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Research Council for Biosciences, Health and the Environment granted funding for high-quality and innovative research

15 Apr 2019

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Biosciences, Health and the Environment has decided to fund 38 new posts as Postdoctoral Researcher. Besides high scientific quality of the application and qualifications of the applicant, the Council emphasized the importance of the applicant’s international mobility and their opportunities of becoming independent during the project. Postdoctoral Researchers are expected to have effective national or international networks. They are also encouraged to engage in international mobility and collaboration. The aim of the funding for research posts as Postdoctoral Researcher is to support the most promising researchers who have recently completed their doctoral degree in gaining competence for demanding researcher or expert positions.

The Councils funding for Postdoctoral Researchers totals around 10.3 million euros. The funding period is three years. The success rate was 15 per cent. Around 66 per cent of the funded Postdoctoral Researchers are women. 62 per cent of the applicants were women.

“Many of the applications for funding as a Postdoctoral Researcher were of scientifically high quality. However, the Council can only grant funding for some. The Council decided to fund especially dynamic and promising researchers, who had written a scientifically excellent and innovative application,” says Ursula Schwab, professor and chair of the Research Council for Biosciences, Health and the Environment. All the funded applications received a rating of either 6 or 5.

As per the Academy of Finland’s general funding policy, Postdoctoral Researchers are required to be closely connected to the Finnish scientific community so that the funding benefits Finnish research and society. This means that the funding will be administered by a Finnish organisation. The funding is intended for the Postdoctoral Researcher’s salary, personal research costs as well as international and national mobility.

The Council funded several scientifically excellent Postdoctoral Researchers, including:

Eeva Eronen-Rasimus from the University of Helsinki studies the distribution, gene regulation and ecological significance of the proteorhodopsin bacteria in the sea ice and the water under the ice in the Arctic and the Baltic. Proteorhodopsin are little known bacteria that produce energy from light. The research results can be utilised in assessing how sea ice reducing due to climate change impacts the biogeochemical cycles of the sea.

Mari Lehti from the University of Turku examines the role the tail of the sperm plays in the inheritance of acquired characteristics. Acquired characteristics include some metabolic disorders, for example. The research results are useful in developing the diagnosing and treatment of male infertility. They help us understand why metabolic disorders have become more common.

Vadim Le Joncour from the University of Helsinki investigates the background factors of how aggressive brain cancer cells spread. The resulting knowledge can be used in developing new forms of therapies. Additionally, Le Joncour analyses the genetic fingerprint of aggressive cancer cells, which means he identifies the genes that manifest differently from the genes of other cells in the tumor. The research results help us understand the spreading mechanisms of brain cancer cells and find new target molecules for the development of medicines.

Anna Repo from the Natural Resources Institute Finland studies how the global pathways of carbon offsetting that rely on heavy increases in bioenergy impact land use and reaching biodiversity goals. Additionally, Repo examines the the ways land use steering and forestry can control the conflicts in land use while reducing climate change and protecting biodiversity.

  • Funding decisions
  • Funding criteria and policies of the Research Council for Biosciences, Health and the Environment
  • Science Adviser Outi Ala-Honkola, tel. +358 295 335 029, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
  • Science Adviser Laura Forsström, tel. +358 295 335 041, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
  • Senior Science Adviser Sirpa Nuotio, tel. +358 295 335 082, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
  • Science Adviser Rita Rinnankoski-Tuikka, tel. +358 295 335 096, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi
  • Science Adviser Vesa Yli-Pelkonen, tel. +358 295 335 095, firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi

Academy of Finland Communications
Vesa Varpula, Communications Specialist
tel. +358 295 335 131
firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi

Last modified 15 Apr 2019
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