Top researchers have brought €100 million to the University of Helsinki

The University receives millions of euros in European research funding every year through the European Research Council.

The University of Helsinki receives millions of euros in European research funding every year through the European Research Council, ERC.  During the first ERC decade, the amount has totalled €100 million.

 “We have done a lot of work, and we have done it right,” says Academy Professor Markku Kulmala, who heads the Division of Atmospheric  Sciences.

 “Above all, we have conducted top-level basic research and developed equipment innovatively in order to detect ever smaller particles in the atmosphere and to better understand their origins and impact on the climate. We have also always been involved in both national and international cooperation and served as pioneers in establishing European research infrastructure networks,” Kulmala continues.

He has elevated Finnish atmosphere research to the top globally.

 “The researchers at our University have done amazing work. They have been at the forefront of their fields and of open science, and they have actively promoted international cooperation,” praises Rector Jukka Kola.

The success of a strong research university is lasting

Publications and articles are researchers’ bread and butter. They are used to apply for funding, which is highly competitive. This is why research work in both the sciences and the humanities is always long-term in nature. Results are not immediate, as all material must be tried and tested.

 “The number of peer-reviewed publications co-authored between international colleagues at our University has grown 10% over four years. They also receive more citations, which is to say that they have significant global impact,” says Rector Kola.

In 2016, University researchers and teachers published a total of more than 10,000 publications. Of them nearly 7,000 (66%) were peer-reviewed and 3,500 (34%) non-refereed publications with social impact.

The University received 13 ERC grants last year

The University of Helsinki received 13 grants in last year’s ERC application rounds.

The grants are divided into three groups: Starting Grants are for promising researchers with 2–7 years of research experience, Consolidator Grants for researchers with 7–12 years of experience and Advanced Grants for established top researchers.

All in all, 50 individual researchers at the University of Helsinki have received one of these grants.  

Celebration of atmosphere researchers

This spring, the European Research Council has celebrated its first decade with events throughout Europe. The celebratory seminar to honour the atmosphere researchers who have received ERC grants will be held on the University’s Kumpula Campus.

Academy Professor Kulmala will speak at the opening and closing of the seminar.

He was the first University of Helsinki atmospheric scientist to receive ERC funding in 2008. The other recipient was Professor Sergej Zilitinkevich from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, another atmospheric scientist.

For this reason the Centre of Excellence in Atmospheric Science  will celebrate by looking into the core of the aerosol particle and to the clouds on Wednesday, 19 April, in recognition of Finland having received a total of 120 ERC grants, 12 of these by the Centre of Excellence.

You may watch the recording of the ERC Seminar in Atmospheric Sciences, part of the ERC 10th anniversary celebrations, held on Wednesday, 19 April from 9.30 to 14.00. Every atmospheric scientist in the Centre of Excellence who has received ERC funding will speak at the event.

This means researchers who were in the Centre of Excellence when they applied for the grant – who currently work at the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the universities of Eastern Finland, Stockholm, Oulu and Vienna.


Read more:

How is Finland doing? Horizon 2020 results based on February 2017 statistics. Fields which have been successful in funding applications (in Finnish).

University of Helsinki research funded by the European Research Council

Long-term efforts bring good academic results

The latest researchers to receive the ERC Advanced Grant in 2017: Kari Alitalo, Markku Kulmala and Antti Kupiainen. l


The European Research Council is celebrating its 10th anniversary in events around Europe

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