Catalyst Grant funding

HSSH Catalyst Grant funding for research groups.

HSSH Catalyst Grants offers seed money for research groups to enable new initiatives, enhance sharing of research data and acquiring equipments. Call for 2024 grant applications is closed and you can read more about the funded projects below. The next call for applications will open in autumn 2024.

Catalyst Grant funding in 2024

The aim of the Catalyst Grant funding is to provide modest but strategical support for launching initiatives, collecting and sharing new data, acquiring and sharing research equipment, and building new contacts and networks between research groups. We received 57 high quality proposals which were assessed by 2-3 independent reviewers each. The evaluation process paid attention to the following criteria: testing and developing new ideas, multidisciplinarity, the feasibility of suggested action, and promise of added value for other researchers in the SSH field beyond the applying research group. Successful applications were strong on several of the criteria.


Özlem Celik

8000 €

Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Science

Nordic Urban Political Economy and Ecology Network (NUPE) is an international network of scholars at different career stages focusing on urban political economy and ecology from a critical perspective. We aim to enable comparisons on how neoliberalism, financialization, and migration are changing the socio-spatial urban landscapes in the Nordics.


Katri Havu

10 000 €

Faculty of Law

What are the necessary steps to enable sustainable consumption decisions? How to ensure the proper enforcement of the rules concerning greenwashing? What is the role of private law? A legal analysis with interdisciplinary and comparative elements to empower consumers in the green transition.


Titus Hjelm

15 000 €

Faculty of Arts

Researching distressing topics may affect the researcher's mental health. Based on a survey collecting experiences of early career researchers who work on sensitive or distressing topics, this project will create actionable, data-based recommendations for the University of Helsinki on safeguarding their well-being and the integrity of their research.


Tellervo Härkki

5 000 €

Faculty of Education

This extended pilot project aims at enhancing use of existing HSSH equipment for measuring HRV and activity. This is achieved by developing a toolkit which enables long-term (2-3 months) tracking of participant wellbeing via comfortable, well-fitting and durable personalized data acquisition interface that provides good-quality data on heart’s electric activity.


Antti Kauppinen

12 000 €

Faculty of Social Sciences

For the past 9 years, Dale Dorsey (Kansas) has organized an invitation-only annual workshop on philosophy of well-being for both advanced researchers and promising young scholars. We propose to organize it in Helsinki with a more interdisciplinary focus, enabling new collaborations among research groups and individual researchers.


Maria Khachaturyan

10 000 €

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

This project aims at making first exploratory steps studying variation in storytelling in a multilingual context fusing linguistic approaches and folklore studies. The goal is to annotate the existing corpus of narrative retellings by children and adolescents speaking Mano, a Mande language spoken in Guinea and Liberia, and supplement the existing corpus by further narratives.          


Lina Klymenko

4 000 €

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

We are a group of researchers studying Ukraine at the University of Helsinki. Our aim is to strengthen the interdisciplinary expertise on Ukraine within the university research community, to popularize the study of Ukraine among students and the public, and to assist Finnish policy-makers in understanding Ukraine, both the country and the people.


Charlie Kurth

14 500 €

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

The NEG Network brings together emotion researches from the University of Helsinki and abroad to develop novel approaches to neglected questions, e.g., is there a positive side to experiencing negative emotions, how can cross-cultural comparative research enrich our understanding of emotions’ role in moral and social life.


Leena Malkki

15 000 €

Faculty of Social Sciences

The purpose of the initiative is to develop more solid and sustainable foundations for the research on political violence and extremism in Finland by establish the Finnish Network on Political Violence and Extremism Research at the University of Helsinki.


Niina Metsä-Simola

15 000 €

Faculty of Social Sciences

The project advances historical demography in Finland by classifying historical causes of death recorded in old parish registers following the historical International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) that allows international comparisons. The work will also benefit historians by helping to save complex and locality-specific titles from original sources.


Elina Penttinen

14 000 €

Faculty of Arts

A new multidisciplinary network of scholars is set up to co-create knowledge and understanding on the phenomenon of non-physical violence in diverse institutional settings and different historical times. The network organizes e.g., workshops and a writing retreat to create a solid foundation for research applying multiple approaches and methods.


Heikki Pihlajamäki

15 000 €

Faculty of Law

CoCoLaw Project, in a collaboration with Universidade Federal do Ceará, focuses on digitizing early modern police ordinances in Brazil. The initiative compiles invaluable historical sources, enabling comparative analysis with European normative texts and tracing the global circulation of this regulatory instrument.


Essi Pöyry

13 000 €

Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Consumer Society Research

Accessing social media data has turned increasingly difficult during the past years as many platforms have limited researchers’ access to data through APIs. This project maps out existing tools and builds new ones to collect Finnish social media data using presidential elections as a case on which data is collected.


Jason Silverman

7 000 €

Faculty of Theology

How did ancient practices of labor create, reinforce, or challenge patterns of inequality? This project explores these through different aspects of the labor experience, from the practical economic structures, to social expectations, and legal structures.


