Call TFV II 2019

 

Second call within Tandem Forest Values:
Forest resources, wood-based value chains and wood construction

 

Background

Finland and Sweden are leading forestry nations in Europe and the world, and forestry and the forest products industry constitute a cornerstone in the economies of the countries. Together, the countries have less than two per cent of the world’s forestry assets but represent nonetheless almost ten per cent of the production of the world’s forestry-related products. Both Finland and Sweden are working ambitiously through national forestry programs, whose focus are on the emerging bio-economy and a fossil-free society, in addition to developing the forestry sector in general. Distinguishing features of the bio-economy include the utilization of renewable bio-based natural resources and the use of clean technological methods to improve the condition of the environment, as well as the effective recycling of material. While the forest forms a renewable natural resource with significant potential for development, there are also many challenges to deal with, in order for the forest to satisfy all demands placed on it and contribute to attaining important societal goals.

The significant expectations on the forest demonstrate the need to develop knowledge about sustainable biomass production, smarter use and processing of biomass, and increased wood construction, but also the need for new patterns of consumption, financial business models for different ecosystem services, and policy instruments.

The forest has a crucial role to play in climate efforts, and also in achieving several of the other UN sustainable development goals. Furthermore, a growing number of claims on the forest lead to greater complexity when balancing how the forest’s resources are best used, including ethical issues, and what new developments are needed. This alone increases the need for transdisciplinary knowledge to support the development towards an industry that can better take advantage of and protect all the ecosystems in the northerly forests than it currently does, and which supports industrial forestry development that can meet future needs for new products.

In order to strengthen and develop long-term bilateral research collaboration between actors in the field of forestry and industrial forestry in Finland and Sweden, the Swedish Government, together with the Swedish Forest Industries Federation, the Kempe Foundations, the Wallenberg Foundations, and KSLA (the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry) donated a gift to Finland’s centenary of independence celebrations for a specific research initiative. This gift, named Tandem Forest Values, amounted to SEK 24 million and resulted in 12 postdoctoral positions.

Due to the success of the first call, the Academy of Finland (the Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering of the Academy of Finland), the Swedish Research Council Formas, the Kempe Foundations, the Wallenberg Foundations, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland and the Ministry of the Environment of Finland decided to continue the collaboration and open this second call under the Tandem Forest Values Programme, aiming once again to support early-career researchers. The funding altogether is approximately 4 million EUR (SEK 40 million). Finland and Sweden are jointly funding the call with equal amounts.

Overall research themes

The overall themes of the call are forest resources, wood-based value chains and wood construction. More specifically, the themes include the following areas:

  • forest biomass production
  • forest management planning
  • new methods and technologies
  • new sustainable products and processes
  • wood construction

Each project must also include at least one of the following cross-sectional areas. The cross-sectional areas should be applied on the five areas specified above, but should not be the main focus of the project. The cross-sectional areas are:

  • climate change
  • ecosystem services
  • biodiversity
  • business models and logistics
  • policy and markets
  • decision support systems

The project should contribute to the three components of sustainability (economic, environmental and social) in Finland and in Sweden.

Project requirements

Researchers who are eligible to apply for financial support from any of the participating funding organizations (see Appendix A and B) are cordially invited to apply jointly in the call. The project must build on, or lead to, an active collaboration between research groups at universities or research institutes in Finland and Sweden within any of the overall research themes.

