Kone Foundation’s focuses in awarding grants

The goal of Kone Foundation’s grant activities is to create the conditions for free and multi-voiced art and research. The funding decisions are guided by the central values defined in the Foundation’s strategy.

The funding decisions are guided by the central values defined in the Foundation’s strategy.


1. Academic and artistic freedom and the intrinsic value of research and art

We see research and art as valuable in and of themselves and not, for example, as means to generate profit. We rarely fund product development. Academic endeavours and artistic work must be developed freely on one’s own premises.

Read an essay by legal philosopher Ari Hirvonen on academic freedom. 
Read an essay by artist Jenni Laiti on artistic freedom. 

2. A plurality of voices

We want different voices to be heard, and we encourage collaboration. In our funding decisions, we emphasise projects and topics that are multidisciplinary and novel and seek to challenge prevailing views.

A project’s topic can be chosen freely, as long as the discipline is funded by the Foundation.

3. Boldness

One of our central values is boldness, which includes experimentation, incompleteness, indeterminacy and a combination of unexpected approaches.

4. Long term

The Foundation supports work done in peace, and it emphasises multi-year personal grants for academic and artistic work.

5. Crossing borders, both national and disciplinary

We support transnationalism, which can apply to Finnish grantees working abroad or foreign grantees working in Finland. We encourage our applicants to combine research and art in multidisciplinary projects. More information on cooperation between academic research and the arts can be found here.  

6. Environmental sustainability

Also in projects not related to environmental issues, we take into account responsibility for the environment, especially in the context of travelling. We encourage you to avoid flying if possible and to favor low-emission travelling. (Remember that the Foundation offers no special travel grants, so please include travel expenses in the “Other” section of your budget.)

Research funding

We can fund high-quality research in the humanities, social sciences and environmental sciences, artistic research and multidisciplinary work that involves the academic fields mentioned above.

In artistic research or arts-based research, the artistic and academic aspects interact, and the work usually takes place at a university with degree programmes in art. Artistic research often has a connection with the researcher’s own artistic or arts pedagogy work.

The Foundation does not fund research in psychology, theology, law studies or business studies without an interdisciplinary dimension. Medical research is not supported.

In research funding decisions, our emphasis is on post-doctoral studies and more advanced stages of careers.

Art funding

The Foundation supports professional artistic work in all fields of art.

The emphasis is on artistic work, but the Foundation can, in exceptional cases, support cultural initiatives, such as work in museums that does not involve artistic work. However, the proportion of other kinds of cultural work in the Foundation’s funding decisions is marginal.

Programmes and thematic calls

In 2021, Kone Foundation launched the programme “Is Democracy Eroding?”. Thematic funding calls will be evaluated separately from the general call. The general call is open and non-thematic, which means that the applications need not have a connection with the programme or the topics of the special calls.

No thematic funding call of the Democracy programme will be organised in 2023. The themes of the programme “Is Democracy Eroding?” will be taken into account in the general call of 2023.

Grant statistics

Most of Kone Foundation funding is awarded as personal grants for academic research, artistic work or work that combines research and art. The statistics for grants awarded in 2022 can be found here.