The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives of grantees in a variety of ways, and the Cultural Foundation has responded with even more flexibility than usual. Please find all Coronavirus-related changes to grant guidelines here.
1. General Principles Regarding the Use of Grants
2. Grant Time Limits
3. Working grants
4. Grant Changes and Waiving the Grant
5. Grant Payments
6. Large Grant Progress Reports
7. Reporting on the Use of a Grant
8. Informing People about a Grant
9. Tax Considerations
10. Working Grant Insurance (Mela)
11. Additional Funding for Personal Insurance Cover (Söderberg & Partners Oy)
The grant must be used according to the plan laid out in the grant application and to the grant decision for the purpose it is awarded for.
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. The use of a grant awarded in the March round of applications may begin no earlier than June and in the August round of applications no earlier than November, unless otherwise specified in the grant application guidelines or grant decisions. The use of a grant awarded in the October round of applications may begin no earlier than February.
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.
- The grant or its first instalment must be withdrawn within three years of the date it was awarded on.
- The last grant instalment must be withdrawn within five years of the date it was awarded on.
- The final instalment of a multi-year grant must be withdrawn within five years of the date the first-year grant was awarded.
- The report on the use of a grant must be submitted within a year of the date the last instalment was withdrawn on. The grant must be fully used by that time.
- The continuation application of a multi-year grant includes a report of the previous grant. An actual report on the use of the whole grant period must be made within a year of the withdrawal of the last grant instalment, when the grant has been fully used.
- If the grant includes regulations deviating from above, for example the obligation to submit interim reports, this will be stated in the application guidelines of the grant in question and in the grant decision.
After these deadlines, the grant that has not been used or withdrawn will be cancelled. A failure to submit a report will prevent the grantee from being awarded a grant in the future.
A working grant awarded full-time (100%) is intended to cover personal living costs during a certain period. The length of the grant period has been informed in months in the grant decision. No other funding, such as another working grant or salary from a full-time job, may be received concurrently with it. Neither may it be used during paid annual leave.
A working grant awarded part-time (75%, 50%, or 25%) is intended for working shorter hours in different work and life situations during a certain period. The length of the grant period has been informed in months in the grant decision. No other funding, such as another full-time working grant or salary from a full-time job, may be received concurrently with it. Neither may it be used during paid annual leave.
The full- or part-time grant work and other use of time (for example work, benefits or similar) may together add 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 awarded as short-term is intended for continuous or irregular work together adding up to less than 4 months. Grant working hours can be arranged freely according to different situations in work and life.
If there is a need to work differently than what grant was awarded for, the change for the purpose of use must be applied for beforehand in the Online Services for Grantees. The change will affect the length of the grant period.
A doctoral student who uses the combined funding for doctoral students must also inform the Cultural Foundation of a part-time employment contract in the Online Services for Grantees before the payment of the grant or its first instalment. Read more on combining a doctoral student's grant with an employment contract here.
The grant may only be used for the purpose it was applied for and awarded. The grant must be withdrawn and used following the grant time limits. The expenditure grant portions must be approximately equal to the sums outlined in the budget attached to the application. Using the grant in other ways or against regulations leads to a recovery claim of the grant.
The use of the grant must be paused for the duration of, for example, full-time employment, another corresponding grant, or annual paid leave. The Cultural Foundation does not need to be informed separately about the break, if the grant is used within the limits specified in chapter 2 and the break has no effect on the MYEL pension insurance period (for more information, please ask The Farmers' Social Insurance Institution Mela).
If all of the grant payments have been made before the break and the report on the use falls due during the break or the grant period following the break, an indefinite return of the portion of the grant intended to be used after the break must be considered. The sum to be returned will be arranged with the Cultural Foundation beforehand. The grant will be returned to the Cultural Foundation's account Nordea FI7315723000011486. The grant number (eight numbers) found in the Online Services for Grantees and the grant decision must be entered in the message field of the refund payment along with the text “indefinite return of grant”.
Applying for Change
It may be possible to change the purpose of use of the grant in some situations and it always requires an application. The change of the purpose of use can be applied in the Online Services for Grantees. The application must be sent in good time before the work or project phase subject to change is carried out. Change applications entered into reports on the use of the grant will not be taken into consideration.
Minor changes to the content and budget do not require an application. Neither does the rescaling of the project in relation to the overall funding secured, unless otherwise stated in the grant guidelines or the grant decision.
A grant awarded for personal work cannot be applied to be moved to a different individual to use. A grant that has in its entirety been awarded for a certain purpose of use, for example for doctoral dissertation work, for postdoctoral research or as an expenditure grant, cannot be later applied to be used for a completely different purpose.
