Turku Intersectoral Excellence Scheme - Secondment

A particular aspect of the TIES programme is that all TIES Fellows must spend between two and six months working on secondment within an organisation external to the higher education sector on a project which is a key part of their TIAS project.

Please see the detailed instructions for the application documents for a list of the information which is needed in the application. We expect applicants to have a clear idea of what sector (e.g. business, government, voluntary) they wish to be seconded to and what they wish to achieve during the secondment. These plans will be reviewed as part of the overall assessment of the research plan’s quality.

TIES Fellows will continue to receive their salary from the University of Turku for the duration of their secondment.

Arranging a secondment

The purpose of the secondments is to add an intersectoral dimension that is relevant, feasible, and beneficial for the researcher, the project and any partners. The secondment(s) must have a total duration of a minimum two months and maximum six months and must be implemented between Month 3 and Month 35 of the fellowship. A maximum of three secondments (3 x 2) may be undertaken and such secondments may be with more than one external organisation.

Following selection, TIAS, in consultation with the Fellow and their academic supervisor (who will be appointed after selection) and supported by UTU’s faculties and administrative services, Turku Science Park and partner networks, will arrange the secondments. Fellows may also arrange their own secondments, subject to TIAS’s approval.

Secondment hosts may be from within or beyond Finland. UTU will require potential secondment hosts to demonstrate that their organisation’s infrastructure and capacity is appropriate to support the proposed research and that the working conditions will comply with the policies of UTU and MSCA (e.g. in areas such as non-discrimination).

Note that as part of the application process, applicants may ask potential secondment provider to sign a letter of support, but this is not a required document and must confirm to the TIES letter of support template.

Should additional or replacement secondments be required, TIAS will support the Fellow in arranging these.

Secondment supervision

Each secondment will be supervised in the workplace by an employee of at least five years’ experience who will oversee the work-based element of the TIES programme in liaison with the TIAS Director.

Secondment supervisors will be invited to support the Fellow throughout their secondment and during the rest of their project. They will also be invited to contribute to the Fellow’s Personal Career (PCDP) process, by such things as providing a list of the training courses and learning resources that they have available, by helping Fellows assess their training requirements and by providing guidance in developing a plan of action.

They will also be invited to confirm the feasibility of aspects of the PCDP that relate to the secondment and provide a brief report of the Fellow’s progress to their academic supervisor upon completion of the secondment. They will be invited to attend TIAS’s yearly workshops on intersectoral working led by Turku Science Park, the first of which will take place six months after the arrival of the first TIES-ERs.

Intellectual property and confidentiality

IP and confidentiality (e.g. relating to the use of personal and business data) is of critical importance in sectors outside of academia. It is therefore critical to ensure that the rights and interests of Fellows and their secondment hosts are respected during and after the secondment. Fellows must retain the right and possibility to publish scientific articles, complying with the standards for Open Science set by UTU and Horizon Europe. It is also essential to secure the confidential information of host organisations and avoid leaks of confidential information.

As a result of its long-term participation in schemes such as Finland’s national PoDoCo programme UTU has extensive experience of handling IP rights issues relating to researcher secondments outside academia. Unless otherwise agreed, the ownership and intellectual property rights to innovations created during the secondment are held by the party who has generated the result. In principle TIES Fellows will hold ownership and intellectual property rights to their own inventions. If a result has been generated by more than one participant (e.g. by the Fellows and employee(s) of the host organisation) then the participants shall have joint ownership of the result.

To confirm these and other matters, a meeting will be held before the start of each secondment between the Fellow, their UTU supervisor, their secondment supervisor, and a representative of UTU’s Legal Department. This will agree the scope of any Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) required, and on the treatment of IP issues relating to the secondment, such as the terms and conditions of the ownership.

The method and content types of any related publications by either party will also be agreed, with the other party retaining a right to review these for factual accuracy and compliance to mutual agreements. These agreements will be formalised in writing before the start of the secondment as part of a consortium agreement between UTU any other parties concerned, typically through the use or revision of an existing template.

University of Turku partner organisations

>> A list of the University of Turku’s partner organisations covering the five TIAS faculties

Applicants wishing to have further information on potential secondment opportunities falling within the remit of one of those faculties may contact the faculty TIES liaison officers:

  • Education: Anu Warinowski, anuwar@utu.fi
  • Humanities: Marja-Liisa Helasvuo, mlhelas@utu.fi
  • Law: Kirsi Tuohela, kirtuohe@utu.fi
  • Social Sciences: Juha Räikkä, jraikka@utu.fi
  • Turku School of Economics: Antti Saurama, antti.saurama@utu.fi

Questions may also be sent to the general TIES enquiry email: ties@utu.fi. Please send any questions well before the application deadline.

EU flag and cofunded text

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions grant agreement No. 101081293.