Application Guidelines 2017–2018 will be updated during August. The application period for Central Fund grants is October 1–31, 2017 and for Regional Funds grants January 10–February 9, 2018.

For other grants available (eg Residential centres for artists and Mobility grants for artists), please read Grants available for application.

Guidelines for applying for residency and mobility grants can be found here.


Grants from the Finnish Cultural Foundation and its regional funds are sought via the Online Application Service. Check the application guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions before entering the online grant applications.

Please note that all grant applications to the Finnish Cultural Foundation must be submitted online only starting from October 1, 2016.

In brief

Start here

When and how are grants applied for
When results are released
For what purpose can I apply for a grant
What grants are not awarded for
What sorts of grants are awarded
How much can I apply for
Who can apply
Grant or salary
Planning your project funding
Who will evaluate my application
Does it matter what field of specialization I choose
What constitutes a good application

Also read

Three-year grants
Combined funding for doctoral students
Grants for undergraduate study
Central Fund’s special grants
Special Regional Fund grants
What do I need to know about references
Grantee’s statutory and supplementary insurances
University compensation

How to apply

Structure of the application
The applicant
The grant
The work plan and its summary
Other funding
Sending your application

In brief

Important dates

  Applications References Decisions Annual Gala
Central Fund 1.–31.10. 1.–31.10. Beginning of February 27.2.
Regional Funds 10.1.–10.2. 10.1.–10.2. April April–May

The grant-funded work can begin only after the grant decision has been made and at the latest within one year from it. It is not tied to a calendar year. Expenditure grants are likewise intended to cover expenses that are incurred after the grant decision has been made.

1.    Read the guidelines
It is important that you read these guidelines carefully. There are likely to be slight revisions each year.
The section Start here outlines the main points, some of which are described in detail in the sections Also read and How to apply. Follow the links to find out more.

2.    Write your application carefully
Log into the Online Application Service and fill in the information where applicable. It is not necessary to fill in the application form from beginning to end in a single session. It will remain as a draft and can be modified until you click send. The most important items in your application are the work plan/summary and the budget (where required). Invest time on these sections, especially on the work plan/summary, as they should pique the reader’s interest and clearly state the purpose the grant is sought for.

3.    Do not forget the attachments
Attach all the relevant information requested to your application, but do not make your application unnecessarily long. Do not expect that the evaluator will have time to investigate additional information by following Internet links.

4.    Submit your application in time
Write important application dates in your diary and adhere to them. Do not leave the writing and sending of your application until the last moment. The Online Application Service closes at 4:00 pm Finnish time on the deadline date. The applications and its attachments can only be submitted online.

5.    Inform your referee in good time
Do you need references to support your application? If you do, ask your referee(s) to submit a reference to the Online Reference Service by the deadline. Pay attention to the instructions in the section What do I need to know about references.

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Start here

The Finnish Cultural Foundation (called hereafter as the Foundation) is a private trust dedicated to the promotion of the arts, research, and other fields of intellectual and cultural endeavours in Finland. It accomplishes this by, among other things, awarding grants.

Grants are awarded to Finnish citizens and to people living and working in Finland, to registered organizations operating in Finland, and to purposes that have strong connections to Finnish culture.

The Foundation annually receives over 19 000 grant applications, from which the grants are awarded with the help of peer evaluation. By preparing your application carefully, you can significantly improve its chances of success.

When and how grants are applied for

The Foundation awards grants from the Central Fund and 17 Regional Funds. Both funds award grants only once a year. The application periods are

Central Fund         October 1–31
Regional Funds    January 10–February 10

You can apply for a grant from both sources with separate applications. If the work or project to be funded is of a national nature or deals with several Finnish regions, you may first apply to the Central Fund. The Regional Funds support activities related to their own geographic area, so, if the work or project to be funded is of a local or regional nature, we recommend that you apply to a Regional Fund. You can submit separate applications to several Regional Funds, but you cannot be awarded a grant from more than one Fund at a time for the same purpose.

The Regional Funds award grants primarily for cultural activities to be conducted in their own region, as well as artistic or research work targeted at the region. Individual Regional Funds also have their own policies. They are outlined on the Foundation's website. The Uusimaa Regional Fund, for example, awards grants only for arts and arts-related projects and events, and for the promotion of regional culture.

Apply for a grant by submitting an online form filled in the Online Application Service along with the required attachments before the deadline.

Allow yourself plenty of time to prepare your application. Do not leave it to the last moment!

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When results are released

The Central Fund's grant decisions will be announced in early February, about one week before the deadline for Regional Fund applications. The Regional Funds' grant decisions will be announced at some point during the course of the spring. If you have given your consent in the Online application service, you will be informed of the decision by email.

Successful applicants will be notified in writing 2–3 weeks before the official public announcement at the annual galas.

