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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.

We will be looking for bold thinkers and doers again on 1–15 September, 2018. 

Please submit your proposal through the online application service.  Applications cannot be sent via email or outside the online service. Please read our guidelines carefully before applying.  

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.

Focal points

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.

We favour subjects and themes which are cross-disciplinary or inter-disciplinary, or marginal or outside the main stream. Until 2020, 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 more information on the thematic application calls, see section Themed calls for applications. On applying for the Lauttasaari manor residence, please read guidelines under Lauttasaari manor residence.

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.

Thematic calls for applications

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. 

Thematic grant call in 2018  

Our vital neighbours (1.–15.9.2018). 

In autumn 2018, we will hold a thematic grant call on the neighbourliness of humans and other biological species.

How to apply for Lauttasaari Manor Residency

The Lauttasaari Manor Residency program will be launched in 2019. Residency guests are selected through an open application process, which is organised in connection with the Foundation’s annual, general application call. 

The application call is open for Finnish arts or science organisations or actors working in the fields supported by the Foundation (all fields of art or social, human and environmental sciences), who can apply for the residency for their international guest.

The applicant can be an organisation (with a Finnish business ID) or a working group, for example, a research unit, think tank, group of artists or curators, art gallery, orchestra, festival or other art event.

The residency period can be 1-4 months between April 2019 and April 2020. In the application process small organisations with new initiatives are favoured instead of established institutions. We also prefer initiatives aiming for a longer residency period of 3-4 months. 

The Lauttasaari Manor Residence aims to support the international work opportunities and networking of professionals in the fields of art and science by collaborating with the organisation or actor that coordinate the residency visit, making it possible for a foreign expert of art and science to live and work in Finland.  

The Foundation provides support in the practical arrangements of the visit and a possibility to host discussions or other events during the residency.  The guest will also have a change to participate in activities or events organized by the Foundation.

In addition to the residence apartment, the residency includes a monthly working grant. See section Instructions for the online grant service -> Funding in detail for more information on amounts of grants.


The residence apartment (38m2) is located on the island of Lauttasaari in Helsinki, on the second floor of the Red Villa in the courtyard of the Lauttasaari Manor. The apartment comprises a bedroom, a combined living room and work room, a kitchenette and a bathroom. There is a washing machine in the bathroom.  

How to apply 

Apply for the residency by submitting your application with its attachments using the online application service.  Application period for Lauttasaari Manor Residence is open from 1st of September until the 15th of September 16.00 (Finnish time)

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.

If you are applying for a grant in order to write a doctoral thesis in artistic research, please choose the Profile 1 from the profiles listed under Research.

In order to promote multidisciplinarity, we give the option to choose thematic evaluation in the arts instead of a field of 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 in the 2018 application call 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

  • Community
  • Decolonisation
  • Encounter
  • Form
  • Posthumanism
  • Sex, gender
  • Time

Research disciplines for the 2018 application call are:

  • 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
  • Environmental technology
  • Ethnology
  • Gender studies
  • History of Culture and Art 
  • Linguistics
  • Literary  studies
  • Musicology
  • Performing arts and film  studies
  • Philosophy
  • Physical and chemical environmental research
  • Political Economy 
  • Premodern History 
  • Research on the Global South 
  • Research on Politics
  • Social and political  history
  • Social psychology
  • Societal  environmental  research
  • Sociology
  • Visual arts studies

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 names of the evaluators, since we wish to allow and encourage the anonymous evaluators and peer reviewers to make bold 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 2018
Up to 4 years
Europe Finland
Humanities Anthropology & Ethnology 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