This page contains guidelines on funding use for applicants, funding recipients and sites of research.
The funding terms are available in the annually updated document Academy of Finland’s funding terms and conditions (PDF). Also read the summary describing the latest updates to the terms. See the list below for earlier versions.
The terms that apply to a funding decision are sent to the funding recipient as an appendix to the funding decision. Funding terms adopted after a funding decision may include conditions that apply retroactively to decisions made earlier. Such cases are mentioned separately in the terms.
The Academy pays granted funding against payment requests and in 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 separately for each funding decision (i.e. decision number) as e-invoices with a specified format. A Finnish company or corporation with a business identity code can also submit the request via the Academy’s online services. More detailed instructions on drafting e-invoices are available in the funding terms and conditions. E-invoices cannot include attachments, and we do not accept invoices sent as email attachments.
Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences can request advance payment from the Academy. As a rule, the one-off advance amounts to 10% of the Academy’s funding contribution. Under the Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers, an advance may be paid if it 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 or funding to strengthen university research profiles.
The audit obligation depends on the funding scheme. You can check the terms and conditions attached to the funding decision to see whether the audit obligation applies to your funding.
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).
The audit obligation also applies to those Academy Programme funding decisions where the total funding granted by the Academy (individual decision or consortium in total) exceeds 1 million euros.
We may also request the auditor’s report separately, if necessary. In addition, we may commission a sample-based audit in accordance with our own annual audit plan.
The audit obligation, the project implementation and the compliance with the 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 special conditions. The audit proceeds based on the report template, taking into account the funding scheme audited and crossing out unnecessary sections. Make sure to 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 project’s audit report has been submitted to the Academy.
The audit is a way to ensure that the reported cost accrual corresponds to the total costs of the project. The costs must have been incurred during the funding period mentioned in the funding decision, taking into account any extensions granted. The only costs partly incurred after the funding period that are accepted are the costs of the auditor’s report. As the audit costs must be included in the final payment request, it is important that the audit invoice is delivered promptly.
Costs incurred before the start of the project will not be accepted, regardless of when they were paid. Similarly, costs incurred after project completion will not be accepted. However, the invoice may be dated after the funding period, provided that the cost has accrued on an accruals basis during the project. For example, invoices for outsourced services may arrive and may be paid only after the end of the validity of the funding decision. The invoice is acceptable as project costs if the work on which the invoice is based was carried out while the decision was active.
In the project’s books, the project costs must be identifiable and their connection with the accounting and reporting must be visible. For example, the costs may be identifiable by decision 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, 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.
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 cost of the auditing must be included in the last request for payment. The auditor’s report template is available on this page, and it serves as the basis of the audit regardless of when the funding decision was made.
All changes to the Academy of Finland’s funding decisions must be approved by the Academy. Changes are applied for by the project PI via the Academy’s online services. The application 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 the Academy’s funding terms and conditions.
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.
Extending funding period
The funding period may be extended on the basis of a project 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.
Additional grant (i.e. compensation)
A project may be granted additional funding on the basis of a project researcher’s maternity leave or long-term illness. This is possible in 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.
Changing Academy Professor funding decision into co-funded decision
Academy Professors may apply to change the funding of their annual salaries so that the salary or a part of it comes from other funding sources.
Changing Academy Research Fellow funding decision into 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.
Changing Postdoctoral Researcher funding decision into co-funded decision
This change only applies to funding decisions made from calls opened on 1 September 2020 and thereafter.
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 PIs in the middle of the funding period on exceptional and justified grounds. In funding schemes targeted at research organisations, the PI change is made by the main user of the organisation.
Changing decision conditions or purpose of use, substantially changing the research plan
Changes in decision conditions or purpose of use can be applied for on special grounds only. Substantial changes in research plans can be applied for on special grounds only. Minor changes in the research plan do not require approval by the Academy.
Changing 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.
