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Instructions for grant applicants

Instructions for applying for grants from the Finnish Cancer Foundation in 2017

The Nordic Cancer Union´s 2017 call for research grant proposals has opened


The Cancer Foundation awards grants for research projects that deal with

  1. Cancer prevention
  2. Better early cancer detection
  3. Better cancer treatment
  4. Forms of patient support

Grant applications are done online:

Online application system(opens in a new window)

Major grants, other research grants and dissertation grants

Applications for the Cancer Foundation grants – the three major grants, the research grants and the dissertation grants – to be disbursed in autumn 2017 are to be made using the online application programme ( in a new window)). Applications must be accompanied by a research protocol and list of publications of the principal applicant covering the last five years (2012 – 2017). The application period is 30 May – 26 August 2017. Applications may not be supplemented after that time. Late applications will be rejected.

The major grant and research grant are intended for senior researchers. Researchers are only allowed to have one Cancer Foundation grant at a time. Dissertation grants are intended for applicants whose doctoral research is already well advanced. They are only available on a one-off basis.

Only one application per applicant is allowed. 2017 is exceptional in that applicants may also apply for grants for research into early diagnosis from the Cancer Society of Finland’s Patient Pathway foundation.

Grants are only awarded for research that has a clear connection with cancer, its prevention, detection or rehabilitation. The dividing line in each instance is difficult to make, but applicants must be able to demonstrate a relevance to cancer.

Priority is given to research conducted in Finland.

The Cancer Foundation does not award grants to researchers or groups of researchers that receive funding from the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry refers to a company or corporate conglomerate that derives the majority of its profits from the manufacture or marketing of tobacco products.

Major grants

Applications are open for two €450 000 three-year major grants, of which one is intended for breast cancer research, while the other has no specific designation. There is also a two-year major grant of €200 000 for research on cancer prevention and/or the costs of cancer treatment. The major grant for breast cancer research is provided from funds raised by the Pink Ribbon campaign.
Applicants may apply for a new major grant only once the period of the previous major grant has ended. If applicants are not proposed for a major grant, their applications are processed along with the other research grant applications.

Other research grants

Applications can be made for one, two or three-year grants.

Grants for psychosocial research

Applications for grants specifically for psychosocial cancer research are done at the same time as those for other research and dissertation grants. The applications are processed together with other research grant applications. If applicants have chosen psychosocial cancer research, their applications are not dealt with as ordinary grant applications. Unless applicants do not specifically select psychosocial cancer research, their applications will not be processed within this category.

Dissertation grant

Recipients’ dissertations must include published articles. Only articles to be included in the applicant’s dissertation need to be mentioned on the CV page of the application. Other publications are to be listed on a separate attachment. The dissertation grant for 2016 is between €3 000 – €5 000. Grants will not be awarded if the dissertation has already been approved by the end of the grant application deadline.

Application classification

Applicants must use a single checkmark on their application to indicate the appropriate research area their research concerns. These areas are: basic research, clinical research (including epidemiological research) or psychosocial research. See above concerning the requirement for processing a grant application for psychosocial cancer research.

Application attachments

  • Research protocol, which for the major grant and research grant applications, including attachments, must not exceed 5 pages, and 3 pages for dissertation grant applications. Minimum font size used in writing applications is 12 point.

Indicative research protocol structure:

  1. Background
  2. Research objective
  3. Research procedure and method
  4. Timetable
  5. Division of labour within the research team
  6. Explanation of estimated cost
  7. Ethical considerations
  • List of publications of the principal researcher for 2011 – 2016. In the case of the dissertation grant, the author of the dissertation is the principal researcher.

Research team

The members of the research team are individuals who are involved in the publication of the research results. Staff assistants (such as laboratory technicians) do not count as research team members. The principal researcher and each member of the research team must indicate the percentage of time that they have used on the research project.

The CV needs to be completed only by the principal researcher, and if necessary the two most prominent 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 in November 2016

A single reminder letter concerning accounting or reporting will eliminate recipients from attaining optimum points in subsequent applications. An applicant who has received a reminder letter and who nevertheless neglects to provide accounting or reporting will be eliminated from the group of recipients.

Overheads reimbursement

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

Grant recipients’ social security and notification obligation

Grant recipients resident in Finland must have social insurance if they work on a grant for at least four (4) consecutive months and the grant is €1 259,53 or more.

The Cancer Foundation notifies Mela (the Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution, which also handles grant recipients) of all grants of €1 259,53 or more, to which recipients have provided notification that they are working for at least four (4) 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 €1 259,53 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 of 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, they must notify the tax authorities of the sums paid and the personal details of those receiving them

Grant payment and accounting

Three-year grants are paid in six instalments; two-year grants in four and one-year grants in two instalments. The first instalment is paid on the basis of a signed commitment. Subsequent instalments are paid automatically every six months without separate reporting.

All grants are paid to the bank account of the place where the research is conducted. Only dissertation grants and travel grants are paid to the bank accounts of the applicants.

Unused grant money is to be transferred back to the funding institution that disbursed it within a year of the announcement of its allocation, unless otherwise agreed. Failure to use a previous instalment of grant money will preclude the receipt of a subsequent grant payment.

Final report on use of grant

A final report on the use of the grant and the results of the research is done using the final report form, which is appended to the accounting reports. The final report form is available at under ‘grants’.

Recipients of three-year grants are to complete their final report in February 2020; recipients of two-year grants in February 2019; and one-year grant recipients in February 2018. If the grant is unused at the time of reporting, the final report may be made at a maximum of one year within the reporting deadline mentioned above.

Grant money that is not subject to a final report may be required to be returned to the Cancer Foundation.

Changes to the purpose or period of use within the grant timeframe

Grant recipients can apply to change the purpose or timeframe of a grant. The procedure is subject to consultation with the secretary general of the Cancer Society of Finland.

Epidemiological research post

The aim of this research work of the Finnish Cancer Registry is to enable young researchers to get a good start to work on their doctoral dissertation and to recruit researchers into the field of epidemiology. The research subject is agreed with the Finnish Cancer Registry. Those appointed as researchers will also carry out routine tasks determined by the head of the Finnish Cancer Registry. Researchers must have completed a Masters degree. Research applicants must complete application forms the same as grant applicants. The application time period is the same as with major, research, and dissertation grant applications.

Epidemiological research posts are not open for application in 2017.

Travel grants

Travel grants are awarded only in the spring. The application period is February each year.

There is a separate application form for travel grants, available at in a new window).

Travel grants in 2017: outside Europe €1 500; within Europe €900; in the Nordic area €700.

Travel grants can also be awarded to health care workers.

Travel grants are awarded for travel taking place within one year and three months of the deadline for grant applications. Grants cannot be applied for travel done before the expiry of the application period.

Travel grants awarded by the Cancer Foundation are for travel detailed in the grant application. In the event of a problem, changes to the travel destination can be negotiated with the secretary general of the Cancer Society of Finland.

Research grant recipients may use a portion of their research grant awarded in the autumn for travel as long as this is mentioned on the grant application.

Travel grants are paid against the bills and receipts for travel expenses. Travel expenses are billed using the Cancer Foundation’s travel expenses form. Travel expenses must be submitted to the Cancer Foundation within six months following the end of the trip.