Criteria for Grant


The Foundation primarily awards funding for solution-oriented research projects whose results have a systematic and scalable impact on the progress of environmental protection. We also support the implementation of researched environmental information to society.

Environmental challenges are multidisciplinary phenomena, which means that no scientific field can be excluded from our search for solutions. Rather, we encourage researchers to engage in forms of collaboration that break the boundaries of science.

The projects do not have to relate to Finland alone since the phenomenon-based approach is often essentially global. However, the results of the projects supported must be applicable to Finnish environmental protection and societal decision-making or otherwise support Finland’s environmental objectives.

In particular, the Foundation supports projects that promote collaboration between different scientific fields or sectors and the transfer of knowledge to its users. The Foundation also funds novel research and collaboration projects that are suitable for funding and situated in the interface or meeting ground between scientific fields.

 In 2020 we emphasize initiatives seeking an understanding of the interfaces between economy, human health, and the environment.  


Research and other activities supported by the Nessling Foundation are divided into five phenomena related to environmental protection, which we expect the applicants' solutions to be related to. The project applied for can also be systemic and solve more than one of the phenomena mentioned below.

  1. Climate change
  2. Biodiversity loss
  3. Sustainability of the use of natural resources
  4. Water risks
  5. Chemicalization and pollution

This year we have also opened a special call for postdoctoral projects. In the special call, we are looking for multidisciplinary projects on the theme “The economy and human health in the planet’s ecological crisis”. Read more about the special call here


1. We award personal working grants along with funding for possible research costs for doctoral thesis projects

  • The applicant is the research project’s researcher, i.e. the grant recipient him/herself.
  • We fund doctoral thesis work if the project is just beginning or less than halfway through.
  • The working grant can also be used at a non-Finnish research institute. At the Nessling Foundation, the mobility of researchers is a plus.
  • In the 2020 general grant call, the size of a personal grant is 26,000 euros a year for a doctoral thesis researcher.

2. We award project funding for research projects seeking an understanding of the interfaces between economy, human health, and the environment. Read more about the special call here.

  • The applicant, i.e. the project’s responsible leader, should be merited in his or her own field with a doctoral degree, having obtained the degree no more than seven years ago. 
  • The project must include researchers representing at least two different disciplines.
  • The project leader and the other researchers can in the application apply for a personal grant. The amount of personal grant is 32,000 euros for a doctoral researcher and 26,000 euros for a doctoral thesis researcher. 
  • The grants will range from 100,000 to 300,000 euros per project.
  • The length of the research project should be no more than three years.

3. We award project funding to consortia for the implementation and use of scientific environmental information

  • The applicant can be an individual, community or organization.
  • We are looking for co-creation and action projects involving researchers and end-users of information (for example, a company or a municipality).
  • Funding can be applied for projects lasting up to one year.
  • The aim of the projects is to implement existing researched environmental information into action.
  • We award 50,000–100,000 euros to projects.


FOR RESEARCH PROJECTS (doctoral thesis projects and special call projects):

  • Solution orientation, societal relevance and scalability of the results
  • Scientific quality of the research, researcher and research group (if the applicant is doing research as part of a group)
  • Innovativeness of the research
  • Collaboration between the researchers/research groups/organizations
  • Communicating about the research and interacting with stakeholders (especially knowledge users)
  • Educational environment (if applying for a doctoral thesis grant)

FOR OTHER THAN RESEARCH PROJECTS (implementation of researched environmental information):

  • The solution orientation, societal relevance and scalability of the project
  • Know-how and operating environment related to the implementation of the applicant’s (individual or group) project
  • Innovativeness of the project
  • Collaboration and interaction done in the project with the project’s key stakeholders