This page provides guidelines for researchers and sites of research receiving funding from the Academy of Finland. Research funding awarded by the Academy may only be used for the purpose specified in the funding decision.
Academy research grants are awarded for the applicant’s research project. The grant can be used to carry out the research plan specified in the application. The research must be carried out at the site of research indicated in the application and the granted amount must not be exceeded. The funding is not binding as to type of expenditure.
Full cost model: principles and definitions
The full cost model applies to most of the funding granted by the Academy, and it affects the way in which funding applications and funding decisions are made, how funding is used, and how the use of funds is reported. Full costing also applies to invoicing.
The basis for reporting in connection with payment requests for Academy funding is derived from project accounting in which the direct costs of a project are entered (based on business accounting). In addition, calculated overheads and indirect employee costs are allocated to projects. Separate reports on the calculated cost items based on the organisation’s accounting shall be submitted to the Academy Registrar’s Office annually.
The overhead percentage approved in the funding decisions will be in force for the entire duration of the funding period.
- The full cost model refers to a cost calculation method in which all costs of an organisation are allocated in accordance with the matching principle to the cost object (e.g. to a project) irrespective of the funding source. This is based on the direct costs for effective working hours in accordance with the matching principle. The other direct and indirect costs are directly allocated to the cost object by using a coefficient for effective working hours and an overhead percentage. In accordance with the full cost model, each funding body decides on its funding contribution to the total costs in line with its own principles.
- Effective working hours refer to effective (i.e. completed) working hours allocated to a cost object, excluding paid or other leaves.
- Paid leaves cover all salary costs arising from statutory or other absences (e.g. annual holidays, absences due to child birth and care, sick leaves and adult education and trade association activities, labour protection, cooperation and other paid time in accordance with collective agreements and labour laws).
- Direct costs normally include direct salary costs as well as costs for specific equipment and rents for premises, travel costs or other essential (i.e. directly attributable) research costs, such as chemicals or services.
- The coefficient for indirect employee costs is calculated as a percentage of the direct salaries allocated to a cost object. In practice, the coefficient means that the indirect employee costs are allocated as an average sum. In the calculation of the average coefficient, the holiday pay and the holiday bonus are allocated as indirect costs in accordance with the accrual principle on the basis of the holiday earned (i.e. not taken) during the project.
- Overheads are allocated to the final cost objects by using an overhead percentagethat is calculated as a percentage of the total sum of the salaries and indirect employee costs for effective working hours. Part of the overheads is distributed between all tasks of the organisation concerned. If the organisation’s cost structures in different task components essentially differ from each other, the overhead percentage must be calculated separately for each task component. According to the matching principle, costs arising from one single result area (e.g. teaching) shall be allocated to this result area only (and not to other result areas).
- Self-financing percentage refers to the organisation’s own funding contribution to the total costs of a co-funded project (i.e. the contributions of all other funding bodies have been deducted from the total costs). Within the conditions for the use of funding, the organisation in question can finance its own share with, for instance, discretionary government transfers for overheads, returns from companies or business activity, donations or other external funds.
- A funding body can for various reasons define certain cost items as ineligible for support. These may include costs that arise outside the eligibility period for support or other costs, taxes or funding costs not related to the activity in question. Instead of investment costs, depreciations are often accepted as eligible for support.
The report by the STREAM working group (PDF, in Finnish) involves a recommendation on costs included in the overhead percentage as well as a recommendation on costs included in the coefficient for indirect employee costs.
More information on the full cost model as regards application for funding is available here.
Advances to universities and polytechnics
In accordance with section 12 of the Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers, an advance may be paid if this is justified by the use of the transfer and expedient with regard to the supervision of its use. Advance payments are justified in cases where the start-up or implementation of the project or activity in question, according to the schedule and scope referred to in the decision, requires that the recipient receives funding from a state aid authority.
Finnish universities and polytechnics can request advances from the Academy. The one-off advance accounts for 10 per cent of the Academy's funding contribution. Advances are always applied for and paid in the year when the project starts. Projects starting at the beginning of the year can apply for advances during the first quarter and no later than 20 February. Projects starting in the middle of the year can apply for advances during the last quarter and no later than 20 November. Advances can be paid when the site of research in the funding decision is a Finnish university or polytechnic. The minimum amount for advances paid by the Academy is 10,000 euros.
Advances are not paid on grants or infrastructure funding.
The Academy will pay the funds as one or more instalments based on the time when the actual costs have incurred. The site of research is responsible for submitting payment requests, not individual researchers or research teams. An exception to this rule may include personal grants to individual researchers.
The Academy accepts requests for payment as e-invoices. Such requests can also be submitted via the online services.
Payment requests shall be submitted to the Academy in four-month periods: January-April, May-August and September-December. E-invoices addressed to the Academy concerning payment requests by research projects shall be submitted by 20 May, 20 September and 20 January, respectively (or immediately the following weekday).
