Grants for Professors’ Research
The Professor Pool was founded due to a concern that Finland’s best scholars have less and less time for research. Teaching resources at universities have not been increased, despite a growth in the number of students and degrees, and professors have also constantly had to take on more administrative duties. Through this professors’ research period system, younger scholars also get an opportunity to gain experience by filling in for the professors who are on research leave.
The Foundations’ Professor Pool was set up by 17 foundations: Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Alli Paasikivi Foundation, The Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation, Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, Kaupallisten ja teknillisten tieteiden tukisäätiö – KAUTE Foundation, Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation, OP-Pohjola Groups’ Research Foundation, Orion-Farmos Research Foundation, the Paulo Foundation, Finnish Cultural Foundation, The Finnish Parkinson Foundation, Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland, The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland, Tauno Tönning Foundation, Yksityisyrittäjäin Säätiö (Foundation for Entrepreneurs) and the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation.
A board with a representative appointed by each member foundation administers the Pool. The Pool arranges expert review of applications, after which the foundations involved make the actual grant decisions.
In spring 2011 The Council of Finnish Foundations began looking into setting up the Foundations’ Professor Pool at the initiative of the Finnish Cultural Foundation. During the preliminary process, both universities and The Finnish Union of University Professors were consulted. The Pool was set up at this stage for a temporary period of three years (2012–2014). The Foundations’ aim is that the Pool will encourage universities themselves to organise financing for professors’ research leave in the future.