourages the academic partner and the business partner to agree in writing on IP rights, confidentiality and other issues related to the project. The Foundation will not be a party to any contracts concerning the results of the project. However, the general terms also provide guidance on IP rights.
Representatives of the academic partner and the business partner are advised to familiarise themselves with the general terms of the funding before submitting an application:
Preparing a project budget
Funding for the 24-month project will be awarded to the academic partner. The postdoc working on the project is employed by the academic partner’s organisation for the duration of the project. The granted funding will cover overheads in accordance with the full cost model for the 12-month period. In addition, funding for other costs can be applied for the project. For the 12 months spent at the industrial partner, the postdoc’s salary and other personnel costs are funded. The time spent by the postdoc in different organisations can be flexibly distributed according to the project plan.
Example of two-year project costs:
Time spent in different organizations:
- 4 months in an academic organisation
- 4 months in a company
- 4 months in an academic organisation
(Months can be split flexibly within a budget year: for example, 3 months + 3 months + 3 months + 3 months).
- Overheads in accordance with full cost model (8 months)
- Salary and indirect employee costs (12 months)
- Travel costs (for 8 months)
- Materials costs (for 8 months)
Time spent in different organizations
- 8 months in a company
- 4 months in an academic organisation
- Overheads in accordance with full cost model (4 months)
- Salary and indirect employee costs (12 months)
- Travel costs (for 4 months)
- Materials costs (for 4 months)
- Other costs (e.g. publication fees)
How to make your application
- The application shall be completed via Foundation’s online grant system by the PI of the project or a person authorized by the PI.
- It’s not necessary to name the postdoc researcher at the application stage. However, If the postdoc is appointed, he or she must meet the following eligibility criteria: less than 10 years since doctorate (unless special circumstances apply: maternity, paternity, parental or childcare leave, military or non-military service, or long-term illness). If the person does not yet hold a doctorate, he or she must have received permission to defend his or her thesis from the academic organization before the funding is granted.
- The academic partner and the industrial partner jointly prepare a project plan and an assessment of the project’s anticipated impact, which will be attached to the application
- The application process is started by the PI (or an authorized person) in the online application system. Once the academic partner’s information has been completed and submitted, the industrial partner will receive an invitation via email to complete their own section. The industrial partner will have a further seven days after the application deadline to provide the required information.
- The application can be reviewed and revised within 24 hours after submission to FRIF, even after the deadline. If you want to complement or make changes to the application or its attachments after that, please contact FRIF without delay. The additional information will be taken into account if timetable permits.
- When both sections have been completed, the application will be forwarded for processing by the Foundation and outside review. All applications will be reviewed by outside experts of scientific research and industrial impact.
- The Board of the Finnish Research Impact Foundation will make its funding decisions based on the reviews and inform applicants of its decisions by the end of October 2023.
- The first projects will start up between 1 Sep 2023 and 31 Jan 2024.
The project plan and assessment of impact
The project plan (max 5 pages with references, submitted as a PDF file) should include the following information in a concise format and in the order indicated below:
- Title of proposal
- Objectives and ambition (clearly describe the benefits to both the academic and industrial partners)
- Concept and methodology
- Implementation: project work plan with deliverables and milestones
- List of participants and their relevant merits
- Ethics and security: Does the project require a permit from the research site and/or an ethics committee?
- Risk assessment (potential factors that could jeopardise the success of the project)
- Publication and communication of the results
In addition, we ask you to prepare a one page impact assessment that describes the expected impact of the project. See instructions for writing an impact assessment here.
Attachments to application
- Commitment letter by academic partner organization (an organization’s own form or a free-form format can be used)
- Short CV of PI (max 2 pages, see instructions here).
- Publication list of PI (10 most important publications relevant to the research plan)
- Project plan (max 5 pages, see instructions above for preparing a project plan)
- Impact assessment (max 1 page, see guidelines above)
Attachments concerning the postdoc (if named at the application stage):
- Short CV of the postdoc (max 2 pages, see instructions here)
- Publication list of the postdoc (5 most important publications relevant to the research plan)
- If needed, documentation of post doc researchers’s special circumstances: maternity, paternity, parental or childcare leave, military or non-military service, or long-term illness
- If needed, permission from faculty for postdocs who have not yet defended their thesis but who have received permission to defend
In addition, the following attachments are needed:
- Industrial supervisor’s a short cv (free form, max 2 pages. Note, this attachment will be attached to the Industrial Partner’s form)
All attachment files should be in PDF format.
