Academy Research Fellows of high international quality selected in natural sciences and engineering

3 Jun 2021

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering has decided to grant funding for 22 new posts as Academy Research Fellow. The total funding for the new Academy Research Fellows comes to around 10 million euros. Women account for 18 per cent of the funding recipients, and 22 per cent of the applicants.

In addition to a salary appropriation, the Academy Research Fellows will receive funding to cover costs of setting up a research team and other research costs. The Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering has set earmarked nearly 9 million euros to fund the research costs of the new Academy Research Fellows over the next five years.

The reviewers gave an excellent rating (6 or 5) to 43 per cent of the applications. The overall success rate was around 9 per cent. In the funding decisions, the Research Council emphasised the applicant’s personal competence and the high scientific quality of the proposed research.

Reko Leino, the Chair of the Research Council, said: “Our long-term investment in ensuring a sufficient number of Postdoctoral Researcher posts seems to bear fruit. Former Postdoctoral Researchers are very successful in applying for Academy Research Fellow posts. The high level of applicants across the board indicates that Finland has a large number of internationally competitive early-career researchers in natural sciences and engineering. Of course, it’s a pity that so many of the excellent applicants could not be funded.”

Examples of funded Academy Research Fellows

Andreas Hauptmann (University of Oulu) will pioneer the necessary methodological advancements needed to enable Accurate Imaging with Sound and Light (AI-SOL) in biomedical imaging. The project combines artificial intelligence and mathematical theory in the novel field of learned image reconstruction to provide interpretable and reliable images for diagnosis. All methods will be collaboratively developed and integrated with engineers to enable a realisation and adoption of novel imaging devices for the healthcare sector.

Eliisa Lotsari (University of Eastern Finland) will study the impacts of defrosting sedimentary systems on three rivers in Norther Finland and Northern Sweden and on their seasonal river ice and hydro-morphodynamics, and ultimately determine the present and future watershed scale total sediment delivery. The project improves our understanding of long-term river dynamics by integrating unique field data, novel chilled flume experiments, remote sensing and new numerical model approaches. The new theories and future forecasts of seasonal river dynamics and their impacts on societies and ecosystems in cold climate regions can provide information for decision-making, environmental protection, building of infrastructure and sustaining a safe and sustainable society.

Hao Zeng (Tampere University) heads a project that aims to develop a smart-material-based small-scale flying robot that can be driven by using light energy. The key is to obtain highly sensitive aircraft wings to interact with the air flow, and a fast and robust actuator to produce efficient air thrust. The project will focus especially on aerodynamics and unconventional robotic design, which makes the project highly challenging. The outcomes of the project have potential to broaden the views of material sciences and open new prospects in microrobotics.

Inquiries and more information

Academy of Finland Communications
Vesa Varpula, Communications Specialist
tel. +358 295 335 131

Do you have questions or feedback for us?