The Central Fund's annual gala is on February 27. The dates of the Regional Funds' annual gala can be found on the Foundation's website. After the annual galas, the grants awarded will be published on the Foundation's website (in Finnish only).

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For what purpose can I apply for a grant

You can apply for a grant for research or artistic work, as well as for projects in the aforementioned fields. Typical examples include doctoral dissertations, general work of artist, and events.

So-called special grants can be awarded for projects promoting cultural life and societal objectives in a broader sense. The Central Fund’s Eminentia grants and Art for Institutions grants, as well as special Regional Fund items such as Spearhead Projects and grants for local heritage work fall under this category.

Grants are awarded for undergraduate studies to a very limited degree only (read the section Grants for undergraduate study), and only in exceptional cases for conference and lecture trips. The hiring of assistants or other staff is also funded to a limited degree.

Grants for postdoctoral research abroad lasting at least a full academic year are not awarded by the Foundation. Such activities are jointly funded by the Finnish foundations ( Furthermore, the Foundation participates in the Finnish foundations' Post Doc in Companies -program ( PoDoCo is a matchmaking program aiming to facilitate the employment of young doctors to the private sector and, at the same time, contribute to the strategic renewal of Finnish business life.

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What grants are not awarded for

Grants are not awarded

  • as a bonus or incentive in addition to wage or other grant
  • merely to cover printing costs or production of copies of sound recordings or videos
  • to cover the costs of undergraduate studies (e.g., tuition fees) or student exchange programmes included in studies
  • for vocational training
  • for postdoctoral research abroad except for visits lasting less than one academic year (Longer visits are jointly funded by the Finnish foundations through the Post doc pool.)
  • to institutions and associations that receive regular public funding *
  • for profit-making business operations
  • on social grounds or as supplement to social security

* Grants are not awarded to regular expenses of organizations that are essentially of public nature such as universities and municipal theatres. However, organizations that depend on discretionary subsidies do qualify.

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What sorts of grants are awarded

The grants are of two types: working grants and expenditure grants.

Working grants are awarded to cover personal living costs for a certain period. The applicant must submit a work plan but not a detailed account of how the grant will be spent. A working group can also apply for a working grant, in which case the members of the group will share the funds among themselves. A registered organization cannot apply for a working grant.

Expenditure grants are awarded to cover expenses arising from project-like activities such as archaeological excavations or theatre productions, or the purchase of individual items such as musical instruments. Applications for an expenditure grant must include a detailed budget for the whole project.

It is also possible to apply for both a working grant and an expenditure grants in the same application. Examples include, artistic work combined with the purchase of a kiln, doctoral research combined with the use of laboratory services, or general artistic work combined with the cost of making sets for a staged production.

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How much can I apply for

The time unit of working grants is one month. In other words, the sum you apply for will depend on the work’s duration, which is typically one year. A one-year working grant is 24 000 euros, except for postdoctoral research work, which is 28 000 euros. (See the table under Amount and specification of the grant applied for.)

Expenditure grants are calculated in euros and may range from a few thousand euros to over 200 000 euros. Only a few grants of over 100 000 euros and only about twenty grants of over 50 000 euros are awarded each year by the Central Fund. Large expenditure grants are highly competed for.

The minimum sum awarded by the Central Fund is 3 000 euros, apart from grants for undergraduate study. The minimum grant awarded by the Regional Funds is 2 000 euros.

The Foundation seeks to award grants that are sufficient to implement the whole proposed work plan. If the funding sought from the Foundation is only a part of the total funding, it is important to include an overall financing plan.

Approximately 15% of the working grant is reserved for statutory social security contributions. The grant also covers common expenses arising from travel, material, equipment, and office rental (up to a maximum of 4 000 euros of the yearly grant sum).

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Who can apply

a)    private individuals for their own work and/or for expenditures of a project
b)    working groups for the work of a group member and/or for expenditures
       of projects
c)    registered organizations (such as associations or cooperatives) for
       expenditures of projects

The majority of the grants are awarded to private persons and working groups. Registered organizations may apply for grants to implement diverse cultural projects.

When applying as a working group, all members, including the group leader, must be designated as a grantee in the project application. The group leader is furthermore responsible to the Foundation and, if need be, to the Farmers' social insurance institution Mela. A grant, according to Finnish law, is tax-free and can only be awarded for research or for artistic work. Therefore, only persons engaged in such work can qualify as members of a working group. A research assistant, for example, does not in the legal sense perform research. Hence, they are regarded as a salaried assistant.

Registered organizations may apply for grants for specific cultural or scientific projects. They may also apply for an expenditure grant to cover wages or fees. It should be noted, however, that in such cases the payments are considered as salary paid by the project, not a grant from the Foundation. This has certain tax implications, which should be taken into account by the applicant. Registered organizations other than ones receiving regular public funding can apply for a grant. However, profit-making business operations are not funded. Grants are awarded to private individuals instead of trade names.

