For grant applicants

Kone Foundation’s goal is to advance bold initiatives in research and the arts. Boldness, crossing of boundaries and new initiatives are important for us and we also encourage our grant applicants to work towards these goals.
Riitta Högbacka received a grant in 2016. Photo: Aleksi Poutanen

The annual funding call of Kone Foundation will be open from 1 September until 15 September 16:00 Finnish time (EEST).


For what, for whom, for which period

What can grants be applied for?

Kone Foundation supports bold initiatives in research and the arts.

Funding can be applied for:

  • academic and / or artistic work
  • advancing academic and / or artistic work (e.g., a project the aim of which is to develop a field)
  • work based on academic research and / or artistic work (e.g., making research or art available for wider audiences)
  • other kinds of cultural work.

In academic research, we support humanities, social sciences, environmental research, and artistic research. Projects can be multi- or interdisciplinary and they can combine artistic and scholarly approaches.

We can fund co-operation on equal terms between scholars, journalists, or activists. Such a co-operation should begin already in the planning stage of the project, and should be visible in the project budget.

Focal points

We favour subjects and themes which are cross-disciplinary or inter-disciplinary, or marginal or outside the main stream. Until 20120, we take into account the emphases of our The changing ”neighbournesses” of Finland programme.

As far as research careers are concerned, we can fund both scholars working on their doctorates and more advanced researchers.

We also favour crossing national borders, such as Finnish applicants working abroad or foreign scholars doing research in Finland. Our geographical focus is on the regions surrounding the Baltic sea.

In non-fiction writing, we mainly fund non-fiction books in Finnish or translations into Finnish or from Finnish into other languages.

In the arts, we prefer to fund initiatives in which art has an intrinsic value. Projects that concern creative economy or applied arts are less central for us.

In art, we favour especially:

  • fields of art and culture which are new or emerging from the marginal
  • artistic and cultural projects which renovate and invigorate the field
  • projects with new approaches.

We mainly award grants for artistic work, but other expenses can also be compensated for.

Who can apply?

An individual, a working group, or an established organisation can apply for funding from Kone Foundation. If a working group is applying for funding, the group members must elect a team leader, who will be responsible for the project.

Kone Foundation grants are mainly intended for Finnish nationals working in Finland or abroad, or for other nationalities working in Finland. If you do not have a Finnish background and you are working outside of Finland, your work should have a connection with Finland.

For which period are grants applied?

The grants available in the September funding call can be used from the beginning of the following year, at the earliest. Grants are not awarded retrospectively.

Grants can be funded for a maximum of four years at a time. We can support long-term initiatives both in academic research and in the arts.

A Kone Foundation grant must be used for the purpose it has been awarded for. One-year grants must be used within three years of the funding decision. For two-year, three-year, and four-year grants, the periods of use are four, five, and six years, respectively.

Personal grants or salaries?

For individuals doing scholarly or artistic work, we usually award grants, not funding for salaries. In this way, we can fund more researchers and artists, because funding for salaries requires at least 30% of additional expenses per person. Grants awarded by private foundations, such as Kone Foundation, are exempt from taxes below the limit of the Finnish state grant for artists.

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The funding round and the processing of applications

The application period

The annual Kone Foundation application period begins on 1 September and ends on 15 September 16:00 Finnish time (EEST). Only the applications submitted using the online application service before the deadline will be considered.

Kone Foundation occasionally organises funding calls outside its annual application period

How are the applications processed?

The processing of applications is based on peer review. The reviewers are specialists in the relevant disciplines or fields.

There is usually just one reviewer per application. We estimate that in this way we can choose more interesting projects than when the reviewers are many and they must resort to compromise. Peer reviewers usually change each year in order to guarantee the diversity of views. The director general and the head of research funding are involved in assessing how realistic the plans are.

We do not publish the reviewers’ names, because we believe that anonymous reviewers make bolder funding suggestions.


The Kone Foundation Board of Trustees will make the funding decisions in its autumn meeting in late November or early December. The list of grantees will be published on our web site soon after the meeting of the Board. The grantees will be notified by e-mail and by mail, and their names will be included in the annual report of the foundation.


The Board of Kone Foundation does not state the reasons for individual funding decisions. Among the criteria used in the reviewing process, one can list the following:

  • The application, the attached CV’s, and the other relevant documents are used to evaluate the capacities of the applicant(s) to carry out the project successfully. In evaluating the work plan, the reviewers focus on the scholarly and / or artistic excellence, feasibility, topicality, new approaches, and boldness.
  • If funding is applied for work on a doctoral thesis, do remember to include a reference from a supervisor or from another person familiar with the work
  • In the decision process, the totality of the applications has its significance, too: the applications are compared to each other
  • The decisions are influenced by the strategy of the foundation
  • Moreover, other aspects relevant to society and to research and art policies are considered. With its decisions, the foundation aims to promote the versatile development of Finnish culture.

