The board of the Estonian Academy of Sciences elected Andrey Makarychev, Professor of Regional Political Studies at Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, as the academy research professor in Russian studies. Heiki Junninen, Professor in Environmental Physics at the Institute of Physics, will be the academy research professor in Arctic studies.
Andrey Makarychev’s research group will explore the emerging debate on future changes in Russian studies. The need for the change has been triggered by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The war has shown that Russia’s understanding of key political concepts is very different from the meaning of these concepts in Western democratic societies. This shift in meaning has brought about the need to think beyond traditional assumptions and categories of political analysis. The central output of the study will be an analytical framework suitable for interpreting the processes taking place in Russia during and after the current war.
Heiki Junninen’s research group aims to uncover the formation processes and chemical characteristics of atmospheric aerosol particles in the Arctic and compare the results with observations at mid-latitudes. The other goals are to identify the aerosol-distributed fungus species in the Arctic, improve the methodology for aerosol sampling, and start long-term aerosol measurements in the Arctic.
The academy elected one more research professor in Arctic studies, Professor Lauri Laanisto of the Estonian University of Life Sciences, who started analysing long-term changes in the Arctic vegetation cover last year.
A total of 12 researchers with their research teams participated in the competitions organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Based on the recommendation of a broad-based evaluation committee, the board of the academy selected the candidates who will get a proposal to become academy research professors and establish an academy research professorship at their university.
The targeted grants funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aim to support the participation of Estonian researchers in Arctic studies, increase Estonian researchers’ knowledge of the Arctic and of Russia, as well as raise their capability to participate in significant high-level international research and explain the nature of the problems related to the Arctic and Russia and the possible solutions for Estonia.
The grant for the research professorship in Arctic studies is 60,000 euros, at least two-thirds of which will cover the costs related to setting up the research team (incl. labour costs). The grant for the research professorship in Russian studies is 45,000 euros, at least 50% of which will cover the costs of setting up the research team.
More information is available on the website of the Estonian Academy of Sciences.