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 funding totals about 10 million euros. The granted funding covers the Academy Research Fellow’s own salary. The researchers will also be invited to submit a separate application for funding to cover their research costs. The funding is allocated to the Academy Research Fellow’s research organisation, which manages the use of funding.
This year, 48 per cent of the Academy Research Fellows applications received a rating of 6 or 5, which is a higher percentage than in previous years. The overall success rate was around 10 per cent. In its funding decisions, the Research Council emphasised the applicant’s personal competence and the high scientific quality of the proposed research. The Research Council also aimed to support research of a wide scope within its domain.
Professor Leena Ukkonen, Chair of the Research Council, said: “The funded researchers are highly distinguished and have extensive networks. The competition for Academy Research Fellow funding is extremely fierce in natural sciences and engineering, and unfortunately many excellent applicants cannot be funded.”
Examples of funded researchers:
Nina Gieseler (University of Turku) will analyse solar energetic electrons and the role of shock waves as their accelerators. The Sun is an active star that occasionally produces explosive eruptions and accelerates particles such as electrons and protons into high energies. These particles can damage technology and pose a radiation hazard to humans in space or at flight altitudes. Particle eruptions are part of space weather. In order to develop reliable warning systems, we need to understand the origins of these eruptions. Gieseler will use local and optical measurements from several space missions and collaborate with particle transport and acceleration theorists and modellers to compare observations with model results.
Simo Hosio (University of Oulu) aims to provide the de facto method for the ethical crowdsourcing of domain-specific and clinically relevant text corpora. This can provide insights to address the dearth of high-quality training data for natural language processing (NLP) and consequently rapidly unlock advances in digital health. Ultimately, Hosio’s project will aim to help decrease the global burden of disease and improve people’s quality of life in a scalable and accessible way. The project will also release user-friendly software tools for nontechnical scientists to replicate the data collection, thus ensuring the broader impact of the work.
Juho Lehmusto (Åbo Akademi University) studies high-temperature corrosion reactions. The aim of Lehmusto’s project is to provide new insights into the reaction mechanisms, which would broaden the view on corrosion research, paving the road for new design and material solutions to increase the efficiency and availability of power plants utilising renewable fuels. Currently, impurities in these fuels and the corrosion they cause hamper a wider deployment of power and heat production via thermal processes.
Tuomas Sahlsten (Aalto University) studies a phenomenon called quantum scarring. In quantum scarring, some quantum states manage to escape chaos. Quantum computers are machines that exploit the rules of quantum mechanics to potentially outperform even the fastest supercomputers. However, due to the interferences of the chaotic external world, quantum computers corrupt easily making it difficult to perform computations accurately. Sahlsten’s project aims to design new tools in mathematics that give a new fundamental understanding of how chaos manifests in mathematical models of quantum systems.
Inquiries and more information
- List of funded researchers
- Funding criteria and policies of the Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering
- Summary of reviewer feedback on autumn 2021 call (PDF)
- Jan Bäckman, Science Adviser, tel. +358 295 335 010
- Anna Kalliomäki, Senior Science Adviser, tel. +358 295 335 035
Our email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname(at)aka.fi.
Academy of Finland Communications
Vesa Varpula, Communications Specialist
tel. +358 295 335 131