Sport science research projects

The Ministry of Education and Culture funds sport science research projects that are in line with the objectives for societal impact in the sports sector as outlined in the Budget. The supported projects are required to collaborate with each other. This collaboration may take place, for example, in the form of seminars or discussion events organised by the Ministry.

The Ministry of Education and Culture and the National Sports Council monitor the implementation of the studies, the key scientific results of the studies, possibilities of applying the results, and their contribution to sport policy discussion. Results from financed studies must be integrated into decision-making. Research communications must be outlined in the research plan and an account must be given on how research information will be positioned in relation to prior research in the field and how new information will reach both practical users of the information and the field of research.

The following points will be taken into consideration in the assessment of studies funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture and in funding decisions:

  • High standard of the research
  • Innovative and unique nature of the research and its high level of applicability to decisions on sport policy.
  • Multidisciplinary approach of research and cooperation within sport science and with other fields of science both nationally and internationally.
  • Broad base of research funding
  • Research group’s competences
  • Plan for research communications and usability of the research as part of policy-making.

Research communities may apply for sport science research project financing. Communities can apply for research financing to cover the remunerations paid to researchers and other research staff, the shared expenses collected by research institutes and other expenses.

Application period / new research projects

The application period begins on 3 September 2019
The application period ends on 25 September 2019 at 16.15.

Application period/follow-up research projects

(a separate call for applications will be published for follow-up projects in September):

 

Processing:

An effort will be made to make all decisions on new sport science research projects by the end of March 2020.

The Ministry of Education and Culture can use a total of at most EUR 2,450,000 million on grants for new and follow-up projects, if Parliament grants appropriations for this purpose.

 

 

Funding is granted for projects that focus on the pre-defined thematic areas and the main objective of which is to generate new information for the purpose of promoting sports and physical activity in accordance with the sport policy objectives set by Parliament. The aim with targeting the research funding is to increase the amount of research that is relevant for the Finnish sport policy, to enhance the dialogue between researchers and decision-makers, to reinforce the role of research in decision-making, and thus enhance the societal impact of the research.

The thematic areas have been defined to comply with the societal effectiveness goals specified for the sports sector in the Budget. The research themes and their priorities are areas of research that support one another, and research projects can focus on more than one thematic and priority area. Applications from multidisciplinary and broad-based research projects that can cover many priorities are particularly welcome.

  1. Promoting physically active lifestyles
  2. Ensuring equal access to physical activity
  3. Increasing participation in sports and physical activity
  4. Productivity and responsibility in high-performance sports

The core objective of research funding is supporting innovative and multidisciplinary sport research. Applications from multidisciplinary and broad-based projects will be particularly welcome. Addressing future drivers of change will be considered an advantage in research to be funded.

Applicants are also advised to familiarise themselves with the document Strategy for knowledge-based management of physical activity 2020 - 2024.

 

 

The applications' level of scientific excellence is reviewed by an international review panel organised by the Academy of Finland. Thereafter, the National Sports Council issues its opinion on the allocation of state appropriations for sports and physical activity to the Ministry of Education and Culture in accordance with section 6 of the Act on the Promotion of Sports and Physical Activity (390/2015) and section 2 of the Decree on the Promotion of Sports and Physical Activity (550/2015), after which the Ministry makes a decision on the grants and informs the applicants of its decision.

When making decisions, the ministry will take into account the assessment concerning the application's level of scientific excellence conducted by the Academy of Finland, as well as the statement given by the Government's National Sport Council on the sport policy relevance of the projects.

During its consideration of a decision, the ministry will assess the assessment the projects have received their level of scientific excellence, the positioning of projects in the selected theme areas on the basis of a statement given by the National Sport Council, the amount of available appropriations as well as the necessity of the projects in filling in identified information gaps.

