HSSH June Newsletter 6/22
A new website for HSSH is published, upcoming Academic Leadership course and a second round of applications for the Visiting Proferssors Programme.
  • The new HSSH website is live!
  • The academic leadership and career planning course continues – call for applications open soon! University Researcher Eljas Oksanen talks about his experience on the course
  • Methodological Unit University Researcher Matti Pohjonen has a recently published article in Popular Communication: An epistemic proxy war? Popular communication, epistemic contestations and violent conflict in Ethiopia
  • HSSH calling for second round of Visiting Professor applications in September and the selections for the first round were made

 

The new HSSH website is live!

The University of Helsinki website has been renewed and moved to a different platform during 2020-2022. Now HSSH has followed and our new, improved and updated website is live.

Visit the new page at https://www.helsinki.fi/fi/helsingin-yliopiston-humanistis-yhteiskuntatieteellinen-instituutti !

You can also find HSSH on Facebook now. Like our page at https://www.facebook.com/HelsinkiHSSH !

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The academic leadership and career planning course continues – call for applications open soon!

The academic leadership and career planning course has been popular, and it is arranged again in the fall. University Researcher Eljas Oksanen talks about his experience on the course.

Helsinki institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH) and HYMY Doctoral School offer an interdisciplinary academic leadership and career planning course. The course is targeted to post-doctoral researchers who are launching their independent researcher career after earning a PhD. and building their own research group. The course is available again in the fall in 2022 and the call for applications will open soon.

The purpose of the academic leadership and career planning course is to help researchers to develop their leaderships skills and strategic planning of research themes. Furthermore, the course provides help for assembling a good research group, and for full use of the research services and infrastructure of the University of Helsinki.

Taking the course offered useful information and a sense of community

Eljas Oksanen is a University Researcher at the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki and took the academic leadership and career planning course in the academic year 2021-2022. Oksanen says the course was useful for receiving information for an academic career, as well as for peer support from other early career researchers, and a sense of community.

– Taking the course offered me a sense of community and supported me while working remotely during the pandemic. I felt like I received good peer support because the other participants were approximately at the same point in their career, Oksanen says.

During the course, the group discussed for instance career trajectories, strategic mapping of research horizons, project management, social impact issues and publication strategies, data management, and research ethics. Guest speakers linked these practical matters to discussing the larger thematic horizons of social sciences and humanities, such as well-being, climate change challenges, datafication, security, and cultural interaction.

– The thematic lectures were relevant to me on different levels, but they were all very interesting and I have a heap of notes from all of them. All the presenters spoke openly about their personal experiences and that’s the most valuable information one can get, Oksanen says.

From England to a new community at the University of Helsinki

The academic leadership and career planning course is arranged for the third time next fall and the course is continuously being developed based on participants’ feedback. Eljas Oksanen says the course was well thought-out and pedagogically a good experience. He says the course instructors had a humane approach.

– I’m not saying this just to say, “it’s nice when teachers have a good attitude”, but I felt like it was a part of the course atmosphere and a sense community, which I was looking for, and still am.

Despite an overall positive experience, there are things that could be done better. Oksanen hoped some of the guests speaking on the course would’ve been closer in experience to the early career researchers. Academically senior people with long careers provided useful insight, but in addition hearing from someone who has recently experienced what the course participants are going through would’ve been useful.

Thematically Oksanen wanted to see more content focused on project leading, that could be implemented in practice in the participants’ own projects. In addition, he wanted to see more of HSSH on the course.

– Of course, the purpose of the course is not to advertise HSSH, but I wanted to hear a bit more about what kind of resources and help HSSH could offer to myself as a researcher, and more widely to other early career researchers.

Oksanen adds that he is waiting to see what will happen after the course. He wishes to receive information on future events, for example. He feels he has gotten to know the other course participants well and believes they will keep in touch in the future.

The course is useful to all early career researchers

Oksanen recommends the course to all early career researchers and especially to people coming to the University of Helsinki from the outside, from another university in Finland or abroad, because starting a new job in a new community can be a big hurdle. He says information does not travel so well inside the University of Helsinki and there can be so much silent information that it is a burden. Oksanen feels the course was a good place for receiving some of this information.

– The course provided a platform for receiving this information that is needed in the shark tank where the academic people try to swim. In a best-case scenario, the course can also provide great networking opportunities and a sense of community.

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Methodological Unit University Researcher Matti Pohjonen has a recently published article in Popular Communication: An epistemic proxy war? Popular communication, epistemic contestations and violent conflict in Ethiopia

 

Read the article here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15405702.2022.2074998

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HSSH calling for second round of Visiting Professor applications in September

Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH) introduced a Visiting Professor Programme for 2022–2025. The programme is part of the HSSH/PROFI6 project that focuses specifically on the challenges and opportunities of datafication.

The Visiting Professor Programme concept includes a two-week visit to the University of Helsinki, present at the City Centre Campus, and working together with several research groups, including collaboration with at least two PIs. The PIs have an important role in hosting the visiting professors, as well as sending the application and acting as a strong point of contact between the visiting professor and the research group.

– The most important part of the Visiting Professor Programme are one-year commitments to the programs. This gives the opportunity for a variety of applicants to be accepted, says Risto Kunelius, director of HSSH. In addition to the one-year visitation, the programme also supports a few three-year commitments.

The first round of applications for the programme was open in early 2022 during a busy time and with a tight deadline. Nevertheless, a good number of applications that were well-thought-out and deserving of funds, were received.

The funding decisions were made based on the applications, and five one-year visitations and four three-year visitations will be funded after the first round. The applicants’ knowledge varies from Media Studies to study of religions, and a variety of methodological knowledge.

– Committing and funding a three-year visitation is possible with applicants that directly support the Datafication Research Program, as well as with applications where a longer commitment was seen as beneficial for methodological development, and where the visiting professor’s contribution was extremely well linked with supporting several research groups, Kunelius says.

The next round of applications will open in September with an application deadline on 7.10.2022. In this round the emphasis will be on one-year commitments to be fulfilled in 2023. The visiting professors receive a compensation as well as funding for travel and accommodation fees. For more information on the Visiting Professor Programme, contact Risto Kunelius risto.kunelius@helsinki.fi. Decisions based on the applications will be made at the HSSH office and the Research Committee.

The visiting professors chosen in the first round are:

Amanda Lagerkvist, Uppsala universitet

Dries Daems, Middle East Technical University

Ruth Ayass, Universität Bielefeld

Lars-Erik Malmberg, Oxford University

Barbara Pfetsch, Freie Universität Berlin

Mirko Schäfer, University of Utrecht

Mladen Popović, University of Groningen

Timothy Mark Ellison, University of Cologne

Mike Ananny, University of Southern California