The Nessling Foundation has revamped its application process

The Nessling Foundation’s general grant application process is open during 15.8.–16.9.2016. In this year’s application process we are emphasising postdoctoral researchers. As a new feature we are awarding larger project funds to postdoctoral researchers, in addition to personal grants. The application criteria places special emphasis on a communication and interaction plan. Always read the application guidelines carefully. Each year we reject applications that are inadequate or do not comply with the guidelines.

The Nessling Foundation provides funding for scientific research and research knowledge communication that promote environmental protection. The support is awarded for projects whose results can be applied to Finnish environmental protection and societal decision-making, or which otherwise support Finland’s environmental objectives.

Funding criteria:

  • The results’ societal relevance and their orientation towards solutions
  • The scientific standards of the research and the research group
  • The innovativeness of the research
  • The collaboration between researchers/research groups/organisations
  • Communication of the research and interaction with stakeholders
  • The training environment (if the funding is sought for thesis work)

Read more about who can apply, and for what grants, here.

Project grants for postdoctoral researchers

In 2016, the Nessling Foundation will open the application process for one or two-year project grants. Funding of 100,000 – 200,000 euros per year will be awarded for solution-oriented research projects. The themes of the projects are not restricted.

The project grants are meant for researchers who have completed a doctoral degree. The project must be carried out together with stakeholders, especially the knowledge users. The collaboration should be described in the project’s communication and interaction plan. The application process has two stages.

Read more about project grants here.

Communication or interaction?

We want to fund research that has an impact. The article is the product of the research – impact is only created once the results are put to use, as Ilkka Niiniluoto has eloquently said. That is why we want researchers to consider already in the application stage who needs the information, and how will it transfer into use. A separate communication and interaction plan always has to be filled in for the grant application.

Why a communication AND interaction plan? On the conceptual level, communication is interaction and interaction is communication. Instead of concepts, we want to turn the gaze on contents and concreteness. Communication with the research’s stakeholders is often essentially interaction, where information is exchanged on both sides and novelty is born in cooperation. These kinds of stakeholders can be, for example, county officials, companies, or landowners, who need precisely defined information about a research object, or who should be offered consultation. In those cases you can already collaboratively draft the research design, or at least consider the means of involvement.

At the same time, some stakeholders may only need one-way information, which in turn is purely communication – not interaction. It is important to communicate research, for example, to a large audience, so that the researchers’ voices can be heard and environmental research can be made apparent in societal discussion.

Both scenarios are equally important for the effectiveness of research, and for that reason we are emphasising the communication and interaction plan in our application process.

You can read the updated guidelines for making a communication and interaction plan here.

We organised an application info session in June, where we gave tips on the communication and interaction of research. The materials of the event are available here.

You can read the Foundation’s updated application guidelines here.

Good luck with the application process!