National Committees are discipline or phenomena-specific cooperative bodies linking national scientific communities to international umbrella organisations. Working in national committees and international organisations offers Finnish researchers an opportunity to influence international practices and science policies in their field. National Committees have members from academies, learned societies, universities, and research institutes. 

The National Committees network consists of 36 committees in 2024. The Council of Finnish Academies allocates state subsidies to National Committees for international collaboration and grants the status of a scientific National Committee. The Committees can be both cooperation bodies founded for international cooperation or work as a part of a science association.

The role of national committees

The National Committees offer an official mandate to act as the voice of Finnish research in international science organisations. This creates an opportunity to influence the standards, research, and teaching practices as well as science policies on an international level. 

The National Committee network offers its members a chance to act as a part of a multi-discipline network of researchers as well as functions of Finnish Academies. The status of a National Committee offers a chance to apply for a grant for operating in international science organisations, provided by the Council of Finnish Academies. The grant is for operating in international science organisations. The Council of Finnish Academies covers the membership fee of the science organisations which the committees work with. 

History of national committees

The National Committees date back to the cooperation between the Council of Finnish Academies and International Science Council (ISC) and its predecessors. While ISC was founded in 2018, Finland has been part of its ICSU since its founding in 1931. The National Committee network was established for cooperation with science unions with the first committees founded in the 1920s.

The members of ISC can be divided into national members and international field-specific unions. Today ISC includes multidisciplinary research programmes which have reflected on the Finnish National Committee system. The committees can be members of both science unions and programmes that are part of ISC and European field-specific cooperation bodies.