The assessment statements by the Academy of Finland and the Government's National Sport Council are not binding in the decision-making of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

 

General criteria

In the assessment and comparison of applications, it may be considered an advantage if the activity or project seeks to promote one or several of the following general objectives set out in the strategies or commitments adopted by the Ministry:

  • Promotion of multiculturalism, sense of community and inclusion (‘Meaningful in Finland Action Plan’ in Finnish and Swedish).
  • Promoting gender equality (Ministry of Education and Culture’s Operative Plan for Gender Equality in Finnish and Swedish)
  • Promotion of sustainable development (The Finland we want by 2050 - Society’s commitment to sustainable development in Finnish and Swedish)

 

General conditions for awarding discretionary government grants under the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers

The Ministry of Education and Culture may award a discretionary government grant only if the applicant meets the general conditions laid down in the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers. The Ministry will give consideration to the general conditions also when deciding on the amount of the grant.

Under section 7, subsection 1 of the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers, a discretionary government grant may be awarded, if:

  • The purpose for which the grant is applied is socially acceptable;
  • Awarding the grant is justified by the objective of its use;
  • Awarding the grant is necessary considering other public aid received by the applicant and the type and extent of the project or activity in question; and
  • Awarding the grant is estimated to cause only minor distortion to competition and the market.

 

Impediments to awarding discretionary government grants

An applicant who has previously received discretionary government grants from the Ministry of Education and Culture must ensure that he or she has submitted the reports on the use of the grants by the set deadline as required in the grant decision. The Ministry will reject an application if the applicant has essentially neglected his or her duty to provide information required for the supervision of the use of grants awarded earlier.

The Ministry of Education and Culture may, for justified reasons, decide not to review an application. When considering the matter, the reasoning shall include the following:

  • The application remains substantially incomplete after one request for supplementary information.
  • The applicant or the application does not meet the competence or other key requirements set for the application;
  • The application does not belong to the scope of funding of the Ministry of Education and Culture or the application does not belong to the scope of the application process;
  • It is clearly evident that, for some other reasons, the applicant will not be eligible for funding on the basis of the application submitted.

 

Late applications will also be rejected.

Applications concerning new research projects should be submitted using the Academy of Finland’s online services (application period: 3–25 September 2019)  Applications and their appendices should be submitted in English.

The applicant has to be a scientific research organisation. The site of research organisation or the body that acts as the principal coordinator of the research is entered as the grant applicant (site of research). A principal researcher responsible for the research project is appointed and will be in charge both of the implementation of the project and the coordination of research funding.  Individual doctoral dissertations are not funded but, when applying for funding, doctoral research may be a part of a broader research project. However, projects that consist exclusively of dissertation-level studies are not funded.

The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Academy of Finland have worked together since 2013 in reviewing sport science research projects. This cooperation is carried out in respect of new applications for discretionary government grants addressed to the Ministry.

The scientific review of the applications for financial resources for sport science is based on the general review practices and criteria of the Academy of Finland as applicable. The Academy of Finland uses mainly foreign experts for the scientific review of the applications.

The application and its appendices should be submitted in accordance with the practices of the Academy of Finland. See the Academy of Finland's instructions for applicants about the sections and appendices to be included in the applications.

The applicants are requested to submit the applications in English, to enable international evaluation of the applications and to ensure their uniform preparation and flexibility in the processing of applications.

Sport research at the Ministry of Education and Culture, form to be appended to applications for the 2020 round.

 

Financing for follow-up projects

Applications that in 2018 and/or 2019 were granted a conditional decision on the extension of funding for 2020 and that the Academy of Finland and the National Sports Council have already reviewed are classified as extension applications. All applications in this group are processed by the Ministry of Education and Culture. 

The Ministry of Education and Culture will publish a separate call for extension applications, together with the necessary application and reporting forms, on its website in September 2019.

The conditions for continued support are that the subsidised project proceeds according to plan and that Parliament is prepared to allocate the necessary funds for sport science research projects. The application must contain an account of the progress made in the research and a description of any changes that may have taken place in the project.