The Foundation awards science grants primarily as personal working grants. Therefore, a research group leader is not eligible to apply for a grant on behalf of a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation student or a post-doc researcher. They may, however, support a personal grant application with their reference.

Although the Foundation awards science grants primarily as personal working grants for doctoral dissertations or for postdoctoral research, under special circumstances (and with special grounds only) it is possible to apply for a grant for the whole research group. A research project in this context is defined as having a minimum working group of 3 persons or being a multiyear project of a 2-person working group. In this case, the members of the research group applying may not apply for personal grants for the same project.

When the applied grant is for a research project the applicant (the signatory of the application, i.e. the liaison) must be the grantee and take a leave of absence from any salaried employment. The remuneration for scientific work must be paid as grant instalments that must be itemised according to group members in the project budget. The grant amount is the same for adjunct professors and professors as for applicants with research doctorates. (Please refer to the table under Amount and specification of the grant applied for.)

Project funding is awarded for a period no longer than three years. The grant is transferred to a single bank account indicated by the liaison of the working group.

The Foundation awards a wide range of art grants for both individual work as well as for working groups and registered organizations for the implementation of various projects. Artists should not apply for funding for a particular project as a private individual and a working group. They should only send in one application for one production. The application may also include a grant for the work of the producer, if the producer is part of the project’s artistic working group.

If a member of a working group is granted a full-year working grant with a personal application, this member is not eligible for another working grant for the duration of the project of the working group.

During the grant period, recipients of a full-time working grant must not be in paid employment such as salaried research post. (See also Combined funding for doctoral students under Also read.) Neither can other working grants or unemployed benefits be used during the grant period.

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Grant or salary

The grants awarded by the Foundation are intended primarily to support personal, full-time artistic or research work, not as salary funding.

As a rule, grants are not subject to tax. The tax exemption nevertheless applies only to the grantee. If, for instance, the grantee is a registered organization arranging an event, any remuneration paid by it to an artist is regarded as salary, for which the income tax and statutory social contributions must be paid. This should be taken into consideration when drafting the budget.

The Foundation does not fund salaries if the project is eligible for a grant. For example, the members of a research team must be grantees, i.e. they must be entered as group members in the application. Performance fees for the members of an artists' group must be applied without employment costs and paid as a grant as well. Typical examples of paid assistance are: the layout designer for a doctoral dissertation, the hiring of a research assistant and a guest performer in an art production.

Tax-free grants can only be awarded for scientific and artistic work.

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Planning your project funding

The aim of a grant from the Foundation is to ensure that a project can be carried out in its entirety. A broad funding base is, however, an advantage in large-scale projects. Carefully planned self-financing (such as ticket revenue) creates an impression of a credible, viable project. Even if you are applying only for partial funding, the application should clearly state and itemise the budget for the whole project.

The Foundation does not fund activities permanently. Even the best research team or festival may be granted funding for only a few years in succession. Please read the instructions regarding budgets in What constitutes a good application.

The Foundation was one of the supporters of the Guest of Honour Finland project at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2014. For this purposes the Foundation granted The Finnish Literature Society over 200 000 euros at different stages of the project. The total cost of the project amounted to several million euros.

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Who will evaluate my application

Applications for Central Fund grants are evaluated by over 40 committees, each consisting of 2–3 outside experts and being chaired by one of the Foundation trustees. These expert committees propose grantees to the Board of Trustees, which then makes the decisions on grants.

In other words, the applications are evaluated by a large group of volunteers representing the highest expertise in their field. Experts change from year to year. Although the same person may be invited to act as an expert again, this happens only after an interval of several years.

The grants of the Regional Funds are proposed to the Foundation's Board of trustees by their respective governing bodies, the members of which diversely represent the culture of each region. Outside experts are also called upon.

Extremely rigorous rules are applied to the evaluation of applications in order to ensure impartiality and confidentiality. Even an already awarded grant can be disqualified on grounds of conflict of interest in the decision-making process. The names of the experts taking part in making the decision are not disclosed.

The Foundation encourages the experts to emphasize their personal views in making their evaluations. For the applicant, this means that a negative grant decision one year can become a positive one the following year because different people will be evaluating the applications.

The experts are not required to justify their decisions in writing. No feedback can therefore be given on applications.

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Does it matter what field of specialization I choose

The field of specialization you choose tells the Finnish Cultural Foundation the field of expertise you would like the evaluators of your application to represent. Give especially careful thought to this, particularly in case the scope of your work applies to several established fields of arts and sciences.

Arts, research in the arts, artistic research…?
The stated field determines whether your application is evaluated by persons who have distinguished themselves in either the arts or its research.

