Funding by the Ministry of Education and Culture can be used to cover both direct and indirect costs from the projects, incurred from:
Salary costs of researchers in the research group
The amount of the salaries applied for must be in proportion to the average salary level of the site of research.
Funding by the Ministry of Education and Culture can be partly used as personal grant. The grant can be used either for an individual researcher working abroad, or for an international co-researcher working in Finland. In these situations, the Academy of Finland’s practices and criteria on grants will be applied. Where the grant is used to perform scientific research for at least four consecutive months and the earnings from this total at least EUR 1,300, which corresponds to annual earnings of EUR 3,900 (in 2019), the recipient of the grant must register it with MELA (Farmers' Social Insurance Institution). MELA collects pension, occupational accident and group life insurance contributions on the grant for the insured period meaning for the period the recipient receives the grant. Tax authorities retrospectively collect contributions based on health insurance legislation. These statutory insurance contributions normally total around 15% of the total grant.
At its discretion, the Ministry of Education and Culture will also fund other costs of research projects. Other costs do not cover the basic facilities of the site of research which are paid for, at least partly, with overheads. A clear itemisation of other costs according to type of expenditure and year must be included in the application:
- materials, supplies and other goods,
- participation in conferences and meetings (maximum of EUR 5,000 per year),
- other expenses (itemised)
The criteria for costs incurred by attendance at conferences and meetings are an approved scientific presentation at the conference or meeting (approval must be presented when reporting the research to the Ministry of Education and Culture, central position of trust in the organising community or membership in the secretariat for the community).
Overheads (maximum of 15 % of the total sum granted)
At most 15% of the Ministry of Education and Culture grant may be spent on research project overheads intended to cover the basic requirements of projects receiving research funding. The general basic requirements are the same as those for other research staff at the institution: i.e. office and laboratory premises, equipment (incl. computer equipment), and telecommunications, telephone, postal, copying and library services.
Under the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (section 6, 688/2001), the grant may not cover the full sum of overall costs of the activities or project, unless there are essential and justified reasons to do so to meet the objectives set for government grants. The application must include details of funding received from other sources and funding by the research organisation itself.
Changes in the use of funding
No permission from the Ministry of Education and Culture is needed for minor changes in the research plan. However, permission is required if there is a change of researcher or the site of research, or a significant change in the research plan, for example. Other reasons for changes that significantly impact the execution of the research also require permission from the Ministry, and the application can be submitted in free-form text.
The expenditure types for cost estimates listed in the original application are normative, which means that departure from them is permissible, if this supports the execution of the proposed research plan. However, the recipient must contact the Ministry of Education and Culture where there are any deviations that exceed 15 per cent of cost estimates.
If the recipient of the discretionary government grant has not used the grant during the time for which the grant was awarded, the remaining funds must be reimbursed to the Ministry of Education and Culture. An extension of the expiry date may be granted only for highly compelling reasons. In that case, a well-substantiated application for extension must be submitted to the Ministry of Education and Culture no later than 30 days before the original expiry date for using the funds.
The Ministry of Education and Culture funds an individual research project launched in 2020 for a maximum period of three years and with a maximum total amount of EUR 400,000.
Under the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers (688/2001), a research project may not receive simultaneous funding for the same purpose from both the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Academy of Finland. If applying for funding for different sub-areas of an extensive research project simultaneously from both the Ministry and the Academy, the applicant must submit separate applications to both financing bodies.
They will be processed only if they are not designed to be used to apply for funding for one and the same purpose. Moreover, the applications must include a description of the link between the study in question and the larger project. The starting point is that basic research associated with the research entity are directed to the Academy of Finland and applied research to the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The funding period for the research projects may begin on 01/04/2020 at the earliest. The funding may be used during the year it has been granted and the year following that. As far as possible, the Ministry of Education and Culture will make the grant decisions in March 2020 at the latest.
As a rule, the Ministry funds an individual research project for a maximum of three years.
The condition for continued support is that the subsidised project proceeds according to plan, a realistic plan for further study is presented and the Parliament allocates the necessary funds for sport science research projects.
A discretionary government grant may only be used for the purpose for which it has been awarded.
A Ministry of Education and Culture grant may cover at most the share specified in the grant decision of the total costs incurred from the activities for which the grant was disbursed or the actual total costs of the project. The eligible costs are determined in the grant decision and its appendices.
Per each employee, as eligible costs will be regarded at most an amount corresponding to an annual salary of EUR 80,000 including the statutory indirect labour costs. The salary may be paid as wages or fringe benefits.
The recipient of a discretionary government grant must have appropriate financial management and administration practices in place.
The recipient must submit a report on the use of the discretionary government grant to the Ministry by the date specified in the grant decision. Cost centre based financial reporting is required of the grant recipient if the grant awarded is a special grant or a general grant intended for a specific part of activities.
The Ministry of Education and Culture has the right to conduct audits of discretionary government grant recipients’ finances and operations that are necessary for the payment of grants and supervision of their use (section 16 of the Act on Discretionary Government Transfers).
Grant recipients must find out whether they have the duty to comply with the procurement legislation and act accordingly. A recipient other than a state or local authority or a religious community may also have the duty to arrange competitive tendering of their procurements in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts.
If a grant recipient meets the criteria for an institution of public law character (for example if more than half of its funding comes from a public source), the grant recipient must comply with the Public Procurement Act in all procurement processes.
If a grant amounting to more than 50% of the value of a specific procurement is awarded to the recipient, the recipient must comply with the Public Procurement Act in the procurement process. (Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts 1397/2016).
The Ministry of Education and Culture has outlined that a grant recipient must invite tenders from more than one supplier in such procurement of goods and services whose value is below the national threshold value but exceeds EUR 20,000 exclusive of VAT. Other terms and conditions also apply to spending the grant. The full list of terms and conditions.