Argumenta is a funding model intended for discovering scholarly, interdisciplinary, sustainable arguments that seek to answer open questions in important fields of research. Argumenta projects are of cross-disciplinary nature, and they extensively analyse competing theories and practices. The aim is to bring the results of these analytical debates to the attention of the public and of decision-makers, so that they can have an influence on societal decision-making.

The next call for applications will be in March 2020.

Criteria

The criteria applied to Argumenta are as follows:

  1. The topic must be of scholarly interest and have a far-reaching societal impact.
  2. The topic must involve academically controversial issues, with the aim of forming an overall understanding of these issues through cross-disciplinary debate.
  3. The project must aim to increase and deepen public debate on the topic or try to achieve a direct impact on societal decision-making through the scholarly arguments produced as part of the project.

The approach for Argumenta is emphatically cross-disciplinary. Although the same problems are often studied in different disciplines, it may be difficult to find a common language for formulating the solutions. The purpose of Argumenta is to apply interdisciplinary dialogue to producing new answers and conclusions for challenging issues in society, and to communicate these results to a broader audience than the academic community.

Applicability

The core operating model for Argumenta is to organise a series of seminars and, possibly, workshops, which may also involve other activities. The funding is not intended for actual research, but rather for covering the costs of the seminars, other events, and communications. The grant sum for one project is approximately EUR 100,000–150,000.

If the emphasis of the project is to be on awakening public debate, the project budget must include an allocation for employing influencer marketing professionals.

If the emphasis is to be on direct social influence, the project outcomes must be publicly presented in materials intended for use by decision-makers and as tools for more in-depth examination of the topics. The budget must include an allocation for influencer marketing purposes.

How to apply

Applications for Argumenta grants must be made in the name of a scholarly project team. The team should, if possible, include representatives of all of the disciplines relevant to the topic. One team member must act as the project leader.

The application is a two-stage process. The first stage will be open between 10 and 31 August 2018 on the Finnish Cultural Foundation’s website. The application period will close at 4 pm Finnish time on the final application day. The application must include a brief work plan (of at most three pages), a preliminary communication plan, and an indication of how the project fulfils the criteria for Argumenta. The application form includes instructions.

Applicants will be informed by 12 October 2018 if they have been selected for the second stage. The second stage of the application process will close on 9 November, and the final decisions will be provided by 30 November.

The second-stage application form has the same format as the first. It will ask for a more detailed and updated budget and communication plan. If the emphasis of the project is to be on social influence, the communication plan must detail the nature and distribution channels of the publications that the project will produce for decision-makers’ use.

If a project’s communication plan is considered to be lacking, the successful applicant may be required to produce an updated influencer marketing plan to be approved by the Cultural Foundation before the grant is paid out. Funding of EUR 5,000 may be provided on top of the project grant for the purposes of producing the communication plan. This grant may not be used for paying planning fees to members of the project team.

Reporting

Grant reports must be submitted using the Online Services for Grantees section of the Cultural Foundation’s website. The deadline for reports is one year after the payment of the first grant instalment. Should the project continue beyond this deadline, the team may apply to have an extension of the deadline up to three months after the conclusion of the project. The report must detail the main content of the project, the seminars, events and their numbers of participants, as well as an evaluation of the success of the project and the fulfilment of its communication goals. The use of the grant money must be itemised by expense type in a separate appendix.

So far, funding has been provided for 17 Argumenta projects.

For more information, please contact

Museonjohtaja Johanna Ruohonen
Johanna
Ruohonen
Senior Advisor, Museum Director, Kirpilä Art Collection