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Centres of Excellence

Centres of Excellence

Centres of Excellence in Research

With the support from the Åbo Akademi University Foundation, Åbo Akademi University has appointed Centres of Excellence in Research since 2006. The CoE programme supports research at Åbo Akademi University with the aim of achieving the highest possible quality and impact. The strategic investment in the CoE programme will also support researchers and research teams to become competitive in the contest for funding from the most competitive funding sources.

The current Centres of Excellence in Research are:
(1 January 2024 – 31 December 2028)

  • Psych-AID: Psychology at the Frontiers: Asylum Interviewing and Decision-Making
    The asylum process rests on interviews with the applicant and a subsequent decision regarding which claims are credible. Troublingly, asylum officials use methods not supported by psychological science, invalidating the process. We will adapt interviewing and decision-making methods to the asylum context and train European asylum officials. Our world-leading research on the psychological aspects of asylum interviewing and decision-making is vital to upholding the integrity of the asylum system.

    • Director: Jan Antfolk, Professor in Psychology, primarily Applied Psychology
    • Vice-director: Julia Korkman, Professor of Practise in Legal Psychology
  • RELEX: Religion and Social Exclusion: A Cross-Cultural Approach and New Methodology
    RELEX investigates how socially excluded people view and relate to religion on a cross-cultural scale using a new mixed-methods framework specifically developed for this purpose. Research is conducted in Ghana, Finland, India, and Peru. In each context, our empirical research focuses on the religious views of persons subjected to three particular forms of social exclusion related to: 1) imprisonment; 2) ethnic minority position; and 3) identification as LGBTQI+.

  • MADNESS: Materials-Driven Solutions for Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance
    Our Centre of Excellence aims to counter antimicrobial resistance (AMR) issues and tackle biofilms by developing material-based treatment strategies for infectious diseases. The urgency for innovative solutions stems from the fact that new antibiotic drugs are falling short in addressing the global AMR threat. With expertise in materials science, pharmacy, and artificial intelligence, we will formulate efficient AMR solutions.

  • SOS: Centre for Sustainable Ocean Science
    Our blue planet is experiencing a biodiversity crisis where marine life is critical to our wellbeing and society’s green transition. The vision of Centre for Sustainable Ocean Science is to establish a novel, transdisciplinary and user-centric paradigm for identifying and analysing marine biodiversity-related wicked problems and their solutions that supports sustainability transitions. It enables ÅAU to be a world-leader in transdisciplinary ocean science and a driver of UN’s Ocean Decade work.

    • Director: Anna Törnroos-Remes, Associate Professor (tenure track) within the strategic research profile The Sea
    • Vice-director: Nina Tynkkynen, Professor in Environmental Governance and Policy


Updated 22.3.2024