Top researchers recruited to Finland from abroad
Programme brings 24 visiting professors to Finland
Special funding provided by the Academy of Finland and the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (TEKES) is bringing 24 key researchers from abroad to Finland for two to five years.
The first visiting professors will begin their work at 12 Finnish universities or research institutes from the beginning of next year.
Another round of applications is planned for next year as well.
With a budget of EUR 17.5 million, the Finland Distinguished Professor Programme is aimed at strengthening Finnish research and making it more international.
Universities hope to attract close to 100 foreign researchers, as well as Finnish academics now living abroad to join the effort.
Veli-Pekka Saarnivaara, director-general at TEKES, is especially pleased that good candidates were found in fields that are important for Finnish industry.
Academy of Finland President Raimo Väyrynen welcomes the fact that the process has sparked so much interest at Finnish universities.
"It was also interesting that certain Finnish top researchers who have worked abroad for a long time are willing to return to their home country", Väyrynen said.
Professor Jussi Hanhimäki, 41, who has worked in Geneva since 2000, specialises the history of diplomacy and international relations, with a focus on the Cold War and its transatlantic dimension.
Hanhimäki is coming to Finland - at least for a short time - to take part in a project receiving funding from the Academy of Finland examining relations between North America and Europe in recent decades, before the 9/11 attacks.
"I have lived in quite a few countries during 20 years. I could stay here in Switzerland, but at this stage in my life, a return home is interesting", Hanhimäki ponders.
Marjatta Hietala, the project’s Finnish coordinator, says that it is impossible to bring top researchers to Finland with Finnish pay levels. "I was just in Ireland, and there researchers are paid staggering amounts of money", Hietala says.