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Cultural Foundation Grants

January Round of Applications (Regional Funds)
March Round of Applications (Central Fund)
August Round of Applications (Central Fund)
October Round of Applications (Central Fund)
Eligible Applicants
Types of Grants
Sums Granted
References
Application Evaluation
Grant Decisions

Grants in General

Grant or Salary
Working Grant Statutory and Supplementary Insurances
University Compensation
Limitations and Restrictions
 

Cultural Foundation Grants

It is possible to apply for a Cultural Foundation grant from both the Central Fund and the regional funds. You may, however, receive a grant for the same purpose from one fund only.

Science Grants
Science grants are primarily awarded as personal working grants for doctoral dissertations or for postdoctoral research.

The number of grants awarded to working groups is limited. Annually, a few research groups are awarded large grants of 50 000–250 000 euros for their projects. Research groups in this connection denote multiyear projects by two-person working groups and all research projects by working groups with more than two members.

Art Grants
Art grants are awarded primarily for purposes of work, carrying out different projects of limited length, and acquisition costs. Typical purposes include, for example, the personal work of an individual artist, a musical or theatrical production of a working group, or the acquisition of an instrument or other kind of a tool.

Those applying for a personal working grant may use the same application to apply for an expenditure grant to cover costs resulting from their work.


January Round of Applications (Regional Funds)

The general period for applying a grant from the regional funds is annually at the turn of January–February. The regional funds mainly support scientific or artistic work and cultural activities taking place in their geographic area. The regional funds have, in addition, their own emphases with which the applicants are encouraged to familiarise themselves. The emphases can be found on the introductory webpages of the regional funds. It is possible to apply for grants with separate applications from several different regional funds, if the project is to be carried out in more than one region.

In the January round of applications, it is also possibly to apply for a grant for Local Culture Projects, for Art for Institutions and Spearhead projects, and for cultural activities for children and the young:

Art for Institutions
Artists, working groups, and registered organisations are eligible to apply for the Art for Institutions grant for their work or projects. Its aim is to promote the equal realisation of cultural rights and to improve the quality of life of people in need of care or special support, through art.

The work or project may take place in welfare and nursing institutions or other environments, the residents or users of which may otherwise have limited access to art. Possible institutions include sheltered homes, day centres, and homes of the elderly, hospitals, prisons (and, outside them, prison theatres), reception centres, care units for substance abusers, and child welfare institutions.

The following criteria carry special weight in the application evaluation process:
•    The content is of high artistic standard.
•    The plan takes into consideration the special nature of the location and respects the needs of the target group.
•    The audiences of or participants in the artwork are equally treated.

Cultural Activities for Children and the Young
Teachers and leaders of child, school, or youth groups are eligible to apply grants from the regional funds for purposes such as club activities, art and science fairs, musical and theatrical performances, and visual arts and photography projects.

These grants are not awarded for school or field trips, or for any such purpose. Schools themselves are not eligible to apply, but the project may still take place on school premises.

Local Culture Projects
The regional funds award grants for projects that aim to preserve and rejuvenate the local culture and cultural environment, such as documenting and increasing awareness of local heritage, as well as histories, exhibitions, and events of local communities and societies.

Note that scientific research into local culture is not considered local culture work.

Spearhead Projects
Spearhead project grants can be applied to projects requiring larger-than-usual funding. The amount of this grant is between 20 000 and 50 000 euros. A number of regional funds also award significantly larger Spearhead project grants or multiyear funding.

Please see possible additional information on the Spearhead Projects of the different regional funds on their introductory webpages.



March Round of Applications (Central Fund)

In March, the Central Fund accepts applications for the Argumenta and Art2 grants, which have their separate application guidelines. Please see the grant application announcements for more information.


August Round of Applications (Central Fund)

In August, the Central Fund accepts applications for Mobility grants and Instrument loans, which have their own application guidelines.  Please see the grant application announcements for more information.


October Round of Applications (Central Fund)

The general grant application period of the Central Fund occurs annually in October. In conjunction with the October round of applications, the Central Fund accepts applications for Eminentia, Art for Institutions, and Additional Funding of the Central Fund for an annually changing discipline:

Eminentia
Senior researchers and artists are eligible to apply for an Eminentia grant of 25 000 euros for the following purposes:
•    For reflection on experiences gained in the course of their career, such as writing or a retrospective exhibition
•    For sharing their life's work in popular form
•    For work showing initiative in increasing the social significance of culture.

The grant is intended for working full-time free from gainful employment. A retirement pension does not preclude you from applying for the grant.

