Record-high research grants from the Malm Foundation - AI trend also visible in humanities research

This year, the Otto A. Malm Foundation awarded a record-high sum of €952,000 in grants to scientific research. The number of applications was also higher than ever, at over 1,200.

  • "The applications were generally of high quality," says Professor Mirjam Kalland, Chair of the Foundation.
  • "We received many innovative applications from PhD students and junior researchers. This bodes well for academic regrowth in Finland."

The foundation distributes funds for academic research every two years, mainly in the form of six-month work grants. Kalland notes that private foundations play an important role as funders in many academic fields where working conditions are precarious, especially for younger researchers.

  • "We can enable and encourage small-scale and experimental research approaches, providing seed funding for exciting new ideas. These may then develop into larger applications that can later be funded by, for example, the Academy of Finland.

This year's grants are awarded to 130 different projects, covering a wide range of academic fields. Among the diversity, however, some trends can be discerned.

  • "It is interesting to see how the research ideas of doctoral students in particular reflect the changes in society," Kalland says.
  • "This year's applications included several projects where AI-based methods are now also being used by scholars in the humanities. Another trend that continues is research projects on migration, diversity and inclusion."

At its annual meeting, the Otto A. Malm Foundation Board also decided to donate EUR 50,000 to the Red Cross to help the needy in Gaza.