First-rate early-career researchers granted Postdoctoral Researcher funding in social sciences and humanities research

4 May 2022

The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Culture and Society today allocated funding for 29 new posts as Postdoctoral Researcher.

Postdoctoral Researcher funding supports the most talented researchers who have recently completed their doctoral degree in gaining competence for demanding researcher or expert positions. It is also aimed at assisting the transition towards an independent research career. The Research Council made the decisions emphasising the high scientific quality of the application, the qualifications of the applicant, objectives concerning international collaboration, academic and societal impact, and scientific renewal.

According to Professor Petri Karonen, Chair of the Research Council, the Research Council again granted Postdoctoral Researcher funding to first-rate early-career researchers. Karonen said: “The projects that were granted funding effectively combine high-quality research with high impact and scientific renewal. In our funding decisions, we also paid attention to the diversity of the disciplines the Research Council represents.”

As in the Academy of Finland’s other funding schemes, Postdoctoral Researchers are required to be closely connected to the Finnish scientific community so that the funding benefits Finnish research and society. The funding is intended for the Postdoctoral Researcher’s salary, personal research costs as well as international and national mobility.

This year, the Research Council’s total funding for research posts as Postdoctoral Researcher comes to some 7 million euros. The funding is granted for three years. The success rate was approximately 12 per cent. Some of the applications will decided at a later date because of clarifications related to connections to and cooperation with Russia or Belarus. Around 62 per cent of the funded Postdoctoral Researchers are women.

Examples of grantees:

Anna Hägglund (University of Turku) will examine the impact of parenthood on mothers’ and fathers’ wages. In her demographic analysis, Hägglund will investigate how the consequences of parenthood vary between different socioeconomic groups and genders in Finland and the Nordic countries. She will study the issue using, among other things, population register data from the countries concerned. The upcoming family leave reform in Finland and changes in the birth rate underline the topicality of the research.

Laura Kohonen-Aho (University of Oulu) studies social interaction in multi-user virtual reality (VR). Digital interaction and the use of artificial virtual environments is on the rise, which creates a need for new research knowledge. Kohonen-Aho’s multidisciplinary research aims to increase our understanding of how interaction and, for example, shared understanding are built in multi-user VR. Another objective is to identify whether the use of VR potentially results in completely new forms of social action.

Stefano Lombardi (VATT Institute for Economic Research) will investigate how economic recessions affect inequality. How do economic crises, like those triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, affect the health and socioeconomic trajectories of different groups of students and workers? What determines differences in lifetime health and socioeconomic trajectories among students, workers and employers? The project will provide data on the impact of economic crises to inform policymakers and, for example, decision-making on public health policy.

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