Funding granted to new Academy Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Researchers in the field of culture and society

29 Apr 2016

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Culture and Society has granted funding to 20 new Academy Research Fellows and 30 new Postdoctoral Researchers. The Research Council received a total of 356 applications for Postdoctoral Research funding and 176 applications for Academy Research Fellow funding. The funding was open for application in the Academy’s September 2015 call. The Research Council’s total funding for the research posts was some 16.5 million euros. The Academy provides funding and expertise with a view to advancing the quality and impact of scientific research, renewing science and developing research environments in Finland.

Research posts as Academy Research Fellow are intended for experienced researchers for independent scientific work according to a set research plan. The aim of the funding is to provide a fixed-term opportunity for talented researchers to gain competence for the most demanding research posts or other expert positions. The funding covers the researcher's salary for five years.

The aim of the Academy of Finland’s funding for research posts as Postdoctoral Researcher is to advance the professional competence of the most talented researchers who have recently completed their doctoral degree and to enable them to establish themselves as independent researchers. The funding is granted for three years.

The researchers who were granted funding will study a broad range of topics, covering topical phenomena such as those related to families, education and political influence. Research topics include child maintenance in changing family relations, preconditions for EU lobbying, the tech-savviness of teacher students, gendered power relations among primary pupils and the opportunities of deliberative democracy.

Russia is a popular research topic among the funding recipients. The researchers will study, for example, the reform of the child welfare system, westerners working in Russia and enemy images in different eras. The will also explore the effects of music therapy on brain injuries and Alzheimer’s disease, how people understand other people’s consciousness and the objectivity of democratising science.

Examples of funded Academy Research Fellows:

Hironori Akechi (University of Tampere) studies the concept of unconscious mind reading. He maintains that humans are sensitive to other people’s mental states. We can interpret what another person sees, wants and believes based on that person’s actions. We even understand that other people may have beliefs that differ from our own beliefs. This ability is called the theory of mind. Akechi aims to examine whether humans can understand another person’s mind without conscious awareness of the stimulus. He will investigate five phenomena: pupil dilation mimicry, contagious yawning, agency attribution, anticipation of action goals and belief tracking.

Tuija Huuki (University of Oulu) aims to generate new knowledge of how gender-based violence shapes pre-teen (ages 10–12) relationship cultures. In particular, Huuki will investigate how gendered violence emerges through social, material, historical and affective power relations that affect children’s lives in expected and unexpected ways. In addition, she will explore the affordances of arts-based participatory methods in enabling safe articulation of often sensitive and taboo experiences, among both children and policymakers and practitioners. The research will also make good use of multisensory ethnographic and art-based methods. The overall objective of the research is to shed light on gender-based power relations among pre-teen children and to develop tools with which to study sensitive issues concerning children’s peer and relationship cultures.

Examples of funded Postdoctoral Researchers:

Inkeri Koskinen (University of Helsinki) will explore the democratisation of science as a challenge to objectivity. Researchers today have plenty of collaboration with extra-academic agents and utilise extra-academic knowledge in their work. Participatory and activist research and other democratic forms of scientific knowledge production are often supposed to be policy-relevant. However, the democratisation of science does not guarantee objectivity. Koskinen’s project aims to outline ways and develop philosophical criteria for assessing the objectivity of academic, more democratic scientific research.

Mari Huhtala (University of Jyväskylä) studies moral work identity. Despite the importance of understanding and preventing unethical behaviour at work, there are still significant gaps in our knowledge of how the moral self and moral motivation operate in organisational contexts. Huhtala will investigate both the individual and organisational antecedents of moral work identity development among employees and managers. Moral work identity is defined as a part of the moral self, which includes personal moral values and the degree of self-awareness about them. Huhtala uses a mixed-method study design that combines qualitative interviews and longitudinal questionnaire-based datasets.

More information

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

Last modified 11 May 2016
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