Privacy protection

All applications are handled confidentially. Persons involved in processing and evaluating the applications do not publicly discuss any applicant’s characteristics, personal circumstances or any information relating to any applicant’s economic situation.

The data that applicants convey about themselves by applying for Kone Foundation research funding are entered into a personal data register held by the foundation. The registrar’s rights to collect, store, use and otherwise handle personal data are regulated by law. These general legal provisions are contained in the Act on the Protection of Privacy in Electronic Communications (516/20014).

Every ‘data subject’ (i.e., the person to whom the personal data pertains) has the right to access and inspect the personal data relating to themselves. According to Finnish privacy protection laws, secrecy regulations must not infringe the right of persons to obtain knowledge as to whether personal data pertaining to him or her is stored in a personal data register, and if so in what manner. The registrar must also respond to any requests for access to one’s own personal data by informing the person concerned of the sources of information in question. The registrar must also inform the person concerned as to how their personal data are used, and of any third parties to which it is regularly released.

The right of access can be withheld in certain situations regulated by the privacy protection laws, and the right of access does not apply, i.e., to information collected for purely scientific and statistical purposes.

Requests for access to the personal registry data are to be sent to Kone Foundation in writing, or made in person at the Kone Foundation office. For more information see Sections 26-28 of the Personal Data Act (523/1999). The required information must be given without undue delay, in an intelligible form, and in writing if requested. If carried out only once per year, the right of access is free of charge.

Information on Kone Foundation’s research grant applicant and recipient register and on implementing one’s right of access can be found in the description of Kone Foundation’s data protection procedures. (PDF, in Finnish only)

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The online application service

  • Apply for funding by submitting your application with its attachments using the online application service
  • The online service is open during the annual application period until 15 September 16:00 Finnish time
  • Applications cannot be submitted after the deadline
  • Only the applications submitted during the application period are considered
  • Do not mail or e-mail the application to Kone Foundation

Creating, editing, and submitting the application

  1. Log in using your account information, or if you are a new applicant, create a new account.
  2. Create a new application.
  3. Fill in the required information.
  4. Submit the application to Kone Foundation before the deadline.

Once the application has been submitted, the application is listed in the online service as Submitted. If you wish to make modifications to the application after it has been submitted, choose Cancel the application. Canceling the application does not delete the information included in it.

Applicants who have sent their application by the deadline 15 September 16:00 Finnish time can add or edit attachments until Monday 18 September 16:00 Finnish time. Please note: application cannot be edited in any other ways after the deadline.

If the application is listed as Received and the applicant wishes to modify it, they should contact the foundation office.

Language of the application

We hope that Finnish-writing applicants or a group consisting entirely of Finnish speakers write their applications and the attachments in Finnish. If a Finnish-writing applicant or a group consisting entirely of Finnish speakers is submitting an application in English, they must write the summary in Finnish.

All the elements of an application can be in Swedish.

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The online service for references

References have an important role especially in grant applications for doctoral studies. They are useful in post-doctoral applications, too. Either the supervisor or another person familiar with the applicants’ work can submit a reference. If you give a reference to more than one applicant, the relative order of the applicants can influence the decisions. References can be submitted for other types of applications, too.

If the person submitting a reference has not used the reference service before, they must register first.

Please note: there is no automatic request for the reference for the recommender. The applicant must provide the recommender the reference code from the application form.

References must be submitted by 18 September 16:00 Finnish time. Only the references submitted during the application period are considered. If you wish to submit a reference by using other means, you can attach it to the application. In other cases, please contact the foundation office.

The online reference system

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The elements of the online application

Type of the project

The applicant has to choose the category to which the project belongs:

  • Work that combines academic research and artistic work, or work based on them
  • Academic research or work based on it
  • Artistic work or work based on it
  • Another kind of cultural work.

Core information on the project

In the summary, provide a short description of main content of the study or project and methods of implementing work

Kone Foundation’s goal is to advance bold initiatives in research and the arts. In the application form applicant’s should bring forth, what is bold in their project

The summary and the description why the project is bold are very important for the evaluation of the application. The foundation may use the summary for communicative purposes, such as its own website.

The applicant must provide a brief description of the duration of the project and its timetable on the application form and state whether the project has previously received Kone Foundation funding.