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What constitutes a good application

A good application is well planned, reasoned, as well as clearly and concisely written.

  • A grant is awarded not because of whom you are but because of what you do. The work plans of the applications often tend to focus too much on personal merits. Tell what you do. Be convincing and think of the reader.
  • If you are seeking a working grant, present a realistic and credible work plan.
  • If you are seeking an expenditure grant, make sure that the budget is detailed, clearly structured, and easy to read, i.e. draw up a table in which the budget revenue income and expenses balance and the decimal points are aligned. Use attachments; the formatting of tables written on the application form can become garbled.
  • If you apply for a grant for both work and expenditure, make sure your budget includes, apart from the expenditure, work costs in euros and months. A working group application should furthermore itemise work costs by person.
  • State precisely what the money will be spent on. Do not mention production costs if it means the producer’s salary. Many good projects are not awarded grants because an outside reader cannot envisage how the money will be spent.
  • References carry weight – especially in research applications. They may be essential in arts applications – especially if you are just setting out in your career. Request references in good time.
  • State your reasons clearly in the very first sentence. What do you need a grant for?
  • Say what your occupation is. “Master of Arts”, for example, does not say whether you are a mathematician or an Egyptologist.
  • Send your application with all the relevant attachments.

Draw up a project budget carefully and be realistic. A credible plan gives your project a better chance of success.

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Also read

In addition to its regular work and expenditure grants listed above, the Foundation awards other types of grants, described below. Note also the advice about references, insurance, and the university compensation.

Three-year grants

The Foundation annually awards about 30 three-year grants in different fields. The Regional Funds may award these grants at the discretion of their administrative councils. Note that if you apply for a three-year grant, your work plan must cover all three years.

If the experts support your application but not for three years, you may receive a shorter grant instead.

If you have already been awarded a three-year grant from the Central Fund, you do not need to apply for the second and third year during the general application period in October. You will find separate instructions for applying for continuing funding on the Foundation's website.

If your three-year grant has been awarded by a Regional Fund, you must seek funding for the second and third year during the general application period of the Regional Funds from January 10 to February 10.

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Combined funding for doctoral students

The Foundation offers doctoral students a chance to combine a grant with salaried employment, so that together they allow the student to pursue their studies full-time.

Under this scheme, a doctoral student with a 56% employment contract with a university or other research establishment may apply to the Foundation for a full-year working grant (24 000 euros) to be spread over two years. Correspondingly, a six-month working grant (12 000 euros) may be sought to be spread over 12 months.

We recommend that you attach proof of your employer’s consent to the arrangement to your application. The period over which you spend the grant can, however, be changed retroactively by contacting the Foundation office.

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Grants for undergraduate study

Grants can be awarded for undergraduate study at a university or university of applied sciences, but only in the final stages of study, only for the special expenses arising from, for example, a thesis. These grants are worth 1 000–4 000 euros. However, grants are not awarded to finance undergraduate studies (such as tuition fees at a foreign university) nor for student exchange programmes such as Erasmus.

The Foundation does not support studies that are to be supported by means of other funding (such as student and housing allowance, study loan, Fulbright or other similar funding). If there is a justifiable lack in your funding, give a clear budget for the whole academic year in your application.

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Central Fund’s special grants

The special grants of the Central Fund that can be applied for in October are the Eminentia and Art for Institutions grants.


One or more Eminentia grants of 25 000 euros are awarded annually to senior researchers and artists to be used for the following purposes:

  • reflective writing about the applicant’s research or artistic lifework
  • interaction between various fields of sciences and arts
  • promotion of the role of culture in society.

An Eminentia grant may, for example, enable the writing of a book or the setting up of a retrospective exhibition.

The grant is intended for working full-time on leave from salaried employment. A pension is not an impediment to applying for such a grant.

Art for Institutions

The aim of this form of funding is to improve the quality of life of people in need of care or special support through the arts or applied arts. The project may be conducted in residential institutions or other non-conventional environments. Possible targets might include service flats and day centres, prisons, reception centres, care centres for substance abusers, child welfare centres, elderly persons living at home, etc.

Individual artists, working groups, and registered organizations are eligible for this grant. The following carry special weight in evaluating the applications: the project enhances the significance of art in the everyday environment; the project is of a high artistic standard and has potential for making a lasting impact. It is also important to take into consideration the special needs of the target group(s) and to apply this understanding to promote greater equality in society.

The application must include a tentative approval from a collaborative institutional partner, as well as the partner’s contact details. The project plan must state what the project intends to achieve, by whom and for whom, and how the target group will be integrated in the activity. The budget must be appended in a separate attachment (unless the application is for a working grant only).

