The year of donations 2023
Donations help to advance research and education at the University of Oulu
3.4 M€ donation funds were used to benefit research and education in 2023
56 initiatives supported by donations
New research initiatives
In 2023, donation funds were used for targets aligned with the university's strategy. The funds facilitated new research initiatives and the development of new technologies:
- Acquisition of the FUS LiFu device for brain research. The device enables the exploration of various precision treatments and may be a crucial step in the development of therapeutic interventions for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, brain lymphoma, and epilepsy.
- Establishment of a new professorship and research group in water technology digitalization, along with the enhancement of collaboration with companies in the water sector.
- Development of a superhydrophobic coating for carbon-based printable perovskite solar cells (CPSC) in the Microelectronics research unit.
- The creation of a new integrated receiver circuit for Raman spectroscopy using donation funds. This innovative technology enables low-power, durable, compact, and cost-effective receivers for optical applications.
The University of Oulu has an increasing number of professors and researchers working in positions funded wholly or partially by donation funds. Establishing a new professorship is an investment in advancing the research field. In 2023, the following professorships have been supported by donation funds:
- Assistant Professorship in Snow-covered Area Hydrology
- Professorship in Organic Chemistry
- Assistant Professorship in Vehicle Engineering
- Professorship in Printed and Hybrid Electronics
- Professorship in Business Ethics
- Professorship in Financial Economics
- Professorship in Building Health
- Professorship in Infrastructure and Transportation Engineering
- Professorship in Geotechnical Engineering
- Professorship in Information Security
- Professorship in Industrial Management
- Professor of Practice in Industrial Engineering
Donation funds play a significant role in sustaining these professorships, as many were initially funded by donations and are now supported by university core funding after the first five-year period.
Advancement of career paths for young researchers
Research requires perseverance, and the uncertainty of funding is particularly emphasized in the early stages of a researcher's career. Donations have been instrumental in supporting several promising researchers in the early stages of their careers.
Donation funds have supported PhD research on topics such as:
- Utilisation of industrial mineral by-products as alternative materials to replace cement
- Water management challenges in Northern Finland's agriculture
- Facial asymmetry and its determinants
- Regulation of beta1-adrenergic receptor (beta1AR) function in the heart. The results may be used in the future development of new pharmacological treatments.
Examples of postdoctoral research supported by donation funds include:
- World-class cancer genetics research in prostate cancer. During the funding period, connections have been demonstrated between hereditary and acquired genetic changes, increasing the risk of prostate cancer and the progression of the disease.
- Studying the structure of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. The goal is to leverage a precise understanding of protein structure in the development of targeted medications.
Research infrastructures enable high-quality research and the associated teaching, promote research collaboration, and strengthen research and innovation capacity and expertise. Donated funds have facilitated acquisition of several equipment in 2023:
- Investment in the Atom Probe Tomography (APT) microscope
- Development of the research infrastructure for the Biodiverse Anthropocenes programme, with a focus on the acquisition of laboratory equipment
- Equipment for the geotechnical laboratory in the field of Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Research equipment for the field of Psychology. Psychology is a new field of research and education at the University of Oulu, making the need for equipment crucial.
Supporting students and education
Promoting the well-being of students and the development of education have played a key role in the allocation of donations in 2023. Here are some examples of how donation funds have been used:
- New study psychologist: Donated funds were used to hire a new study psychologist to meet the increased need for counselling and preventative measures to improve student well-being.
- Collaboration with companies: Donations have been used to develop courses in geosciences and mining engineering in collaboration with companies, including the creation of joint course packages.
- Expanding steel construction education: Donations have contributed to the expansion of the Open University's steel construction course offering.
- Tutoring in chemistry: Donations have supported tutoring activities for students in the field of chemistry, strengthening students' ties to the university community and improving their well-being.
- Preparation of training for building health professionals: Donations have supported the preparation of continuing education for building health professionals). Those who study while working have received enhanced guidance.
- Project management training programme: Donations have enabled the implementation of a project management training programme, conducted for the first time in autumn 2023. In particular, the funds have advanced the development of digital learning experiences in the courses.
- Swedish language teaching: Donations have supported Swedish language teaching, especially for future primary school teachers who are likely to teach Swedish. Swedish is now taught in primary schools.
- Technology purchases in educational science: Donations in the field of education have been used to purchase technology to support teaching.
Thank you to all our donors!
Support research and education!
New researched knowledge and expertise are vital in a changing world. Donations enable the university to invest in new initiatives. Together with our donors, we are building a sustainable future!