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Kone Foundation Grants for Finland-related Research

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.

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

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 2016, we take into account the emphases of our Language 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.

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.

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.

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.
Application date
15 Sep 2017
Up to 4 years
Europe Finland
Humanities Anthropology, Ethnology and Folklore Archaeology Architecture Art & Art History Classical Studies Digital Humanities History Linguistics Literature Media Studies Music & Musicology Philosophy Religion & Theology Social sciences Business and Administrative Sciences Communication Sciences Demography Economics Environmental Sciences Gender Studies Geography International Relations Law Pedagogic & Education Research Political science Psychology & Cognitive Sciences Social Anthropology Sociology
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years