Art for Institutions
Artists, working groups, and registered organisations are eligible to apply for the Art for Institutions grant for their work or projects. Its aim is to promote the equal realisation of cultural rights and to improve the quality of life of people in need of care or special support, through art.

The work or project may take place in welfare and nursing institutions or other environments, the residents or users of which may otherwise have limited access to art. Possible institutions include sheltered homes, day centres, and homes of the elderly, hospitals, prisons (and, outside them, prison theatres), reception centres, care units for substance abusers, and child welfare institutions.

The following criteria carry special weight in the application evaluation process:
•    The content is of high artistic standard.
•    The plan takes into consideration the special nature of the location and respects the needs of the target group.
•    The audiences of or participants in the artwork are equally treated.

Additional Funding of the Central Fund for an Annually Changing Discipline
The Cultural Foundation grants a sum of about a million euros to an annually changing discipline. The application announcement and guidelines regarding the grant application are published separately.

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Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include all Finnish nationals, people and organisations residing or working in Finland. Others are eligible as well, provided their application demonstrates clear, strong ties to Finland or Finnish culture. Those under 15 years of age must fill in the application together with their legal guardian.

Please note that grants in the March and August round of applications may have a more restricted scope. Be sure to check the grant application announcements.

In the January and October rounds of applications a grant may be applied by

a) a private individual for their personal work and/or for expenditure.

b) a working group comprised of several people for the work of the group members and/or for project expenditure. Only those people engaged in scientific or artistic work are considered eligible group members. The working group must name one designated person, who is then liable to the Cultural Foundation and, if need be, to the Farmers' Social Insurance Institution MELA and to the Finnish Tax Administration, for the possible grant to be awarded.

A leader of a scientific research group or an artistic working group is not eligible to apply for a working grant on behalf of another person, unless they themselves are to personally work on the working grant they are applying. Instead of applying on another person's behalf, they may submit a reference, for example, for a doctoral dissertation student to support their personal application.

An artistic working group is eligible to apply for a working grant for the producer of the project, provided the producer is a part of the artistic working group in question.

The members of a working group are not eligible to apply for personal grants for the same project with separate applications. Only one application may be submitted for the same purpose.

c) a registered organisation (such as an association or cooperative) for project expenditure, including labour expenses.

Organisations that are essentially publicly financed are eligible to apply for grants for short-term special projects. Organisations, the operations of which are funded by discretionary financial aid from the state or local authorities, are generally eligible to apply.

If the organisation has not been registered, the application must be submitted as a working group.
 

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Types of Grants

There are two types of grants: working grants and expenditure grants. It is possible to apply for both a working grant and an expenditure grant in the same application. Examples of these include artistic work combined with the purchase of a pottery kiln, doctoral dissertation research combined with the use of laboratory services, or artistic work included in a dance production combined with the cost of costumes and other production costs. It is possible that the grant will be awarded solely for working or for expenditure.

Working grants are awarded for the purpose of full-time work to cover ordinary personal living costs within a certain period. The applicant must submit a work or research plan along with their application, but a detailed budget of the use of the grant is not required.

It is not possible to have another corresponding form of funding simultaneously with a working grant. Use of a working grant requires not being engaged in gainful employment. Neither is it allowed to draw a working grant during paid leave. Within the duration of the grant, it is possible to engage in part-time employment or other compensable work for a maximum of 25% of regular full-time working time.

•    Grant-funded work may, at its earliest, begin after the grant decision has been made or at its latest within one year from it.
•    If a working grant is applied for members of a working group, the designated person must also be engaged in the grant-funded work.
•    It is not possible to transfer a working grant to a third party or for it to be paid as a salary or a fee.
•    Basic degree (bachelor's and master's) students are not eligible to apply for a working grant.
•    Organisations are not eligible to apply for a working grant.

Expenditure grants are awarded to cover activity-related expenses, such as the costs of archaeological excavations or theatre productions, music master classes, or individual acquisitions of tools. It is important to include a detailed and comprehensive budget in the expenditure grant application.

An expenditure grant may be used only for those expenses occurring after the grant decision has been made.

You may apply for an expenditure grant for exceptional travel costs related to your grant project. Ordinary conference and lecture trips are not funded.

•    If you are considering applying for an expenditure grant for the labour expenditure of another person, please read the section Grant or Salary carefully.
•    University and polytechnic (University of Applied Sciences) students at the end of their basic degree studies are eligible to apply for expenditure grants to cover the costs of their dissertation work, such as field work or material expenses.

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Sums Granted

The granted sum of a working grant is always fixed. It is measured in months.

