This page provides summarised guidelines for researchers and sites of research funded by the Academy of Finland.
The funding terms and guidelines and the changes that can be made to funding decisions are described in detail in the document Academy of Finland's funding terms and conditions (PDF).
The terms that were in force when the funding decision was made are sent to the applicant as an appendix to the decision.
See the archive below for previous versions.
The Academy of Finland pays the funding based on invoices received. This applies to all Academy-funded sites of research. We will pay the funds as one or several instalments based on the actual costs incurred. The site of research is responsible for submitting the payment requests, not individual researchers or research teams. Personal grants awarded to individual researchers may be an exception to this rule.
The requests for payment are submitted project-by-project, i.e. by decision number, as invoices according to a specified format. Finnish companies or corporations with a business identity code may also submit the requests via the Academy’s online services. More detailed instructions on online invoices are available in the funding terms and conditions. Electronic invoices cannot include attachments, and we do not accept invoices sent as email attachments.
Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences can request advances from the Academy. The one-off advance comes to 10% of the Academy’s funding contribution. Under the Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers, an advance may be paid if this is justified from the point of view of the use of the transfer. However, we do not pay advances on mobility grants, research infrastructure funding, flagship funding or funding to strengthen university research profiles.
The audit obligation depends on the funding scheme. You can always check whether your funding comes under the audit obligation in the terms and conditions of the funding decision. All funding decisions on research infrastructures, strategic research, flagships, Centres of Excellence (CoE) and university research profiling are subject to the obligation regardless of the total amount granted (individual decision or consortium in total).The eight-year CoE term is split into two parts (5 + 3 years).
At present, the audit obligation also applies to those Academy Programme funding decisions where the total Academy funding (individual decision or consortium in total) exceeds 1 million euros.
The auditor’s report must be submitted to the Academy’s Registrar’s Office within three months of the end of the funding period. The auditing costs must be included in the last request for payment. We may also request the report separately, if necessary. In addition, we may commission a sample-based project audit in accordance with our own annual audit plan.
The latest auditor’s report template is available on this page, and it serves as the basis of the audit regardless of the date of the funding decision. The audit obligation, the project implementation and the compliance with the funding terms and conditions are always examined in line with the terms in force at the time of the decision. A funding decision may also be accompanied by specific conditions.
The audit proceeds based on the report template, taking into account the funding scheme audited and crossing out unnecessary sections. Please contact the auditor in good time before the end of the funding period. The final approval of the costs will be given only after the audit report has been submitted.
The audit is a way to ensure that the reported cost accrual corresponds to the total project costs. The costs must have been incurred during the period mentioned in the funding decision, taking into account any extensions granted. The only costs partly incurred after the project period that are accepted are the auditing costs. As this expense must be included in the final payment request, it is important that the audit invoice is delivered promptly.
It is worth remembering that the cost will not be accepted if it was incurred before the start of the project, regardless of when it was paid. Similarly, costs incurred after project completion will not be accepted. However, the invoice may be dated after the project period, provided that the cost has accrued on an accruals basis during the project. For example, invoices for outsourced services may come and may be paid only after the end of term of the funding decision. The invoice is acceptable for project costs if the work on which the invoice is based has been carried out during the term of the decision.
In the project’s books, the project costs incurred must be identifiable and their connection with the accounting and reporting must be clear. For example, the costs may be identifiable by project number or cost pool.
As a rule, the Academy’s funding terms and conditions always require that that the hours worked on the project are tracked. If the work time tracking has not been set up as required by the funding terms and conditions, the salaries of the person in question might not be accepted as project costs. The person’s supervisor or the project PI shall confirm the hours worked in such a way that they are recorded in the tracking system.
- Audit report (doc)
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. Detailed instructions on how to apply for a change in the decision are given in Appendix 1 of the Academy’s funding terms and conditions, which accompany the decision in the online services.
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.
- Funding terms and conditions 2019–2020 (6 May 2020, PDF)
- Funding terms and conditions 2019–2020 (28 May 2019, PDF)
- Funding terms and conditions 2018–2019 (13 Jun 2018, PDF)
- Funding terms and conditions 2017–2018 (27 Sep 2017, PDF)
- Funding terms and conditions 2016–2017 (21 Mar 2017, PDF)
- Funding terms and conditions 2016–2017 (15 Jun 2016, PDF)
- General conditions and guidelines for funding 2015–2016 (16 Mar 2016, PDF)
- General conditions and guidelines for funding 2015–2016 (31 Aug 2015, PDF)
- General conditions and guidelines for funding 2014–2015 (PDF)
- General conditions and guidelines for funding 2013–2014 (PDF)
- General conditions and guidelines for funding 2012–2013 (PDF)
As of the beginning of 2009, the Academy of Finland as well as Finnish universities and government research institutes have used the so-called full cost model. 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.
How the full cost model is applied at the application stage:
- Before submitting an application, the applicant shall agree with the site of research on the tangible support that the site of research is to provide for the project. On the form, applicants are requested to give an overall cost estimate and a funding plan for the project. Applications are written so as to ensure that the Academy’s contribution to funding (entered on the online form) comes to no more than 70% of the total costs of a project (FIRI 2010 call: no more than 70%).
- In their applications, applicants give the percentage for indirect employee costs, the overheads percentage, and the coefficient for effective working hours applied by their own organisation at the time of application submission. Calculations in accordance with the full cost model rely on these coefficients. Applicants shall check these coefficients from the administration department at their own organisation. The organisation will supply the coefficient for effective working hours to be used in applications to the Academy, calculated on the basis of the average effective working hours.
- The representative of the site of research who gives a commitment on behalf of the site of research is required to ensure that the percentages for indirect employee costs and overheads, and the coefficient for effective working hours given in the application are approved by the site of research and makes a commitment to them in giving the online commitment by the site of research.
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 percentage that 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.