HiLIFE brings added value to the University

The HiLIFE Scientific Council members visited University of Helsinki on 2-5 June to meet with the Rector Jari Niemelä and vice Rector Paula Eerola to discuss the ongoing recruitment of HiLIFE Director and HiLIFE evaluation planned to take place in 2020.

HiLIFE Scientific Council also met representatives of different HiLIFE activities from innovation and infrastructures to education during their fully packed visit. Topical matters were also discussed with HiLIFE management team. Council members were particularly impressed by the success of HiLIFE assistant/associate professor recruitment; the vast number of applications and high quality of recruits from both calls. Results from the second call were just published during their visit.

In feedback session for the HiLIFE board chair and management team Scientific Council emphasized how these recruitments bring added value to the University by increasing the attractiveness of Life Sciences across units. They also stressed the importance of continuity and commitment to strategic initiatives such as HiLIFE in changing environment where horizontal activities and structures breaking down the traditional silos are increasingly important. In this end the Council also encouraged HiLIFE to further develop collaboration particularly with engineering and natural sciences.

Important part of the visit was also to discuss the evaluation of HiLIFE as a whole in the context of the University planned to take place in 2020. University’s research assessment will form a part of the evaluation material as will forthcoming HiLIFE research infrastructure assessment (HiLIFE-RIA). Collection of RIA and other additional material is expected to start during fall.

The HiLIFE Scientific Council members visiting were: Professor Ole Petter Ottersen, President of Karolinska Institutet; Scientific Director Josef Penninger, IMBA; Professor Mary Power, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley & Angelo Coast Range Reserve; Professor Alan L. Schwartz, Department of Pediatrics, Washington University at St. Louis; President Kristiina Vuori, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, La Jolla, Director Detlef Weigel, Max Planck Institute in Developmental Biology, Tübingenand and Invited Expert Member Professor Marja Jäättelä, Institute of Cancer Biology, Danish Cancer Society & University of Copenhagen

Text: Sanna Leinonen and Jonna Katajisto