NEURO accelerated careers of junior researchers
The Academy of Finland’s Research Programme on Neuroscience (NEURO) encouraged researchers involved in the programme to active international cooperation, stimulated mobility and established new forms of research collaboration. The programme also provided positions for doctoral- and postdoctoral-level researchers and supported the career development of junior researchers. These are among the key findings of the NEURO evaluation report.
The NEURO programme ran from 2006 through to 2009 and its objective was to support multidisciplinary research in neuroscience and increase collaboration between different sectors of neuroscience research. Another objective was to bring cohesion to scattered research environments and promote versatile researcher training. The programme also involved new international funding cooperation with Canadian and Chinese research funding agencies.
According to the international panel that evaluated the programme, the objectives of the NEURO programme were very ambitious and challenging, but as the funded projects were quite successful, many of the objectives were also met. “However, an attempt to analyse the added value of the programme was difficult, as most research groups received simultaneously substantial amounts of funding from other sources. This probably explains why so much was achieved with a relatively modest level of programme funding,” the panel concludes.
The panel further notes that neuroscience-related communication to the media and the general public was greatly accelerated during the course of the programme, so the specific programme objective to make neuroscience largely known and disseminate its research results was well achieved.
The evaluation panel proposes that an extended neuroscience programme with a narrower focus on the integration of cognitive and molecular neurobiology be launched by the Academy of Finland. The evaluation panel was chaired by Professor Eero Vuorio (Biocenter Finland, University of Helsinki) and the other panel members were Professor Sten Grillner (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden), Dr Pierre Drapeau (Université de Montréal, Canada) and Dr Zhi-Qi Xiong (Institute of Neuroscience, China).
The evaluation report of the NEURO research programme is available on the Academy of Finland website at www.aka.fi/publications > Publication series.
The Academy of Finland’s Research Programme on Neuroscience (NEURO, www.aka.fi/neuro) was carried out in 2006–2009. The programme was designed to support high-level multidisciplinary research and further strengthen collaboration and networking among researchers. The programme was implemented in cooperation with Canadian and Chinese research funding agencies.
Programme Manager Mika Tirronen, Academy of Finland, tel. +358 40 702 7462, mika.tirronen(at)aka.fi
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