The Finnish Cultural Foundation uses Online Services for Grantees, through which the arrangements for grant payments and reporting on the use of a grant are made. The use of these online services requires personal Finnish online banking credentials.

Read the instructions about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on our grant rules from here.


Grant Decision Announcements
General principles Regarding the Use of Grants
Full-time, Part-time, and Passion Grants
Grant Payments
Large Grant Progress Reports
Reporting on the Use of a Grant
Informing others about a Grant
University Compensation
Tax considerations
Insurance of a Working Grant (Mela)
Additional funding for personal insurance cover (Benefit Advisors Oy)

Grant Decision Announcements

Both favourable and unfavourable grant decisions of the Finnish Cultural Foundation are sent to grant applicants by email as soon as the decisions are made.  The email discloses the date of publication for an awarded grant on the home page of the Cultural Foundation.

The decisions of the October round of applications are announced before the deadline of the January round in February.

Attached to decisions to award a grant will be an invitation to the annual gala (this applies to the October and January round of applications). The annual gala of the Central Fund will be held on 27 February. The dates of the annual galas of the regional funds may be found from their respective homepages.

General Principles Regarding the Use of Grants

The grant may be used to pursue the plan set out in the application. The grant-funded work may begin only after the grant decision has been made. Expenditure grants will likewise cover expenses incurring only after the grant decision has been made.

A working grant is not comparable to a salary received for work under a private or public employment contract. A grant of a specified amount and under certain conditions exempt from tax is personal and may not be transferred or donated to a third party, nor made out to be paid as salary or a fee.

A grant, the use of which has not begun within three years from the date it was awarded, shall be deemed cancelled. Likewise, a final instalment not transferred within five years of the date the grant was awarded shall be deemed cancelled. The grantees will not be separately informed of the above cancellations.

The final instalment of a multiyear grant must likewise be transferred within five years of the date the first-year grant was awarded. The instructions for how to apply for a second, third, and fourth year of the grant may be found here.

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Full-time, Part-time, and Passion Grants

A 100% working grant is intended for full-time work to cover standard personal costs of living within a certain period of time. Its use requires the grantee not be engaged in paid employment. It is not possible to concurrently receive corresponding funding (e.g. another working grant, salary from full-time employment, or adult education subsidy) with a grant awarded for full-time work. Neither may it be used during paid leave.

In addition to a grant, engaging in other work is allowed under certain conditions listed below:

  • For a grant awarded for full-time (100%) work, engaging in additional part-time salaried employment or other paid assignment for less than 25% of full-time working time is allowed. The principle is that, in addition to the grant-funded work, a grantee may engage in irregular or regular time work. This has no effect on the length of the grant period (e.g. an annual grant is intended for 12 month's work).
  • For a grant awarded for part-time (75%) work, engaging in other work for no more than 25% of full-time working time is allowed.
  • For a grant awarded for half-time (50%) work, engaging in other work for no more than 50% of full-time working time is allowed.
  • For a grant awarded for part-time (25%) work, engaging in other work for no more than 75% of full-time working time is allowed.
  • For a grant awarded as a so-called passion grant, it may be used for grant work on the side. The project carried out as a pastime or passion must be, as to its contents, unconnected to the grantee's actual paid employment and the employment must be full-time (100%).

If there is a need to change the working scheme outlined in the awarded grant, the deviation must first be agreed with the Cultural Foundation. The change will affect the time period allotted for the use of the grant. The change must be applied for and the related instructions may be found on the Online Services.

A doctoral student with a 50-56% employment contract with a university or other research institution must also report the contract to the Online Services for Grantees, preferably before the payment of the grant or its first installment. Read more on combining a doctoral student's grant with an employment contract here.

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Grant Payments

Grant payment may be arranged after the annual gala.

Payment to individual applicants and working groups can be arranged on the Online Services for Grantees. Making a payment proposal requires the use of personal Finnish online banking credentials. The use of these credentials is equivalent to signing a payment proposal.

A grant payment to a working group must be arranged by the person in charge of the working group (they must be the designated person named in the application). The grant will be paid to a single bank account designated by the person in charge. You can sign into the online service here.

Payment to a registered organisation is arranged by returning a payment agreement form sent by the Cultural Foundation, filled out and signed in accordance with the rules of the organisation. With the form, the organisation must enclose its register extract dated no more than three months before.

