Act on the Academy of Finland
Section 1. Administrative status
The Academy of Finland is a central science administration agency that operates within the administrative sector of the Ministry of Education.
Section 2. Duties
The duties of the Academy shall be:
1) to foster scientific research and its utilisation;
2) to promote international scientific cooperation;
3) to serve as an expert organ in science policy questions;
4) to grant funding for scientific research, researcher training and developing research capabilities; and
5) to execute other science policy expert tasks laid down in the Government decree or assigned to it by the Ministry of Education.
Section 3. Board
The Academy’s operations shall be directed and supervised by a Board. The Board shall consist of the Academy President and the Chairs of the Research Councils and three members appointed by the Finnish Government for three years at a time who are required to have experience in research work and sufficient science policy expertise. The Government shall appoint a Chair of the Board and a Vice Chair from among the latter. A person may be appointed a member of the Board for no more than two consecutive terms.
Section 4. Duties of the Board
The Board of the Academy shall decide upon matters concerning:
1) the Academy’s general policy lines and objectives, taking into account the objectives agreed on with the Ministry of Education;
2) the spheres of activity of the Research Councils and the promotion of fields of research that are covered by two or more Research Councils;
3) plans, budget proposals and performance agreements regarding the Academy’s operations and finances;
4) the distribution of appropriations among Research Councils and for different purposes;
5) the rules of procedure;
6) the approval of the financial statements and annual report; and
7) other matters with far-reaching consequences or of fundamental importance for the Academy.
Section 5. Research Councils
(1) The Academy has Research Councils as laid down by a Government decree. These Research Councils carry out the Academy’s duties within their respective fields of expertise.
(2) The Government shall appoint a Chair and no more than ten other members to the Research Councils for three years at a time. The members of each Research Council shall select from among their number the first and second Vice Chair. The Research Councils shall represent versatile scientific expertise of a high standard. A person may be appointed Chair or a member of a Research Council for no more than two consecutive terms. A person may be appointed Chair or a member of a Research Council for a maximum of three consecutive terms if he or she acts as Chair for one or two of these terms.
(3) Before appointing the Research Councils, the Ministry of Education shall hear the universities, major government research institutes, public authorities and corporate bodies representing research and development, major scientific societies and science academies.
(4) Matters concerning the Research Councils shall be resolved by the Chair of the Research Council unless otherwise provided by statute or laid down in the rules of procedure.
Section 6. Subcommittees of the Board
(1) By decision of the Board of the Academy, matters falling within the scope of two or more Research Councils may be transferred to be handled and resolved by a subcommittee appointed by the Board. Only members of the Board and of the Research Councils may be appointed to a subcommittee.
Section 7. President
(1) The Academy is headed by a President, appointed by the Government for no more than five years at a time. The President shall resolve matters concerning the Academy unless otherwise provided by statute, laid down in the rules of procedure or in the standing orders.
(2) The President must be a distinguished scientist or scholar. He or she must also be versed in science and university administration, and have proven management skills and management experience. The President must have an excellent command of spoken and written Finnish and a satisfactory command of spoken and written Swedish.
(3) The President’s deputy shall be appointed by the Board upon nomination by the President.
Section 8. Administration Office
The Academy shall have an Administration Office that attends to the Academy’s administration and is responsible for preparing matters concerning the Academy, and for presenting and implementing decisions.
Section 9. Research posts
(1) The Academy shall grant funding to universities, research institutes and other bodies towards the salaries of Academy Professors, Academy Research Fellows and other researchers.
(2) A commitment must be attached to applications for research posts as Academy Professor and Academy Research Fellow, in which the employer commits to the terms of the funding.
(3) An employer shall not act in a way that may jeopardise the freedom of research or teaching with respect to the employment relationship of a researcher working with Academy funding. In addition to that which is provided on the termination of an employment contract in Chapter 7 of the Employment Contracts Act (55/2001) and on its cancellation in Chapter 8 of the Act, the employment contract of an Academy-funded researcher may not be terminated or cancelled on grounds the citation of which would violate the freedom of the research or teaching.
Section 10. Title of Academician
The President of the Republic of Finland may, upon nomination by the Board of the Academy, grant the honorary title of Academician to distinguished Finnish or foreign scientists and scholars. The title of Academician can be held by no more than twelve Finnish scientists and scholars at a time. The document by which the title is granted is free of charge.
Section 11. Appeals
(1) No appeal may be made against a decision by the Academy concerning research grants, grants or agreements.
(2) No appeal may be made against a decision by the Academy concerning the granting of transfers as referred to in the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (688/2001). In other respects, the provisions of Section 34 of the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers shall apply to transfers.
Section 12. More detailed provisions and regulations
(1) More detailed provisions on the Academy’s duties, Board and Research Councils, settlement of matters and staff may be given by Government decree.
(2) Inasmuch as the matters referred to in Subsection 1 need not be regulated by a Government decree, regulations may be issued thereon in the rules of procedure approved by the Board.
(3) More detailed provisions on the Academy’s Administration Office and its internal operations shall be given in the standing orders, which shall be approved by the President of the Academy.
Section 13. Entry into force and transitional provision
(1) This Act enters into force on 1 January 2010.
(2) This Act repeals the Act regarding the Academy of Finland (378/1994) issued on 27 May 1994, as amended.
(3) The research posts based on public-service employment relationships with the Academy are discontinued and the public-service employment relationships concerned expire without separate notice upon the entry into force of this Act. The discontinuation of posts and the expiry of public-service employment relationships are not subject to consent.
(4) Persons who hold an Academy research post at the time of the entry into force of this Act shall be employed in a contractual employment relationship with the organisation in which their research posts are placed. Persons with fixed-term public-service employment relationships shall be employed in a fixed-term contractual employment relationship for the same fixed term. The Academy of Finland shall make the new funding decisions required by the employment of the persons transferred from public-service employment relationships. The employees and their contract terms shall be subject to the provisions laid down in the Act, or the provisions or regulations provided by virtue of the Act, and to what is agreed in the collective agreement and the employment contract.
(5) Measures necessary for the implementation of this Act may be undertaken before the Act’s entry into force.
Adopted in Helsinki on 20 November 2009
President of the Republic
Minister of Education