General Principles Regarding the Use of Grants
Full- and Part-time Grants, and Passion Grants
Large Grant Progress Reports
Reporting on the Use of a Grant
Informing People about a Grant
Insurance of a Working Grant (Mela)
Additional Funding for Personal Insurance Cover (Benefit Advisors Oy)
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. For the October round of applications this means the beginning of February. In the January round of applications, the dates will be announced by each regional fund.
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 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The final instalment of a multi-year grant must likewise be withdrawn within five years of the date the first-year grant was awarded.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.
A 100% working grant is intended for full-time work and 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 paid work is allowed under certain conditions. The following guidelines should be followed:
When a grant has been awarded for full-time (100%) work, it is possible to additionally engage in part-time paid work for less than 25% of the working time of the full-time work. The guiding principle here is that besides grant work a grantee may engage in e.g. periodic or regular time work. The above has no effect on the length of the grant period (e.g. a one-year grant is intended for 12 months’ work).
A part-time grant is intended to be used in conjunction with regular part-time employment. It cannot be combined with another part-time grant or adult education subsidy.
When the grant has been awarded for part-time (75%) work, the grantee may additionally engage in regular part-time work of 25%.
When the grant has been awarded for part-time (50%) work, the grantee may additionally engage in regular part-time work for a maximum of 50%.
When the grant has been awarded for part-time (25%) work, the grantee may additionally engage in regular part-time work for a maximum of 75%.
When the grant has been awarded as a passion grant, it can be used for part-time work. The project to be implemented with the grant must be separate in content from the grantee’s actual employment, and the employment must be full-time (100%). The passion grant is not intended as a supplement for other grants.
If there is a need to change the working scheme outlined in the awarded grant, the deviation must first be agreed on with the Cultural Foundation. The change will affect the time period allotted for the use of the grant. The related instructions may be found on the Online Service.
A doctoral student with a 50-56% employment contract with a university or other research institution must also report the contract to the Online Service for Grantees, preferably before the payment of the grant or its first instalment. Read more on combining a doctoral student's grant with an employment contract here.
Grant payments may be arranged on the Online Service for Grantees at the earliest on the date specified in the decision to grant. Personal online banking ID's should be used to log in to the service here.
Working group grant payments are arranged by the person responsible of the working group, who must be the same as the designated contact person specified in the application. The grant will be paid to a single bank account specified by the person responsible.
The payment schedule form required to withdraw an organisation grant is available on the Online Service for Grantees for grant recipients of 2021 and thereafter. The form may be printed by the contact person of the organisation, who must be the same as the designated contact person specified in the application. Grant recipients from before 2021 will have received the form by mail. The payment schedule form must be signed in accordance with the rules of the organisation. Along with the form, the organisation must enclose its register extract (dated no more than three months before) or an equivalent statement of the right to sign (e.g. an administrative or a by-law rule or an extract from the minutes of the authority to sign). The grant will be paid to a single bank account indicated on the form.
Grantees who do not have Finnish online banking IDs must also arrange the grant payment with an agreement form. 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.
The grants are paid in one or more, minimum of 2 000-euro instalments according to a timetable dictated by purpose of use. It is advisable to space out the payments in such a way that during each tax year only the sum to be used that year is withdrawn.
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. The Cultural Foundation will issue, when making the first payment, an automatic notification of the start of the grant period to MELA, if the grant includes at least a four-month working grant.
A report on the use of the grant must be submitted within a year from the payment of the last instalment. The grant must be fully used when the report is written.
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.
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.
Notwithstanding the previous conditions, the grant may also involve a progress reporting obligation. The grant decision will include a mention of this for those to whom the obligation applies.
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 responsible 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.
A grantee must make a report on how the grant was used within one year of the final payment. A failure to submit a report will prevent the grantee from being awarded a grant in the future.
The report is made using an online form on the Online Service 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. It is to be entered in the Last name field of 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.
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
Foreign language translations of the regional funds may be found here.
The Cultural Foundation has previously had an agreement with Finnish universities, which guaranteed grant recipients basic resources to conduct their work at university departments for an annual compensation of 1600 euros. As the compensation was non-uniformly collected, however, the agreement was terminated and will expire at the end of February 2022, after which no further compensations are to be charged on the basis of this agreement. In most cases, the universities will still offer basic resources for work, but it is possible to enquire about the matter separately from the department in question.
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:
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.
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 (23 668,35 euros in 2021). 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. It is advisable the payments be spaced out in such a way that during the tax year only the sum to be used that particular year is paid.
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.
The grant recipient has a statutory obligation to insure a grant that has been awarded for a minimum of four months’ work.
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.
Insurance premiums are included in the Cultural Foundation grants awarded for a minimum of four months’ scientific or artistic full- or part-time work. 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.
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 270 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. The grantee must send an application form for additional funding and a power of attorney printable from the Online Service for Grantees to the following address:
Benefit Advisors Oy
09 87750 200
050 4135 802
Frequently asked questions can be found here.
The Foundation answers enquiries in the Online Service for Grantees, by email at apurahainfo(at)skr.fi and by phone (09) 612 810.
Enquiries regarding grant instalments and payment schedules should primarily be directed to apurahainfo(at)skr.fi and other enquiries concerning the use of the grant to the Online Service for Grantees.
Grants of the January round of applications and regional fund grant use reports
The regional fund in questions and Sari Ilomäki (Central Fund)
Central Fund Grants of the March and August rounds of applications, the PoDoCo Programme and Post doc pool
Central Fund Grants of the October round of applications
Central Fund grant use reports
Continuation applications of Central Fund multi-year grants