  • The project must be a collaboration between Finland and Sweden.
  • Joint proposals should be submitted by a consortium with at least one and up to two applicants from each country. The consortium leader will submit the application.
  • The consortium leader must have no more than ten years from the first doctoral degree.
  • The project must be of high scientific quality and over the short-term or long-term be of benefit to society.
  • The project funding is for two years. For more details on the project budgets, see Appendix A and B.
  • Each consortium partner must have a separate budget. It should include all costs related to the project, including full overhead costs following the standards at each university or institute. However, the partners of the consortium recommended for funding will be designated to specific funders, in Sweden and in Finland. Each funder will make their own funding decisions based on the evaluation and the funders will accept different levels of overhead costs (see Appendix A and B).
  • The universities or institutes guarantee that the researchers will be employed for the entire duration of their time in the project, i.e. a scholarship solution is not acceptable.
  • The consortium leader is responsible for ensuring commitment from all sites of research (in Finland and in Sweden) at the application stage. If the application is granted, each site of research will sign their own contract.
  • Each applicant is only allowed to participate in one application within this call.
  • The research should begin no later than 1st April 2020.
  • Gender aspects, both in the research itself and in the project constellation, should be clearly addressed in the application.
  • Applications that do not comply with the requirements set out by the call can be rejected prior to the evaluation process.

Evaluation of applications

Bilateral collaboration between Finland and Sweden

Benefits resulting from the bilateral collaboration in the project with regard to the establishment of research environments that contribute to providing valuable knowledge for the forest industry and society in both countries.

Scientific quality

Hypotheses and topics examined
Originality and innovativeness of the project. The importance of the scientific purpose and the possibility to achieve significant results in the short-term and long-term. Degree of interdisciplinary research, i.e. multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, are regarded as positive when appropriate to the topics under examination.

Method and performance, including budget
Feasibility and suitability of the scientific methods. Defined and realistic work plan, coupled to a feasible budget. The budget for the project must be clearly specified and motivated.

Competence of the consortium and project constellation
Ability to perform the project according to the project plan, sufficient experience of project leadership, strengths and competitiveness of the project constellation.

Benefits for the forest sector and society in Finland and Sweden

Potential and benefit
Long-term potential and direct benefits of the project in being able to solve needs and genuine problems, as well as to contribute to profitability, competitiveness and sustainable development, for example by strengthening and developing the forest sector in a broad sense, or in creating preconditions for new businesses to emerge.

Communication and dissemination of results
Description of relevant stakeholders and end users. There must be a defined and realistic plan for how the results obtained will be communicated further to the next phase, to enable the benefits to be utilised at the conclusion of the project. This plan should include the consideration of open science in the project, such as open-access publishing of the results and making the project’s data widely available. The degrees of data openness may justifiably vary, ranging from fully open to strictly confidential.

Application

Applications are assessed by an international evaluation panel comprised of researchers with the competence to assess both the scientific quality and the potential societal benefits, as well as the bilateral dimension.

All evaluation criteria must be addressed in the application and applicants are encouraged to clearly and distinctly relate the application to these criteria. The applicant is encouraged to be very thorough with the structure and clarity of the application, as the review will be based solely on the information provided in the application.

At least three significant keywords should be included in the application form.

Applications are submitted in English via the KSLA electronic application system (https://www.ksla.se/anslag-stipendier/tandem-forest-values/application/). Applications must be received by KSLA no later than 9th September 2019. The final decision will be made by each funder no later than December 2019.

Participating organisations and contact points

The following six funders participate in this call. Their specific requirements are listed in Appendix A and B, and their contact persons are listed below. For general questions regarding the call and application, please contact KSLA.

KSLA (The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry)

Contact persons at KSLA:

  • Eva Ronquist
    E-mail: eva.ronquist@ksla.se
    Telephone: +46 8 5454 7706
  • Eva Pettersson, KSLA
    E-mail: eva.pettersson@ksla.se
    Telephone: +46 8 5454 7702

The Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering of the Academy of Finland

Contact persons at the Academy of Finland:

  • Ulrika Jakobsson
    E-mail: ulrika.jakobsson@aka.fi
    Telephone: +358 29 5335 038

1.8.2019–26.8.2019 and 9.9.2019:

  • Samuli Hemming
    E-mail: samuli.hemming@aka.fi
    Telephone: +358 29 5335 024

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland

Contact person at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry:

  • Liisa Saarenmaa
    E-mail: liisa.saarenmaa@mmm.fi
    Telephone: +358 40 7523 271

The Finnish Ministry of the Environment

Contact person at the Ministry of the Environment:

