The financial year of the Cultural Foundation is from 1 October to 30 September. The guidelines are updated annually in September.
This page was last updated on September 1, 2023.
2.1. Eligible Applicants
2.2. Working Grant or Salary
2.3. Types of Grants
2.3.1. Working Grants
2.3.2. The Amount of the Working Grant
2.3.3. Expenditure Grants
2.5. Application Evaluation
2.6. Grant Decisions
It is possible to apply for a Cultural Foundation grant from both the Central Fund and the regional funds. A grant may only be awarded for the same purpose from either the Central Fund or one of the regional funds.
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. A research group denotes all research projects by working groups with a minimum of two members.
Art grants are awarded primarily for purposes of work, and project implementation 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.
There are four annual application periods: January, March, August, and October rounds of applications.
In addition to the working and expenditure grants outlined in this guide, there are special purpose grants available, more information on which can be on the main pages of each application round. The grants open for application will be confirmed and grant guidelines updated before the application period opens.
Cultural Foundation supports sciences and arts through other organisations, such as the grants of the Foundations' Post Doc Pool, and the scholarships of the international United World College institutions. These grants cannot be applied from the Cultural Foundation but instead through the partner organisations. More information on these grants can be found here.
Eligible applicants include all Finnish nationals, and people and organisations residing or operating in Finland. Others are eligible as well, provided their application demonstrates clear, strong ties to Finland or Finnish culture. The applications of those under 15 years of age must be filled in by their legal guardians under the applicant's name.
Grants open in the March and August rounds of applications may have a more restricted scope.
In the January and October rounds of applications, a grant may be applied for by:
a) a private individual for their personal work, for expenditure, or for both purposes.
b) a working group comprised of several people for the work of the group members, for project expenditure, or for both purposes. The applicant is designated as the person responsible for the group and is liable for the possible grant to be awarded to the Cultural Foundation and, if need be, to the Farmers' Social Insurance Institution MELA, to the Finnish Tax Administration, and to other members of the group.
An artistic working group is eligible to apply for a working grant also 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.
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.
If the organisation has not been registered, the application must be submitted as a working group.
Working grants are intended for scientific or artistic work. An individual may apply for a working grant alone or as a part of a working group. Working grants are exempt from tax up to an amount confirmed annually (national artist grant). More information on taxation can be found on the tax authority's website.
Anything other than scientific or artistic work must be reimbursed as a salary or a fee or acquired as an outsourcing service. An individual or a working group applicant may apply for an expenditure grant to this purpose. In these cases, potential employer's legal obligations must be taken into account and add-on hiring costs included in the budget.
A self-employed person operating under a business name may apply for a personal working grant as a private individual.
Registered organisations may only apply for 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.
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.
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 it 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. 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. Earlier grant decisions may be seen on the Grants Awarded page. They are only available in Finnish.
In the largest projects, it is considered an advantage if other financiers are also involved. Carefully thought-out self-financing (for example admission ticket revenue) increases the credibility of the project. In the income and expenditure estimate of multi-year projects, the annual costs must be presented broken down for the entire duration.
The Cultural Foundation does not fund any activity permanently.
The Finnish Cultural Foundation's working grant is intended for private individuals and working groups to cover ordinary personal living costs over a certain period of time. A work or research plan is required to apply for this grant. A budget for the use of the grant, however, is not necessary. It cannot be applied to be used concurrently with another corresponding type of funding or during paid annual leave.
A working grant is awarded primarily for full-time (100%) scientific or artistic work for a maximum period of four years. The grant may be awarded for a shorter period of time than applied for.
Working grant may also be awarded part-time for a maximum period of one year. There are three possible part-time categories: 75%, 50%, and 25%. The applicant must fit their other use of time (for example work, benefits or similar) within the given categories in percentages. The grant work and other use of time may together come up to a maximum of 124 % of the calculated working hours.
|Other use of time||0 - 24%||25 - 49%||50 - 74%||75 - 99%|
A working grant may also be awarded on a short-term basis for less than four months of work. The work may be carried out either continuously or in intervals.
- 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.
The Combined Funding for Doctoral Students form of support has ended. A doctoral researcher has the opportunity to combine a grant with a paid part-time employment contract made with a university or other research institution so that these together enable full-time postgraduate studies. Changing a full-time grant to part-time is agreed upon in the Online Service for Grantees after the grant has been awarded, in which case the grant period will be extended accordingly.
