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Cultural Foundation Grants

Applying for a Grant

Eligible Applicants
Working Grant or Salary
Types of Grants
    Working Grants
    The Amount of the Working Grant
    Expenditure Grants
References
Application Evaluation
Grant Decisions

Grants in General

Working Grant Statutory and Supplementary Insurances
Limitations and Restrictions

Writing the Grant Application

Attachments
Research, work or project plan and its summary
Budget and itemisation of applied amount
 

Cultural Foundation Grants

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
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.

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Applying for a Grant

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 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 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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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.

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.

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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Working 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).

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.

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.

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.


The Cultural Foundation does not fund any activity permanently.

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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.

Full-time Working Grant
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.

Part-time Working Grant
A part-time working grant may be awarded for a maximum period of one year to a person engaging in regular part-time work.

Passion Grant for Part-time Work
A person engaged in full-time paid work may be awarded a passion grant for part-time work in such a scientific or an artistic project that is not related to duties they perform 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.

More information on multi-year grants 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.

The combined funding is applied for full-time work. The doctoral student's combined funding is agreed upon on the Online Services for Grantees after the grant has been awarded, in which case the grant period is doubled.

More information on com
bined funding here.

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The Amount of the Working Grant

The amount of a working grant is always fixed and totals 26 000 euros in a year (30 000 euros for doctoral-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 for research occurring after the defence of a dissertation or completing a doctoral degree in arts, 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.

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 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). An expenditure grant cannot be applied to cover these expenses.

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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.

An expenditure grant can be applied for exceptional travel costs related to the grant project. Ordinary conference and lecture trips are not funded.

  • 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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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 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.

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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.

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 Services for Grantees and the grant certificate is mailed after the 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. This benefit increases the grant by about 270 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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Limitations and Restrictions

Grants are not awarded:

  • as wage increments or incentive grants
  • to applicants who have already secured funding for the following 12 months from the grant decision date (excluding applicants seeking for the combined funding for doctoral students with a contract of employment)
  • 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 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, 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. A part of the information in the application is mandatory (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.

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. Certificates of the right to pursue doctoral studies, and diplomas and permissions to defend the dissertation of applicants in their postdoctoral phase applying for supplemented grants make an exception to this rule. They should be submitted using the Application Management function (by the end of January in the Central Fund October round of applications; In the January round of applications, the date must be verified from the regional fund in question). 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.

In the section “Other Attachments”, attachments that have not been separately mentioned in the application form may be appended to the application. An applicant for the Art for Everyone grant must attach a tentative agreement of the partner organisation to the project (along with its contact information) in Other Attachments. 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

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) or, if the organisation has been founded only recently, an extract of register or other equivalent proof of founding
  • a budget as a clear table with equal income and expenditure (see Budget)

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 person responsible 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, or a valid proof of right to study (obligatory when applying for a grant to doctoral dissertation work or to basic degree thesis work)
  • reference, 1–3 (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.

Artists

  • a work plan (no more than 6 pages) and additionally a possible table of contents or list of references (no attachment necessary 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 person responsible and those working on the grant)
  • visual artists must attach pictures of their work (1–3) and a possible link to an online portfolio
  • reference, 1–3 (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 list.

Research, work or project plan and its summary

The maximum length of the summary is 6 000 characters including spaces. The summary must describe concisely and 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
  • Action plan
  • Budget*
  • Timetable

The maximum length of the plan is 6 pages (excluding a possible table of contents and list of sources).

When applying for a multi-year grant, the plan must be drawn up for the whole duration the grant is applied for.

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.

Budget and itemisation of applied amount

A budget is an obligatory attachment when applying for an expenditure grant. A budget must be drawn up in table form with equal income and expenditure.

  • If there are several funders, the attached 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.

The grant amount sought from the Cultural Foundation must also be itemised on an online form. 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 personal multi-year 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 on the online form for the whole duration of work.

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.