Eeva Sippola

10 000 €

Faculty of Arts

This project investigates Finnish migration to South America. By preparing a historical corpus of migrant materials and developing digital tools for textual analysis, it will provide material and tools that are of interest to researchers from various disciplines, such as cultural studies, digital humanities, linguistics, and social sciences.


Sanna Tirkkonen

10 000 €

Faculty of Social Sciences

"Enhancing and Reassessing Enactivism" brings together scholars from the fields of philosophy, cognitive science, literary studies, aesthetics, and linguistics working with the enactivist framework. The objective is to build national and international networks and to increase the understanding of enactivism and its applications both within the scientific community and among broader audiences.


Anna von Zansen

15 000 €

Faculty of Education

The project tests two novel research methods in the context of second language (L2) education. The methods, eye-tracking and joystick-based video analysis, enable capturing time-dependent patterns in L2 learners’ behaviour. The methods can be used by researchers interested in human behaviour and interaction in live situations or in technology-rich environments.


Susanna Välimäki

7 500 €

Faculty of Arts

Finnish ElectroAcoustic Research Sources (FinEARS) is a research-driven cultural heritage database project, which answers the question: what should a cultural heritage researcher do to make their research outputs re-usable and available for other researchers? As an outcome, the project will produce models for better workflows of cultural heritage data processing.


Catalyst Grant call 2024

The yearly call for Catalyst Grant applications has closed October 4th.


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 Principal Investigator (PI) of the application must be affiliated with one of the partner units of HSSH (Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Education,  Faculty of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Swedish School of Social Sciences, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies).

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, 2024
  • 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.



The deadline for the 2024 HSSH Catalyst Grant applications is October 4th, 2023 at 16.00.

Decisions for the 2024 grants will be prepared by a working group led by the director of HSSH. Funding decision will be announced on November 15th, 2023.

All funding must be used before November 30, 2024

Multidisciplinary research groups have a decisive role in building the HSSH community. If your research group is not (yet) affiliated to HSSH, we ask you to do that by filling out the HSSH research group mapping survey.


Further inquiries

HSSH University researcher Heta Moustgaard,




Catalyst Grant funding in 2023

The Catalyst Grant funding for HSSH research groups in 2023 received 47 well thought-out applications, and the final decision were made in December 2022. Warm thanks to all applicants and congratulations to the funded projects!

Please see the list of project descriptions and principal investigators of the funded projects below.


Terhi Ainiala

Faculty of Arts

In the project, the close environment and urban dwellers are studied from the viewpoint of meaning-making and affective practices. The focus is on the ways people experience their environment as empowering. The project combines onomastic and ethnological expertise.


Ilkka Arminen

Faculty of Social Sciences

‘Synthetic data as an object and a tool of research’ is a project that explores the possibilities to use synthetic data for research. Synthetic data is generated using the Artificial Intelligence technique of deep generative learning, e.g., deep-fakes. The possibilities of synthetic data for research are worth exploration.


Barry K. Gills

Faculty of Social Sciences

The Global Extractivisms and Alternatives Initiative (EXALT) is a multidisciplinary research network focusing on critical social-scientific and environmental-social-scientific analyses of natural resource politics. We aim to enhance the value of extractivism as an analytical concept in the social sciences and address global crises associated with extractivist practices around the globe.


Daria Gritsenko

Faculty of Arts

Researchers in different fields of HSSH study how humans make decisions. To explore the choices people make and how they think, multiple methods can be deployed. Our project is the first step towards formalising how multimethod synergies can be created by multidisciplinary research groups studying judgment at a cognitive level.


Roosa Haimila

Faculty of Arts

The project is a multidisciplinary research collaboration that investigates non-religious non-theists’ views about right and wrong in ten countries. Non-religious non-theists are commonly seen as individuals who lack beliefs, including (religious) moral views. The project provides the first data-driven cross-cultural examination of non-religious non-theists’ views about right and wrong.


Jaana Hujanen

Swedish School of Social Sciences

The proposed research project and network will investigate the agency and role of professional journalists, interloper practitioners and local environmental actors in maintaining and sustaining the public knowledge about global and local environmental problems, enabling public participation and enhancing finding solutions to environmental challenges. The research conducted by the network focuses on global North.


Santeri Junttila

Faculty of Arts

Uralilainen etymologinen viitetietokanta (Urevi) on sanahakemisto uralilaisten kielten etymologisesta tutkimuskirjallisuudesta. Hankkeen tässä vaiheessa keräämme viitteitä vuodesta 2001 alkaen julkaistusta kirjallisuudesta. Ilman viitetietokantaa on ajantasaista tutkimustietoa hyvin vaikea löytää ja tehdä sen pohjalta omaa tutkimusta. Viitetietokanta siis vauhdittaisi kielihistorian ja lopulta kaikkien historiatieteiden edistymistä.


Kalle Juuti

Faculty of Education

“Helsinki-Node" symposium and bi-monthly online seminar series will be organized. Helsinki-Node promotes and enhances the use of network analysis in research on teaching and learning briging together professionals from different disciplines to build new collaborations and initiate research applying network analysis.


