An Island of Flourishing Science

With all the joy of intellectual endeavour and excitement of discovery, the life of a researcher is also worrisome and stressful. The unlimited opportunities to just go deeper in one’s research may turn into feelings of inadequacy and frustration. The academic environment not only expects you to publish in respectable fora. At the same time, it requires you to contribute to teaching, contribute to the academic organisations’ internal workings and to have a handprint in the surrounding society. It shouldn’t be a surprise if the equation seems unsolvable, even if one ended up trying to solve it by neglecting all social life.

The Tampere Institute for Advanced Study wants to be an island of tranquillity in the cross waves of the academic ocean. Not an island to hang a hammock between two palm trees, but an island of peace and quiet, conducive to concentrating on one’s research. With the legitimate space to populate the calendar with unified, undisturbed spells of just research is the kind of an island most researchers treasure.

The island the Tampere IAS can provide access to is not too large – it covers the space of two years in a research fellow’s calendar. We believe, however, that a well-spent two-year period can function as a springboard to the next level in one’s work. What the Tampere IAS offers is additional support in drafting one’s longer-term career. With the first cohort of research fellows, we jointly experiment, analyse, and codify means to provide collegial support of more experienced academics to the rising generation of future beacons of research.

Is this too good to be true? Why would a Finnish university open its doors to any ambitious researcher, from across the globe? The reasons for this policy are simple. To be able to continuously promote the ever higher scientific quality of research, any university has only one way to go: facilitating researchers in going for excellence. Some of the Tampere IAS fellows are likely to find opportunities to work at Tampere University also after the Tampere IAS period. But wherever the alumnae continue to work, we want them to cherish the experience on a beautiful island of calm that enables research to build and flourish.

Juha Teperi, Director, Tampere IAS

The Tampere Institute for Advanced Study will soon open a Call for Applications for 18 postdoctoral and senior research fellowships. The call will close on 7 March 2022.