HIIT Call 2017/3, 4 and 5 for Proposals to Support the Helsinki ICT Community

Wed, 04.10.2017


HIIT Call 2017/3, 4 and 5 for Proposals to Support the Helsinki ICT Community

In these calls, we wish to support new initiatives that support HIIT's mission. Meanwhile we have sufficient funds available this call now continously open till 7th of December with three cut off dastes( Deadlines: HIIT Open call 2017/3 is 21st of October, HIIT Open call 2017/4:  14th of November and  HIIT Open call 2017/ 5 is 7th of December).

Please note that the funding needs to be used before 31.12.2017 => money needs to be spent this year.


In thesw call, we are looking for proposals related to following activities: 

  • organization of events
  • initiating new cross-university and/or multi-disciplinary scientific collaboration
  • inviting potential talented postdoc candidates to visit Finland
  • sponsoring of longer research visits abroad
  • boosting the career of highly successful doctoral students

In case you have an excellent idea that you feel does not fit well to any of these categories, please send email to Krisztina Cziner. The idea is that in these open calls the target is to support activities with clear added value and high potential impact, in cases where no existing funding instrument is easily available or the available funding is not sufficient.

Prepare your application online via Webropol:

Call target

The mission of HIIT is to enhance the quality, visibility and impact of research on information technology, and we are looking proposals for initiatives that support this mission. Our longer-term (over one year) commitments are channeled through postdoctoral researcher positions in the strategic HIIT research programmes that were recently renewed in 2016; in this call we focus on shorter-term funding and support activities that take place during the calendar year of 2017 - these activities may continue even further in the future, but the requested funding needs to be spent by the end of this year (31.12.2017). Activities to be funded may have started earlier this year (2017) before submitting a funding request. We expect typical funding requests to be between 1.000 and 10.000 euros (with the lower end for example for sponsoring a workshop, and higher end for funding M.Sc. thesis work (e.g. 3 FTE person months) on a topic supporting new collaborative research. In exceptional cases, we may consider even larger grants.

Note that this call is NOT limited to the current HIIT research programmes, but OPEN to the whole Helsinki ICT community, defined for this purpose as the HICT network: the main applicant / contact person needs to be listed as a HICT supervisor at www.hict.fi/supervisors. Younger researchers or even students are encouraged to apply (when applicable), and listed as co-applicants, as long as their supervisor / the main applicant is a member of HICT.

Decision criteria

As already stated above, the objective of HIIT is to enhance the quality, visibility and impact of the Helsinki region research on information technology, so successful applications are expected to clearly support one or more of these objectives. In addition, as a joint research institute of Aalto University and University of Helsinki, priority is given to applications initiating or enhancing collaboration between the two universities, supporting common focus areas in ICT and the strategies of both universities, and demonstrating clear added value by supporting activities that might not take place without this support.

There is no restriction on the number of the proposals a professor can submit, but in the funding decisions, we may also consider the overall balance between the various fields of ICT (in Helsinki).

Decision process

The funding decisions will be made by the HIIT Steering Group on the following dates: 26th of October, 21st of November and 14th of December and the cut-off dates to submit the proposals is one week prior to the Steering group meetings: 21st of October, 14th of November and 7th of December.

In case you have an excellent idea that you feel does not fit well to any of the categories below, please send email to Krisztina Cziner or visit her in room A209. W

Funding categories

Support for organizing an event

  • The target of this funding category is to provide support for organizing workshops, conferences, hackathons, bootcamps, summer schools or other events in Finland or abroad. In the application, please explain who is the targeted audience, how you plan to market your event, and how this event is will increase the visibility, impact or quality of Helsinki ICT. In marketing, HIIT expects to be acknowledged for sponsoring the event. The event may take place abroad, for example, as a satellite workshop of a major conference, but the main applicant needs to be a HICT supervisor, and in charge of the organization of the event. HIIT provides typically only partial support (e.g., covering traveling expenses of 1 or 2 invited speakers). In addition to financial support, we can also help in acquiring a "university neutral" web site for the event (under www.hiit.fi), if the event is jointly organized by the two universities, and the organizers do not wish to use the default web templates of Aalto or University of Helsinki. HIIT currently does not maintain its own administrative staff, so the practical arrangements need to be handled by the applicants themselves together with their local service organizations.

Support for initiating new cross-university and/or multi-disciplinary scientific collaboration

  • HIIT is willing to support new research initiatives that involve at least two research groups interested in common potentially high-impact research challenges that require collaboration of several research groups. Such collaboration is often multi-disciplinary and cross-university: strengthening collaboration within a single department is not totally out of the picture, but not our first priority. However, note that the proposals do NOT have to include research groups both from the Aalto and UH CS departments: for example, new collaboration between an Aalto CS professor and another professor at University of Helsinki (not necessarily CS), or perhaps another school in Aalto, makes a good candidate for this funding. Concretely, such an initiative could be, for example, funding for an M.Sc. thesis work supervised by a HICT professor, on a multidisciplinary topic agreed with the new potential collaborator (and utilizing their expert knowledge or data).

