Grants management – FAQ

The Research Council of Finland’s funding terms and conditions do not provide comprehensive guidance on all issues or situations: the guidance provided by the sites of research complements the Research Council’s guidance. The financial management of funded projects is carried out at the sites of research.

Cost coefficients and making changes to them

How do we submit the cost coefficients to the Research Council?

A representative designated by the concerned research organisation, who has administrator access to the online services (SARA), can enter and update the cost coefficients of the site of research in the system. There is no need to send the information elsewhere separately. The coefficients used in the funding decision are those in force when the call closes, not the latest coefficients.

The coefficients cannot be “updated” to newer ones if the application is processed a second time, for example in the context of an application to change the funding decision.

See instructions on the features in the online services available to representatives of sites of research (PDF, in Finnish only).

Will the coefficients used for payment change if the coefficients of my site of research change during the project?

No, they will not change. The coefficients are locked for the duration of the project, and the coefficients in force when the call closes are the ones that are applied.

In addition, the coefficients will not be updated to newer ones if the application is processed a second time, for example in the context of an application to change the funding decision.

Will the coefficients used in the funding decision change if I change sites of research?

If the site of research changes, the coefficients in the funding decision can be updated to reflect the new site. However, the overall funding will not change.

If the coefficients at the new site of research are lower than in the original funding decision, and they have not been altered, the site of research has to submit the payment requests to the Research Council according to the lower percentages based on the accounting.

The coefficients can only be changed if the site of research changes and only by applying for the change.

Use of funding

How do I know if the funding decision is subject to any special conditions (e.g. early payment)?

For information on any special conditions, please refer to the decision notice and its section on special conditions. Project-specific information on early payment can be found on our website under Decision dates. See project-specific information on funding decisions.

How closely must the funding recipient monitor/comply with the annual instalments indicated in the funding decision?

The main rule is that annual instalments are non-binding (i.e. you can spend more or less than the amount indicated in the original plan), as long as the money is used for activities in line with the research or action plan. The final amount in euros indicated in the decision can be used until the end of the funding period.

Do I have to apply for a change of annual instalments?

The item “Changing annual instalments in new funding decision” has been removed from the latest Research Council of Finland funding terms and conditions (1 Nov 2023–31 Oct 2024). The change of annual instalments is still mentioned in item 7.1. of the document, “Changing annual instalments in granted funding”. However, it is no longer necessary to apply to change annual instalments in the Research Council’s online services. The funding can be normally used throughout the funding period without this change.

If there are significant changes to the cost estimate of the decision during the funding period, funding recipients can notify them in the online services under ‘My applications’ > ‘Decisions’ > ‘Additional information’.

This also applies retroactively to previous funding decisions by the Research Council of Finland.

Are costs incurred outside the funding period eligible?

No. Costs incurred before the project has started or after project completion will not be accepted.

For instance: A project’s funding period ends in August. In August, a person buys tickets for a conference that will take place in September (after the end of the funding period). The person cannot buy travel tickets before the start of the funding period for a conference taking place during the funding period.

Changes to original funding decision

In which cases must I apply for a change to the funding decision?

For a list of situations that require an application to change the funding decision, see How to use funding. More detailed instructions on how to apply for a change can be found in Appendix 1 of the decision notice: Instructions on how to apply for changes to funding decisions.

If you need further advice, please contact us via our helpdesk. If possible, please address your question to the division responsible for the funding decision. You need not select the division if the decision number is indicated in your question. The Division of Financial Services does not answer questions related to the change application process.

Can the euro amounts for the type of expenditure (salaries, equipment, travel) be modified from what they were in the original funding application? For example, if I need more money for travel and less for equipment.

The types of expenditure are non-binding, i.e. changes that support the implementation of the research and interaction plan are eligible.

Changes in the types of expenditure do not need to be reported, but significant deviations in the use of funding (annual budget in euros) should be reported via the online services (under the project’s additional information). For example, an amount in euros equivalent to approximately four months’ researcher salary (incl. indirect employee costs and overheads) is considered a significant deviation. When providing additional information: briefly state the reason, the amount in euros and the percentage.


Can the project’s funding be used to pay the PI’s salary?

Yes, with certain restrictions. Read more in section 9.3 of our funding terms and conditions. The funding terms are also available in the online services with the decision in question.

What does ‘effective working hours’ mean? How are they counted?

This question primarily concerns the funding recipient’s financial administration, and they can best answer it.

The term ‘effective working hours’ refers to the number of hours worked allocated to a specific cost item, excluding paid or other absences.

The coefficient for effective working hours is an average percentage per site of research, i.e. an estimate of how much effective working time is available on an annual basis, taking into account holidays and other absences.

In most cases, the percentage is just over 80 %. It is used in budget planning. Reporting is based on the actual hours worked, i.e. the correct hours allocated.

How do I know if the task classification data in the specification of full-time equivalents I used for the payment is correct?

More information on the task classification

Payment and auditing

I handle invoicing on behalf of an organisation that is new client to the Research Council of Finland. Where do I get instructions on how to make my first payment request?

Advice to new clients is provided by the Division of Financial Services, including preparing the organisation’s electronic form/request for payment. Contact the Division via our helpdesk.

I have received a grant of more than 1,000,000 euros from the Research Council of Finland. Does it need to be audited? What if I am part of a consortium whose total grant exceeds 1,000,000 euros, but my share of the total is less than 1,000,000 euros?

An audit must be carried out in both cases described above. Guidance for each funding scheme can be found in the funding terms and conditions sent with the funding decision. The site of research and the PI together submit to the Research Council an auditor’s report on the use of the research funds within the project.

What is accepted in the specification of SRC EU matching funds? Can it include other costs?

Answers to questions about the use of SRC matching funds can be found here: STN-vastinrahoituksen talousraportointiohjeet 2020 (PDF, in Finnish).

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