Åbo Akademi gets nearly 2 million to strengthen the research profiles
The Academy of Finland has made the decisions on the latest round of PROFI funding, aimed at strengthening the research profiles of Finnish universities. The aim of the funding instrument is to support Finnish universities in further improving their research field portfolios and reinforcing the framework conditions for high-quality research. The total funding of 50 million euros was divided between twelve universities. The funding, granted for four years, varies between 400 000 euros and 14 million euros.
Åbo Akademi University gets 1,9 million, and a very good review with 5 out of 6 points. The vice-rector responsible for the research, Niklas Sandler, is delighted.
– The panel of international experts was convinced of our approach. This feels really good, Sandler says an adds that the use of the funding mainly will be focused on research impact. We want to become even better at working multidisciplinary at our university and with our partners nationally and internationally.
Åbo Akademi’s focal research areas are:
- Molecular Process and Material Technology, focusing on chemical engineering and material aspects in the bioeconomy.
- Drug Development and Diagnostics, focusing on materials and technologies for health – from molecules to devices and deliveries.
- Minority Research, interdisciplinary research on the complexities involved in the production and construction of minority positions, identities, and rights.
- The Sea, towards a living lab for marine and maritime research – society, nature, and technology.
This was the fourth round of PROFI funding. A special theme in this and the previous round was the division of work between Finnish universities and the strengthening of their mutual collaboration. A new element was the inclusion of open science in the development of research conditions in the proposed profiling area.
Universities are invited to apply for PROFI funding based on their own strategies with concrete plans for improving conditions for high-quality, high-impact research. The universities describe their profiling areas and present plans for how they intend to develop them. The description of the collaboration and the division of work between universities and other organisations is an important part of the application. The actions to be taken are described considering factors such as schedule, resources, risk management and follow-up.
The universities applied for funding for a total of 36 profiling areas. There were eight areas that had not been previously funded. Most of the areas proposed in the applications were areas for which the universities already have PROFI funding from previous rounds. For example, the universities applied for funding to promote interdisciplinary research and to deepen the interaction between profiling areas. The universities plan to use the funding primarily to hire new researchers.
A panel of international experts reviewed the applications. The panel consisted of leading experts (rectors, vice rectors, etc.) from European universities with wide and versatile experience of university reforms in support of research. Four of the panel’s seven members had also participated in reviewing applications submitted in previous PROFI rounds.