Applying for a grant
Grants awarded for research work cover both expenses related to the work and the researcher's living costs during the work.
Anyone carrying out scientific work or research can apply for grants to secure their income and to cover costs related to research, such as travel and equipment expenses. Grants may be awarded to students in Bachelor's and Master's programmes and doctoral candidates. Many researchers, who have written Doctoral dissertations, carry out research that is funded by grants. Post Doc grants are intended for researchers who have a doctorate.
Grants are awarded to both working groups and independent researchers. If a grant is approved for example for a university's research group, the university will use the funds to pay researchers' salaries and cover other employer obligations.
Researchers who are students completing Bachelor's or Master's degrees are often awarded one-off grants. Post-graduate students and doctoral graduates may also be awarded long-term grants.
A researcher whose work is financed by a grant may be for example a member of a university's research group or another community. The researcher may for example have a work station within the community, but they may not be entitled to use the workplace's other services such as data networks or copying. The researcher is independently responsible for their working hours, pension payments and health care.
A researcher whose work is financed by a grant is not obligated to take part in tasks related to the administration of the work community, the development of the work community or teaching.
Actors that award grants are listed in the Aurora database.
The database, which is up-dated regularly, lists details on 400 Finnish actors that provide funding for science, the arts or culture. Significant financiers of science include for example the Academy of Finland, the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Kone Foundation. In addition to funds and foundations, companies and associations can also award grants.
Grants are awarded for research in the humanities and theology, social, economic and behavioural sciences, agriculture and forestry, natural sciences, technology, and medical and health sciences.
Some financiers are specialised in certain fields, some want to support for example multidisciplinary research.
Most actors that award grants have specific application periods in place, but some accept applications on a continuous basis. You can also apply for a grant for research carried out abroad.
A Finnish researcher or research group who works in Finland can also apply for grants from abroad.
As a grant recipient, you are obligated to provide information on the use of the grant money and the results of the work the grant has funded. If you do not provide this information, you may be required to return the funding you have received. If your work plan changes significantly as your work progresses, you must notify the party who has provided your grant of this and together determine whether the money can also be used for this altered plan.
No service relationship or other obligations will be established between the party awarding the grant and the recipient. The party awarding the grant cannot dictate the methods for conducting scientific research nor try to influence the results of the research.
Foundations and funds specify within their terms and conditions for application whether grant recipients may be employed or receive entrepreneurial income during the grant period. As a rule, the recipient may take on paid work for example for 20-25 per cent of their work time.
In some cases, the researcher may work simultaneously as an employed researcher and a grant researcher. These types of grants are awarded by for example the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
The recipient must pay taxes for grants paid by foundations, universities or other private entities for the part of the grant that exceeds sum awarded as State artist grants. The sum for an artist grant will be confirmed yearly. In 2020, the maximum limit for tax-free artist grants and other grants is just over 1,900 euros a month.
Grants paid by public-sector entities such as the Government and municipalities are lower than the maximum limit for tax-free grants. However, they will influence the taxation of grants received from private actors such as foundations, associations and companies. If you have been awarded a grant from several sources at the same time, you must pay taxes, if the total amount of the grants exceeds the amount of a State artist grant.
Grant recipients fall in the scope of statutory pensions and occupational accidents insurance provided by Farmers' Social Insurance Institution Mela. As a grant recipient, you must independently see to it that you have purchased a Farmers’ Pension Insurance policy (MYEL) and keep up with your payments. You will be registered in the pensions system as "self-employed", and you will accumulate a pension according to the MyEL criteria.
The MyEL insurance scheme makes it possible for you as a grant recipient are when necessary in the scope of daily allowance benefits and Kela's rehabilitation allowance. Insurance will also provide security if you fall ill. Mela's sickness allowance is paid after a waiting period of four days.
You do not need to purchase an insurance policy, if your grant period runs consecutively for less than four months, if the grant has been awarded for Bachelor's or Master's studies or if it only covers expenses such as travel or requirement expenses.
If you have not yet used all your student financial aid months as part of your higher education studies, you can apply for student financial aid for your postgraduate studies. You may receive student financial aid for a licentiate or doctoral degree, for a separate grade or a single study module, if the degree, grade or module will improve your professional qualifications or make you eligible for public service positions.
A tax-exempt grant received by a student does not reduce the amount of student financial aid paid to the recipient. However, taxable grants are considered annual income and they will affect the amount of student financial aid paid to the grant recipient.
If you apply for housing allowance or social assistance, the grant that you have received for living expenses is considered as income in the same way as earned income. However, project grants are not considered as income when housing allowance and social assistance are calculated.