Guidelines for sites of research

Terms and conditions for funding

Funding by the Academy of Finland is granted following the Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers and the Academy’s general conditions for funding.

The Academy will fund a research project only if the site of research undertakes to provide the researcher with the necessary basic facilities for research.

We allocate the funding to the researcher’s host organisation. The host organisation receiving the transfer is permitted to use it solely to fund the research that is in compliance with the funding decision. Staff to be hired with Academy research funding must have an employment relationship with the site of research, that is, the organisation receiving the funding.

Grants for research abroad (mobility grants awarded under the funding scheme ‘International researcher mobility based on bilateral agreements’) may also be allocated directly to the researcher.

Our general funding conditions are the same irrespective of whether the case involves a central government organisation or a recipient of discretionary government transfers.

The funding is regarded as a discretionary government transfer 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 transfer (as per the Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers), and will accordingly be required to assume all related obligations.

For detailed conditions and guidelines (revised annually) on use of funding and reporting, see How to use funding on our website.

We fund 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. Their funding is governed by the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers and the Academy’s funding terms and conditions. When such an entity 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 enterprises exercising a controlling interest in such an entity (as shareholders, members, etc.) may not enjoy any preferential access to the results generated by the entity.

Academy 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 Academy 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, Academy 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 Academy-funded projects

If an Academy-funded project involves cooperation with business companies that are not funded by the Academy, 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 an Academy-funded project 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.

What are co-funding, full costing and the additional cost model?

Academy 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 Academy funding is applied for, universities, research institutes and other research organisations commit to the co-funded activity by contributing their percentage of the costs.

In calls implemented under the full cost model, Academy 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.

In the application, applicants must provide a funding plan in accordance with the full cost model, including the amount of funding to be applied for from the Academy. The online application must be drafted so that the Academy’s contribution to funding comes to no more than the percentage indicated in the call text. In calls where cost calculation follows the principles of full costing, the Academy’s contribution usually comes to no more than 70% of the total costs In some funding opportunities (e.g. funding to strengthen university research profiles and SRC funding programmes), exceptionally, the Academy’s contribution is 100%.

Before submitting the application, applicants must agree with the administration at their own organisation on the contribution of the site of research to the funding of the project. As the total project costs must not include any costs that do not pass through the books of the site of research, they must check with their own organisation whether the funding planned as the own funding contribution suits this purpose. When calculating the total projects costs at the application and decision-making stage, we will only take into account funding that has been confirmed (e.g. through a decision by the body that has granted the funding).

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 percentage is applied to all project costs, that is, to both direct and indirect costs, including overheads.

For detailed guidelines, see Full cost model our website.

Full costing was introduced on the proposal by the Finnish Ministry of Finance in 2009. Earlier, the Academy compensated overheads following the additional cost model. That model is still applied to the salary funding in research posts as Academy Research Fellow and Academy Professor. 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 Academy 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. 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 applications 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.

The competent person of the site of research issues the commitment on behalf of the site of research. By issuing the commitment, the site undertakes to, for instance:

  • secure the necessary basic facilities for the project, which are the same as those available to other research staff at the site: office and laboratory premises, equipment (incl. computer equipment), and telecommunications, telephone, mailing, copying and library services
  • fund the project (in accordance with full costing) with the funding contribution presented in the funding plan.

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.

The costs associated with storing and sharing research data are regarded as overheads for the project’s site of research, but they may also be legitimately accepted as research costs to be covered with Academy research funding.

A prerequisite for Academy funding is that both the applicant and the site of research commit to the guidelines issued by the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity on responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland. The site of research must ensure that the researchers have all the necessary ethical permits and other research permits in place and that the research follows good scientific practice. The site of research undertakes to submit to the Academy’s Registrar’s Office the final report of any investigations concerning violation of good scientific practice by the PI or a researcher of an Academy-funded project. The site of research also commits to ensuring that the data management plan can be implemented at the site of research, and that the measures to be taken comply with good data management practice.

If the funding is a discretionary government transfer awarded to organisations outside the central government (e.g. universities), the site of research undertakes to act as the recipient of the transfer on behalf of the applicant and will accordingly assume all related obligations.

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