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Grant award policy of the Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation


The purpose of the Foundation is defined in its by-laws as follows:

“The purpose of the Foundation is to support and promote basic scientific research to increase knowledge and understanding in mathematics, astronomy, physics and chemistry, including medicinal chemistry. The Foundation carries out its purpose by awarding grants and financial support to members of the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters for personal research, or to research groups or institutions headed by them or to researchers outside the Society […]. The Foundation may also engage in other lawful activities that promote and support the purposes of the Foundation.”

“The Board of the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, or a committee appointed by it, assesses the applications received annually, submits its proposal for the award of grants to the Foundation Board, receives the reports on the use of the grants awarded and briefs the Foundation Board on the reports received on an ongoing basis.”

The Foundation supports basic scientific research in mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry and medical chemistry. Financial support is primarily provided directly to researchers in the form of grants. Modern scientific research is usually carried out in collaboration between several researchers and therefore grants may also be awarded to larger research units and projects within the scientific disciplines supported by the Foundation in order to secure favourable conditions for basic scientific research as effectively as possible.

The Foundation also awards prizes to distinguished researchers in the scientific disciplines it supports.

Primarily, the Foundation supports Finnish researchers or researchers working at Finnish universities or research institutes.

The selection of the projects eligible for funding is based on the quality of the applications.

The Foundation promotes scientific freedom by supporting the internal renewal of the
disciplines, and therefore it does not impose any content-related requirements on the
projects funded.


The grants awarded by the Foundation fall into the following three categories:

I) Ordinary annual grants

II) Grants from the Walter and Lisi Wahl Fund (grants)

III) Strategic funding (grants, donations and other activities)


The amount of money awarded in grants and prizes is determined by the Foundation Board annually. Responsibility for the scientific assessment of the applications received rests with the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, which submits its award proposal to the Foundation Board. The Foundation Board makes decisions on the award of grants based on this proposal.

The distribution of grants among the scientific disciplines supported by the Foundation is based on the quality of the applications. In assessing quality, emphasis is placed on the reception and impact of the applicant’s previous achievements, as well as on the innovativeness and novelty of the proposed research. Other considerations in the assessment of quality include the applicant’s collaborative network and international mobility. Support for post-doctoral research is only granted to researchers showing clear potential for pursuing a successful scientific career.

Among the various forms of support, priority is given to personal work grants. As a general rule, grants awarded to doctoral and post-doctoral researchers cover the entire period of time needed to complete the work. Hence, doctoral students may be supported for up to four years and post-doctoral researchers for two or three years. Where appropriate, grants may also be awarded for shorter periods. For example, short-term grants may be awarded for the completion of a doctoral dissertation, or in the form of transitional support between a dissertation and post-doctoral research, or to young researchers returning from abroad.Recipients of multiannual funding are to report on the progress of their projects annually.

Grants may also be awarded for research carried out on a part-time basis.

Travel grants are mainly awarded for longer stays at foreign universities or research institutes. No priority is given to conference travel.

Each year the Foundation awards a major prize to an outstanding researcher. The scientific discipline in which the prize is awarded alternates between mathematics, physics and astronomy, and chemistry inclusive of medicinal chemistry.


The Walter and Lisi Wahl Fund primarily provides grants for the purchase of equipment.

The scientific assessment of applications and the decision-making process is based on the same rules as applied to ordinary annual awards.

The number of annual grants varies from 0 to 2. If no grants are awarded in any one year, they may be greater in number or amount in the following year.


Aside from ordinary grants, the Foundation may make major strategic investments.

Examples of such strategic investments include donations to recapitalise universities, special investments in any of the disciplines supported by the Foundation, and joint investments with the other Ehrnrooth Foundations.

Major project funding for flagship projects and cutting-edge research with a special emphasis on international activities and multidisciplinary research may also be considered.

The initiatives for strategic funding must be linked to the disciplines supported by the Foundation.

Proposals for strategic initiatives are made by the Foundation’s Board or the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, which is also responsible for the scientific assessment of the proposals.

This policy was adopted by the Board of the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters on 23
August 2021 and by the Board of the Magnus Ehrnrooth Foundation on 25 August 2021.