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Special COVID-19 funding for five projects at Tampere University

Published on 28.5.2020
Tampere University
koronavirus. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) / Unsplash & Jonne Renvall
The projects to be funded from the special call for research into COVID-19 opened by the Academy of Finland in April have been selected.

At Tampere University, the following projects received funding:
•    Professor of Gerontology Marja Jylhä: Covid-19 and the older population: impacts on health, well-being, care needs and equality
•    Postdoctoral Research Fellow Minna Hankaniemi: Innovative VLP-based vaccines against COVID-19
•    Academy Professor Pertti Alasuutari: Epistemic capital in the synchronization of national policies
•    Professor of Youth Research Päivi Honkatukia: The impact of Covid-19 on young adults’ life courses and positionalities
•    Director of the Institute for Advanced Social Research Risto Heiskala: European State Nobility and Fatal Problems

Funding was granted to 44 sub-applications from 12 research organisations. The funded projects cover a wide variety of topics that deal with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the COVID-19 pandemic it causes, the societal impacts of the pandemic and the prevention and/or mitigation of its negative consequences.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused exceptional challenges on a global scale to both human health and the functioning of society. The Academy of Finland wanted to fast-track a special funding opportunity to support and accelerate research into the COVID-19 epidemic and the mitigation of its effects and to support the utilisation of the research findings in society. In its meeting on 1 April 2020, the Board of the Academy allocated €8.45 million to the special call. The Academy’s General Subcommittee made the funding decisions on 26 May 2020.

“The call clearly showed the significance of the expertise generated by research and its utilisation in unexpected societal situations. Unpredictable societal crises such as the coronavirus pandemic highlight a number of challenges where research-based expertise can be put to good use,” said Riitta Maijala, vice president for research at the Academy of Finland.

The Academy received applications from 26 research organisations, with a total of 319 sub-applications from various disciplines. In selecting the projects to be funded, the Academy considered it important that the projects are in progress and thereby able to rapidly redirect their research to produce information and solutions to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on society.

As the proposed plans are based on ongoing Academy-funded projects, their scientific peer review has already been carried out in previous Academy funding calls.

The projects are based on a broad range of Academy funding, from Postdoctoral Researchers to Academy Professors, SRC programmes and Academy Programmes, Centres of Excellence and Finnish Flagships and Academy Projects.

The Academy currently has an open call for research into COVID-19 vaccines and pharmaceutical development. The call deadline is 2 June 2020. This call was launched based on a one-off appropriation of €10 million to research in this field as proposed by the Finnish Government in the supplementary budget.

Academy of Finland’s press release 28 May 2020

Picture: CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) / Unsplash & Jonne Renvall