Applications for follow-up projects must be submitted to the ministry in the manner described in the separate call for applications.

 

 

Funding by the Ministry of Education and Culture can be used to cover both direct and indirect costs from the projects, incurred from:

 

Salary costs of researchers in the research group

The amount of the salaries applied for must be in proportion to the average salary level of the site of research.

Funding by the Ministry of Education and Culture can be partly used as personal grant. The grant can be used either for an individual researcher working abroad, or for an international co-researcher working in Finland. In these situations, the Academy of Finland’s practices and criteria on grants will be applied. Where the grant is used to perform scientific research for at least four consecutive months and the earnings from this total at least EUR 1,300, which corresponds to annual earnings of EUR 3,900 (in 2019), the recipient of the grant must register it with MELA (Farmers' Social Insurance Institution). MELA collects pension, occupational accident and group life insurance contributions on the grant for the insured period meaning for the period the recipient receives the grant. Tax authorities retrospectively collect contributions based on health insurance legislation. These statutory insurance contributions normally total around 15% of the total grant. 

 

Other costs

At its discretion, the Ministry of Education and Culture will also fund other costs of research projects. Other costs do not cover the basic facilities of the site of research which are paid for, at least partly, with overheads. A clear itemisation of other costs according to type of expenditure and year must be included in the application:

  1. materials, supplies and other goods,
  2. participation in conferences and meetings (maximum of EUR 5,000 per year),
  3. other expenses (itemised)

The criteria for costs incurred by attendance at conferences and meetings are an approved scientific presentation at the conference or meeting (approval must be presented when reporting the research to the Ministry of Education and Culture, central position of trust in the organising community or membership in the secretariat for the community).

 

Overheads (maximum of 15 % of the total sum granted)

At most 15% of the Ministry of Education and Culture grant may be spent on research project overheads intended to cover the basic requirements of projects receiving research funding. The general basic requirements are the same as those for other research staff at the institution: i.e. office and laboratory premises, equipment (incl. computer equipment), and telecommunications, telephone, postal, copying and library services.

Under the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (section 6, 688/2001), the grant may not cover the full sum of overall costs of the activities or project, unless there are essential and justified reasons to do so to meet the objectives set for government grants. The application must include details of funding received from other sources and funding by the research organisation itself.

 

Changes in the use of funding

No permission from the Ministry of Education and Culture is needed for minor changes in the research plan. However, permission is required if there is a change of researcher or the site of research, or a significant change in the research plan, for example.  Other reasons for changes that significantly impact the execution of the research also require permission from the Ministry, and the application can be submitted in free-form text.

The expenditure types for cost estimates listed in the original application are normative, which means that departure from them is permissible, if this supports the execution of the proposed research plan. However, the recipient must contact the Ministry of Education and Culture where there are any deviations that exceed 15 per cent of cost estimates.

If the recipient of the discretionary government grant has not used the grant during the time for which the grant was awarded, the remaining funds must be reimbursed to the Ministry of Education and Culture. An extension of the expiry date may be granted only for highly compelling reasons.  In that case, a well-substantiated application for extension must be submitted to the Ministry of Education and Culture no later than 30 days before the original expiry date for using the funds.

 

Restrictions

The Ministry of Education and Culture funds an individual research project launched in 2020 for a maximum period of three years and with a maximum total amount of EUR 400,000.

Under the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (688/2001), a research project may not receive simultaneous funding for the same purpose from both the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Academy of Finland. If applying for funding for different sub-areas of an extensive research project simultaneously from both the Ministry and the Academy, the applicant must submit separate applications to both financing bodies.

They will be processed only if they are not designed to be used to apply for funding for one and the same purpose. Moreover, the applications must include a description of the link between the study in question and the larger project. The starting point is that basic research associated with the research entity are directed to the Academy of Finland and applied research to the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The funding period for the research projects may begin on 01/04/2020 at the earliest. The funding may be used during the year it has been granted and the year following that. As far as possible, the Ministry of Education and Culture will make the grant decisions in March 2020 at the latest.

