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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)

Applying for a Grant

Eligible Applicants
Grant or Salary
Types of Grants
Sums Granted
References
Application Evaluation
Grant Decisions

Grants in General

Working Grant Statutory and Supplementary Insurances
University Compensation
Limitations and Restrictions

Writing the Grant Application
 

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 either the Central Fund or one of the regional funds.

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. A research group denotes all research projects by working groups with a minimum of two members.

Art Grants
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.


The Cultural Foundation has four annual application periods:

January Round of Applications (Regional Funds)

The general regional fund grant application period takes place 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.

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 addition to the working and expenditure grants outlined in this guide, it is possible to apply for e.g. Art for Institutions, local culture project, and spearhead project grants through regional funds.

The regional funds also have their own emphases with which applicants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with before applying.

All grants open for application will be confirmed before the application period opens. Please find more information on applicable grants and guidelines as well as the individual emphases of the regional funds here.

March Round of Applications (Central Fund)

In March, grants open for application include  special grants such as the Argumenta, Mobility and Instrument loan grants. The grants open for application will be confirmed before the application period opens. Please see special grants and application guidelines on the March round of applications web page.

August Round of Applications (Central Fund)

In August, grants open for application include  special grants such as Mobility and residence grants. The grants open for application will be confirmed before the application period opens. Please see special grants and application guidelines on the August round of applications web page.

October Round of Applications (Central Fund)

The general grant application period of the Central Fund takes place annually in October.

In addition to the working and expenditure grants outlined in this guide, grants open for application in the October round of applications include the Eminentia, Art for Institutions and Additional million-euro funding grants. The grants open for application will be confirmed before the application period opens. See grants open for application and guidelines here.

In addition to the above grant applications, the Cultural Foundation supports sciences and arts through other organisations, such as the grants of the Post Doc pool and the PoDoCo Programme, and the scholarships of the international United World College institutions. These grants cannot be applied through the Cultural Foundation but through their partner organisations. More information here.

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Applying for a Grant

Eligible Applicants

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.

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 guidelines.

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. 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, to the Finnish Tax Administration and other members of the group, for the possible grant to be awarded.

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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Grant or Salary

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).

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 who are 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. In these cases, take into account your possible responsibilities as an employer and include the add-on hiring costs in your budget.

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.

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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

Working grants are intended for private individuals and working groups primarily for 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 full-time working grant. Use of a working grant requires not being engaged in paid 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 paid employment for less than 25 % of regular full-time working time.  The basic principle is that, in addition to grant work, a grantee could engage in periodic or regular time work. A pension does not preclude you from applying for a grant.

A person employed in full-time paid work is eligible for  a part-time working grant for a period of no longer than 1 year.

A person employed in full-time paid work is eligible for a passion grant to part-time work in such a scientific or an artistic project that is not related to duties they have in their full-time work.  It is possible to apply for this grant as an individual or as a part of a working group. The size of the project is not specified, but the maximum amount of a working grant per person is limited to 3 000 euros.

•    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.
•    Those receiving another working grant or adult education subsidy are not eligible to apply for a full-time or part-time working grant or a passion grant for the same period from the Cultural Foundation.
•    Pensioners are not eligible to apply for a passion grant or part-time working grant.
•    Basic degree (bachelor's and master's) students are not eligible to apply for a working grant or passion grant.
•    Organisations are not eligible to apply for a working grant.

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.

If you have been awarded a multi-year grant, see instructions for submitting a continuation application here.

Combined Funding for Doctoral Students
The Foundation offers doctoral students an opportunity to combine a grant with 50-56 % gainful employment with a university or other research institution so that together they allow the student to pursue their post-graduate studies full-time.

It is possible to apply for a grant for full-time work and then retrospectively change it part-time. It will double the grant period. The change is agreed on in the Online Services for Grantees.

 

Expenditure grants

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.

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 extraordinary costs of their dissertation work, such as field work or material expenses.
•    Registered organisations may apply for a grant to expenditure only.

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Sums Granted

The amount of a working grant is always fixed and totals 26 000 euros in a year (30 000 euros for doctoral-level research).  An expenditure grant is applied on the basis of 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 these 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. 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.

Working grants

It is possible to apply for an individual working grant for only one year. The only exceptions are the Multi-year grants and major projects of working groups.

The amount of the grant you applied for depends on the duration of your work. Please refer to applicable table for the corresponding grant sums for different number of months  (sums for postdoctoral research given in parenthesis). Do not apply for grant sums that do not correspond to the table.

Working Grant for full-time (100%) grant work:
Months Months
12 26 000 (30 000) 6 13 000 (15 000)
11 24 000 (27 500) 5 11 000 (12 500)
10 22 000 (25 000) 4 9 000 (10 000)
9 20 000 (22 500) 3 7 000 (7 500)
8 18 000 (20 000) 2 4 500 (5 000)
7 15 500 (17 500) 1 2 500 (2 500)
Working Grant for part-time (75 %) grant work, paid employment of no more than 25%:
Months Months
12 19 500 (22 500) 6 10 000 (11 500)
11 18 000 (21 000) 5 8 500 (9 500)
10 16 500 (19 000) 4 7 000 (7 500)
9 15 000 (17 000) 3 5 500 (6 000)
8 13 500 (15 000) 2 3 500 (4 000)
7 12 000 (13 500) 1 2 000 (2 000)
Working Grant for half-time (50 %) grant work, paid employment of no more than 50%:
Months Months
12 13 000 (15 000) 6 6 500 (7 500)
11 12 000 (14 000) 5 5 500 (6 500)
10 11 000 (12 500) 4 4 500 (5 000)
9 10 000 (11 500) 3 3 500 (4 000)
8 9 000 (10 000) 2 2 500 (2 500)
7 8 000 (9 000) 1 1 500 (1 500)
Working Grant for part-time (25 %) grant work, paid employment of no more than 75%:
Months Months
12 6 500 (7 500) 6 3 500 (4 000)
11 6 000 (7 000) 5 3 000 (3 500)
10 5 500 (6 500) 4 2 500 (2 500)
9 5 000 (6 000) 3 2 000 (2 000)
8 4 500 (5 000) 2 1 500 (1 500)
7 4 000 (4 500) 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), as well as the university compensation, if needed (applies only to full-time grant work). Please do not apply for an expenditure grant for these expenses.