Other Possible Changes:
- Working Hours Used for Grant Work
If the working grant has been awarded for full-time work and there is a need to use it to work for fewer hours, the grant may be changed to be intended for part-time (75/50/25%) work. In this case the grant sum does not change but, instead, the duration of the grant period is extended. Correspondingly, if the grant has been awarded for part-time work and there is a need to use it to work for more hours, the grant period will become shorter.
Other part-time percentages than the ones provided by the Cultural Foundation are not possible. The tables listing the grant sums with various part-time percentages can be found here.
The length of the grant period reported to MELA (The Farmers' Social Insurance Institution) can only be changed when the change is made before the payment of the grant or its first instalment, or the confirmation of the insurance.
- Time Limits Regarding the Payment and the Use of the Grant
The time limits on the payment and the use of the grant are flexible, covering the standard causes that may extend the use of the grant within the three- and five-year deadlines. Extensions to the three- and five-year deadlines can be granted upon application only for exceptional reasons, such as serious illness or several successive family leaves. An extension will not be granted for another grant or for an employment contract.
- Change in the Composition of Working Group
The grant is intended to be used by the working group named in the application according to the specifications in the Online Services for Grantees and in the grant decision.
If a member of the working group is unable to use a part of or the whole working grant designated for them, they must notify in writing the person responsible of the working group that they are waiving the grant or a part of it. The person responsible will append the notification to the Online Services for Grantees.
If a new member joins the working group, their name, degree or profession must be submitted in the same service. The person responsible may not make any grant payments to the new member until the change has been agreed upon with the Cultural Foundation.
If the person responsible of the working group changes, the original person responsible appends a written notification of the change to the Online Services for Grantees. The notification is undersigned by both the original and new person responsible, and it must contain the contact information, personal identification number, and degree or profession of the new person responsible.
- Change of the Contact Person of an Organisation
If the contact person of an organisation changes, the previous contact person will notify the name, contact information, and the personal identification number of the new contact person on the Online Services for Grantees. Alternatively, a representative with the authority to sign documents on behalf of the organisation may notify the Cultural Foundation of the information of the new contact person on a secure email to apurahainfo(at)skr.fi or by phone to +358 (0)9 612 810.
A grant or its portion must be waived, if:
- the grantee receives other funding for the portion or work intended to be covered with the Cultural Foundation's funding.
- the project or work has not materialised or will not be materialising for one reason or another.
- the project or work (e.g. doctoral dissertation) is completed faster than planned or on a smaller budget.
If the grant payment has already been fully completed, the whole grant or its unused portion must be returned. The sum to be returned will be arranged with the Cultural Foundation beforehand. The grant will be returned to the Cultural Foundation's account Nordea FI7315723000011486. The grant number (eight numbers) found in the Online Services for Grantees and the grant decision must be entered in the message field of the refund payment along with the text “grant return and cancellation”.
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. Regardless of the account holder, a notification to the tax authorities of the paid grant will be made under the personal identification number of the person responsible of the working group. More information on taxation here.
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.
The Cultural Foundation is closed during the summer holiday season in July. At this time, no grant payments nor payment arrangements may be made. The installments agreed in advance before Midsummer, 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. Before a progress report is submitted and approved, a maximum of 75% of the grant sum can be withdrawn.
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 report on the use of the grant must be submitted by the given deadline, either within a year from the payment of the last grant instalment or according to the schedule given in the grant decision.
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 and entered in the Last name field of the online form.
The report may include, for example, a thesis or dissertation abstract, or a summary of possible assessments. The original copies do not need to be submitted to the Cultural Foundation. The report does not need to include receipts.
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's Central Fund and the Regional Funds 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 tags #kulttuurirahastontuella or, for example, #skr2022 (the year the grant was awarded) may be used on social media.
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 (24 965,04 euros in 2023). 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. 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. The grant paid by the Cultural Foundation will appear in the grant recipient's prefilled tax proposal as a taxable grant – even if no tax will be paid for the grant.
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.
The Cultural Foundation will submit a notification of the grant awarded to a working group under the personal identification number of the person responsible of the group. The person responsible may make changes to the tax proposal on MyTax (OmaVero) or by using a separate form following the instructions of the tax authorities. A working group member having received grant money must respectively notify the tax authorities of any grant money received during the tax year missing from their taxation.
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. It is also possible to insure short-term grant 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 390 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 Söderberg & Partners 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:
Söderberg & Partners Oy
050 4135 802
Frequently asked questions can be found here.
The answer to most questions can be found either in the grant decision or in the grant recipient's instructions, and if necessary 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 round of applications, the PoDoCo Programme and Post doc pool
Central Fund Grants of the August round of applications
Central Fund Grants of the October round of applications
Central Fund grant use reports and Continuation applications of Central Fund multi-year grants