The guidelines for sites of research are described in full in the Research Council's funding terms and conditions. This page contains the most important instructions.
Terms and conditions for funding
The use, payment and supervision of funding granted by the Research Council of Finland is governed by the Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers, the Research Council's funding terms and conditions and special conditions in the Research Council's funding decisions.
Research Council funding is granted for a fixed term. The funding terms and conditions are the same irrespective of whether the funding involves a government organisation or a recipient of discretionary government transfers.
The terms and conditions apply when the recipient of the funding is a site of research (recipient of government transfer) or a grantee. Research Council research funding is granted to Finnish sites of research, unless there are special reasons for not doing so. The site of research is the applicant’s background organisation (e.g. university, research institute or research organisation). The PI of the funded project must have a close connection with Finland to support the implementation of a multi-year project.
The Research Council's funding terms and conditions for funding decisions apply to both the PI and the site of research (recipient of government transfer). The PI bears the primary responsibility for the implementation of the research project and for adherence to the funding plan.
Research Council funding cannot be used for economic activity. Economic activity is defined as all activity where goods or services are offered on an open market regardless of whether profits are pursued or generated. When an organisation is also engaged in economic activities, separate accounts must be kept of the funding and costs of and the revenue generated by such activities.
The funding is regarded as a discretionary government grant if the recipient is a nongovernmental organisation (e.g. university, independent public institution, municipality, joint municipal authority, association, business, foundation, foreign organisation or private individual). The funding is allocated to the host organisation – not the researcher – and the organisation is thus regarded as the recipient of the grant (as per the Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers), and will accordingly be required to assume all related obligations.
Funding to research organisations
A research organisation refers to an organisation whose primary goal is to conduct independent basic research, industrial research or experimental development or to disseminate its results widely by means of education, publication or knowledge transfer. Research organisations are, for example, higher education institutes, research institutes, technology transfer organisations, innovation intermediaries, and research-oriented physical or virtual collaborative entities, regardless of their legal status (organised under public or private law) or financing source.
Funding to non-research organisations
The primary goal of non-research organisations is related to other activities than independent research or dissemination of research results. The Research Council does not grant funding to support economic activity. Economic activity is defined as all activity where goods or services are offered on an open market. As a rule, Research Council funding is not granted to support economic activity. Economic activity is defined as all activity where goods or services are offered on an open market. Funding may be granted for economic activity only if it can be granted in keeping with the EU’s state aid rules in the form of de minimis aid.
Applicants should contact us before applying, if they intend to apply for funding for non-research organisations.
Business collaborators in projects funded by the Research Council
If a project funded by the Research Council involves cooperation with business companies that are not funded by the Research Council, the project must follow special terms and conditions regarding business cooperation. The aim of these terms is to prevent indirect state aid to business companies. Read more in our funding terms and conditions.
Where a project funded by the Research Council involves cooperation with business companies, the terms and conditions of the project, in particular as regards contributions to its costs, the sharing of risks and outcomes, the dissemination of results, and access to and allocation of IPRs, must be concluded in writing before the start of the project.
Research Council research funding is in essence a form of co-funding in which the funds to finance the costs of a project usually come from at least two sources. When Research Council funding is applied for, universities, research institutes and other research organisations commit to the co-funded activity by contributing their percentage of the costs.
Full cost model
In calls implemented under the full cost model, Research Council funding can be used to cover both direct project costs (e.g. direct salaries) and indirect costs (e.g. rents for premises). Both types of costs are covered with the same percentage.
The maximum funding percentage is applied in calculating estimated total costs both at the application and decision-making stage and in calculating real total costs during the project (payment procedure). The funding percentage is applied to all project costs, that is, to both direct and indirect costs and to overheads.
For detailed guidelines, see Full cost model our website.
Additional cost model
The additional cost model is applied to the salaries of Academy Professors. The model is also applied to the salaries of Academy Research Fellows whose funding decisions were made before 31 December 2022 (last call in autumn 2021). In applications following the additional cost model, the system will calculate (in addition to other costs) 14.29% as overheads costs, in which case the decision includes an overheads percentage of 12.5%.
Sites of research commit to the funding at the application stage
The Research Council will fund a research project only if the application includes a commitment by the site of research. Applicants must agree this commitment in advance with a representative of the site of research. A competent person of the site of research issues the commitment in the Research Council's online services on behalf of the site of research.
Read more under Commitment by site of research on our website.
For calls implemented following the full cost model, the site of research must – before the application is submitted – ensure in the online services (SARA) that the funding contribution of the site of research and the calculated coefficients it maintains (overheads percentage, percentage for indirect employee costs and coefficient for effective working hours) are up to date. The site must also check that the VAT practice and the business ID are correct. The coefficients will be valid during the entire funding period.
If there are no other funding sources, the site of research must cover at least 30% of the costs of a project under full costing. If there are other sources, their contributions must also pass through the books of the site of research.
In the case of applicants for funding for research posts as Academy Professor and Academy Research Fellow, the commitment by the site of research also applies to the use of the researcher’s working hours for purposes other than research, and to salaries and other circumstances surrounding the researcher’s work.
A prerequisite for Research Council funding is that both the applicant and the site of research commit to the guidelines issued by the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity. Learn more about research ethics.