The Academy will only accept e-invoices by project (that is, by decision number). For this purpose, the Academy has drafted an invoice model in cooperation with universities, the supplier of e-invoicing applications and the invoice handling system Rondo, and the e-invoice operator Itella.
To be able to accept a payment request, the Academy requires that the invoicing organisation submits an accounting report and grounds for invoicing (specification for hours worked) for the invoicing period with each invoice. The accounting report can be submitted either as part of the invoice, or as a separate appendix, and it shall cover both the invoicing period and the project as a whole.
The primary solution is to submit a complete e-invoice including an accounting report and grounds for invoicing (specification for hours worked) for each project.
However, if this is not possible, the following alternatives are available:
- E-invoices with accounting reports and specifications for hours worked for each invoice are submitted as files in the Academy’s online services; this procedure is most likely applicable to universities.
- You can also log in to the Academy’s online services and draft an individual, complete e-invoice; this procedure is applicable to organisations that have 1–5 Academy-funded projects.
Grants to individual researchers
In the case of grants to individual researchers, the payment request shall be made separately with an invoice to the Academy or with the Academy’s payment request form.
The Academy of Finland’s income account is OP Corporate Bank plc FI22 5000 0121 5007 70 IBAN: FI22 5000 0121 5007 70 BIC: OKOYFIHH SWIFT: OP CORPORATE BANK PLC HELSINKI FINLAND
All changes in the content of the Academy of Finland’s funding decisions must be approved by the Academy. The application to change the funding decision is submitted by the PI in the Academy’s online services under My applications > Decision made > Make an appeal.
The appeal must include sufficient justifications and all information needed to handle the case. More detailed instructions are available in Appendix 1 of the document General conditions and guidelines for funding. As a rule, the information in the appendix is also applicable to earlier decisions.
The following changes can be applied for:
Changing annual instalments in new funding decision
You can apply to change the annual instalments if the PI cannot commit to the instalments specified in the funding decision, taking into account the possible 15% deviation.
Extending funding period
The funding period may be extended on the basis of a researcher’s maternity, paternity, parental or childcare leave, or military or nonmilitary service. It may also be extended for other special reasons, such as long-term illness.
Changing Academy Research Fellow funding decision into a co-funded decision
Academy Research Fellows may apply to change the funding of their annual salaries so that part of the salary comes from other funding sources. This requires that the externally funded salary part has been allocated to research tasks or that the researcher is part of the university’s career system aiming at a permanent research position.
Additional grant (i.e. compensation)
A project may be granted additional funding on the basis of a researcher’s maternity leave or long-term illness. You can apply for this change in any funding opportunities that follow the additional cost model (e.g. funding for research post as Academy Professor, funding for research post as Academy Research Fellow).
Changing sites of research
The site of research may be changed if the PI transfers to another site in the middle of the funding period.
Declining research grant in full
You can apply to decline a research grant in full if you do not want to receive the funds or if you want to forgo the funds before they are used.
Declining research grant midstream
You can apply to decline a research grant midstream, i.e. while the funding period is still running.
Changing principal investigators
You can apply to change principal investigators in the middle of the funding period on exceptional and justified grounds.
Changing decision conditions or purpose of use, substantially changing the research plan
Changes in decision conditions or purpose of use can be applied for only on special grounds. Substantial changes in research plans can be applied for only on special grounds. Please always first contact us for more information.
Minor changes in the research plan do not require approval by the Academy.
Applying for changes in funding proportions of consortium subprojects
You can apply to change the funding proportions of consortium subprojects. The total funding for the consortium must not change.
IPR is an abbreviation for the term intellectual property rights. Intellectual property rights are intangible rights that belong to the creator/originator of an idea. They include copyright, patent rights, rights in a trademark, utility model rights, design copyright, rights to a commercial name, protection of integrated circuits and layout designs (topographies), and plant variety rights.
More information on the application of research results and IPR issues is found in the Academy of Finland IPR Handbook.
Researchers in Academy-funded research projects and Academy research post holders come under either the Act on the Right in Employee Inventions or the Act on the right to university inventions, depending on their site of research. The latter is applied to researchers working at universities, while the former is applied to researchers working at research institutes and business companies.
Both Acts stipulate that inventors are obliged to submit a notification of invention, when they have made a patentable invention. In case the site of research assumes the right to the invention, the inventor is entitled to reasonable compensation.
The Academy Board has on 14 November 2006 decided that, as of the January 2007 call, inventions made within Academy-funded research projects are seen as having been made in commissioned research. The Academy's decision does not apply to projects that have received their funding from earlier calls. Inventions made in such projects have primarily been made in free research. More information on free and commercial research specified in the Act on the right to university inventions is available in the Academy of Finland IPR Handbook.