Difficult start

Success rates of different applications to the Academy of Finland

UPDATE: I asked the Academy for the funding rates for the Academy Professor positions, but there are so few of these positions that you don't get any usable statistics out of that data. I received a very transparent answer from the Academy (including the numbers I was asking for). The decision to preferentially cut funding from postdoctoral researchers was a conscious one by the Academy to preserve the means to do competitive research for projects and Academy Research Fellows. However, the trend to move funding from younger to older researchers seems to be general and has been going on already for half a century in the US (see e.g. here: http://metamodern.com/2009/11/27/great-science-great-scientists-and-icons/ or here: http://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2012/02/13/age-distribution-of-nih-principal...). Our future depends on new ideas and innovations. I am not sure, whether it is true that younger investigators come up with more new ideas and innovations as claimed in the blog post above (http://metamodern.com/2009/11/27/great-science-great-scientists-and-icons/), but if that is the case, moving money away from them would a bad idea in the long run.

Getting a research position funded by the Academy of Finland is becoming increasingly difficult. What worries me most is the fact that the savings are concentrated at the "lower" end of the academic career ladder: The success rate of applications for the postdoctoral researcher positions has been deteriorating most while Academy projects' funding remained largely untouched in the Research Council for Health. This Tuesday, the Academy presented these numbers at the Ask & Apply event for this September's funding call at the Medical Faculty. Academy Research Fellow funding was also stripped down, but much less than the postdoctoral researcher funding. Strangely enough, the slide omits the success rate of applications for Academy professor positions. Is this indicative of a generation conflict, where established researchers are successfully trying to secure the dwindling resources for themselves? I would need to know the application success rate for the Academy Professors and the granted amounts in order to draw any conclusions.