In other words, the amount of the grant you applied for depends on the duration of your work. Please see table 1 for the corresponding grant sums for different number of months.

Table 1. Working Grant sums Awarded (sums for postdoctoral research given in parenthesis)
months months
12 24 000 (30 000) 6 12 000 (15 000)
11 22 000 (27 500) 5 10 000 (12 500)
10 20 000 (25 000) 4 8 000 (10 000)
9 18 000 (22 500) 3 6 000 (7 500)
8 16 000 (20 000) 2 4 000 (5 000)
7 14 000 (17 500)    

It is possible to apply for a working grant for one person for no more than one year at a time. The only exceptions are the Three-year grants and the Combined funding for doctoral students. A one-year working grant is 24 000 euros (postdoctoral research work 30 000 euros).  Note that if you in the same application period apply for a working grant both with a personal application and as a member of a working group, it is possible to grant funding for no longer than 12 months.

Statutory insurance premiums must be paid for any grant awarded for a minimum of four months' work. They are included in the table 1 sums. Working grant is also taken to include the common travel, material, equipment, and workroom expenses (up to a maximum of 4 000 euros of the annual sum), as well as the university compensation, if needed. Please do not apply for an expenditure grant for these expenses.

Please do not apply for grant sums that do not correspond to the table.

An expenditure grant application is based on estimated expenses. The application must therefore always include a budget that itemises income and expenses.

In the January round of applications, the minimum sum that can be applied for is 2 000 euros. In the October round of applications, the minimum sum is 3 000 euros, apart from the dissertation expenditure grants of basic (bachelor's and master's) degree students, which range between 1 000–4 000 euros.

Significant projects can be funded with large grants in the October round of applications. These large project grants are highly competed for with only a few grants of over 100 000 euros and only about twenty grants of over 50 000 euros are awarded each year. Please see earlier grant decisions on the Grants Awarded page.

A broad funding base is seen as an advantage to large-scale projects. Carefully planned self-financing (such as ticket revenue) serves to add to the credibility of the project. The budgets of projects spanning several years should include detailed annual expenses for their whole duration.

The Cultural Foundation does not fund any activity permanently. The same applicant may be awarded a grant continuously for the same purpose for a maximum of three years.

Three-year Grants
The Cultural Foundation also awards three-year grants, typically one for each field of the applications in the October round of applications. The regional funds award these grants at the discretion of their administrative councils. Since only a limited number of three-year grants are awarded, it is possible that a number of those who applied for them are awarded shorter grants instead.

Those having been awarded three-year grants must submit extension applications for their second and third year grants. If the grant has been awarded as a three-year grant from the Central Fund, an extension application may be submitted all year round through the Online Application Service. If the grant has been awarded as a three-year grant from a regional fund, the extension application must be submitted in the January round of applications.

Combined Funding for Doctoral Students
The Foundation offers doctoral students an opportunity to combine a grant with gainful employment so that together they allow the student to pursue their post-graduate studies full-time. Under this funding scheme, a doctoral student with a 56% employment contract with a university or other research establishment may apply for a full-year working grant to be used over two years. Correspondingly, a six-month working grant may be sought to be used over 12 months.

The application must include the employer’s statement regarding the arrangement. It is possible, however, to change the grant duration even retrospectively by contacting the Cultural Foundation.

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References

References are of considerable importance, especially in science applications. They can also play a significant role in the beginning of an artist's career. At the bachelor, master, and doctoral stage, a thesis supervisor’s reference concerning the applicant’s study success or work/research plan is mandatory. At the post-doctoral stage, a reference is still recommended. It is possible to see the reference form in the Online Reference Service.

Ask your referee to submit a reference in the Online Reference Service. Signing into the service requires the use of personal Finnish online banking credentials. Should the referee not have Finnish online banking credentials, they may then register as a user on the Online Reference Service. Be sure to give your referee the reference number of your application. It links the reference to your application automatically.

If the referee does not want to use the online service, you may add their informal reference as an attachment to your application.

The referee will not see your application. Nor will the reference be forwarded to you to see. The information whether the referee has submitted the reference will not be disclosed to you, either. This is how the Cultural Foundation protects the applicants' and referees' right to privacy.

The Cultural Foundation will only take into consideration references submitted in the Online Reference Service or attached to the application in the Online Application Service received within the application period. The Online Reference Service closes at 4.00 pm local Finnish time (Eastern European Time) on the application deadline date.
 

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Application Evaluation

All grant applications are peer evaluated.

In the Central Fund the applications are evaluated by over 40 committees, which invites 2–3 annually rotating outside experts as their members. The committees are chaired by Foundation trustees.

