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Research Council for Culture and Society funds 37 new Postdoctoral Researchers

13 Jun 2017

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Culture and Society has granted funding for 37 new posts as Postdoctoral Researcher. At its decision meeting, the Research Council processed 310 Postdoctoral Researcher applications. The total funding amounts to some 9.5 million euros.

In this round of application, the success rate was nearly 12 per cent. The additional funds allocated to the Academy of Finland in the state budget for 2017 made possible a higher applicant success rate compared to previous years. The additional funds enabled the Research Council for Culture and Society to fund more high-quality applicants than before under the Postdoctoral Researcher funding scheme. Women accounted for 64 per cent of the funding recipients.

The most important funding criteria were the scientific quality of the research plan, the feasibility of the project and the competence of the applicant. As regards the funding of research posts, the Research Council for Culture and Society aims to advance the professional competence of younger researchers. In making its funding decisions on Postdoctoral Researcher grants, the Research Council paid attention to research plans that combine high quality with strong academic and societal impact as well as international mobility.

Examples of funded Postdoctoral Researchers:

Toni Lahtinen (University of Tampere) will study how environmental risks, dystopias and myths have become worldwide phenomena in contemporary literature and popular culture. In these pessimistic portrayals of the near future, humans are often represented as an endangered species heading for extinction. While contemporary literature frequently wrestles with ethical dilemmas concerning nature, it also seeks to express new collective fears and shape collective imagination. Lahtinen’s study will provide new perspectives on the ways in which global environmental risks and the near future are perceived and imagined in Finland and other Western societies. It will improve our understanding of environmental crises as cultural, historical and ethical phenomena.

Vesa-Petri Norilo (University of the Arts Helsinki) was granted funding to examine the modes of human-computer interaction in musical programming. Digital signal processing is applied to everything from capturing or amplifying acoustic instruments to the radically unheard soundscapes of contemporary art and popular music. Norilo maintains that signal processing is luthiery for the digital age. Programming can be conceived as a visual, aural or even kinetic task, further converging the worlds of musical instruments and computers, renewing our views of computer programming, innovation and creativity.

Anniina Leiviskä (University of Eastern Finland) will study the relation between education and democracy from the perspective of social and political inclusion. Many recent phenomena such as xenophobia, racism and the rise of right-wing movements can be associated with the difficulty of including different ethnic and cultural groups and worldviews into a democratic society. However, the exclusion of these groups from democratic practices constitutes a severe legitimacy problem for democratic societies. Leiviskä will thus examine the potential of education to contribute to the development of democratic institutions and practices towards more inclusive and legitimate forms.

Päivi Neuvonen (University of Helsinki) was awarded a Postdoctoral Researcher grant to examine the limits and potential of European legal integration as a tool for empowerment. Private individuals become political actors through resources and capabilities that are often unequally distributed in society. Political empowerment refers to processes that seek to redistribute political and societal power in a more equal way. Neuvonen aims to study whether EU law can create new forms of political agency that change the existing structures of power within or between EU Member States. The findings of Neuvonen’s research will clarify the politics of European legal integration.

Inquiries

Academy of Finland Communications
Vesa Varpula, Communications Specialist
tel. +358 295 335 131
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The Academy of Finland’s mission is to fund high-quality scientific research, provide expertise in science and science policy, and strengthen the position of science and research. In 2017, our funding for research amounts to 437 million euros. Part of the Academy’s funds (€70.7m in 2017) come from proceeds of Finland’s national gaming company Veikkaus.

Last modified 14 Jun 2017
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