Special Regional Fund grants

Special grants that may be sought from Regional Funds between January 10 and February 10 include grants for local projects, grants for cultural activities for children and the young, and grants for Spearhead projects. In addition, each Regional Fund may have its own special funding policies. This information can be found on the Finnish Cultural Foundation's website under Regional Funds.

Local projects

The Regional Funds award grants for local projects, as well as projects preserving local culture and the cultural environment. The projects may involve the documentation or presentation of local heritage, historical surveys of local communities and societies, other local cultural or environmental projects, exhibitions, events, etc. Scientific research into local culture is not considered a local project.

Cultural activities for children and the young

Regional Fund grants for cultural activities for children and the young can be sought by teachers or leaders of child and youth groups. The grants are not awarded to institutions and associations that receive regular public funding. Nor are they awarded to schools, though the project may be carried out on school premises.

The grants are intended to support, for example, club activities, arts and science events, music and theatre performances, or visual arts and photography projects. The grants are not awarded for school camps, school outings, or the like.

Spearhead projects

The sum of 40 000 euros may be awarded as one or two (at least 20 000 euros each) grants for Spearhead projects requiring larger-than-usual funding. Each Regional Fund may have its own closely specified policies regarding such projects.

Some Regional Funds also offer funding for large-scale projects that spread over a number of years.

For detailed information, see Regional Funds page.

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What do I need to know about references

References are of considerable importance, especially in research applications. They can also play a significant role in the beginning of an artist's career. At the undergraduate stage, a supervisor’s reference concerning the applicant’s progress or work plan is mandatory. Doctoral students must also supply a supervisor’s reference. At the post-doctoral stage, a reference is not mandatory but it is recommended.

Ask your referee to submit a reference via the Online Reference Service. For this purpose, either a personal Finnish bank identification or registration as a user of the service is required. If the referee does not have a personal Finnish bank identification, he or she must register as a user of the service.

As an applicant, the Online Application Service issues each application a reference number, which should be given to your referee. If he or she quotes this, the reference will be linked automatically to the right application.

If the referee does not submit the reference using the online service, make sure you receive their informal reference in good time. Scan and attach this reference to your application before submitting your application online within the application period.

The deadline to turn in references for the Central Fund grants is October 31, 2016 and for Regional Fund grants February 10, 2017. The Online Reference Service will be open until 4:00 pm Finnish time on the respective dates. References cannot be submitted after the service has closed.

References sent by mail, fax, email, delivered to the office, or those arriving late will not be processed.

The Foundation will not send your application to the referee. Nor will the reference be sent for you to see. Whether or not the referee has remembered to submit the promised reference will not be disclosed to you. If you want to know what the reference form looks like, go to the Online Reference Service.

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Grantee’s statutory and supplementary insurances

Grantees of personal working grants have a responsibility to insure their work when terms of insurance are met. The grantees of full-year working grants may supplement this statutory social security with a voluntary personal insurance.

The Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution Mela manages the statutory social security of the grantees, covering pension, accident, and group life insurances. The statutory insurance contributions, constituting a total of 15% of the amount of the working grant, are included in all grants awarded for a minimum of four-month period of artistic or scientific work. (See the table under Amount and specification of the grant applied for). The grantees themselves are responsible for obtaining and paying for any insurance. For more information, see the Mela homepage ( and grantee instructions.

Personal insurances that supplement the statutory social security are handled by Benefit Advisors Oy. The insurance is offered to those less than 60 years of age having been awarded a full-year grant. It covers accident, medical expense, and life insurance and is valid in free time as well continuously for the duration of one year. The insurance covers also private health care with low deductibles. The Foundation takes care of the insurance costs. The amount, about 200 euros, is added to the awarded grant afterwards. The instructions for applying for the insurance are attached to the grant decision.

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University compensation

The Foundation has entered into an agreement with all the Finnish universities designed to improve the status of Foundation grantees that have been admitted to perform doctoral studies. According to the agreement, the universities will offer the grantees the same amenities they do to researchers and doctoral students in corresponding positions employed by the university. The agreement also applies to those with a Ph.D. or a comparable doctoral degree at the university’s discretion.

The amenities offered are comprised of, for example, adequate working and laboratory facilities, telecommunication access, postal services, printing services, library access and information services (licenses to use material permitting) insofar as they are generally available to researchers and doctoral students.

The sum to be paid to the university for the use of such facilities is included in the grants awarded by the Foundation for work the duration of which is at least four months. It cannot be applied for separately, or in addition to, a working grant. The sum of this University compensation is 1 600 euros a year. The grantee is personally responsible for paying the university this sum after first making a personal agreement with the university.

Grantees who do not wish to make such an arrangement with the university can freely use their grant to organize the required amenities themselves.

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How to apply

Submit your application online via the Online Application Service within the application period (Central Fund October 1–31, Regional Funds January 10–February 10). The service will stay open until 4:00 pm Finnish time on the deadline date for application submission.