  • Petri Heino
    E-mail: petri.heino@ym.fi
    Telephone: +358 50 5949 923

The Swedish Research Council Formas

Contact person at Formas:

  • Karin Perhans
    E-mail: karin.perhans@formas.se
    Telephone: +46 8 7754 036

The Kempe Foundations

Contact person for the Kempe Foundations:

  • Eva Pettersson, KSLA
    E-mail: eva.pettersson@ksla.se
    Telephone: +46 8 5454 7702

The Wallenberg Foundations

Contact person for the Wallenberg Foundations:

  • Eva Pettersson, KSLA
    E-mail: eva.pettersson@ksla.se
    Telephone: +46 8 5454 7702

 

Appendix A:
Funder-specific requirements in Finland

An applicant must have a PhD degree and previous demonstrated and significant experience of carrying out scientific research. However, a consortium leader must a have a PhD degree dated no more than 10 years ago. Typically, an applicant has the qualifications of a docent or a professor.

The Academy and the Ministries apply the full cost model in their funding, and the funding contribution for a project cannot exceed 70% of the total project costs.

Funding can be granted to research teams for purposes of hiring scientific staff, for the acquisition of equipment and supplies, and for other expenses arising for instance from researcher mobility and networking activities. The salary costs of the PI may, under certain limitations, be incorporated into the total project costs:

  1. Including PI’s salary (for project management) in total project costs
    The salary costs of the PI may be incorporated into the total project costs in accordance with what is stated in the research plan. In order for the salary costs to be eligible, the PI’s tasks must be clearly specified in the application. The salary costs must not be significant in relation to the project’s total costs. For example, a four-year research project must not include more than six months of the PI’s effective working hours. This is equivalent to approximately 1.5 months a year. In a two-year research project this means no more than three months.
  2. Applying for funding for PI’s salary (for research)
    The Academy and the Ministries can grant a maximum of twelve months (i.e. 6 months in a two-year project) of funding towards the salary of a PI for conducting research. The funding is intended to support project implementation and granted only for well-substantiated research-related reasons (e.g. work abroad, return to Finland or transfer to another research organisation or a company in Finland). (Possible business collaboration must fulfil the terms set out in the Academy’s general conditions and guidelines, section 10.1.) The research-related reasons and the PI’s tasks must be clearly presented in the application. The funding cannot be used for this purpose unless it is mentioned in the terms and conditions included in the funding decision.
  3. Granting salary funding to PI with no employment relationship
    If the PI does not have an employment relationship with, for example, a university or research institute, they must give an account of how their salary will be covered during the funding period. Applicants must describe this at the application stage. Retired researchers can be granted funding on the same grounds as other researchers.

Specific requirements of Academy of Finland

Policies for research project funding granted by the Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering:

https://www.aka.fi/en/research-and-science-policy/research-councils/research-council-policies/policies-of-research-council-for-natural-sciences-and-engineering/

In doubt, researchers are strongly encouraged to contact the Academy of Finland’s contact point. The Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering of the Academy of Finland participates in the call. The Council will make the funding decision of those applicants that will receive funding from the Academy of Finland. The Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering will provide funding for topics within the research fields hosted by the Council (see http://aka.fi/en/research-and-science-policy/research-councils/what-the-research-council-for-natural-sciences-and-engineering-does/research-fields/).

The Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering aims to fund the Finnish project partners of 4-6 projects with 1.2 million EUR reserved for this call. The maximum amount of funding per project partner is 300,000 EUR.

The Finnish consortium partners successful from the call will be invited to submit national application forms. Information about the submission will be provided in the invitation.

In general, the conditions and restrictions on Academy of Finland’s Projects apply and the terms set out in the Academy’s general conditions and guidelines must be fulfilled.

More information on the general conditions and guidelines for funding:  http://aka.fi/en/funding/apply-for-funding/az-index-of-application-guidelines

Specific requirements of the Ministry Agriculture and Forestry of Finland

The funding from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is granted under Article 30.40.22.1 of the State Budget. The Ministry aims to fund 2 Finnish project partners with 400,000 EUR reserved for this call. The maximum amount of funding per partner is 200,000 EUR.