Place a cross in the relevant box on this page if the project is related to a Kone Foundation The changing ”neighbournesses” of Finland programme or the Neighbour Dialogues thematic grant call.

Information on the applicant

If the applicant is a working group, the members of the group must select one of the members as the leader to complete the application in his/her own name (project manager). The working group can also be given a name.

If the applicant is an organisation with a Business ID, a leader must be selected for the project (project manager).

Individual applicants must fill in the application under their own name.

The details of working group members who are not applying for a personal monthly grant must also be listed on this page. The names of the members of the working group will be published on Kone Foundation’s website.

Funding in detail

Primary purpose

The primary purpose for the funding must be selected on the application form:

  • Scientific research and/or artistic work
  • Development of the field (e.g. forming a network)
  • Organising an event (performance, exhibition, science event, etc.)
  • Publication or other content production

The intended target audience must also be stated for the last two alternatives.

Multi-year grant, funding for less than a year or kickstarter grant?

The applicant must select whether the grant that is being applied for is for a multi-year project, for a project lasting less than a year or a kickstarter grant for project development or piloting. The kickstarter grant is intended for a maximum of 6 months of work.

Personal monthly grants and other expenses

The Kone Foundation grant that is being applied for is specified into monthly funding and other expenses on the application form.

The following must be taken into account in continuation applications

If the applicant has previously received a Kone Foundation grant and provided a description of a multi-year plan in the original application form, the applicant must now apply for funding for the entire duration of the project in one go.

Monthly grants

The size of the personal monthly grant varies depending on experience. If the applicant applies for the larger monthly grant, a description of the applicant’s experience must be included on the application.

Grant classification:

  • Grant 1: beginning of career (doctoral thesis) €2,400 /month (€28,320 /year)
  • Grant 2: mid-career (post-doctoral level) €2,800 /month (€32,400 /year)
  • Grant 3: experienced researcher (adjunct professor level) €3,500 /month (€42,000 /year).

If the applicant applies for grant 2 or 3, the applicant must provide justification for the experience on the application form.

We award personal monthly grants to enable applicants to work full-time. The applicant must work for at least one month.

Smaller grants are available (25%, 50% or 75% of full-time work) for part-time work.

The names of the recipients of the personal monthly grants are published on the Kone Foundation website.

Compensation for work lasting less than a month, such as a performance fee, is to be applied for under other expenses, not as a monthly grant. When applying for a grant to cover fees and salary expenses, the applicant must remember to take taxes and side costs into consideration.

Other expenses

If the funding is required for expenses other than personal monthly expenses, the reasons for this must be stated on the application form.

Facilities for research

The applicants who apply for research funding must fill in the answer to the question how they plan to arrange for their basic research facilities. This means the space where the research is done, and the other necessary equipment. In the form, choose either the alternative that you have agreed upon the facilities with the institution, or that you will arrange for the research facilities by yourself (e.g. by working at home).

Funding from other sources

Applicants must list on the application form all grants received during the preceding three years, and any applications that are pending at the time of applying for Kone Foundation funding. Applicants must inform Kone Foundation immediately if he/she/they receive funding from any other source during Kone Foundation’s application and processing period. For projects, applicants must indicate on the application if they have sought funding for the same project from other sources.

If an applicant is granted Kone Foundation funding without having informed us of successful grant decisions from other sources, the Kone Foundation decision may be repealed.

Kone Foundation grants are usually not awarded to applicants who already have secured financing for the project in question (grant or salary) for the entire coming year.

Research grant applicants must also indicate in their applications all graduate school places they have been granted or for which applications are still pending. They must also inform of any paid work related to the project to be funded.

Selecting evaluators

The applicant must select which field they want the expert assessing their application to represent. A maximum of three selections can be made, but it is worth noting that the applications will generally be assessed by the expert selected as the first choice.

This year, in order to promote multidisciplinarity, we will experiment with thematic evaluation in the arts. The applicant can choose an expert of a field or of an artistic theme. The applicant can choose if the method or the contents are more important in the work and its evaluation.

