HSSH May Newsletter 5/2024

Recent news and upcoming events at HSSH – read more below and don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter!


Academic Career Planning and Leadership course 2023-2024 visit to Brussels


The fouth Academic Career Planning and Leadership course (ACLA) concluded with a trip to Brussels. A group of post-doc course participants, HSSH staff and university research support experts spent intensive three days learning about EU research policy and funding opportunities.

The ACLA course is targeted to post-doctoral researchers who are launching their independent researcher career after earning their PhD and building their own research group. ACLA workshops help researchers to develop their leaderships skills and strategic planning of research themes. Furthermore, the course provides help for planning a research group and taking full use of the research services and infrastructure of the University of Helsinki. The fourth edition of the course convened during the academic year 2023-2024, coordinated by HSSH Director Risto Kunelius, Vice-Director Pekka Mäkelä and professor Kirsi Pyhältö from the Faculty of Educational Sciences.

The three-day visit to Brussels was full of informative and interesting activities. On the first day the group took part in #StrongerTogether: SSAH and the future of evidence-informed policymaking conference arranged in the frame of the Belgian’s Presidency of the European Council. The conference was attended by researchers as well as policy makers and it encouraged deeper dialogue between the parties. 

The Brussels trip program was facilitated by the Helsinki EU Office and the remaining two days were spent at their premises as well as visiting the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU office and the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission. These visits provided a comprehensive look at EU research policy and funding opportunities.

As a conclusion to the course, a feedback discussion rounding up everything from the past academic year was held on the final day of the trip. Overall the participants found the course informative and helpful. A sense of community and many visitors talking about their own experience and expertise during the course workshops were found most valuable.

Some suggestions for additions on future course installments were visitors closer to the post doctoral participants’ career stage and the topic of research security, which was also a topic of discussion during the Brussels trip.

The fifth Academic Career Planning and Leadership course is arranged in the academic year 2024–2025. The call for applications is open until 31.5.2024 – read more and apply here.


Academic career planning and leadership course (ACLA) 2024-2025


Coordinators: Risto Kunelius, Pekka Mäkelä, Kirsi Pyhältö

The fifth edition of the ACLA course is now open for applicants. This course is targeted to post-doctoral researchers who are launching their independent researcher career and are thinking about building their own research group.

We will discuss career planning and trajectories, strategic mapping of research horizons, funding opportunities/challenges, building and leading a research group, project management, social impact issues and publication strategies, data management and research ethics.

Approximately 15-20 participants will be enrolled, representing a wide disciplinary range of social sciences and humanities, across all faculties of the City Centre Campus.

The course will convene in six sessions (Fridays: 10-15) over the academic year.

Workshop days are: October 11, November 15, December 13, February 14, March 14, and April 11.

Participants should make sure that they are able to commit to these dates.

For early May (2025) we are planning an excursion to Brussels to learn about European science policy and funding opportunities.

Fill this e-form to apply.

You will need 

  • short CV
  • list of 5 of your recent publications
  • (one page) abstract of your ongoing research project
  • short application letter, letting us know what kind of questions and challenges you think you need support and help with.
  • Deadline for applications: May 31, 2024 15:00.                

Inquiries: risto.kunelius@helsinki.fi or pekka.a.makela@helsinki.fi 


HSSH Visiting Professor Program is open for applications


The mission of HSSH is to support multidisciplinary research, cross-faculty cooperation and methodological development at the City Center Campus. In order to support this, we invite proposals for HSSH Visiting Professor positions for 2025.

The program aims to support international research networks at the city center campus. All HSSH-affiliated research groups can propose candidates. We are seeking visiting professors that will catalyze research group cooperation inside the university of Helsinki by serving more than one research group, and enhance interdisciplinary debates and help.

Requirements and compensation:

  • The application for a Visiting Professor must be submitted by a PI at the University of Helsinki and the application must be supported by another PI at the University of Helsinki.
  • At the end of the application process HSSH formally invites the accepted Visiting Professor to the University of Helsinki.
  • The Visiting Professor Program includes a minimum of two weeks research visits per year present at the City Centre Campus in Helsinki.
  • A compensation of 4000 euros for the Visiting Professor and funding for travel and accommodation fees.

The PIs at the University of Helsinki have an important role in hosting the visiting professors and acting as a strong point of contact between the Visiting Professor and the research group.

Send the application via this e-form: https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/129676/lomake.html

For more information on the Visiting Professor Program, contact Pekka Mäkelä pekka.a.makela@helsinki.fi

The yearly call for applications is open 24.4.–31.5.2024.


HSSH Catalyst Grant 2025 Call Open Now


The mission of the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH) is to enhance methodological development, build new research infrastructures and support multidisciplinary research networks at the University of Helsinki. One element in this work is the HSSH Catalyst Grant, a yearly round of open support for research groups at the City Centre Campus. The call for the HSSH Catalyst Grant 2025 is now open and the deadline for applications is June 10th, 2024.

The Catalyst Grant provides modest but strategical support to existing and emerging research groups. Groups can apply support for a variety of needs, ideas, and cooperative initiatives. These may, for instance, include support for:

  • Acquiring necessary technological devices and systems that support the shared research infrastructure at UH, particularly in the City Centre Campus,
  • Collecting new data that benefits several research initiatives,
  • Enabling wider and sustainable use of infrastructures that have been developed organically in research groups (e.g. data, software)
  • Initiating innovative and cooperative projects that open new insights, relationships and aim at publishing such ideas,
  • Building new national and international networks.

