Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation: General Call - Personal Grants

Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation

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Grant amount: €26,000 - €30,000

Anticipated deadline: Sep 13, 2020

Applicant type: Postdoctoral Researcher PhD Student

Funding uses: Fellowship, Research

Location of project: Finland

Location of residency: Finland

Degree requirements: Applicants must be within 5 years of receiving their PhD

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The Nessling Foundation awards funding for scientific research promoting environmental protection, and for the communication and implementation of research knowledge. 

  • We award personal working grants along with funding for other research costs for PhD and postdoctoral projects.
  • We award grants for the communication or implementation of scientific environmental information that can be applied for by private persons, communities or organizations.
    • See separate grant page here

In the general call, you can apply for a grant for 1) doctoral thesis research, 2) postdoc research or 3) the communication and implementation of scientific environmental information. The Foundation emphasises the applications of postdoctoral researchers in research projects. In doctoral theses, we emphasise novel proposals in particular. In the application criteria we emphasise the communication and interaction plan.

Each applicant can submit only one application in one category.

Personal Grants

The research grant can be awarded for several years at a time for the same project: a maximum of four years for doctoral thesis research and a maximum of two years for postdoc research. Grants are awarded for the entire grant period, but we require annual reports on the project.

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:

  • Climate change
  • Biodiversity loss
  • Sustainability of the use of natural resources
  • Water risks
  • Chemicalization and pollution

The project applied for can also be systemic and solve more than one of the phenomena mentioned above.

Estimated Duration of the project: Maximum 4 years for doctoral thesis projects, maximum 2 years for postdoc projects.

Main funding criteria for research 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/organisations
  • Communicating about the research and interacting with stakeholders (especially knowledge users)
  • Educational environment (if applying for a doctoral thesis grant)

What are Grants Awarded For

The Foundation primarily awards funding for solution-oriented postdoc projects and doctoral thesis projects whose results have a systematic and scalable impact on the progress of environmental protection. We also support the communication and 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. For example, two postdocs from different fields can apply for support for a joint project with their own applications or the research project applied for can be done in collaboration with a company. 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.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Who can apply for a grant?
    • We award personal working grants along with funding for possible research costs for postdoc projects and doctoral thesis projects. We are currently emphasising the applications of postdoc researchers. In the 2018 application process, the size of a personal grant is 26,000 euros a year for a doctoral thesis researcher and 30,000 euros a year for a postdoc researcher.
      • 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.
      • 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.
    • We award project grants for the communication or implementation of scientific environmental information, which can be applied for by private persons, communities or organisations.


  • Funding will not be awarded for a new project if the applicant already has a Nessling project in progress.
  • Grants are not awarded for finalising doctoral theses or other research projects.
  • A personal grant will not be paid to a researcher who simultaneously earns a salary from a full-time position or duty, nor during parental leave or military service.
    • The grant will also not be paid simultaneously with sickness allowance.