Research Council for Culture and Society selected new Academy Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Researchers

27 Apr 2012

At its meeting on 27 April 2012, the Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Culture and Society decided to fund 16 new Academy Research Fellows and 46 new Postdoctoral Researchers. The funding period will start 1 September 2012. The Research Council allocated a total of some EUR 6.5 million towards the salaries of the Academy Research Fellows and EUR 12.3 million towards the salaries of the Postdoctoral Researchers.

Within the Academy’s September 2011 call, the Research Council received 125 applications for research posts as Academy Research Fellow and 240 applications for research posts as Postdoctoral Researcher. The selected Academy Research Fellows have completed their doctorate no more than 3–9 years ago, whereas the Postdoctoral Researchers have just recently gained theirs. Academy Research Fellows are appointed for five years and Postdoctoral Researchers for three years.

The aim of the funding for Academy Research Fellow is to provide an opportunity for the most talented and advanced researchers to develop their skills in academic leadership and establish themselves as independent researchers. Postdoctoral Researcher funding is designed to advance the professional competence and independence of promising researchers.

The funding for Academy Research Fellows covers the researcher’s salary and the appointees can also apply for funding for research costs from the Academy. The funding for Postdoctoral Researchers covers both the salary costs and necessary research costs to carry out the set research plan.

The new Academy Research Fellows are researching topics such as the following:

Marja Tiilikainen (University of Helsinki) is exploring the experiences, construction and organisation of human security in transnational Somali families in Finland, Canada and Somalia. The project will provide a comparative understanding of how Muslims in Europe, North America and the Horn of Africa experience and tactically live in insecurity and ambiguity in terms of being Muslims, and how a sense of security is being created in the context of transnational families, everyday Islam and nation-state structures. The research will produce novel theoretical and empirical insights into the intersection of human security, Islam, immigration, transnational families and counter-terrorism policies. The findings will be directly relevant to policy-making in terms of national security, anti-terrorism and policing, and, more widely, to local governance.

Päivi Karhunen (Aalto University) is researching the influence of institutions on foreign business strategies in emerging economies. The first objective is to analyse the impact of sub-national institutions on foreign firms’ location choices among Russian regions against statistical data on foreign-owned firms in Russia. The second objective is to find out whether the institutional framework in an emerging economy influences different types of firms in a different way, leading to heterogeneity in performance among firms in the same industry.

The new Postdoctoral Researchers are researching e.g. the following topics:

Tuija Huuki (University of Oulu) is investigating gender equity, conflict and power among young children in children’s peer and relationship cultures at schools and pre-schools. The aim of the three-year longitudinal study is to contribute to our understanding of how gender cultures, gendered peer hierarchies, gender conflicts and compassion all mediate and shape children’s relationships with each other. Building on the findings from a Finnish and UK pilot project on five- and six-year-olds’ gendered relationship cultures, the research will further investigate how everyday expressions of compassion and cruelty are experienced and negotiated over time from the time the children are six until they are eight. The project will generate qualitative data over two years by using innovative ethnographic, participatory and creative multimedia methods.

Jukka Partanen (Aalto University) is researching high-growth small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their networks. High-growth SMEs play a significant role in terms of creating new jobs and innovations. The theoretical objective is to unveil the complex interplay between high growth and networks by analysing the impact of network types and the network resources on firm performance, and by assessing the evolution and the management practices of networks along the process of high growth. The results will also be valuable to practitioners such as SME managers, future entrepreneurs (i.e. students) and national policy-makers. The project is also expected to produce models and frames of reference to better analyse and explain new SMEs and their networks.

More information:

  • Academy Research Fellows: Science Adviser Jyrki Hakapää, tel. +358 9 7748 8277, jyrki.hakapaa(at), and Science Adviser Päivi Messo-Lindén, tel. +358 9 7748 8224, paivi.messo-linden(at)
  • Postdoctoral Researchers: Science Adviser Tiina Forsman, tel. +358 9 7748 8443, tiina.forsman(at)
  • List of all funding recipients:  (Year of decision: 2012, Funding source: Research Council for Culture and Society, Call: 2011 Academy Research Fellow, or 2011 Postdoctoral Researcher). At the top of the list, there is also a link to a release with detailed statistics.

Academy of Finland Communications
Communications Specialist Vesa Varpula
tel. +358 9 7748 8458

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