Multi-year working grants
The Cultural Foundation also awards multi-year grants for private individuals for work. Since only a limited number of multi-year grants are awarded, it is possible that a number of those who applied for them are awarded shorter grants instead.
To be awarded a multi-year grant, a multi-year work plan is required. If the application is for doctoral dissertation work and the subsequent postdoctoral research, the plan for the postdoctoral phase and the statements regarding it must be submitted when moving on to the postdoctoral phase.
More information on multi-year grants here.
The amount of a working grant is always fixed and totals 30 000 euros in a year (34 000 euros for postdoctoral level research).
The amount of the grant applied for depends on the duration and proportion of work. The tables below display the corresponding grant sums for different number of months (sums for postdoctoral research given in parenthesis).
When applying for a supplemented grant intended for research in the postdoctoral phase, a doctoral diploma or a permission to defend dissertation must be attached in the application either during the application period or after it within the given deadline (see Attachments). Writing a non-fiction book in popularised form is considered literary work, not research.
|12||30 000 (34 000)||6||15 000 (17 000)|
|11||27 500 (31 000)||5||12 500 (14 000)|
|10||25 000 (28 500)||4||10 000 (11 500)|
|9||22 500 (25 500)||3||7 500 (8 500)|
|8||20 000 (22 500)||2||5 000 (5 500)|
|7||17 500 (20 000)||1||2 500 (3 000)|
|12||22 500 (25 500)||6||11 500 (13 000)|
|11||20 500 (23 500)||5||9 500 (10 500)|
|10||19 000 (21 500)||4||7 500 (8 500)|
|9||17 000 (19 000)||3||5 500 (6 500)|
|8||15 000 (17 000)||2||4 000 (4 500)|
|7||13 000 (15 000)||1||2 000 (2 000)|
|12||15 000 (17 000)||6||7 500 (8 500)|
|11||14 000 (15 500)||5||6 500 (7 000)|
|10||12 500 (14 000)||4||5 000 (5 500)|
|9||11 500 (13 000)||3||4 000 (4 500)|
|8||10 000 (11 500)||2||2 500 (3 000)|
|7||9 000 (10 000)||1||1 500 (1 500)|
|12||7 500 (8 500)||6||4 000 (4 500)|
|11||7 000 (8 000)||5||3 000 (3 500)|
|10||6 500 (7 000)||4||2 500 (3 000)|
|9||5 500 (6 500)||3||2 000 (2 000)|
|8||5 000 (5 500)||2||1 500 (1 500)|
|7||4 500 (5 000)||1||1 000 (1 000)|
Statutory insurance premiums must be paid for any grant awarded for a minimum of four months' work. They are included in the table sums. Working grant is also taken to include the common travel, material, equipment, and workroom expenses (approximately 15% of the grant sum). An expenditure grant cannot be applied to cover these expenses.
If the grant is applied for short-term, continuous, or intermittent work for less than 4 months, the applied sum can be set in proportion to the tables above. The applied sum can also be estimated, for example, on the basis of, for instance, the number of gigs, or in other manner deemed applicable in the applicant's own field.
Expenditure grants are awarded to cover activity-related expenses, such as the costs of archaeological excavations, 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 can be applied for exceptional travel costs related to the grant project. Conference, meeting and lecture trips are not funded on their own.
- 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 extraordinary costs of their dissertation work, such as field work or material expenses.
- Registered organisations may apply for a grant to expenditure only.
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 or research plan is mandatory. At the post-doctoral stage, a reference is still recommended.
The reference form can be seen in the Online Reference Service. The referee will not see the application. The reference will not be forwarded to the applicant. Neither will it be disclosed whether or not their referee has submitted a reference.
The referee should submit a reference through 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. The applicant should provide their referee(s) with their reference ID number on the application form. It links the reference to your application automatically.
Should the referee not wish to use the online service, their open reference may be appended as an attachment to the application.
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.
All grant applications are peer evaluated.
The Central Fund October round applications are evaluated by over 50 committees, which invite 2–3 annually rotating outside experts as their members. The committees are chaired by Foundation trustees.
The January round applications 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.
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, nor do the experts justify their decisions in writing. Therefore, no feedback on the applications can be given.
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 January application round grant decisions will be made by May 16, based on the respective grant decision schedules of the regional funds.
A notification of the grant decision is sent by email, which might be forwarded to a junk mail folder.