Grantees who do not have Finnish online banking credentials must also arrange the grant payment with an agreement form. The form will be sent by post after the annual gala. Grantees under the age of 15 must have their legal guardians sign the form.

The grants are transferred to IBAN bank accounts. The Cultural Foundation generally makes the payments on the first working day of the month and weekly on Wednesdays. The transfer of the payment to the recipient's account may take a few business days.

Without a special reason, grants of 13.000 euros and less are paid in one instalment, provided that the total duration of its use does not exceed 12 months. Larger grants are paid in one or more instalments according to a timetable dictated by the purpose of use, but not in monthly basis. In case the complete project timetable is uncertain, the grantee may initially arrange the payment of the first instalment and leave the rest to a later date.

Note as well that a working grant is intended to be paid in periods of at least 4 months. If it has been awarded for a shorter period of time, it will be paid in one instalment and must then be used and its use reported within one year of the payment of the instalment.

A report on the use of the grant must be submitted within a year from the payment of the last instalment.

The Cultural Foundation is closed during the summer holiday season in July. At this time, no grant payments nor payment arrangements may be made. Instalments arranged beforehand to be paid in July will be paid in the last week of June.

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Large Grant Progress Reports

Should the grant sum be 80.000 euros or more and the grant period be 24 months or more, the grantee is required to submit a progress report 12 months after the payment of the first grant instalment. No more than 75 % of the total grant sum may be paid before the progress report has been submitted and approved.

The progress report is made using a separate online form found here. The processing of the report normally takes about two weeks. The designated person of the project will receive a report approval notification to their email address.

Note that the progress report does not replace the final report on how the grant was used, which should still be provided within one year of the payment of the final grant instalment.

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Reporting on the Use of a Grant

A Grantee must make a report on how the grant was used within one year of the final payment. The report is made using an online form on the Online Services for Grantees and it must be allocated to the central or regional fund that awarded the grant. Using the service requires personal Finnish online banking credentials.

In case of a registered organisation, e.g. the designated person may use their personal online banking credentials to complete the report. The official name of the recipient organisation must be stated clearly in the report. The official name may also be entered under Last name in the online form.

No receipts for proof of expenditure need to be appended to the report. A sufficient attachment to the report is a summary of a thesis, a doctoral dissertation, or another scientific publication, or a summary of, for example, reviews of an art exhibition. These do not need to be sent to the Cultural Foundation separately by post.

A report on the use of the grant must be submitted within a year from the payment of the last grant instalment. A failure to submit a report will prevent the grantee from being awarded a grant in the future.

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Informing people about a Grant

It is a generally accepted practice to mention grants awarded and sponsors in curriculum vitae and display them also in academic theses or publications, concert programs, exhibition catalogues and in other corresponding connections. A printable logo of the Finnish Cultural Foundation may be downloaded here.

In foreign language connections, the following translations of the Finnish Cultural Foundation are used:

  • Suomen Kulttuurirahasto
  • Finska Kulturfonden
  • Finnische Kulturstiftung
  • Fondation Finlandaise pour la Culture
  • Fundación Finlandesa para la Cultura
  • Fondazione Culturale Finlandese

The foreign language translations of the regional funds may be found here.

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University Compensation

The Finnish Cultural Foundation has made an agreement with all Finnish universities designed to improve the status of grant recipients in the universities. This guarantees grantees the same basic requirements for working as researchers and doctoral students working in corresponding positions. The agreement applies to grantees with Ph.D.s at the discretion of the department.

Basic requirements include, for instance, 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 procure basic requirements from the university, make the arrangements and work out the compensation payment details with the university. If you do not wish to make an agreement with the university, you may use the compensation sum to make your own arrangements for the basic requirements.

The university compensation is included in those Cultural Foundation grants awarded for work, the duration of which is at least four months. The sum is stated in the grant decision and comes to an annual total of 1.600 euros.

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Tax considerations

Under the Income Tax Act (1535/92, 82 §), scholarships or other grants received for studies, scientific research or artistic activities, or awards received in recognition of scientific, artistic or non-profit activities are tax-exempt income under certain conditions. The tax liability depends on both the entity awarding the scholarship, grant or award, and on the awarded sum as follows:

  1. Scholarships, grants for studies, and other grants and awards received from the state, a municipality or other public sector organisation, or the Nordic Council are exempt from tax.