  • Visits abroad are generally not supported by this instrument, unless the visit is directly linked to a concrete project proposal: for example, travel funding related to planning of a new EU project proposal is OK (but the purpose of the trip has to be clearly explained in the application).

Support for inviting potential talented postdoc candidates to visit Finland

  • Recruitment of talented postdoctoral researchers is one of the key elements in advancing HIIT's mission. HIIT coordinates joint postdoc calls twice a year (more details: see below), but in addition to the regular calls, we now launch a new continuous call for inviting especially talented postdoctoral candidates to pay a visit in Helsinki. The idea: in case you meet a person you think would be an excellent candidate for a postdoc position in Helsinki, but no suitable call is open at the moment, you can invite such a person for a short site visit, and HIIT can cover the expenses provided that the following requirements are fulfilled:
    • The candidate is truly exceptional, and would strengthen the Helsinki ICT community
    • The candidate is looking for a postdoctoral position
    • The candidate is willing to give a guest lecture both in Otaniemi and in Kumpula
    • The visit program and the candidate's CV are planned and publicly announced well before the visit
    • The candidate can be interviewed by any member of the Helsinki ICT community
    • If several parties are interested in making an offer, the candidate is informed jointly of all the available possibilities, and the candidate will decide with whom to start negotiations, based on purely thematic motivation
  • The inviting host is responsible of all the practical arrangements (including arranging meetings with other professors willing to interview the visitor)

Partial support for longer research visits abroad

  • Researcher visits to high-profile universities or other organizations can be beneficial for increasing the visibility, impact or quality of Helsinki ICT, but the expenses of such visits are often quite high, and funding is typically divided among several funding organizations. HIIT will not cover all the expenses of such visits alone, but can be one of the sponsoring organizations.

Boosting the career of highly successful doctoral students

  • In some cases, the last stage of doctoral studies can be somewhat problematic as the student may have submitted the thesis already for pre-examination, and would be willing to move on in his/her career, but the funding project may "lock" the student in the old research themes and physically in Finland, while getting experiences of new environments and ideas might be better for the student at this stage of the career (and make his/her CV stronger). Moreover, the incentive to finish the Ph.D. as early as possible is not a very good one if it just means early termination of the contract of the student. To alleviate these problems, HIIT is willing to consider providing short-term (1-6 months) "bridge funding" for selected students who have shown excellent progress in their studies, and would like to spend some time before defending the thesis in another organization (typically, a foreign university or research organization). The student may even graduate before or during the HIIT-funded period, in which case the funding provides a possibility for a short "pilot postdoc period" that may help in acquiring the actual postdoc position.
  • The main applicant is the HICT supervisor of the student, and the application clearly needs to explain the details of the planned visits. We only consider students whose track record is excellent and who finish the Ph.D. in less than 4 years. In addition of filling the application, please email the summary of the track record of the student (incl. CV and list of completed courses) to krisztina.cziner@aalto.fi . Please also indicate the start date of the doctoral studies and leave of absence periods. Estimate when the doctoral studies will be completed.

Prepare your application online via Webropol: 


HIIT activities handled outside of this call

The items below are just let you know of recent developments and to remind you of other activities currently supported by HIIT.

M.Sc. student rotation program

HIIT wishes to support cross-university rotation of research-oriented M.Sc. students. The implementation of these activities will be planned together with the new rotation programs that are currently being discussed both in Otaniemi and Kumpula.

Helsinki Distinguished Lecture Series

HIIT is coordinating a high-profile lecture series on Future Information Technologies, see http://www.hiit.fi/HelsinkiITLectures. The idea is not to run yet another series of scientific guest lectures, but to attract a more versatile audience and focus on highlighting the research challenges and solutions faced by current and future information technology, as seen by the internationally leading experts in the field. An ideal candidate is an esteemed visionary with an academic background (e.g. the CTO of an IT company, or a university professor with high societal or industrial impact). If you have a suitable candidate in mind, please contact the coordinator of the Lecture Series, Teemu Roos (teemu.roos@cs.helsinki.fi). Never initiate discussions with a potential candidate without consulting Teemu first. The final funding decisions will be made by the HIIT steering group.

Joint calls for doctoral student recruitment and evaluation

HIIT organizes through the HICT doctoral education network twice a year a recruitment and evaluation process, with the target to encourage talented students to apply for a doctoral student position in the hosting universities. The reviews produced during the evaluation process can also be used for making decisions about available doctoral student funding. The previous call just ended, and we plan to open another HICT call again in the Fall 2017 (with a pre-call phase for external candidates). The contact person regarding these activities is Aija Kukkala, email: hict-apply@hiit.fi.

Joint calls for recruitment of postdoctoral researchers

HIIT coordinates joint recruitment activities postdoctoral positions, regardless of the funding source. The goal is to increase our international visibility though jointly organized marketing and evaluation processes. The most recent postdoc call was run in Spring 2017, we aim to organize the calls twice a year. The contact person regarding these processes is Stefan Ehrstedt, email: Stefan.Ehrstedt@aalto.fi.

Contact person: Krisztina Cziner

Last updated on 9 Oct 2017 by Krisztina Cziner - Page created on 4 Oct 2017 by Noora Suominen de Rios