In its October round of grant applications, the Cultural Foundation received 8,800 applications, which was 500 more than the previous year. The foundation has decided to award EUR 24 million in grants for the October round, making the total for the whole financial year EUR 44 million.
This round saw 439 full-year working grants being awarded, 285 for sciences and 154 for arts. A record number of multi-year grants is being awarded this year, totalling 72 grants for nearly EUR 3.4 million. This comprises 34 grants spanning two years, 21 spanning three years and 17 four years.
– The most explicit objective of the Foundation’s new strategy was to increase our support for long-term academic and artistic work, explains Jari Sokka, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Additionally, the Foundation awarded 40 co-funding grants for doctoral students, which can be combined with salaried employment at a university or other research institution.
– This is another form of funding that we are looking to increase further. It doubles the grant period, meaning that a two-year grant, for example, can optimally provide the four-year funding needed for a PhD. It is also probably the most lucrative form of funding in terms of the grantee’s net income, Sokka explains.
Näppäri Method activities receive largest arts grant
The largest arts grant, EUR 215,000, was awarded to the Finnish Folk Music Institute in Kaustinen for developing activities related to its Näppäri Method.
Glims & Gloms dance company from Espoo was awarded EUR 110,000 for expanding its Mall Theatre operations. This is a touring pop-up theatre company devised by Glims & Gloms that brings performances for the whole family to easily accessible locations in shopping centres.
Fifteen grants worth EUR 360,000 in total were awarded within the arts to projects aiming to bring art into care institutions. The objective of these grants is to promote cultural equality and through art to improve the quality of life of persons requiring special support or care.
One million euros in additional funding
For its October 2019 grant application round, the Foundation released EUR 1 million in additional funding earmarked for research concerning the energy market of the future and/or the technology revolution. There were 65 applicants, almost all of them research groups. The applicants represented many disciplines, and the total sum applied for exceeded EUR 13 million. Six applicants were successful.
The sciences made up for 53% of all grants awarded, and the arts 47%. Within scientific grants, 31% were for thesis work, 11 % for research and 9% for post doc research. The number of applicants for science grants grew this year by nearly 400, to total around 3,600. Within art grants, 35% were for artistic work and 9% for organising events. The number of arts applicants grew by just over 100, totalling 5,200.
Despite the increase in funds to be awarded, competition for the grants is increasingly tough. The Foundation was only able to award around 9% of the funds applied for (compared to over 10% last year). Approval rates were almost equally strict in both science and art, even though there are differences between fields due to donations received by the Foundation.
– Thanks to our donor funds, our funding pressure is slightly lower within the musical arts than in visual arts, for example, explains Secretary General Antti Arjava.
This year, women made up 59% of grantees (and 58% of all applicants). Non-Finnish citizens accounted for 11% of applicants and 10% of grantees. Grants from the October round were awarded to applicants in around one hundred municipalities in Finland. The regional funds’ grants will be given out later in the spring, based on the January round of applications.
A list of the successful grantees from the Central Fund’s October round can be found at https://apurahat.skr.fi/myonnot