Application instructions for the Sibelius Academy Foundation’s grants

The Sibelius Academy Foundation awards grants on an annual basis to support Sibelius Academy students in their studies. Grants are one way of helping students graduate within the target duration of studies.

The next student grant application period will be open from 4 December 2023 to 22 January 2024. The application period will end on Monday, 22 January, at 16:00 (Finnish time), and applications submitted after the deadline will not be processed. Applications are sent in an online service. The link to the service is available further down on this page. Decisions on grant recipients will be made by the board of the Sibelius Academy Foundation on April 5, 2024. All applicants will be notified of the decision by email.

Read the application instructions below carefully!

Who can apply for the grant?

Only an attending degree student or Junior Academy student can apply for the grant. Doctoral students can apply, too. Exchange students cannot be awarded the grant. Students who have made good progress in their studies are prioritised in grant decisions.

An applicant can be awarded a grant for only one personal grant purpose, and it is not possible to apply for the grant on behalf of someone else.  A grant that has been applied for as a member of a working group is not considered a personal grant, which means that it does not decrease the chances of being awarded a grant for a personal purpose. Being awarded a graduation incentive grant (as a bachelor’s graduate) also does not decrease the chances of being awarded a grant for a personal purpose.

What can the grant be used for?

Grants are awarded only for activities that promote studies. These activities include master and summer classes, competition trips, a Certificate in Educational Administration, seminar expenses and studies that are completed elsewhere but included in the degree. In this year’s grant decisions, priority is given to projects that are related to promoting a sustainable future and that take ecological and social sustainability into consideration.

  • Ecological sustainability: Projects take the environmental effects of the project into consideration, for example. In practice, this may mean that the mode of transport is train instead of airplane, for example.
  • Social sustainability: The project pays special attention to society, equality, human rights or inclusion. Art is brought to people who cannot attend cultural events themselves, for example, or the project focuses on improving the equality of artists.

What can the grant not be used for?

  • acquiring instruments or equipment
  • covering the student’s living expenses (housing, dining etc.)
  • master classes taught by the applicant’s own teacher
  • supporting international exchange studies
  • applicant’s own remuneration
  • expenses incurred after graduation

For which time period can I apply for the grant?

The grant can be used at any time between the grant decision date (April 5, 2024) and the end of the following year of the decision. It is not possible to apply for the grant for something that has already been carried out before the grant decision. An exception to this are travel grants awarded to Junior Academy students.

The grant will be returned to the fund at the end of the calendar year when the grant has been awarded if the grant recipient has not notified their payment details by that date. After this, the student is no longer entitled to the grant.

What makes a good application?

A good application is carefully planned and written. It is realistic and presents all the information requested in the form. The budget is presented clearly. It gives the reader a clear understanding of what the grant will be used for and how it will benefit the applicant’s studies.

What is the maximum amount for the grant?

Applicants are not restricted when it comes to the amount of the grant that they can apply for, but there are certain grant purposes where maximum amounts are applied. This guarantees the equal treatment of students.

Master classes, competitions and seminars

  • Master class, competition or seminar in Finland, max 500 euros
  • Master class, competition or seminar in Europe, max 850 euros
  • Master class, competition or seminar outside of Europe, max 1 100 euros

On a discretionary basis, accommodation and travel expenses can be covered by grants awarded for master classes, competitions and seminars, but only in case the maximum amounts stated above are not exceeded. 

Grant or wage?

The grant recipient may use their grant to hire additional workforce or for composition commissions, but not for the recipient’s own wages. If you apply for the grant to cover performance fees for musicians assisting in your concert, it is your personal responsibility to take care of the general employer obligations, including withholding of tax and indirect costs.

However, it is important to remember that no employment pension insurance is paid for composition commissions, and instead, the composer takes care of their own pension insurance. No other “salary-related indirect expenses” must be paid for commissioned compositions.

The Sibelius Academy Foundation does not offer guidance in how to pay for employer obligations; the recipient must personally look into them.

