Applying for a grant from Säätiöiden post doc -pooli

Who is eligible to apply and what is funded?

The grants awarded from Säätiöiden post doc -pooli (The Finnish Foundations’ Post Doc Pool) are intended for scholars, who have recently completed their doctoral degree and wish to conduct research abroad, outside of Finland, for at least one academic year. For well-founded reasons, grants may also be awarded for shorter periods lasting for at least 6 months. Grants are also available for non-Finnish nationals.

The applicants’ doctoral degree was completed no more than four years previously (but parental leave, compulsory militar service, illness, or doctors’ specializing will be excluded when calculating the four-year period).

Doctoral candidates, who have not yet publicly defended their doctoral thesis but have received permission to do so, may also apply for a grant. In such cases pre-examiners’ statements on the thesis must be enclosed with the application. The grant will not be paid out until after the doctoral degree is completed.

The working grant is intended to cover living costs. In case the applicant receives a full salary, she/he cannot apply for a working grant. In case the applicant receives a partial salary, she/he can apply for a partial working grant.

In addition, the Pool’s grant may cover all expenses for conducting research abroad, including travel and moving costs and schooling expenses and insurance. The total sum of the grant awarded is based on the applicant’s own cost estimate.

Grants will not be awarded for costs already incurred or to compensate for income loss. Grants are not awarded for hiring a research assistant.

Application and attachments

Grants are applied for by filling in the electronic application form and uploading required attachments to it. To get to the electronic application form, please go to the Post doc pooli homepage and click ”Create an application” and log in with your own username.

The electronic application must be sent within the application period. The electronic application form is not to be printed nor signed.

The required attachments to the application include: an abstract of the research project, project and research plan, curriculum vitae and list of publications, doctoral thesis pre-examiner’s statement (in case of doctoral candidates) or official opponent’s statement (for others), references (1-3), invitation from the receiving university or institution. The only accepted file format for attachments is pdf.

The attachments may be written in Finnish, Swedish or English, except for the abstract, which must be written in Finnish of Swedish.

References can be added by the applicants themselves or by a referee. In the latter case, the applicant will send a request to a referee by logging into their own application and clicking the link “Request to referee” at the top part of the application.

In the electronic application form, the host professor’s most important publications around this research topic are also being asked. This question is for applicants working in research groups or labs.

The application and/or references should mention the significance of the research period abroad for the applicant’s own field of research and for Finnish science in general. In addition, it should be clarified how the proposed postdoctoral project diverges from or builds upon the applicant’s earlier PhD research.

The abstract

The abstract, i.e. the summary, provides a brief overview of the content of the project and research plan (max. 2 000 characters).

The abstract should also include 1) reasons for why the applicant is going to this particular research institution, 2) a short description of the research project and 3) a mention of whether family members are joining the applicant abroad.

The abstract must be written in either Finnish or Swedish.

Project and research plan

The project and research plan states clearly what the applicant’s research concerns and why she/he is going to this particular research institute. In addition to the actual research plan, it should include an overview of how the applicant’s own research ties in with research conducted at the receiving foreign university or institute. The project and research plan must be concise and compact, max 5 pages (font size 12).

Cost estimate

Enter your cost estimate in the electronic grant application system. The applicant must specify what costs he/she is planning to cover with a grant from the Pool.

The cost estimate is based on the applicant and his/her family’s needs and the receiving country’s level of costs. The applicant must inform the Pool of the family members who will be joining him/her abroad.

If the project spans over one year, make a separate cost estimate for each year.

The cost estimate must include the sum applied for from the Pool specified in the following way:

Research grant*
(see instructions for country-specific costs)

Travel and moving costs (specify)
Other costs,
e.g. school and childcare costs for family members (specify)
e.g. research costs (specify)
e.g. additional insurance (specify)

*In case the applicant receives a full salary, she/he cannot apply for a working grant.

Grants awarded by the Pool are usually subject to statutory insurance, in accordance with the Farmers’ Social Insurance legislation. The insurance is not obligatory for the share of the grant assigned for research expenses. The grant recipients must contact the Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution Mela to find out whether they need to take the insurance.

For further information: Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution Mela

Grants awarded by foundations are tax-exempt up to the amount equivalent to the Finnish state grants for artists (currently € 25.838,76). Please note! Recipients of large grant sums must be prepared to pay taxes on the taxable part of their grant.

For further information: Tax Administration,Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers’ tax guide, and Association of Finnish Foundations

Curriculum vitae and list of publications

The curriculum vitae must include the applicant’s year of birth and information about family members joining the applicant abroad. The curriculum vitae and the list of publications show in some detail the applicant’s career in research to date. The list of publications should include the applicant’s most significant academic publications. See the template.


At least one reference must be included in your application. The references must be sent during the application period. A referee may upload their reference directly to the Pool’s database by using a username and password received from the applicant. A referee may also send their reference to the applicant, who then includes it in his/her application. If the same referee writes references for several applicants, she/he should prioritize the applicants she/he recommends for grants.

Funding decisions

All grant applications are reviewed by academic expert panels. Multidisciplinary applications will be reviewed by several panels, if necessary. Feedback on applications, their review process or on any single grant decision will not be provided to applicants. Successful applicants will be informed of receiving a grant immediately after the funding decisions are made. The names of the grant recipients will be published on the Pool’s website and according to the standard practices of the foundation which has awarded the grant.

Deferral of the grant

The use of an awarded grant may be deferred by one year for personal reasons, if the project plan remains the same. The Pool does not support longer deferrals.

Intermediate report

Scholars, who have received a grant for more than one year, must send an intermediate report to the pool towards the end of their first grant year. The intermediate report must include an account on the progress of the scholar’s research project and a mention of any completed articles, manuscripts in progress, attendance at conferences, posters and presentations to academic and other possible communities/audiences.

Reporting on the use of the grant

The grant recipient reports on the use of the grant to the foundation, which has given the grant, not to the Pool.

Data protection

The application data forms a personal data file in accordance with the Personal Data Act, and this file is maintained, stored and archived by the Säätiöiden post doc -pooli. You have the right to check your own data entered into the file, either through a written, signed request or by a personal visit, and to correct inaccurate data. Data and documents are given to the foundations belonging to the Säätiöiden post doc -pooli for reviewing and processing of the applications.