We also encourage applicants to suggest ideas other than the ones sketched above. The evaluation process pays particular attention to the following criteria: testing and developing new ideas, reaching for multidisciplinarity, the feasibility of suggested action, and promise of added value for other researchers in the SSH field (beyond the applying research group).



All existing and emerging research groups working in the field of Social Sciences and Humanities at the City Centre Campus can apply for the grant. The PI of the application must be affiliated (via an employment contract or a grant-funded researcher agreement) with one of the partner units of HSSH (Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Theology, Swedish School of Social Sciences, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies). There are no formal requirements for the PI on holding the title of docent, a degree or a position.

The grant is primarily directed to initiatives that enforce multidisciplinary networking, co-operation between UH research groups or initiating new research groups. Several research groups are encouraged to apply together for shared purposes.


Application instructions

Applications must include the following:

  • A short description of the supported action,
  • A clear description of the added value that the grant provides,
  • A detailed plan for the costs, execution of the action, and time-table,
  • A brief (max 50 words) public description of the initiative, to be published on the HSSH website if funded.

(No CV or other attachments are required.)

Please note that:

  • The maximum amount of the grant is 15 000 € and funding decisions may be lower than the applied amount
  • All salary costs must include 30 % employer side costs
  • For acquired equipment the maximum limit is 10 000 €, including VAT
  • All funding must be used before November 30, 2025
  • If your proposal includes purchasing new equipment, please first make sure that such equipment is not already available at the HSSH Equipment Library or at HSSH Interlab.
  • Completing the HSSH Research Group Survey questionnaire is a prerequisite for applying for the Catalyst Grant. Fill the questionnaire here. If your research group has already filled the questionnaire, please supply the name(s) of the persons named as the group leader/contact person in the questionnaire.



The deadline for the 2025 HSSH Catalyst Grant applications is June 10th, 2024 at 16:00.

Decisions for the 2025 grants will be prepared by a working group led by the director of HSSH. Funding decisions will be announced on September 4th, 2024 at the latest.

All funding must be used before November 30, 2025.


More information about the Catalyst Grant funding (including the link to the application form): see here.


Further inquiries

HSSH University researcher Jouni Tuominen, jouni.tuominen@helsinki.fi

HSSH Director Risto Kunelius, risto.kunelius@helsinki.fi, 040-1904085 (you can leave an SMS request for calling back)


Helsinki Digital Humanities Hackathon – A research project in 10 days 


The Helsinki Digital Humanities Hackathon is a chance to experience an interdisciplinary research project from start to finish within the span of 10 days. For researchers and students from computer science and data science, the hackathon gives the opportunity to test their abstract knowledge against complex real-life problems. For people from the humanities and social sciences, it shows what is possible to achieve with such collaboration.

For both, the hackathon gives the experience of intensely working with people from different backgrounds as part of an interdisciplinary team, as, during the hackathon, each group develops a digital humanities research project from start to finish. Working together, they formulate research questions with respect to particular data sets, develop and apply methods and tools to answer them, and present the work at the end of the hackathon. For information on what the hackathon was like in previous years, see #DHH23, #DHH22#DHH21#DHH19#DHH18#DHH17#DHH16 and #DHH15.

In May 2024 the DHH Hackathon was arranged for the ninth time as a special Eurovision Song Contest Edition. Eurovision song contest was one of the four themes in this years Hackathon. The other themes were: luxury – Enlightening Illustrations: Analyzing the Role of Images in Enlightenment-Era Books, disc – Cultures of online discourse and parliament – Echoes of the Chambers: Studying Democracy through Parliamentary Speeches.

Four multidisciplinary teams tackled these themes during the 10-day period of the Hackathon producing a research project and presentation for the final day. This year’s presentations even included a smoke machine ­– courtesy of the eurovision team.

The participants of the hackathons over the years have enjoyed and benefited from working in an interdisciplinary project where computer and data scientists collaborate with people from the humanities and social sciences. The hackathon provides a perspective on the benefits and possible challenges of such collaboration.

As one of the participants put it: “The hackathon was a great experience, and I learned a lot from my group. I will certainly recommend the hackathon to other students in computer science and data science.”

A participant from a humanities background shared their favourite part of the hackathon: “Seeing in real life the uses of humanities and computer science collaborations and discovering what I can gain by expanding my knowledge in the digital humanities.”

The Helsinki Digital Humanities Hackathon will be arranged again in spring 2025. From HSSH Datafication Research Programme Director Eetu Mäkelä and University Researcher Jouni Tuominen from the Methodological Unit are part of the organising team of the hackathon.

More information about the hackathon: http://heldig.fi/dhh24


HSSH Brown Bag Seminar and Methods Clinic summer break in June–August


HSSH’s Methodological Unit arranges a weekly Brown Bag Seminar and Methods Clinic during the academic year. The final Methods Clinic of the spring will be on Friday 31.5. while the Brown Bag Seminars concluded earlier in May.

The seminars and the clinic are on a summer break in June–August and will start again in September. We hope to see you then – have a great summer!


HSSH Aalto VR-technology visit on June 12th


HSSH is organizing a visit to see the current status of VR and behavioral experiment technology at Aalto, namely MAGICS (https://studios.aalto.fi/magics/) and DAVE (https://www.aalto.fi/en/news/open-demo-day-in-dave-of-aalto-behavioral-…) on 12.6. Send mail at pentti.henttonen@helsinki.fi if you are interested in joining.

Program, Wednesday 12.6.2024

10:30-12:00 MAGICS (Otakaari 2A)

12:00-13:00 Lunch break

13:00-14:30 DAVE  (Otakaari 5)


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