Tuukka Kauhanen

Faculty of Theology

The Hexapla (= “Six-folded”) was an ancient work that compared the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) with four to six of its Greek translations in parallel columns. The project will produce a new edition of the remaining fragments of the Hexapla of the Books of Samuel for the international Hexapla Institute.


Jannika Lassus

Faculty of Arts

The project aims to create a corpus of the essay tests from 2021 and 2022 in Swedish as mother tongue and makes the corpus accessible through the Finnish Kielipankki and Korp. It supports the study of contemporary Finland-Swedish and will be an important source of information for language researchers.


Beata Mäihäniemi

Faculty of Law

The initiative establishes a research group examining the uses and character of behavioural economics in the field of technology law. The group aims at 1) building a research network, 2) developing digital research expertise for legal scholarship, and 3) publishing novel work in the topical area.


Elizabeth Peterson

Faculty of Arts

This project investigates English pragmatic borrowings in Finland Swedish, ie, everyday borrowings such as swear words and response particles. While pragmatic borrowings from Finnish have already been studied, this is a new inquiry for Finland Swedish, offering critical insights into the dynamics of language borrowing in the current era.


Pekka Posio

Faculty of Arts

The project Language, gender and sexuality: theoretical and methodological perspectives sets out to create a network and a discussion forum for researchers working on the intersections of language, sexuality and gender in Finland and beyond, starting with a workshop and a joint publication.


Veijo Pulkkinen

Faculty of Arts

The ARNE (archival research network) project builds a multidisciplinary network by organizing three workshops focusing on different types of archival material: born-digital, thematic collections of personal experiences, and transnational and multilingual material. The aim is to provide a forum for developing new research approaches and methods to archival research.


Niko Pyrhönen

Swedish School of Social Sciences

An examination of “conspiracy talk” in the lives or ordinary Americans: Studying the prevalence of conspiracy theories across the United States through analysis of American Voices Project data. A research visit and collaboration between researchers at the University of Helsinki and Stanford University.


Samuli Reijula

Faculty of Arts

The Cognitive Architectures of Science workshop develops a new research program where theoretical resources from cognitive science and the philosophy of science are used to analyze science as a distributed cognitive system.


Riikka Räisänen

Faculty of Education

The project will initiate a novel multidisciplinary material and artifact research group at the UH Center Campus. Focus of the research is especially in textiles and fibers with research methodology applying qualitative and quantitative methods and view angles varying from material research to historical, cultural and societal context.


Sakari Saaritsa

Faculty of Social Sciences

The project supports developing a historical data infrastructure on health, education, and economic development in Finland in the 19th and 20th centuries. It enhances research cooperation between economic and social history and economics across institutional and disciplinary boundaries and consolidates a research group around the database.


Elina Seye

Faculty of Arts

The project is a peer-reviewed multimedia publication for promoting cooperation and multifaceted production of knowledge between researchers and artists. Specifically, this project seeks to foster new democratic ways of engagement in the publishing of knowledge produced together by music researchers and various actors in the fields of music and arts.


Tanja Säily

Faculty of Arts

The project consists of two parts: (1) upgrading the infrastructure of the open-access web publication, Studies in Variation, Contacts and Change in English, and (2) acquiring new corpora and databases that are of interest to researchers and students ranging from linguists to historians, social scientists and data scientists.


Tuukka Tanninen

Faculty of Arts

The project aims to locate Jaakko Hintikka’s unpublished scientific manuscripts, notes, and correspondence, and found a scholarly archive. Hintikka left behind a significant Nachlass, now scattered around the world. The Nachlass will be collected, catalogued, described, and thereby made available for researchers. Eventually Hintikka’s Nachlass will be incorporated with The von Wright–Wittgenstein Archive into a unique research infrastructure of history of analytic philosophy in Helsinki.

Catalyst Grant funding in 2022

The Catalyst Grant funding in 2022 for HSSH research groups achieved great popularity with 62 applications submitted. The projects cover a wide range of subjects from social and economic themes to epidemiology and human interaction. Most of the applicants employ methods from sociology, social and educational sciences, linguistics or economics. Multi- and interdisciplinarity are also common features. Funding is used mainly to acquire equipment, hire researchers and assistants, as well as cover seminar and travel expenses.

Warm thanks to all applicants and congratulations to the funded projects!

Please see the list principal investigators of the funded projects below.

  • Ahmed Kazimuddin
  • Bastubacka Johan
  • Cowley Benjamin Ultan
  • Einiö Elina
  • Eloranta Jari
  • Gasche Malte
  • Halko Marja-Liisa
  • Hallamaa Jaana
  • Hannula Markku
  • HeinonenTuuli
  • Hiippala Tuomo
  • Hotulainen Risto
  • Junttila Santeri
  • Katsui Hisayo
  • Kauhanen Tuukka
  • Kärki Kaisa
  • Laaksonen Salla-Maaria
  • Lahelma Antti
  • Lappi Otto
  • Lipponen Jukka
  • Lüpke Friederike
  • Mäntynen Anne
  • Palander-Collin Minna
  • Pettersson Katarina
  • Sorjonen Marja-Leena
  • Säntti Janne
  • Tervaniemi Mari
  • Varfolomeeva Anna
  • Wernick Alina