Foundations as funders

Foundations and other private funders support the research and teaching at the University of Helsinki in many different ways. They may, for example, direct their funding to establish new research fields, to fund a researcher's employment or to support the University's internationalisation efforts. Find out about the different funding methods and read foundation testimonials. Contact us whenever you need further information.

Donations from foundations to the University of Helsinki make new innovations and multidisciplinary research possible. For example, professorships established with funding donated by foundations can attract ground-breaking experts in their field and bring new generations of scholars and students to the research area. A permanent professorship can be established with a 2.5 million-euro donation, and a fixed-term five-year professorship with a 600,000-euro donation. For permanent professorships, the University establishes a fund with the donation and uses the annual profits from the fund to finance the professor’s work. Read more on making a donation >>

Donations from foundations may also be earmarked for research or students in a particular field, or used to fund international visiting programmes, for example.

Foundations grant several million euros to the University of Helsinki in research funding. The research funding is primarily allocated to University units, researchers and research groups through the foundations' own application procedures.

The University of Helsinki is an international research university, currently placing 56th in a ranking of the academic performance of universities. The University of Helsinki is also a founding member of the League of European Research Universities, LERU, an association of twenty of Europe's most esteemed universities.

An international approach is one of the key factors of the University of Helsinki’s success. The internationally renowned University attracts the best researchers and students from all over the world to Finland to help make Finland’s best university one of the top 50 universities in the world whose research is well able to solve the major challenges facing the world today.

Foundations can use their funding to directly support the internationalisation of the University, its researchers and students.

The University of Helsinki believes that a researcher’s career should be protected by an employment contract. Foundations can support researchers at different stages of their careers by endowing dedicated employment positions. An endowed position is better suited to full-time research than a grant and provides the researcher with employment benefits, such as occupational health care and parental leave.

The University of Helsinki’s own Research Foundation began to support researchers with endowed positions in the spring of 2014. In the first round of applications, positions funded by the Research Foundation were granted to 13 researchers working on their doctoral dissertations in the University’s doctoral schools. The position of the researchers working in endowed positions is equivalent to that of other researchers holding the position of doctoral student at the doctoral schools.  The only differences are the researcher’s title, which indicates the funder, the requirement to submit an annual report to the foundation detailing the progress of the dissertation research and the requirement to speak about the research at foundation events when requested. Read more about the Research Foundation’s endowed positions (in Finnish) >>

Suomen Luonnonvarain Säätiö Foundation also supports research as employment contracts, read more (in Finnish) at Palkasta turvaa tutkijalle.

Foundations can continue to fund dissertations and other research by offering grants directly to applicants. Information about grant applications at the national database Aurora.

Foundations can also support students directly. They can, for example, make a donation to one of the University’s donation funds supporting students, or grant funding to students through the foundation’s own application procedure. For example, the Ilkka Kontula Foundation bestows incentive grants every year to students of the Faculty of Law at the University of Helsinki and the Aalto University School of Business. A holder of Master's degrees in both law and economy, Ilkka Kontula, who passed away in 2012, wanted his bequest to help students with their everyday studies.The annual grants are intended for second-year students who have progressed successfully in their studies.

Read more about the policies of the Ilkka Kontula Foundation (in Finnish).