NOSI: Academy of Finland (AKA) – National Institutes of Health (NIH) Partnership Program
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

November 13, 2020

Related Announcements

PA-20-183 - NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Required)

PA-20-184 - Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)

PA-20-185 - NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Issued by

Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


The purpose of this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) is to alert the community about this opportunity and disseminate knowledge and information on a program designed to foster the expansion of U.S.-Finland biomedical and behavioral research collaboration.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Academy of Finland (AKA), Finland are establishing the AKA-NIH Partnership Program.

The AKA-NIH Partnership Program seeks to encourage increased collaborative research between investigators in the U.S. and Finland. This is to be facilitated through the submission of grant applications from U.S. institutions that include collaboration with Finnish investigators selected by AKA to participate in the joint research program. NIH will support the project through regular investigator-initiated NIH application processes and review. AKA will fully fund Finnish investigators on collaborative grant applications that are selected for funding by participating NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) while NIH will fund the U.S. component. Research areas AKA may support through this program are described in AKA’s Finnish Research Flagships ( and need to align with research areas that fall clearly within the missions of participating NIH ICs. For example:

Photonics Research and Innovation (PREIN) Flagship:

  • Development of ultra-sensitive portable analyzers and biochemical sensors for applications in medical care
  • Design of a platform based on novel bioactive optical fibers for the development of novel biomedical devices for biophotonic and photomedical applications

Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence (FCAI) Flagship and Digital Precision Cancer Medicine Platform (iCAN) Flagship:

  • Integrating molecular data with digital health and involving patients to develop solutions in the digital health, diagnostic, and therapeutic space
  • Utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to anonymize complex cancer patient data
  • Utilizing lessons learned from cancer research for treatments to COVID-19

Inequalities, Interventions and New Welfare State (INVEST) Flagship:

  • Developing and studying digitally delivered intervention approaches regarding conduct problems of preschool children and anxiety problems among school-aged children
  • Utilizing molecular genetics to find out why interventions do not always work and what factors explain persistent issues in child development and learning

Eligible U.S. investigators who wish to participate in this program with Finnish collaborators should submit their application in response to standard, investigator-initiated R01 NIH grant funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). Applications will be reviewed by NIH in accordance with usual NIH procedures. Prior to the submission of an application to NIH, the Finnish collaborator must share a complete draft application with AKA and AKA will determine whether applications meet their requirements to be eligible for AKA funding. Please note that submission deadlines to AKA are different, and in addition to submission deadlines to NIH ( In all cases applications should address scientific priorities of relevance to both AKA, and NIH ICs. If an application is found eligible for AKA funding, AKA will issue a Confirmation of Eligibility for Funding letter to the Finnish investigator/collaborator and this letter must be included in the NIH application at the time of submission. Please refer to detailed instructions for funding consideration by AKA on this website:

Inquiries about the eligibility of proposed projects can be directed to the Point of Contacts listed below and to AKA (see website above).

Application and Submission Information

This notice applies to due dates on or after February 5, 2021 and subsequent receipt dates through January 8, 2024.

The following FOAs or their reissued equivalents must be used for submissions to this initiative:

Activity Code


First Available Due Date


PA-20-183 - NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Required)

February 5, 2021


PA-20-184 - NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)

February 5, 2021


PA-20-185 - NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

February 5, 2021

Note: Not all NIH ICs participate in Parent Announcements. Applicants should carefully note which ICs participate and view their respective areas of research interest at the R01 IC-Specific Scientific Interests and Contact websites. ICs that do not participate in these Parent Announcements will not consider applications for funding.

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the listed FOAs must be followed, with the following additions:

  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-OD-21-021” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (Box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in Box 4B will not be considered for this program.
  • Applications must include at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who is eligible for NIH funding and at least one foreign collaborator from an institution in Finland who has been confirmed eligible for AKA funding. The multiple PD/PI (MPI) option may be used in applications wishing to be considered under this program.
  • Applicants should follow normal guidance for an NIH application, including rules regarding foreign applications or applications with foreign components.
  • Prior to submission to NIH, to be considered by AKA for funding, the collaborator from an institution in Finland should inform the AKA points of contact about their plans for a collaborative AKA-NIH application as soon as relevant and must also submit documentation to AKA well in advance of the NIH application due date. Submission deadlines to AKA and additional details are available at the AKA website: Successful Finnish applicants will receive a Confirmation of Eligibility for Funding letter from AKA.
  • Applicants should follow normal guidance for an NIH application and provide the AKA Confirmation of Eligibility for Funding letter as part of the required Letters of Support to indicate the funding commitment of AKA.
  • Once an NIH IC selects an R01 application for funding, AKA will release funding of the Finnish component of the project.
  • Processing of the application at NIH will follow standard NIH receipt and referral guidelines and review. Applicants will be notified following usual NIH procedures whether they are being considered for an NIH award.

Note: Investigators planning to submit an application in response to this NOSI are strongly encouraged to contact the applicable staff listed on this NOSI and/or on the listed FOAs as well as AKA well in advance of the chosen application receipt date.


Please direct all inquiries to the contacts in Section VII of the listed FOAs with the following additions/substitutions:

General inquiries about the AKA-NIH Partnership Program should be directed to:

Sarah Scharf, MPA

Fogarty International Center (FIC), Division of International Relations (DIR)

Telephone: 301-496-4784


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NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices