Instructions for applicants

Instructions for applicants for major grants, other research grants and dissertation grants.

In autumn 2020, the Cancer Foundation will be disbursing two major grants, research and dissertation grants, to be applied for using the online application programme(opens in a new window). A research protocol and the main applicant’s list of published works for the last five years (2015 – 2020) are to be attached to the application. The 2020 grant application period has ended. The search program closed on August 21 at the end of the day. Applications may not be supplemented after the application period. Late applications will be rejected. Applications that do not conform to the grant application instructions will also not be considered. Awarded grants will be announced on the 11th of November 2020.

The major grants and research grants are intended for senior researchers. A researcher may be in receipt of only one Cancer Foundation research grant at a time. The dissertation grant is intended for applicants whose dissertation work is already well advanced, and it is available on a one-off basis only.

Particular consideration will be given among other things to the feasibility and scientific level of project protocols, the scientific credentials of applicants, and the project relevance to cancer research. Grants are only awarded for research that has a clear connection to cancer, its prevention, detection, treatment, and rehabilitation from it. The applicant must be able to demonstrate this linkage to cancer.

Only one application per applicant will be considered.

Grants are primarily to support research conducted in Finland.

The Cancer Foundation does not award research grants to researchers or research teams that receive funding from the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry denotes any company or group of companies that derive a major portion of their income from the manufacture or marketing of tobacco products.

Major grant
There are two €450 000 three-year major grants, which are for cancer research that is not specifically targeted.

If applicants are not nominated to receive a major grant their applications will be considered together with those for other research grants.

Other research grants
Grants can be applied for either one, two or three year periods.

Grants for psychosocial cancer research

Grants for psychosocial cancer research can be applied for at the same time as for other research and dissertation grants. Applications are assessed together with other research grant applications. If applicants have opted to conduct psychosocial cancer research, their applications will not be considered as ordinary grant applications. If applicants have not opted to conduct psychosocial cancer research, their applications will not be considered within this category, even if they would be germane to it.

Recipients of major grants and research grants will not be awarded travel grants in the spring. In practice, this means that researchers must budget for research and congress journeys in their major grant or research grant applications.

Dissertation grants
Applicants are required to have material that has already been published included in the dissertation. The CV portion of the online application is to only list those publications that will be included in the applicant’s dissertation. The applicant’s other publications are to be listed in a separate attachment. The dissertation grant for 2020 is €4000. The grants are not awarded if applicants’ doctoral dissertations have been approved before the application deadline has elapsed.

Classification of application according to field of research
Applicants are to designate with a single checkmark on their application to indicate the field of study their research concerns. These are: basic research, clinical research (incl. epidemiological research), or psychosocial research. See also above on the processing of psychosocial cancer research applications.

1) The research protocol concerning major grant and research grant applications are to be a maximum of 5 pages, while for dissertation grant applications the maximum length is 3 pages, and no less than 12 point font.

Indicative research protocol structure:

Research objective
Research implementation and methods
Division of labour among research team members
Basis for cost estimate
Ethical considerations
2) List of publications by the principal researcher for 2015 – 2020. In the case of dissertation grants, the author of the dissertation is the principal researcher.

Research team
Research team members are individuals who are involved in the publication of the research results. Assisting staff members are not counted as members of the research team. Notification must be given of the percentage of working time spent on the research project by principal researcher and each member of the research team.

CVs only need to be completed by the principal researcher and, if necessary, the two most important members of the research team.

Processing of Applications
The board of the Cancer Foundation decides on grant disbursements based on the proposals of the grants committee. The assessment of grants complies with the conflict of interest rules approved by the Cancer Foundation. Awarded grants will be announced on the 11th of November 2020.

The condition for being awarded a grant is that researcher have provided a report and financial accounts for grants they have received earlier, according to instructions.

Reimbursement of overheads
A maximum of 15 per cent of the grant amount can be paid to the place where the research is conducted for the reimbursement of overheads totalling over €10 000 of the grant.

Grant recipients social security and notification obligation
A grant recipient resident in Finland must have social insurance, if he/she works on a grant for at least four consecutive months and the grant is €1 330 or more (in 2019 €1 259,53).

The Cancer Foundation notifies Mela (the Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution, which also handles grant recipients) of all grants of €1 330 or more to which recipients have provided notification that they are working for at least four consecutive months. This particularly concerns dissertation grant recipients and leaders of research teams who have budgeted grant funding for themselves. People working for research teams who are paid a stipend of €1 330 or more from the grants by team leaders for research lasting at least four consecutive months must notify Mela. In such cases the responsibility for notifying Mela rests with the team leaders.

Notifying the tax authorities when receiving a grant
The Cancer Foundation notifies the tax authorities of the amount in euros of grant money it disburses and the details of the grant recipients. If grant recipients also pay research stipends or grants to research team members, the authority making the payment (e.g. a university) must notify the tax authorities of the sums paid and the personal details of those receiving them.

Grant payment
Three-year grants are paid in six instalments, two-year grants in four and one-year grants in two instalments, the first on the basis of a signed commitment. Subsequent instalments are paid automatically every six months without a separate payment request.

All grants are paid to the bank account of the place of research. Only dissertation grants and travel grants are paid to the bank account of the researcher.

Grant money that remains undrawn is transferred back to the fund that awarded the grant within a year of notification of the disbursement decision, unless otherwise agreed with the researcher. Failure to withdraw grant money awarded previously will prevent the withdrawal of grant money awarded later.

Grant accounts statement
Grant recipients provide an accounts statement on the use of the grant using a separate accounting form, to which they append accounting records. The form is available at under ‘Grants’.

Recipients of three-year grants must provide the accounts statement in February 2024, those of two-year grants in February 2023, and those of one-year grants in February 2022.

If there is grant money left over at the end of the grant period, recipients may have the grant period extended by special request and on providing sufficient justification. If the extension is granted, the accounting period is likewise extended.

If no final reporting is provided concerning a grant, it may be required to be returned to the Cancer Foundation.

The researcher in receipt of the grant is obliged to report the research results attained with the grant using the Researchfish programme. The reporting period runs from the beginning of February to the end of March each year, but researchers may update their reporting throughout the year.

Researchfish reporting does not apply to recipients of dissertation grants. Researchfish reporting does not apply to doctoral grant recipients. The recipient of the doctoral dissertation will send a free-form report on the progress of his research project and the date of the thesis to [email protected].

Changes to intended use of a grant
Grant recipients may if necessary alter the intended use for which a grant has been awarded. The procedure must be agreed in advance with the Secretary General of the Cancer Society of Finland.