Where to submit the application?
The application is completed and submitted via the online application system. You will first need to register on the online application system. The application should be submitted by the project’s PI during the application period. No paper copies are accepted. You can access the application system at the bottom of this page.
When will the applicants be informed of the decisions?
The call’s funding decisions will be published at the end of the August 2023. All applicants will be informed of the Foundation’s decision by email.
When can projects be started?
Projects shall start between 1.9.2023 and 31.1.2024.
As budgeting is based on the full cost model, is it necessary for the applicant to have own funding as well?
- No, the Foundation will cover all costs for the time spent in the academic organization (12 months), but overhead costs are not covered for the time spent in the company (12 months)
Is it possible for one company to be an Industrial Partner in several different applications with different PIs?
Is it possible to form a consortium of different organizations?
- The funding covers costs of research collaboration between one academic partner and one company. The project may be part of a consortium and involve collaboration with other partners, but the funding cannot be used to cover the costs of the consortium or its other members. Partnership in a consortium does not affect the evaluation of the project.
The application should include the industrial partner’s in-kind budget and a description of in-kind contributions. What does this mean?
- The in-kind budget covers any resources that support the project, such as data, people, know-how, computation power, facilities, infrastructures, or technology. The minimum in-kind budget is the supervision and working premises provided for the postdoc researcher.
You say that the publication plan should support open access to research results. Could you give an example?
- This may include planned scientific publications that provide open access, access to source codes, data, software applications, etc.
What should the letter of commitment by the academic partner organization include?
- A commitment letter is a free form letter from the academic organization that gives consent to the PI to apply for funding and that guarantees the organization would partner the project in accordance with the funding terms and conditions. It should be signed by an authorized representative of the academic partner, usually the Dean of the PI’s faculty or department.
One of the required attachments to the application is a short CV for the funded post doc. A publication list is also required. At the same time, you say that it is not necessary to name the postdoc at the application phase. How do these fit together?
- Indeed, it’s not necessary to name the postdoc at the application stage. In this case the postdoc can be named later and the necessary documentation provided afterwards, if the funding is granted. From the point of view of the application review process, it makes no difference whether or not the postdoc is named. The postdoc will not be taken into account in the evaluation of the application.
Is there any template for preparing the project plan?
- The project plan should follow the guidelines set out in the application and on the Guidelines for application page. The project plan shall be no more than 5 pages and must contain the required sections.
You say that all applications will be reviewed by outside experts of scientific and industrial impact. Do these experts represent the majority of scientific fields? In other words, in how much detail should the application go in terms of the field of science?
- All applications will be evaluated by two independent expert reviewers, at least one with a focus on scientific research in the field and one with a focus on industrial impact in the given field.
Do any previous research projects with the industrial partner add value to the proposal and should they be mentioned in the application?
- Previous projects can be mentioned, but they will not influence the review in either direction.
How is the salary for the time spent in the company technically budgeted at the academic partner organization?
- For the time spent in the company, the postdoc’s salary is paid, as well as indirect employee costs, but not the overheads of the academic organization.
What factors should be considered when choosing an industrial partner, other than suitability for research? Domesticity, size?
- The company can be of any size, however, it does have to be registered in Finland, have activities relevant to the project in Finland, and at least one full-time employee.
Sometimes novel information from research work with companies cannot be published when patents are being filed etc. If the results cannot be published immediately or within a year or two due to patent pending, does the patent “overrule” the articles in terms of publishing results?
- The scientific and other results of the project shall be made available in accordance with the recommendations of open science. The results shall be made available for as open public distribution as possible, while observing intellectual property protection and adhering to the publication policy principles of scientific journals.
Can the funding be used for hiring short-term assistants for the summer, for example, to work with the postdoc?
- Salary costs can only be budgeted for the postdoc researcher.