In the October round of applications, successful grant recipients are sent an invitation to Central Fund's Annual Gala as an attachment to the notification email. The grant documents are made available in the Online Service for Grantees and the grant certificate is mailed after the gala.
In the January round of applications, successful applicants are presented with a grant certificate at the annual gala of the regional fund in question. The grant documents can be found in the Online Service for Grantees.
The grantee has a legal obligation to insure their grant, provided it has been awarded for a minimum of a four-month period of work. The grantee must reserve about 15 % of the working 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. This benefit increases the grant by about 390 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 Söderberg & Partners 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.
Grants are not awarded:
- as wage increments or incentive grants
- on social grounds
- 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 semester (less than 6 months)
- to cover plain printing costs
- for internships.
The Online Application Service contains a test application form, with which applicants may familiarise themselves before the opening of the actual application round. The system guides applicants in writing the application. Detailed instructions can be found under the ?-symbols. They can be seen by hovering the mouse cursor over the symbol. Mandatory information in the application is marked with an asterisk. It is advisable to reserve a sufficient amount of time to amend the application.
This section of the guideline contains only such parts of the application for which it is best to prepare in advance.
All attachments must be appended and submitted together with the application before the deadline. No attachments arriving after the deadline will be taken into consideration. The dissertation supervisor's reference of academic success or research plan is mandatory and must be submitted in the Online Reference Service or as an attachment to the application during the application period.
Certificates of the right to pursue doctoral studies of applicants working on their doctoral dissertations, postdoctoral degree diplomas of applicants with doctoral degrees applying for supplemented grants for the post-doctoral phase, and permissions to defend a doctoral thesis granted after the application deadline make an exception to the attachment deadline. If the application is missing an attachment when the grant decision is made, the grant may be awarded conditionally. In this case, the attachment must be submitted in the Online Service for Grantees before the use of the grant may begin.
Files other than image and sound files must be submitted in pdf file format. A single attachment cannot exceed 3 MB.
In the section “Other Attachments”, attachments that have not been separately mentioned in the application form may be appended to the application. Science grant applicants may attach a data management plan (optional), e.g. using the Tuuli-tool.
The form also includes a separate section for Internet links.
Required attachments to the application according to applicant type
- a project plan, no more than 6 pages (the table of contents and bibliography are excluded from the number of pages). If you are applying for a grant for a purpose other than research and if the entire plan fits in the space allotted on the application form, a separate attachment is not needed.
- the last audited annual financial statement (profit and loss account and balance sheet excluding notes and the performance or audit report). If the organisation has not drawn up its first financial statements, an extract from the trade register or other corresponding document of the founding of the organisation may be submitted as an attachment. Instead of financial statements, a public organisation may attach a performance report or a corresponding document.
- a budget as a clear table with equal income and expenditure (see Budget)
- a research plan, no more than 6 pages (the table of contents and bibliography are excluded from the number of pages). If you are applying for a grant for a purpose other than research and if the entire plan fits in the space allotted on the application form, a separate attachment is not needed.
- a budget as a clear table with equal income and expenditure (not required if seeking a working grant only)
- a resumé or a CV (for working groups of 2–3 persons, all members; for larger working groups only the person responsible and those working on the grant)
- list of publications (for working groups of 2–3 persons, all members; for larger working groups only the person responsible and those working on the grant)
- a copy of your degree diploma or permission for the defense of dissertation. The attachment is obligatory when applying for a grant to post-doctoral research.
- a transcript of record, e.g. the one available from WebOodi is sufficient, or a valid proof of right to study. The attachment is obligatory when applying for a grant to doctoral dissertation work or to basic degree thesis work.
- reference, 1–3. The reference is obligatory when applying for a grant to doctoral dissertation work or basic degree thesis work. N.B. Only references not subject to formal requirements may be attached to the application. A reference sent through the Online Reference Service is sufficient. It does not need to be attached to the application.
- a work plan, no more than 6 pages (the table of contents and bibliography are excluded from the number of pages). If the entire plan fits in the space allotted on the application form, a separate attachment is not needed.
- a budget as a clear table with equal income and expenditure (not required if seeking a working grant only)
- a resumé or a CV (for working groups of 2–3 persons, all members; for larger working groups only the person responsible and those working on the grant)
- visual artists must attach pictures of their work (1–10) and a possible link to an online portfolio
- a tentative agreement of the partner organisation to the project (along with its contact information), Art for Everyone applications
- reference, 1–3. The reference is obligatory when applying for a grant to artistic doctoral dissertation work or basic degree thesis work. N.B. Only references not subject to formal requirements may be attached to the application. A reference sent through the Online Reference Service is sufficient. It does not need to be attached to the application.