The fields and artistic themes are:

Artistic field

  • Art curating
  • Arts and cultural policy, museum work
  • Arts criticism
  • Conceptual art
  • Film
  • Literature and verbal art
  • Media and sound art
  • Music
  • Performing arts
  • Site-specific and time-based art
  • Visual arts

Artistic theme

  • Body
  • Border
  • Decolonisation
  • Energy and post-fossil
  • Feminism
  • Freedom of speech and expression
  • Happiness
  • Hybrid design, technology
  • Justice and law
  • Listening
  • Memory
  • Migration
  • Participation
  • Posthumanism
  • Poverty
  • Sex, gender

Research discipline

  • Administrative Science
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Artistic research on music
  • Artistic research on performing arts and film studies
  • Artistic research on visual arts
  • Biological and ecological environmental research
  • Communication studies
  • Contemporary culture studies
  • Development studies
  • Environmental technology
  • Ethnology
  • Gender studies
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Literary studies
  • Musicology
  • Performing arts and film studies
  • Philosophy
  • Physical and chemical environmental research
  • Political economy
  • Social and political history
  • Social psychology
  • Societal environmental research
  • Sociology
  • Visual arts studies


The applicant’s likelihood of being able to successfully complete the project is assessed based on the curriculum vitae and other supporting attachments that are included with the application.

Applications or supporting materials received after the deadline cannot be taken into account. Exceptions to this include certificates and permissions to defend a thesis that are granted after the application period has ended. These can be sent to the Kone Foundation office, preferably by email, until 15 November at the latest.

All the necessary attachments should be uploaded to the online application system and attached to the application. The file format should be PDF. The maximum size of one file is 3 Mb. Remember to select the file type from the drop-down list on the online application form.

Please note. We do not accept attachments sent by mail or email.

Required attachments:

Individual applicant:

  • research or work proposal
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • budget (a budget is included in the application if the applicant is applying for more than a monthly grant)
  • portfolio (artistic research or arts and culture)
  • reference (doctoral researchers)
  • copy of degree certificate (individual researcher applicants)

Work group:

  • research or work proposal
  • Curriculum Vitae for each project member (or summaries)
  • budget
  • portfolio (artistic research or arts and culture)

Organisation with a Business ID:

  • research or work proposal
  • Curriculum Vitae for each project member (or summaries)
  • budget
  • portfolio (artistic research or arts and culture)
  • copies of the annual report, financial statement and auditor’s report from the previous year

Please note. If the applicant has received a grant from Kone Foundation for the same purpose, the applicant must include with their application a short report (max. 2 pages) indicating the state of progress of the project.

See description of attachments


The name, degree or profession, and contact information of the recommender(s) should be entered on the online application form in the section headed References.

The applicant should ask the recommender(s) to submit their recommendations using the online reference system.

Please note: there is no automatic request for the reference for the recommender. The applicant must provide the recommender the reference code from the application form.

The references must be submitted by 18 September at 16.00 Finnish time (Eastern European Summer Time, GMT + 3). Only the references submitted by the deadline are considered.

Weak signals and feedback

We ask our applicants for feedback. Your feedback does not have an effect on the evaluation of the application.

Proximity to the foundation

If the applicant is aware of being a related party of Kone Foundation he/she is asked to state this on the application form.

The question is based on the new Foundations Act, which entered into force on 1 December 2015. The new act has a very broad definition of a related party of a foundation. Please note that related parties may apply for funding from Kone Foundation.


Applicants have to agree to the conditions of the application.

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Description of attachments

Research and work proposal

The maximum length of the research or work proposal for individual applicants is 4 pages, including possible bibliography. The maximum length of the research or work proposal for work groups or institutions is 8 pages.

In the evaluation of proposals attention is paid to its:

  • merit (academic merit in research projects)
  • topicality
  • new perspectives
  • boldness.

In general, the research proposal should include the following parts:

  • Introduction: The background of the research and its subject matter, and the significance of the proposed research in light of this background.
  • Aims, objectives: What is to be studied and why. The objectives must be indicated as clearly as possible, for example through research questions.
  • Research materials and methods: The research data or literature and the method chosen for analyzing or handling these materials.
  • Work outline: A short estimate of the expected duration of each phase of the project.
  • References, sources: There is no need for citations in the research proposal itself, but it is a good idea to include a concise list of the most important sources of the research.
  • It is also important to highlight the way in which your work is a bold initiative.

In addition to the above-mentioned, the research proposals for work group or institution should also include:

  • Names of participating researchers
  • Indication of applicants’ familiarity with the subject
  • Account of how any possible multidisciplinarity or interdisciplinarity is factored into the project.

A work plan is attached to projects which are not research projects. A good work plan should answer the questions Why, How, When, Who and With whom.

The work plan should include:

  • The aims and objectives of the project
  • A description of the working methods
  • The names of the participants and possible partners
  • Schedule
  • it is also important to highlight the way in which the work is a bold initiative.

