Criteria for Grant

What are grants awarded for?

The Nessling Foundation awards funding for scientific research that furthers environmental protection, as well as for the communication and implementation of research findings. Funding is awarded for projects whose results are applicable to Finnish environmental protection and societal decision-making, or which otherwise support Finland’s environmental goals.

In particular, the Foundation supports solution-oriented projects that promote collaboration between different parties and the transfer of knowledge to its users. A communication and interaction plan describing the collaboration with the project’s stakeholders must be filled out in the grant application.

The Foundation encourages cooperation between different scientific disciplines due to the complexity, global nature and interconnectedness of environmental problems and challenges. For example, two postdoctoral researchers from different disciplines can apply for support for a shared project with their own applications. The Foundation also funds novel research and collaboration proposals that are suitable for funding and found in the interface or middle ground between scientific disciplines.

Who can apply for a grant?

  • We award personal working grants along with funding for other research costs for PhD and postdoctoral projects. The applicant is the grant recipient him/herself. In the 2017 application process, the size of a personal grant is 24,000 euros a year for a PhD researcher and 28,000 euros a year for a postdoc researcher. 
    • We are currently emphasising the applications of postdoctoral researchers. 
    • We fund PhD work if the project is just beginning or less than halfway through.
    • A postdoc project applicants must have completed their doctoral thesis no more than five years ago.
    • The working grant can also be used at a non-Finnish research institute. At the Nessling Foundation, the mobility of researchers is a plus.
  • Grants for the communication or implementation of scientific environmental information can be applied for by private persons, communities or organizations.
  • Please note: Each applicant can only submit one application. Funding will not be awarded for a new project if the applicant already has a Nessling project currently in progress.


The supported themes are divided in four groups

1. Natural sciences

- Atmospheric research
- Research on the water environment
- Research on terrestrial and soil ecosystems

2. Research and development in environmental technology

3. Social sciences

- Environmental management
- Environmental legislation
- Environmental policy
- Other relevant disciplines

4. Communication of environmental knowledge

- Scientific conferences and meetings
- Events, publications and other actions enhancing the spread of research results and environmental knowledge in public discussion and decision-making.

The main criteria for the funding

  • Solution orientation and societal relevance of the research results
  • Scientific quality and innovativeness of the research
  • Scientific competence of the applicant and the research group
  • Collaboration with other researchers / research groups /organizations
  • Communication and interaction with stakeholders (especially with end-users of the results)
  • Training environment (for PhD studies)