This week it became known that three prominent researchers at Uppsala University were awarded grants through the Research Council’s new program ‘Grants for Distinguished Professors’. Materials physicist Olle Eriksson, the genome researcher Kerstin Lindblad-Toh and the evolutionary biologist Hans Ellegren are to receive grants of approximately 5 million euros per year for a ten year period. The purpose of this initiative is to give the best researchers in Sweden the possibilities to concentrate on their research. They should be given opportunities to plan ahead and take risks – and to achieve innovative research. It is very gratifying to see that researchers at Uppsala University received as much as three of the nine appropriations in this special initiative.
We have also greeted another eminent scientist at Uppsala University this week, namely Robert Cardiff who gave this year’s Göran Gustafsson Lecture. It was a well-attended lecture under the theme “Redesigning the Foundation for Clinical Research”.
Last Thursday we were also informed about the government’s new initiative for higher education. Higher education in Sweden will expand its student capacity by 10,000 places, where most of the new places will be added in various types of teacher education programmes. The expansion will take place gradually, and the government will come back with further information regarding how the places will be distributed. It is a positive sign that the expansion of higher education is back on the agenda, but it would have been even better if the institutions themselves had control over the distribution of the new places.