Visit the website of the Society of Finnish Composers.

Do grant recipients pay taxes for grants?

In principle, income tax is not paid for grants. The Sibelius Academy Foundation is a private foundation, which means that the awarded grants in total are exempt from taxes up until the amount of the annual artist grant awarded by the State (25 547,52 euros in 2023).

If the amount of the grant is at least 1,000 euros, the Foundation will report the grant to the Tax Administration. The information is included in the pre-completed tax return. Grants are regarded as income for the tax year in which they are paid.

If the grant is awarded to a group of people, it is usually only shown on the pre-completed tax return of the person who applied for the grant. In this case, the members of the working group report the grant to the tax authorities themselves.

Read more about the grants and taxes here

What happens after the application period?

Heads of departments choose teachers who will serve as experts and rank the applications based on the application criteria. A teacher cannot assess the applications of their own students.

The foundation officer will assess the selection of applications in relation to the total amount of grants to be allocated each year by the board. The applications are allocated to suitable funds.

The dean makes the final proposal on grant recipients for the board of the Foundation, which then approves the proposal. Grant recipients are notified of the decision right after the Foundation’s board meeting. They are also notified of the date by which the payment details must be submitted. The grants will be paid in one instalment in May.

A student of the Sibelius Academy’s Junior Academy

It is possible to apply for the grant to cover travel expenses due to Junior Academy studies if the expenses are exceptionally high. Special consideration is applied when awarding travel grants for Junior Academy studies, because the affordable price of the Junior Academy instruction is a way of supporting students in and of itself. Principles for awarding travel grants for Junior Academy studies differ from other grants in the way that it is possible to apply for the grant retroactively to cover travel expenses of the ongoing academic year (autumn-spring). The travel grant that is being applied for must be based on the expenses incurred using the most affordable means of travelling available.

Other principles

  • The student must keep the documents, e.g. the receipts, related to the use of the grant. If the grant is at least 1,000 euros, the student is asked to give a report on the use of the grant by the end of the calendar year when the grant has been awarded. The student cannot apply for another grant until they have submitted the report. If requested, students must give a report on the use of smaller grants, too. Neglecting the duty of submitting the report may lead to rejection of any new grant applications.
  • The grant must be used for the purpose that it has been awarded for. If the grant has been used for some other purpose than what it was originally awarded for, and the student has not been given a permission to do so, the grant will be recovered. Students can apply for a permission to change the purpose of use by sending a freely formulated application in writing to the foundation officer and head of department. Students must provide a new budget and a clear description of why the grant purpose should be changed and how the new proposal would support their studies in their application. Without providing this information, the proposal for changes will be rejected automatically, and the student cannot appeal against the decision. In this case, the sum of the grant must be paid back to the Foundation.

Instructions for using the online system for grant application

Applications are submitted in the Aspicore system. The application must be submitted by 22 January 2024 at 16:00 (Finnish time). Submit your application in good time to avoid busy traffic in the service!

Register for the service by using your Uniarts email address, which also serves as your username. Your password must contain at least 8 characters, one of which must be a number. If you forget your password, we can send a link to your email address so that you can change your password. 

Register for the online system

Accuracy of information and commitment

  • The student is responsible for providing all the requested information and for providing only accurate information (e.g. the number of acquired ECTS credits). Applications that are incomplete will not be considered.
  • Applicants must be honest in their answers to questions about other grants that they have received or applied for.
  • Applicants must list all the grants that they have received within the last three years regardless of which organisation has awarded the grants.
  • Grant applicants must be committed to following the instructions of the fund and executing the plan that is described in their application.

If you have questions about the content of the application or the application process in general, you can send a question to the foundation officer or the grant coordinator either directly in the online system (by clicking the letter icon at the top corner of the page) or by email.

Aspicore application system

More information

Anni Pokki
Foundation officer  
050 476 69 61

Anne Rönkkö
Trainee, grants
050 407 73 37