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Tampere University gets four new Academy Research Fellows in social sciences and humanities

Published on 10.5.2023
Tampere University
Image: Jonne Renvall/Tampere University
The Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Culture and Society has granted funding for 50 new Academy Research Fellow posts. At Tampere University, the recipients are Riikka Hohti, Henni Alava, Vesa Koskimaa ja Tuomas Tammisto.

Academy Research Fellowship funding is intended for early-career researchers on a fast career track who have formed international networks and who are conducting scientifically high-quality and high-impact research that contributes to scientific renewal.

This was the first application round where funding was allocated based on the Academy’s reform of the funding schemes available to early-career researchers. The funding awarded will enable the researchers to make significant progress towards the most demanding top research positions.

The Research Council’s total funding for the new Academy Research Fellowships comes to €25.5 million. The funding period is four years. On average, a single Academy Research Fellowship is worth around €510.000.

The Research Council received 330 applications, meaning that the success rate was 15.5%. The researchers funded in this round represent a wide range of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities.

Under the new Academy Research Fellowship funding scheme, the Research Council could also provide funding for a research team.

Figurations of more than human politics of childhood

Riikka Hohti’s study is titled Figurations of the child and more than human politics of childhood for the post-Anthropocene: The fossil, the microbe, the weather.

In her study, Hohti examines the atmospheres of growing up in difficult times  and proposes more than human figurations and politics of childhood. The study draws from recent debates related to the Anthropocene, which highlight how the environmental crisis also is a crisis of emotions and ontology and call for redefinition of nature-human-animal relations.

First, ethnographic, arts based, and narrative methods are used to examine children’s lives in informal education contexts. After that, a cross-disciplinary conceptual engagement follows, guided by the “pull foci” of (a) the microbe, (b) the fossil, and (c) the weather. These foci reconfigure notions related to childhood gesturing to distinct sets of relations, affects, temporalities, and politics. 

The outcomes are figurations, stories, methods, and political directions, which help children, educators, and policy makers to re-assess their actions and emotions in ways that acknowledge childhood complexity and build more than human post-Anthropocene.

Parenting pain: an ethnography of paediatric persistent pain and its care in Finland

Henni Alava examines pain parenting and conducts an ethnographic study of prolonged pain and care of children in Finland.

Persistent pain affects a growing number of children and adolescents in Finland. Alava’s ethnographic study explores families’ pathways through paediatric pain and its care in Finland by combining child-centred methods for researching young people’s experiences of pain; in-depth interviews with parents; observation of families’ clinic visits; interviews with clinicians and observation of professional trainings; and extended case studies with selected patient families.

The study provides new knowledge about how prolonged pain affects the everyday lives of families, how the meanings and management of pain are negotiated in clinical encounters and how gender, race ,and class shape the trajectories of pain and its care. 

It thus speaks to intersecting topical concerns: the decline in young people’s well-being; the growing burden of chronic pain; the tensions of parenting amid burnout culture; and the future of care in Nordic post-welfare states.

Political Parties’ Organizational Resources and Policy Impact Confronting the ‘realities’ of contemporary expert-driven policy-making

Vesa Koskimaa examines the resources and impact of parties on policy in expert-driven policy processes.

Representative democracy is based on the capacity of political parties to drive policy-making, but parties’ political influence appears to have decreased due to professionalisation of politics. Koskimaa’s project studies factors that enhance and limit parties’ policy impact.

It specifically examines how parties’ resources condition their policymaking capacity under the ‘realities’ of modern governance.

Based at the Faculty of Management and Business at Tampere University, the study compares parties in three national contexts that varyingly support parties’ role in policy-making (Finland, the Netherlands and the UK). Through various qualitative and quantitative data and methods (elite interviews, official documents and statistics) the study seeks to disentangle the highly complex context where parties and other policy actors compete with varying resources to impact policies.

Gravel, roads and corporations: Infrastructure development and multiple territorializations in Papua New Guinea

Tuomas Tammisto studies the territorialisation of state formation, natural resource economy and various types of power systems by looking at roads and road projects in the rural areas of Papua New Guinea.

Roads are essential to the state in many ways because the state uses them and the public evaluates the state’s legitimacy, including through the infrastructure and services it produces.

Tammisto examines how state representatives, international consultants, natural resource companies and rural residents participate in state formation through various road projects.

The project examines the different ways in which public and private road projects produce state management, how different actors influence the formation of management and what concrete effects do the roads have. Tammisto links infrastructure development research with the anthropological research tradition of the relationship between new state formation and natural resource projects.

Academy of Finland's press release 10 May 2023