The grants of the regional funds are evaluated by their respective administrative committees, the members of which diversely represent the culture of each region. Outside experts are also called upon to evaluate applications.

The Foundation encourages the experts to emphasise their personal views in making their evaluations. For the applicant this means that a negative grant decision only applies to the current round of applications. The grant decisions in the next round of applications will be made by new experts.

The experts do not justify their decisions in writing and, therefore, no feedback on the applications can be given.

Rigid guidelines are applied to the application evaluation process to ensure utmost impartiality. An awarded grant is subject to annulment if any lack of impartiality is discovered after the decision-making process.

The applications are processed in confidentiality. The identities of the experts are not disclosed.

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Grant Decisions

The grant decisions of the October round of applications (Central Fund) are released about a week before the end of the January round of applications. The grant decisions of the January round of applications (regional funds) are made in the course of the spring.

You will receive a notification of the decision by email. If you do not receive one, make sure to check your junk email folder.

In the January round of applications, successful applicants are presented with a decision letter and a grant certificate at the annual gala of the regional fund in question.

In the October round of applications, successful applicants receive a decision letter by email and an invitation to the Central Fund's Annual Gala. The grant certificate is mailed after the annual gala.

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Grants in General


Grant or Salary

Working grants are intended for full-time work free from gainful employment.

In general, grants are not subject to income tax. This exemption from taxes, however, only applies to grants awarded to private individuals for scientific or artistic work.

If you are a private individual or a working group applicant, it is possible to apply for an expenditure grant to buy a service or hire assistants. Those people not engaged in scientific or artistic work are considered paid assistants, for example, a research assistant, a laboratory assistant, a sound technician, or an exhibition technician. Bear in mind your possible responsibilities as an employer and include the add-on hiring costs in your budget.

If you are applying for a grant for a registered organisation, it is not possible to apply for a working grant but only an expenditure grant for the purchase of services or for salary. The remunerations for completed work paid by registered organisation are always considered salary, for which the employer’s contributions must be paid. This should be taken into consideration when drafting the budget.
 

Working Grant Statutory and Supplementary Insurances

Working on a grant involves a legal obligation of the grantee to insure their work. If you have been awarded at least a four-month grant, the insurance is statutory.

The grantee must reserve about 15% of the grant for insurance premiums and personally see to the obtaining and paying for the insurances. The Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution Mela manages the statutory social security of the grantees covering pension, accident, and group life insurances.

For the grantees of a full-year working grant the Cultural Foundation offers a voluntary personal insurance to supplement the statutory social insurance. The Foundation takes care of the insurance costs for you. This benefit increases your grant by about 200 euros. The insurance covers accidents, medical expense, and life insurances and remains valid continuously through leisure time as well as for the duration of one year, beginning with the withdrawal of the first grant instalment. The insurance also covers private health care with low deductibles. The insurances are handled by Benefit Advisors Oy. The supplementary insurance is offered to grantees under the age of 60. The instructions on how to apply for this insurance are attached to the grant decision.
 

University Compensation

The Foundation has entered into an agreement with all Finnish universities, which is designed to improve the status of grantees in universities. This guarantees the Cultural Foundation grantees the same basic resources for work as researchers and doctoral students working in corresponding positions. The agreement also applies to those with a Ph.D. or a comparable doctoral degree at the department’s discretion.

The basic resources offered include, for example, appropriate work and laboratory facilities, telecommunication, postal, printing, library, and information services (licenses to use resource materials permitting) insofar as they are generally available to researchers and doctoral students.
If you wish to acquire the basic resources from the university, please make the arrangements and organise compensation payments with the university. If you do not wish to enter into an agreement with a university, you may personally arrange for the required basic resources with this compensation.


Limitations and Restrictions

Grants are not awarded:
•    as a bonus or an incentive grant in addition to salary or other benefits
•    to applicants who have already secured funding for the next 12 months
•    to basic (bachelor's and master's) degree students as working grants or for student exchange included in studies
•    for postdoctoral research abroad except for visits lasting less than one academic year
•    to cover plain printing costs or the copying of recordings
•    for internships
•    on social grounds
•    for profit-making business operations

In making decisions, the Cultural Foundation observes the following principles:
•    grants are generally not awarded for the study expenses of basic (bachelor's and master's) degree studies (such as tuition fees)
•    Grants are not awarded for core activities of organisations that are essentially publicly financed (for example, a university or a city theatre receiving Government Transfers). Grants may be awarded, however, to short-term individual projects. Organisations funded with discretionary state or municipal subsidies are generally eligible.

Proceed to the Guide to Filling in your Application

 

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