Log in to the Online Application Service by using either the bank identification provided by one of the major Finnish banks or by creating your own user ID. Fill in the form carefully where applicable. Add the necessary attachments. Submit the application online.

Read the instructions about references.

Certificates and approvals of doctoral dissertation awarded after the application period has ended are the only exceptions to the deadline rule. The Foundation will accept these until the end of January through the Online Application Service. Application management function can be found in the Application page. If you are applying to a Regional Fund, contact that particular Regional Fund directly.

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As a non-native Finnish speaker you may submit your application as well as the attached documents in English. You are, however, requested to submit the topic of your grant proposal in Finnish.

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Structure of the application

The online application consists of the following pages:
Application, Applicant, Grant, Work plan/summary, Merits, Other funding, Attachments, Commitment, Submit.

Once you have filled in the Applicant page, you can fill in the other pages in any order you like. The data will be saved automatically as you move from one page to another. Only complete the appropriate sections; you do not need to write something in every field. Nor do you need to fill in the application form from beginning to end in a single session. It will remain as a draft and can be modified until you click send.

Notify the Foundation of any other funding or a salaried doctoral research post received after the application period via the Online Application Service. Click Application management on the Application page. You can also change the sum you have applied for or withdraw your application here as well as attach a degree certificate or a permission to defend a dissertation you received after the application deadline.

You can view your application in print layout. To do this, you will need Adobe Reader. It can be downloaded and installed via the link found in the online service.

Should you have any questions about your application, please contact us. You will find the contact details for the Central Fund and the Regional Funds on the Foundation's website. If you have any technical questions about the Online Application Service, email Technical support at tekninentuki(at)

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The applicant

The applicant can be a private individual, a working group consisting of several persons, or a registered organization (such as an association or cooperative). Please note that the information requested on the online form will vary accordingly.

If you are applying for a grant for a working group, fill in the applicant page with the data for the group leader. They will be responsible to the Foundation for the grant, if awarded, and if necessary for dealings with the social insurance institution Mela and the tax authorities. State the composition of the working group (those performing scientific or artistic work in your project) in the application.

Registered organizations must include their Business ID or registration number in the application. If it is not registered, the application must be drawn up as a working group application.

In order to make the payments to individuals and working groups, the Foundation will eventually need the grantee's Personal Identity Code. Providing this at the application stage considerably speeds up the process.

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The grant

The grant page asks for information such as the field of specialisation, the topic of the grant, the sum requested, the length of the grant period, and the Donor Fund (where applicable).

Enter the place where the work will be carried out if it is a department of a university, institute of higher education, or something similar. Also enter the country where the work will be done if this will be mainly outside Finland. If you belong to a research team, give the name of the team leader.

List the persons (1–3) you have asked to provide a reference. You will find information about references in the application guidelines under What do I need to know about references.

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The field of specialization

Choose the field whose experts you wish to evaluate your application. Give especially careful thought to this if the scope of your work spans multiple established fields of arts and sciences. If necessary, provide reasons for your choice and offer alternative fields of specialisations in the beginning of your work plan. The above also applies to joint projects spanning multiple fields of arts and/or sciences.

A few notes on the choice of field:

Undergraduate studies
As a rule, choose Undergraduate studies from the list if you are an undergraduate. However, if you are a student seeking a grant for something other than your degree thesis, choose your own field of the arts or sciences. Please note that grants are not awarded for tuition fees of foreign universities, student exchange programmes that constitute a part of the studies, or work practice, among others. (More information on study grants can be found in Grants for undergraduate studies.)

Non-fiction works, biographies and translations of scientific literature
Please select a suitable field of science or arts from the list based on the subject of the work or the background of the person, if you are seeking a grant for the translation of scientific literature, for the writing of a general non-fiction work or a biography, or for the writing of other publication.

Local projects
Please select a suitable field of science or arts from the list if you are applying for a Regional Fund local project grant (e.g. history, folklore, or a field of art) open between January 10 and February 10.

Grant topic

Enter the grant topic in Finnish, concisely, and in such general terms that it can be used in public announcements. Reference to your work plan is not sufficient. The topic should indicate what the application is for. If, for example, you are applying for a grant to purchase an instrument or to join a master class, state the instrument in question.


  • Post-doctoral research into rural services
  • Doctoral work in the United States into air pollution
  • Purchasing a kiln
  • Writing a book
  • Organising a chamber music event
  • MA thesis on the health effects of berries

The grant topic is not the same as the title of your work. Example: “For the organisation of a retrospective exhibition” and not “Encounters in time and space”.

Amount and specification of the grant applied for

The amount applied for must be based on a budget, unless the application is solely for a working grant. If in addition to the working grant you are applying for an expenditure grant or only for an expenditure grant please draw up, in addition to the itemization in the application, a clear table in which the income and expenditure brackets add up.