Progress report

If the applicant has received grant from Kone Foundation for the same purpose, the applicant must include with their application a short report (max. 2 pages) indicating the state of progress of the project. The report should give a brief account of what has been achieved during the previous Kone Foundation funding period, and the current state of the project. In addition to the progress report, applicants must include with their applications an updated research proposal or work plan.

Curriculum vitae (CV) 

The purpose of the CV is to provide a concise overview of the applicant’s education and experience. It should include work experience, previous research, previously received grants, central publications, presentations and teaching experience. It is especially important to include those which are of particular relevance to the project for which Kone Foundation funding is sought. A researcher’s CV can be based on the template of the Finnish Advisory Board of Research Integrity. The CV should not exceed four pages. Please do not attach a separate publications list


If a personal monthly grant alone is required to implement the project, there is no need to attach a budget to the application form.

It is important to try to estimate costs plausibly and precisely in the budget. Other possible sources of funding must also be mentioned. Even if only a portion of the funding of a project is being applied for from the Kone Foundation, the cost estimate for the entire project must be presented. A detailed budget facilitates the making of funding decisions. In projects that span several years, it is better to devise the budget according to the years of activity rather than calendar years.

In addition to a separate detailed project budget, the budget must be outlined in the online application form. The project’s annual personal monthly grants and any other expenses of the project, which are travel expenses, material and equipment expenses, additional labour force expenses, outsourced services and other costs, must be specified in the budget on the form. Only the Kone Foundation funding that is being applied for is entered on the form.

Budgets must also include the amount and percentage of the general expenses collected by the university. This is entered under Other expenses on the online application form.

See budget example


Grant applications for arts and artistic research funding must include a portfolio. A portfolio showcases the artist’s ability in the relevant field and conveys an impression of him or her as an artist. A portfolio thus showcases the applicant’s level of artistic expression, quality of artistic thought, and any other special proficiency that the applicant finds relevant to mention. You can also compile your portfolio on your own website and attach the link to this in your application.

Certificate copies

Individual researchers applying for a personal monthly grant must include a copy of their most recent academic degree, or of the degree most relevant to the research project to be funded.

There is no need to have the copy stamped by a notary public.

A copy of a degree certificate can also be included in other applications, if desired, but it is most important for the CV to include education and qualifications.

Degree diplomas and permits for the public defence of academic dissertations awarded after the Kone Foundation deadline can be sent to the Kone Foundation office until 15 November, preferably by e-mail.

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Current thematic grant calls

We also organize thematic grant calls. The purpose of these is to promote a multi-disciplinary approach and draw attention to current phenomena in the fields of Finnish research, arts and culture. Over the years 2016-2020 specially allocated grants will, in particular, be organised under the themes of the changing ”neighbournesses” of Finland programme

Current calls for proposals:

Neighbour Dialogues (1.–15.9.2017)

Ecological Compensations in Society and Culture (1.–15.9.2017)

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Frequently asked questions

Can I apply for two different grants during the same application period?
An applicant can apply for more than one grant. However, this must be mentioned on each application form (section Other funding).

Can I send a reference after the deadline?
References must be sent using the online service for references on 18 September by 4 pm Finnish time at the latest. After this the reference service will close and will not accept any more references. Only references sent during the application period will be considered.

My recommender sent only a paper version of the reference. What should I do?
The best way to provide a reference is through the online service for references. It can also be attached to the application. We do not accept references sent by mail or email.

Do I also need to mail my application?
No. Applications are sent via the online service. Only applications sent via the online service are considered.

Language of the application?
We hope that Finnish-writing applicants or a group consisting entirely of Finnish speakers write their applications and the attachments in Finnish. If a Finnish-writing applicant or a group consisting entirely of Finnish speakers is submitting an application in English, they must write the summary in Finnish. All the elements of an application can be in Swedish.

I will only receive my permission to defend my thesis after the end of the application period. Can I apply for a grant despite this?
You can apply for a grant if you send your degree certificate or permission to defend your thesis to the Kone Foundation office by 15 November. Other attachments must be sent by the application period deadline.

Can I apply for a grant for my practical training or master’s degree studies?
Kone Foundation only awards grants for researchers who have already completed their first degree. Grants are not awarded for studies or practical training.

When does the application period for Kone Foundation grants end?
The application period ends on 15 September at 4 pm Finnish time.

When are the decisions on the awarded grants made?
The decisions are announced at the start of December. We will announce the actual date nearer the time. We will send grant recipients an email and letter. We will also publish the names of grant recipients on the website.

Why was I not awarded a grant?
Kone Foundation does not provide explanations for individual grant decisions. The foundation receives a large number of good applications each year and it is unable to provide funding for every good application.

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