The Academy of Finland, Finnish universities and government research institutes apply 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 the application, applicants shall negotiate with the site of research about the tangible support that the site will provide for the project. On the application form, give an overall cost estimate and a funding plan for your project. Draft the application so that the Academy’s contribution to funding comes to no more than 70% of the total costs of the research project.
- In the application, indicate the percentage for indirect employee costs, the overheads percentage and the coefficient for effective working hours applied by your organisation at the time of application submission. Calculations in accordance with the full cost model rely on these coefficients. Check the coefficients from the administration at your organisation. The organisation will supply the coefficient for effective working hours to be used in applications to the Academy, calculated based on average effective working hours.
- The commitment issuer at the site of research will ensure that the information given in the application is approved by the site, and commit to them when issuing the commitment.
Full cost model: principles and definitions
The full cost model applies to how funding applications are drafted and to how funding decisions are prepared, made and executed. The model also applies to requests for payment.
In Academy funding, the starting point for reporting in connection with payment requests is derived from project accounting based on business accounting, which records the direct costs of the project. In addition, calculated overheads and indirect employee costs are allocated to projects. Separate reports on the calculated cost items, based on the organisation’s financial statements, shall be submitted to the Academy Registrar’s Office annually.
The overheads percentage approved in the funding decisions will be in force for the entire funding period.
- Full cost model refers to a cost calculation method where all costs of an organisation are allocated to a cost object (e.g. a project) in accordance with the matching principle, regardless of the funding source. This is based on the direct costs for effective working hours in accordance with the matching principle. Other direct and indirect costs are directly allocated to the cost object by using a coefficient for effective working hours and an overheads percentage. Under the full cost model, each funder decides its own funding contribution to the total costs in line with its own principles.
- Effective working hours refers to the number of hours worked on a specific cost item, excluding paid or other absences.
- Paid absences cover all salary costs arising from statutory or other absences, such as annual leave, leave due to the birth and care of a child, sick leave and education periods, and time spent on trade union activities, labour protection, cooperation, etc. under collective agreements and labour legislation.
- Direct costs typically include direct salaries and project costs for special equipment and special premises, travel expenses and other relevant research costs (that can be directly allocated), for example chemicals or services purchased.
- The coefficient for indirect employee costs is calculated as a percentage of the amount of direct wages allocated to the calculation item. In practice, the coefficient means that the indirect employee costs are allocated as averages. When calculating the average coefficient for indirect employee costs, the holiday pay and holiday bonus are allocated as indirect costs on an accrual basis based on the holiday earned (not taken) during the project.
- Overheads are allocated to the final cost objects with an overheads percentage 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. If the organisation’s cost structures in different task components essentially differ from each other, the overheads percentage must be calculated separately for each task. According to the matching principle, the costs arising in one single result area (e.g. education) must be allocated exclusively to that area.
- Self-financing percentage refers to the organisation’s own funding contribution to the total costs of a co-funded project (the contributions of all other funding bodies have been deducted). In keeping with the funding terms and conditions, a university or research institute can finance its own contribution with, for instance, discretionary government transfers received for operational expenditure, returns from business activity, donations or other external funds.
- A funder 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) contains a recommendation on costs included in the overheads percentage as well as a recommendation on costs included in the coefficient for indirect employee costs.
Below is a list of the currently valid funding terms and conditions. The terms and conditions that apply to an individual funding decision are appended to the decision.
- Funding terms and conditions, 2 Nov 2020 (PDF), also see summary of the latest updates
- Funding terms and conditions 2020–2021 (6 May 2020, PDF)
- Funding terms and conditions 2016–2017 (21 March 2017, PDF)
- Funding terms and conditions 2016–2017 (15 June 2016, PDF)
- Funding terms and conditions 2015–2016 (16 March 2016, PDF)
- Funding terms and conditions 2015–2016 (31 Aug 2015, PDF)
- Funding terms and conditions 2014–2015 (19 March 2015, PDF)
- Funding terms and conditions 2014–2015 (1 Dec 2014, PDF)