As a rule, the Ministry funds an individual research project for a maximum of three years.

The condition for continued support is that the subsidised project proceeds according to plan, a realistic plan for further study is presented and the Parliament allocates the necessary funds for sport science research projects.

 

A discretionary government grant may only be used for the purpose for which it has been awarded.

A Ministry of Education and Culture grant may cover at most the share specified in the grant decision of the total costs incurred from the activities for which the grant was disbursed or the actual total costs of the project. The eligible costs are determined in the grant decision and its appendices.

Per each employee, as eligible costs will be regarded at most an amount corresponding to an annual salary of EUR 80,000 including the statutory indirect labour costs. The salary may be paid as wages or fringe benefits.

The recipient of a discretionary government grant must have appropriate financial management and administration practices in place. 

The recipient must submit a report on the use of the discretionary government grant to the Ministry by the date specified in the grant decision.  Cost centre based financial reporting is required of the grant recipient if the grant awarded is a special grant or a general grant intended for a specific part of activities.

The Ministry of Education and Culture has the right to conduct audits of discretionary government grant recipients’ finances and operations that are necessary for the payment of grants and supervision of their use (section 16 of the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers). 

Grant recipients must find out whether they have the duty to comply with the procurement legislation and act accordingly. A recipient other than a state or local authority or a religious community may also have the duty to arrange competitive tendering of their procurements in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts.

If a grant recipient meets the criteria for an institution of public law character (for example if more than half of its funding comes from a public source), the grant recipient must comply with the Public Procurement Act in all procurement processes. 

If a grant amounting to more than 50% of the value of a specific procurement is awarded to the recipient, the recipient must comply with the Public Procurement Act in the procurement process.  (Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts 1397/2016).

The Ministry of Education and Culture has outlined that a grant recipient must invite tenders from more than one supplier in such procurement of goods and services whose value is below the national threshold value but exceeds EUR 20,000 exclusive of VAT. Other terms and conditions also apply to spending the grant. The full list of terms and conditions.

 

 

 

A grant recipient must provide the Ministry with a report on the use of the discretionary government grant by the date specified in the grant decision. Cost unit-specific financial reporting is required of the grant recipient, if the grant awarded is a special grant or a general grant intended for a specific part of activities.

Once the funding is completed, the projects must submit an account of how the grant was used and a research report. The completed forms are to be submitted to the following address by the date specified in the grant decision: Ministry of Education and Culture, P.O. Box 29, FI-00023 GOVERNMENT. Should it not be possible for compelling reasons to supply the forms to the Ministry of Education and Culture by the specified deadline, an application for an extension with grounds must be submitted to the Ministry of Education and Culture with a free-form application or via e-mail.

A form for reporting on the use of a discretionary government grant for sport research is appended to this Call for applications.

Reports concerning discretionary government grants awarded for 2020 that were applied for in the e-services may be submitted through the e-services of the Ministry of Education and Culture. Reports concerning discretionary government grants applied for on paper shall be made by using a separate form.

The application and its appendices should be submitted in accordance with the practices of the Academy of Finland. See the Academy of Finland's instructions for applicants for the sections and appendices to be included in the applications.

The applicants are requested to submit the applications in English, to enable international evaluation of the applications and to ensure their uniform preparation and flexibility in the processing of applications.

Sport research at the Ministry of Education and Culture, appendix form for the 2020 round.

 

Report:

Reporting form detailing the use of discretionary government transfer for sport science research

  • Act on the Promotion of Sports and Physical Activity (390/2015)
  • Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (688/2001)

Haussa nyt

Application period for 2019: new research projects
3.9.2019 - 25.9.2019 16:15

Lisätietoja

Senior Advisor, Samuli Rasila, puh. 0295 330057, [email protected] 

Administrative Assistant, Päivi Wathén, puh. 0295 3 30341, [email protected]