First-class recruitments important issue at KI

Published 2014-09-26 14:09. Updated 2014-09-26 14:11

Earlier this year it was revealed that the Swedish Research Council will be allocating close to SEK 600 million to Karolinska Institutet for the recruitment of five top international researchers. The university is now planning to attract even more.

When the Swedish Research Council announced major funding for the recruitment of internationally prominent scholars, on behalf of the government, in late 2013, Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren, Dean of Research at KI, and his colleagues acted very quickly.

“The university didn't have a particularly long time to prepare, but through intensive efforts from the Departments and Grants Office, we at KI were able to compile five applications, each applicable to a specifically named researcher,” he says.

Over the spring and summer, KI received positive decisions one by one until it was clear that all five applications had gone through. In total, the university was awarded SEK 593 million and the five top researchers are scheduled to begin at KI in the autumn. Several of them will remain active abroad.

“We are now hoping that these researchers will generate strong platforms for world-leading research here at KI and that they will attract both talented employees and additional financial resources,” says Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren.

Among researchers at KI, however, these appointments have in some cases created frustration over the huge competition for resources that prevails within the scientific community.

“It needs to be understood that the allocation of large sums can evoke strong feelings from those who are left out. At the same time, this is external money that is benefiting KI generally, and we hope that the input from the new recruits will generate major added value that other researchers at KI will benefit from,” says Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren.

He also adds that the appointments were made in line with KI's strategy for how the university should develop over the next four years, as presented in the “Strategy 2018” document.

“The thought behind the strategy is that we are not satisfied with being a leading university in Sweden, we want to become a leading university in the world. And to achieve this we must work equally strategically with our recruitment as the most internationally prominent universities do today using the entire world as the search area,” says Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren.

Birgitta Henriques-Normark, newly appointed vice dean for recruitment and chair of the recruitment committee at KI, says that the plan now is to develop a strategic action plan for how future appointments a

Earlier this year it was revealed that the Swedish Research Council will be allocating close to SEK 600 million to Karolinska Institutet for the recruitment of five top international researchers. The university is now planning to attract even more.

When the Swedish Research Council announced major funding for the recruitment of internationally prominent scholars, on behalf of the government, in late 2013, Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren, Dean of Research at KI, and his colleagues acted very quickly.

“The university didn't have a particularly long time to prepare, but through intensive efforts from the Departments and Grants Office, we at KI were able to compile five applications, each applicable to a specifically named researcher,” he says.

Over the spring and summer, KI received positive decisions one by one until it was clear that all five applications had gone through. In total, the university was awarded SEK 593 million and the five top researchers are scheduled to begin at KI in the autumn. Several of them will remain active abroad.

“We are now hoping that these researchers will generate strong platforms for world-leading research here at KI and that they will attract both talented employees and additional financial resources,” says Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren.

Among researchers at KI, however, these appointments have in some cases created frustration over the huge competition for resources that prevails within the scientific community.

“It needs to be understood that the allocation of large sums can evoke strong feelings from those who are left out. At the same time, this is external money that is benefiting KI generally, and we hope that the input from the new recruits will generate major added value that other researchers at KI will benefit from,” says Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren.

He also adds that the appointments were made in line with KI's strategy for how the university should develop over the next four years, as presented in the “Strategy 2018” document.

“The thought behind the strategy is that we are not satisfied with being a leading university in Sweden, we want to become a leading university in the world. And to achieve this we must work equally strategically with our recruitment as the most internationally prominent universities do today using the entire world as the search area,” says Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren.

Birgitta Henriques-Normark, newly appointed vice dean for recruitment and chair of the recruitment committee at KI, says that the plan now is to develop a strategic action plan for how future appointments are to be conducted. The first meeting concerning this process will be held in October.

“We need to create a more common mindset within KI concerning recruitment and actively seek out the researchers that we want to come to us, everything from junior researchers to professors,” she says.

Text: Lisa Reimegård

KI's recent top international appointments

Patrick Sullivan, Professor of Psychiatric Genetics at the University of North Carolina, USA. Becomes Professor at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, KI

Cynthia Bulik, Professor of Eating Disorders at the University of North Carolina, USA. Becomes Professor at the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, KI.

Sir David Lane, Professor, International Scientific Director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Scientific Director at A-Star, Singapore. Becomes Professor at the Department of Microbiology, Tumour and Cell Biology, KI.

Sten Eirik W. Jacobsen, Professor of Stem Cell Biology at the University of Oxford, UK, Visiting Professor in Regenerative Medicine at KI. Becomes Professor at the Department of Medicine, Huddinge, and the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology in Solna.

Oscar Fernandez-Capetillo, Research Group Leader at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, Spain, and works at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA. Becomes Professor at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, KI.

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