The full-year working grant is 24 000 euros, i.e. 2 000 euros a month. However, for research performed by an applicant with a Ph.D. or other doctoral exam, the full-year grant is 28 000 euros.

The higher grant can be awarded only to applicants who already hold a Ph.D. or other doctoral exam, or who have received permission from the university faculty to publish their dissertation (send notification to the Central Fund by the end of January through the Online Application Service; check the dates for Regional Funds).

Grants awarded for at least four months’ work include the statutory social security contributions and common travel, material, equipment and office costs. The university compensation is also included (see University compensation).

You do not need to itemise the insurance contributions (approx. 15%) and the common expenses (up to 4 000 euros for a full-year grant) under the amount applied for. It is enough to enter the whole sum under working grant according to the following table (post-doctoral level research grant in brackets):

month month
12 24 000 (28 000) 6 12 000 (14 000)
11 22 000 (25 500) 5 10 000 (11 500)
10 20 000 (23 500) 4 8 000 (9 500)
9 18 000 (21 000) 3 6 000 (7 000)
8 16 000 (18 500) 2 4 000 (5 000)
7 14 000 (16 500)    

The grants according to the above table are intended for full-time work. The exception is the Combined funding for doctoral students described under Also read.

If, in addition to a working grant, you are also applying for an expenditure grant, itemise the sum you are applying for in the space provided in the application form.


  • A working grant means the part of the grant spent on artistic or research work (see the table above). In case of a working group, enter here the total sum of months of the aforesaid type of work that will be performed by the group members.


  • You can apply for a travel grant to cover exceptional travelling expenses related to a grant project. Only in exceptional cases may grants be awarded to cover the travelling expenses of individual congress and lecture tours.
  • Material and equipment costs in the arts include major purchases such as musical instruments, and in research large equipment purchases.
  • Additional staff costs and purchased services mean the acquisition of input is vital for the execution of the project. Taxation and social security contributions must be taken into account if a grant is used to employ additional staff. Enter also the salaries and fees paid by a working group or registered organization, including the statutory payroll costs.
  • Other costs include such items as rent on premises.

Working grants (three-year grants included) are awarded for not more than one year at a time. The exception is the combined funding for doctoral students described under Also read.

Major cultural projects may be eligible for very large grants. The funding is granted for a period no longer than three years. Please state the annual expenses in the project budget for the whole duration of the project. Please itemise, in addition to expenditure, the costs accrued by each individual member of the staff working on the project in euros and months.

Duration of grant-funded work

Enter the duration of the intended grant-funded work in full months. Even applicants for a three-year grant should here enter 12 months.

Enter the estimated total working time of a working group in months if at least one member of the working group will be working on the project for four months or more. Enter the estimated working time although the work involved would not be full-time and/or continuous. It will help you to calculate the applicable amount of the working grant.

Do not enter the duration if you are seeking a grant for expenditures only or for a registered organization.

This section of the application aims to distinguish whether the work needs to be covered by Mela insurances.

An example:
There are four members in your working group. Two of them are working four months full-time (8 000 euros), one is working two months full-time (4 000 euros) and one is working two months part-time (2 000 euros) in your one-year project. Enter the duration of 12 months and amount of 22 000 euros.

Donor Funds

The Foundation comprises general funds and donor funds based on donations and bequests from which grants are awarded annually or at longer intervals. The objectives of such funds and the grants currently available from them are listed in Donor Funds on the Foundation's website.

The information on donor funds is available in Finnish only. Therefore, those submitting the application in English need not select a donor fund. When the applications are processed, they will in any case be allocated to the most appropriate donor fund.

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The work plan and its summary

In your application, give a summary of your work plan stating the purpose for which you are applying for a grant, how you intend to execute your plan, and within what time frame. If possible, also state why it is important for you to obtain funding and why you (or your working group or a registered organization) are the right person to conduct this project. Be convincing and descriptive, but be sure to use facts.

There is limited space on the application form (approx. 6 000 characters incl. spaces). Check how much space you have left with the Preview function. We recommend that you write your plan/summary with a word-processing software and copy the finished text into the space allotted to it on the application form.

You can add a separate attachment expanding on your work plan (max. 6 pages, not including the table of contents and bibliography).

The work plan should

  • describe the objective of your work as well as its background and significance
  • say where you intend to execute the work
  • indicate its current status
  • state your implementation plan
  • give a budget* and an estimated time frame for the work

*The budget can be part of the work plan, but it should preferably be given in a separate attachment. If your application is for personal work only (working grant), you do not need to present a budget.

If there is room for the whole work plan in the space allocated, it does not need to be attached separately.

Do not use tables or long lists in the Work plan / Summary field of the application form. The layout becomes garbled easily. Use a separate attachment instead.

