Research support services enhance conditions for research at the Faculty and the competitiveness of the University.
Research at the Faculty of Medicine is primarily conducted in research groups, the leaders of which coordinate external funding, which gives them significant rights and responsibilities. Principal investigators at the Faculty of Medicine are appointed by heads of department at the proposal of the Research Council. The Research Faculty is composed of more than 460 principal investigators or group leaders.
New principal investigators are appointed according to the following criteria outlined in Rector’s Decision No 103/2009:
According to the Rector’s Decision, the principal investigator can be a person closely linked with the research activities of a faculty or independent institute, but need not be employed by the University of Helsinki. In relevant fields of research, the principal investigator can also be an independent researcher without a research group. Recognising research groups and their leaders as core research units at the Faculty is in accordance with international practices and significantly improves awareness of ongoing research activities and trends.
The Research Faculty provides a forum for principal investigators to better promote the distribution of research resources (infrastructures, positions and facilities) at the Faculty. As per the Rector's Decision, the work duties of a principal investigator employed at the University with external funding can include teaching related to the research work for five per cent of the annual workload without separate compensation. The language of operation of the Research Faculty is English.
Applying for a principal investigator position
Applications for a principal investigator position are submitted through the Tuhat research database:
Applications for principal investigator positions are assessed by the dean of research or, at his or her request, the Research Council.
Secretary of the Research Council, senior advisor in research administration Riikka Palonkorpi riikka.palonkorpi (at) helsinki.fi.
Principal investigators at the Faculty of Medicine actively apply for funding for their research projects, and this external funding comprises as much as 80% of the Faculty’s University funding.
Key foundations include
Some 30% of the Faculty’s external funding comes from international funding providers, the largest of which is the EU. An increasing number of Faculty researchers are part of international research projects funded through EU framework programmes. In addition, research projects funded by the European Commission's Directorate General for Health and Food Safety are currently operating at the Faculty. The Faculty has also received funding from the National Institute of Health in the US.
Key international foundations that fund researchers at the Meilahti Campus include NordForsk, which provides funding for Nordic research cooperation, the Association for International Cancer Research AICR and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation JDRF. Finally, pharmaceutical companies also provide international funding under international research agreements.
The committee issues statements on proposals for investigator-driven medical research at the Faculty, where necessary. The committee does not consider research proposals that require a statutory statement from the hospital district ethics committee or the National Committee on Medical Research Ethics.
The principal investigator must submit to the committee a research proposal of no more than six pages, a statement on the reasons for the need for an ethical preview, as well as his or her own assessment of the ethics of the research. The documents must be submitted to the committee secretary via email. The committee attempts to process the research proposals within three weeks of their submission. The processing may take longer during holiday seasons.