  2. Grants etc. received from other corresponding entities (such as the Finnish Cultural Foundation) are tax-exempt insofar as the total amount of grants – including scholarships, grants, and awards awarded by the entities listed in paragraph 1 above - awarded to the taxpayer does not exceed the state of Finland's annual artist grant sum in one tax year (20 728,44 euros in 2019). This sum includes the part used to finance the statutory MYEL social security.
        In other words, if the total grant sum in one tax year exceeds the maximum amount of the state of Finland’s annual artist grant sum mentioned above, the exceeding part is deemed taxable income. The grant recipient is allowed to make deductions from this taxable part for expenses for the production of income (travel, professional literature, workspace, or tools expenses etc.)

Grants are deemed as income for the tax year during which they are paid to the grant recipient. They must also be reported to the Finnish Tax Administration according to year of payment, if they are not mentioned in the pre-completed tax return.

Under the National Board of Taxation's decision (1052/2003), the Cultural Foundation will notify the Finnish Tax Administration of scholarships, grants or awards it has awarded when the payment within the current tax year is at least 1 000 euros. The notification is made after the closing of the tax year in January and includes the name, the personal identity code, and the address of the grant recipient, the purpose of the grant, and the amount paid. Grants for working groups are reported under the name of the person designated in the application. The designated person must, when required, provide information to the tax authorities on the use of the grant and its distribution between the working group members.

If a grant recipient uses an expenditure grant to employ additional workers, they then become liable for the normal employer obligations, such as withholding taxes and add-on costs.

Note that taxation regulations are subject to change and their interpretation may vary to an extent. Finnish Cultural Foundation may therefore not be held liable for the accuracy of the above information nor provide further advice on taxation. If anything regarding taxation is unclear, a grant recipient should contact the Finnish Tax Administration (www.vero.fi) directly for further advice.

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Working Grant Insurance (Mela)

Working on a grant involves a statutory obligation of the grant recipient to insure their working. If a grant has been awarded for work lasting at least four months, the insurance is mandatory.

The Farmers' Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Mela, provides grant recipients with social security for pension, accident, and group life insurance. Mela also decides the insurance eligibility of the grant and the grant recipient.

Cultural Foundation grants awarded for scientific or artistic work lasting at least four months include insurance premiums. This means that a grant recipient must earmark approx. 15 % of their grant for insurance premiums and arrange the applying and paying for the insurances by themselves.

The insurance must be taken to cover the period for which the grant has been awarded (given in months in the grant decision), even if the work will not be carried out in one continuous period.

Finnish Cultural Foundation is required to report and provide additional information, if required, to Mela on grants awarded.

For more information concerning grant recipient social security, contact MELA customer service at 029 435 2650, vakuutus(at)mela.fi, or see www.mela.fi.

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Additional funding for personal insurance cover (Benefit Advisors Oy)

The Cultural Foundation offers recipients of full-time working grants of 9-12 months a personal insurance cover supplementary to statutory social security. The insurance covers personal grant recipients under the age of 60. The Cultural Foundation will pay for the insurance cover. The benefit will increase the grant by 230 euros.

The insurance package includes accident, medical expenses and life insurance cover and is valid also in free time continuously for a period of one year from the transfer of the first grant instalment and validation of the insurance cover. With the insurance, a grant recipient may use private health care with a small deductible.

The insurance package is handled by Benefit Advisors Oy. They will send grant recipients detailed information of the cover after having validated the insurance. Please send an application form and a power of attorney printable from the Online Services for Grantees to the address below:

Benefit Advisors Oy
Siru Elman
Töölönkatu 4
00100 HELSINKI
09 87750 200
050 4135 802

info.ba(at)soderbergpartners.com

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For more information

Please contact the Cultural Foundation by email (apurahainfo(at)skr.fi) or by phone. Contact persons for different application rounds are:

  • Grants of the January round of applications, Sari Ilomäki
  • Grants of the March and August rounds of applications, PoDoCo and Post doc, Eriika Johansson
  • Grants of the October round of applications, Jaana Ortju
  • Reports on the use of grants and continuation applications of multiyear grants, Olli Vallinheimo