Pay special attention to the language of your work plan and its intelligibility. The reader may not necessarily be an expert in your particular field, so make your intentions clear. Ask someone unfamiliar with your topic to proofread your work plan.

Read Start here

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Submit your CV as a separate attachment. Choose up to 6 items that support your application and write them on the Merits page of the online application. Do the same with publications. The space allocated for this is limited, so be concise.

In applying for a working group grant, only the merits of members of the group may be counted as group merits.

Registered organizations should give a brief summary of their previous activities in the CV attachment.

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Other funding

List no more than six grants that you or your working group or registered organization have received in the past three years. A working group can list both grants received by the working group as a whole and personal grants received by its individual members.

Enter any pending applications for grants for the same or other purposes. Also, enter your status as a doctoral student. Note whether your post is either fully or partially funded and which period the funding covers, or if you have a pending salaried position.

A working grant is intended for full-time work and requires leave from salaried employment (this includes a salaried doctoral research post). If, however, you know you will be spending, or that you plan to spend, more than 25% of your time in salaried employment during the grant period, state it in your application, explain the situation in writing in your work plan, and make a proportional deduction to the amount applied. See the sections Amount and specification of the grant applied for and Duration of the grant-funded work.

You must inform us immediately via the Online Application Service if you are awarded other similar funding while the grant application is being processed (e.g., another grant, a wage/salary or other adult education benefit). Likewise, if you are offered a salaried doctoral research post. Failure to do so may lead to the grant being cancelled or the amount revised. You can, if necessary, alter or cancel your application via the Online Application Service.

As a rule, the Foundation does not award grants to applicants who already have secured funding for the project in question for the next full 12 months.

You cannot receive working grant funding from multiple sources simultaneously.

Remember to state any funding received from elsewhere.

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The attachments must be submitted with the application by the deadline for applications. The application and its attachments are submitted online only.

The referees will submit their reference(s) separately in the Online Reference Service with their own usernames. (Please see the instructions regarding references in What do I need to know about references.)

Your application should include the following attachments as applicable. In other words, not all of the attachments are mandatory for everyone.

  • a work plan (no separate attachment is necessary if the plan fits in the work plan /summary field on the application form)
  • a budget (not required if you are seeking a working grant only)
  • a CV (for working groups of 2–3 persons, all members; for larger working groups only the leader and 1–2 focal members)
  • undergraduates: a copy of your study records (available in Finland from e.g. WebOodi)
  • doctoral students: a record of your credits and a copy of your degree certificate, or copies of certificates relevant to the grant application (the copies do not need to be authenticated)
  • applicants at the post-doc stage: a copy of your degree certificate or proof of upcoming graduation
  • visual artists: a portfolio consisting of 1–5 works plus a possible link to an online portfolio
  • registered organizations: the last audited annual financial statement (profit and loss account and balance sheet excluding notes and the auditor's report)
  • the provisional agreements and contact details of parties to the project (especially Art for Institutions applicants)

The primary file format requested is .pdf. Other acceptable file formats are.txt .rtf .doc .docx .xls .xlsx .bmp .jpg .jpeg .gif .png .tif .tiff .wma .mp3. No single attachment must be bigger than 3 MB.

All attachments must be sent together with the application in the Online Application Service before the deadline. Late attachments or applications will not be processed. The only exceptions to this rule are certificates and permissions to defend dissertations, which have been granted after the deadline date. In case of the Central Fund, they have to be submitted in the Online Application Service using the Application Management function no later than January 31. The deadlines for Regional Funds should be checked from the respective Funds.

If you have previously received funding for your project from the Foundation, please remember to update your work plan and clarify the current status of the project.

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The Foundation requires that you undertake to comply with the guidelines governing application, to inform the Foundation of any corresponding funding received during the application-handling period, and to act in accordance with the work plan you have presented. The Foundation also requires that you comply with the grantee’s guidelines if a grant is awarded. You will find the guidelines for grantees on the Foundation's website.

In addition to this undertaking, the Foundation requires you to certify that the information you have given on the application form is correct and that you agree to your information and documents being used in the handling of applications and the decisions on them. The Foundation further requires that you agree to other funding institutions (foundations, arts councils, etc.) being informed of the grants awarded before they are officially announced, to avoid overlapping of grants.

You will need to give an online account of how the grant was spent within one year of the final payment.

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Sending your application

Some of the information requested in the application is mandatory. In those cases, should the application be incomplete, the service will prevent you from submitting the application until the information has been amended.

Once you have submitted your application online, preview it. If at this stage, you notice something that needs amending, you can still correct your application and submit it again before the deadline.

After the deadline it is no longer possible to send or amend the application in the online service. You can find out more about the functions in the Application-page of a sent application in Structure of the Application.

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