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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 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 your application. Nor will the reference be forwarded to you. Whether or not the referee has submitted a reference form will not be disclosed to you, either. This is how the Cultural Foundation protects the applicants' and referees' right to privacy.

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. Provide your referee with the reference ID number on your application form. It links the reference to your application automatically.

Should the referee not wish to use the online service, you may add their open reference as an attachment to your 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.

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Application Evaluation

All grant applications are peer evaluated.

The Central Fund October round applications are evaluated by over 40 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.

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

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

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Grants in General

Working Grant Statutory and Supplementary Insurances

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 for you. This benefit increases your grant by about 230 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.

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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.

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Limitations and Restrictions

Grants are not awarded:
•    as wage increments or incentive grants
•    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 (less than 9 months)
•    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.

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Writing the Grant Application

The Online Application Service contains a test application form that may be tried out to see how the system closely guides applicants in writing the application. You can find exact instructions under the ?-symbols. Hover your cursor over the symbol to read these instructions. This section of the guideline contains only such parts of the application for which it is best to prepare in advance.

Attachments

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 only exceptions are degree diplomas and permissions for the defense of dissertation granted after deadline of post-doctoral level applicants seeking for a higher grant sum. A certificate of postgraduate study granted after the deadline can also be sent afterwards. They should be submitted using the Application Management function (by the end of January in the Central Fund October round of applications; by the end of March in the January round of applications). Please note that the dissertation supervisor's reference of academic success or research plan is mandatory and must be submitted during the application period.

Attachments are primarily requested as pdf files. The service also accepts the following formats: .txt, .rtf, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .bmp, .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, .tif, and .tiff. A single attachment cannot exceed 3 MB.

Consider which of the requested attachments are essential in evaluating your application. Keep the whole application concise yet informative.

In the section “Other Attachments”, you may add such attachments that haven’t been separately mentioned in the application form. For example, if you are applying for the Art for Institutions grant, please attach a tentative agreement of the partner organisation to the project (along with its contact information) in Other Attachments. If you are a science grant applicant, you 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

Registered organisations
•    a project plan (no more than 6 pages) and additionally a possible table of contents or list of references (no separate attachment necessary if the entire plan fits in the space allotted on the application form)
•    the last audited annual financial statement (profit and loss account and balance sheet excluding notes and the auditor's report)
•    a budget as a clear table with equal income and expenditure

Researchers
•    a research plan (no more than 6 pages) and additionally a possible table of contents or list of references (no attachment necessary 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 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 designated person and those working on the grant)
•    list of publications
•    a copy of your degree diploma or permission for the defense of dissertation (when applying for a grant to post-doctoral research)
•    a transcript of record, e.g. the one available from WebOodi is sufficient (when applying for a grant to doctoral dissertation work or to basic degree thesis work, the applicant in the early stages of their postgraduate studies may, if necessary, replace the transcript with a valid proof of right to study)
•    reference, 1-3 (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.

Artists
•    a work plan (no more than 6 pages) and additionally a possible table of contents or list of references (no attachment necessary 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 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 designated person and those working on the grant)
•    visual artists must attach pictures of their work (1–3) saved into a single file and a possible link to an online portfolio
•    reference, 1-3 (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.
•    If you are applying for a grant to research art, please see the necessary attachments under Researchers

Research, work or project plan and its summary

The maximum length of the summary is 6 000 characters including spaces. In your summary, describe concisely and in general terms the purpose to which you are applying for the grant and how and in what time you are intending to carry out your plan. You may also describe why it is important to receive funding and why it is specifically you who can carry out the plan. Aim to convince the readers with facts and vision. Do not include tables or lists in your summary. Do not refer to an attached file.

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
•    Action plan
•    Budget*
•    Timetable

The maximum length of the plan is 6 pages (excluding a possible table of contents and list of sources). Pay close attention to the form and comprehensibility of the plan. Clearly describe what you are planning to do.

If you are applying for a multi-year grant, draw up the plan for the whole duration.

If you have received prior funding for the same project from the Cultural Foundation, clarify its progress and the relationship of the new application to the previously funded project.

*The budget is required if you are applying for a grant for expenses. It may be a part of your work plan, but be sure to submit it also as a separate attachment.

Budget

A budget is an obligatory attachment when applying for an expenditure grant. Draft a table with equal income and expenditure, and clearly illustrate whether the grant from the Cultural Foundation is being applied for the whole project or a part of it.

If the grant is being applied to the implementation of a multi-year work, research, or a project plan, the expenditure must be itemized according to year.

In addition to the budget submitted as an attachment, the amount of an expenditure grant being applied from the Cultural Foundation must be itemised on a form, as well. The headings in the form are:
•    Travel costs
•    Material and equipment costs
•    Auxiliary labour and outsourcing
•    Other expenses (for e.g. rental of space)

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.

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Please see Frequently Asked Questions here.