Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Research Council of Finland (RCF) – National Institutes of Health (NIH) Partnership Program
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

December 14, 2023

First Available Due Date:
February 05, 2024
Expiration Date:
January 08, 2025

Related Announcements

  • November 13, 2020 Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Academy of Finland (AKA) – National Institutes of Health (NIH) Partnership Program. See Notice NOT-OD-21-021 (expired).
  • May 5, 2020 – NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Required). See NOFO PA-20-183.
  • May 5, 2020 – NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required). See NOFO PA-20-184
  • May 5, 2020 – NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). See NOFO PA-20-185.

Issued by

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

National Eye Institute (NEI)

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

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

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)

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, and disseminate knowledge and information regarding a program fostering the expansion of U.S.-Finland biomedical and behavioral research collaboration. This NOSI replaces the former NOT-OD-21-021.


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Research Council of Finland (RCF) (formerly Academy of Finland (AKA)), Finland established the RCF-NIH Partnership Program in 2020 (formerly Academy of Finland (AKA) – National Institutes of Health (NIH) Partnership Program).

The RCF-NIH Partnership Program encourages targeted collaborative research between investigators in the U.S. and Finland. This is facilitated through investigator-initiated grant applications from U.S. institutions that include collaboration with Finnish investigators selected by RCF to participate in the joint research program. NIH will support the project through investigator-initiated application processes and review. RCF 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 RCF may support through this program are described in RCF’s Finnish Research Flagships and need to align with research areas that fall clearly within the missions of participating NIH ICs. Examples include but are not limited to (please refer to for thematic areas that are covered by RCF):

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 to anonymize complex cancer patient data.

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 notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs). 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 RCF and RCF will determine whether applications meet their requirements to be eligible for RCF fundingIn all cases applications should address scientific priorities of relevance to both RCF and NIH ICs. If an application is found eligible for RCF funding, RCF 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 note that submission deadlines to RCF are different and separate from submission deadlines to NIH ( Please refer to detailed instructions for funding consideration by RCF on this website:

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

Application and Submission Information

Applicants must select the IC and associated NOFO to use for submission of an application in response to the NOSI. The selection must align with the IC requirements listed in order to be considered responsive to that NOFO. Non-responsive applications will be withdrawn from consideration for this initiative. In addition, applicants using NIH Parent Announcements (listed below) will be assigned to those ICs on this NOSI that have indicated those NOFOs are acceptable and based on usual application-IC assignment practices.

This notice applies to due dates on or after February 5, 2024, and subsequent receipt dates through January 8, 2025.

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



First Available Due Date

Participating ICs


NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Required)

February 5, 2024



NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)

February 5, 2024



NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

February 5, 2024


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 notice of funding opportunity used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:

  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-OD-24-040" (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. 
  • Well in advance of the NIH application due date, to be considered by RCF for funding, the collaborator from an institution in Finland must inform the RCF points of contact about their plans for a collaborative RCF-NIH application and must also submit documentation to RCF. Submission deadlines to RCF and additional details are available at the RCF website: Successful Finnish applicants will receive a Confirmation of Eligibility for Funding letter from RCF that must be included in the NIH grant application package as part of collaboration/consortium agreements.
  • 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 RCF 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.
  • To facilitate expedited tracking, applicants are requested to send an email to once the application has been submitted and assigned by NIH, and provide the NOFO number, the grant number, PD/PI name(s), and title of the application.
  • 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.
  • Once an NIH IC selects an R01 application for funding, RCF will release funding of the Finnish component of the project.

Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will not be considered for the NOSI initiative.


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

General inquiries about the RCF-NIH Partnership Program should be directed to:
Sarah Scharf, MPA
Regional Program Director, Europe, Israel & Multilateral Organizations 
Fogarty International Center (FIC), Division of International Relations (DIR)
Telephone: 301-496-4784

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 NOFO of interest as well as RCF well in advance of the chosen application receipt date.