- If the grant is being applied for artistic research, the necessary attachments must be viewed from the science applicant's guidelines.
The applicants must themselves decide which attachments are essential in the assessment of the application. It is recommended that all of the above mentioned are submitted, taking into consideration any specifications regarding them. Some of the application attachments have, however, been specified as such that the application will not be submitted until the missing attachment has been attached. Such attachments include:
- a budget when applying for an expenditure grant
- financial statements or other corresponding document mentioned in the list of attachments for organisations when applying for a grant for an organisation
- a research plan when applying for a grant for doctoral dissertation work, postdoctoral research, research, or for artistic research
- a tentative agreement of the partner organisation to the project when applying for the Art for Everyone grant
The maximum length of the summary is 6 000 characters including spaces. It must describe in general terms the purpose to which the grant is being applied for and how and in what time frame the plan is to be carried out. The summary may also describe why it is important to receive funding.
In addition to the summary, the application must include a more in-depth work, research, or project plan. If the grant is not being applied for research and if the entire plan fits in the space allotted for the summary, it is not needed as a separate attachment.
The research, work or project plan must describe
- Background, purpose and significance of the work
- Place of performance
- Current stage
- Description of implementation
The maximum length of the plan is 6 pages (the table of contents and bibliography are excluded from the number of pages).
When applying for a multi-year grant, the plan must be drawn up for the whole duration the grant is applied for. If the application is for doctoral dissertation work and the subsequent postdoctoral research, the plan for the postdoctoral phase and the statements regarding it must be submitted when moving on to the postdoctoral phase.
If the Cultural Foundation has awarded prior funding to the same project, its progress and the relationship of the new application to the previously funded project must be clarified.
*The budget is a mandatory attachment when applying for an expenditure grant. It may be a part of the work plan, but must still be submitted as a separate attachment.
The amount to be applied for from the Cultural Foundation is itemized in the Grants tab of the application form. The headings in the form are travel costs, material and equipment costs, auxiliary labour and outsourcing and other expenses (for e.g. rental of space).
A budget is an obligatory attachment when applying for an expenditure grant. All income and expenses of the entire project are to be itemized in the budget so that the income and expenses are equal. The budget must be drafted in table format.
- If there are several funders, the table must clearly show the portion(s) for which a Cultural Foundation grant is being sought.
- If an expenditure grant is applied to implement a multi-year work, research, or project plan, the expenditure must be itemised in the table for each year.
When applying for a personal multi-year working grant (excluding working or research group applications) together with an expenditure grant the use of which will take place during separate years, the expenses must be itemised in the application form only for the first year and annually in the attached table.
When applying for a grant to hire auxiliary personnel to amount being applied for must include personnel add-on costs (approx. 35%). Work done against invoice is an outsourcing service, in which case the issuer of the invoice must themselves take care of the related expenses.
The application form includes a Commitment page. The application cannot be submitted without accepting its terms and conditions. As grants are competed for, it is essential that the term of notifying the Foundation of any other funding received during the processing of the grant application be followed. Other funding here refers to a grant or an employment contract obtained during the projected grant period. Failure to notify results in the cancellation of the awarded grant.
The entire commitment text on the application form:
The application data forms a personal data register in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation, maintained, stored and archived by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. You have the right to verify your information stored in the register either by written request or by personal visit and the correction of incorrect information. Access to the data and documents is given to experts who review submitted applications.
The Finnish Cultural Foundation requires you to comply with the application guidelines for governing the application process, to inform the Foundation through the Online Application Service of any corresponding funding received from elsewhere during the application processing period, and to act in accordance with the plan you have presented. The Foundation also requires you to comply with grantee guidelines, should a grant be awarded. The guidelines for grantees can be found on the Foundation website.
In addition to the above terms and conditions, the Foundation requires you to verify 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 application evaluation and decision-making process. The Foundation further requires your consent that the Foundation may exchange necessary information with other funding bodies in order to ensure the total level of funding and to avoid awarding overlapping grants.
An online report of how the grant was used must be submitted within one year of the final grant payment. A failure to provide a grant report will hinder the chances of receiving a grant in the future.
Giving incorrect information, failing to notify of other funding or other actions in violation of instructions prevents the grantee from withdrawing the grant or results in reimbursement of grant money already withdrawn.