More information on the general conditions and guidelines for funding:

http://www.mmm.fi/tutkimus

Specific requirements of the Ministry of Environment

The Ministry of the Environment’s funding is granted under Article 35.10.61 of the State Budget. The grant is supervised by a project supervisor appointed by the Ministry.

The Ministry aims to fund projects focusing on the biogenic carbon storage in built environment and the inclusion of the substitution effect of wood usage and the development of wood construction technologies with 400,000 EUR reserved for this call divided between 2 projects.

For more information on the general conditions and guidelines for funding please contact the ministry.

 

Appendix B:
Funder-specific requirements in Sweden

Specific requirements of the Swedish Research Council Formas

Committed budget and maximum funding per partner

The Swedish Research Council Formas has committed 1 200 000 EUR in total over two years to this call. The maximum funding for each Swedish consortium partner is 200 000 EUR in total over the project time.

Eligible topics

Formas funds research projects within all themes of the call.

Funding decisions

Swedish PIs in projects recommended for funding will be invited to submit the same application to Formas (using our web-based system Prisma). Information about the submission will be provided in the invitation.

Formas’ Scientific Council makes the final decision about the PIs funded by Formas. The funding awarded will be made public after all funding organisations have reached their decisions. Formas’ Scientific Council is expected to reach its decisions by December 2019. Decisions about grant awards are not subject to appeal. Projects are expected to start by 1st April 2020.

General regulations

Who can apply for funding?

To be eligible to apply for grants from Formas, main applicants and co-applicants must have a doctoral degree. Other staff involved in the project do not need to have a doctoral degree. There is no age limit for the main applicant and participating researchers. However, researchers who are full-time pensioners are not eligible to receive funding for salaries.

Grants for projects can only be administered by a Swedish university, college, research institute or other Swedish public organisation that meets Formas’ criteria for grant administrating organisations.

What funding can be applied for?

Project grants from Formas may be used for financing of salary for researchers, doctoral students (up to three years) and technical staff (including overhead costs according to the practice of the grant administrating organisation). In addition to salary funding, grants may also be used to finance operating costs (e.g. consumables, equipment, travel, conferences, publication in open access journals and databases), equipment depreciation costs and premises costs. The maximum amount allowed for equipment and depreciation costs is a total of 50 000 EUR. For more information, please see Formas general regulations for project funding.

Open access to publications and research data

Results from research funded by Formas must be published with open access (read more about our requirements for open access to research results and data). The projects that are granted funding must develop a data management plan for the data produced in the project. By signing our grant terms and conditions, the researcher certifies that a data management plan will be available before the research begins and that it will be maintained.

Reporting of projects awarded funding

Financial statements must be submitted each year for projects longer than 18 months. The final financial and scientific reports are usually submitted within three months after the end of the grant availability period.

Special rules of the Kempe Foundations and the Wallenberg Foundations for this call:

Committed budget and maximum funding per partner

The Kempe Foundations and the Wallenberg Foundations have committed 4 million SEK each in total over two years to this call. The maximum amount of funding per partner is 200,000 EUR.

Requirements

The Kempe Foundations and the Wallenberg Foundations will fund the Swedish partner(s) of research projects within all themes of the call. The Kempe foundations as well as the Wallenberg Foundations allow 20% in overhead costs. The Kempe Foundations will only fund research at universities or research institutes located in northern Sweden north of Härnösand.

Funding decisions

Swedish PIs in projects recommended for funding by the Kempe Foundations or the Wallenberg Foundations will be invited to submit the same application to KSLA. Information about the submission will be provided in the invitation.

The Board of KSLA makes the final decision about funding of the PIs funded by The Kempe Foundations and the Wallenberg Foundations. The funding awarded will be made public after all funding organizations have reached their decisions. The Board of KSLA is expected to reach its decisions by December 2019. Decisions about grant awards are not subject to appeal. Projects are expected to start by 1st April 2020.