28 projects receive a total of €2.6 million in the foundation’s 2023 general call for funding

Nessling Foundation funding will promote opportunities for children and young people to participate in building an ecologically sustainable future, the role of science in civic engagement, and projects across disciplines to advance sustainability transformations that protect natural systems.

In the 2023 annual general call, the Nessling Foundation awarded funding to a total of 28 projects: 7 implementation of scientific environmental information projects, 7 postdoctoral projects, and 14 PhD projects. A total of 393 projects applied for funding, which means that similarly to previous years, around 7% of applicants received funding. A total of 2 611 638 € was awarded.   

This year, many applications focused on the opportunities for ordinary citizens and young people to contribute to sustainability transformations that protect natural systems.   

The 2023 general call funded, among other projects, Nicolette Slagle’s PhD research, where the aim is to support citizen engagement in contaminated land remediation and restoration processes, Linda Karjalainen’s postdoctoral project that explores alternative citizen-driven approaches and action for environmentally sound and socially just urban spaces, and Anette Mansikka-aho’s PhD research project, where the objective is to establish a theory of reverse pedagogical relationships: how could young people educate older people on environmental matters? 

“It is important for us that citizens of all ages are provided with science-based tools to participate in sustainability transformations. In line with its strategy, the Foundation wants to create opportunities for cross-sectoral encounters,” says Katja Bargum, Science and Executive Director. 

The Nessling Foundation also funded other projects that focus on the well-being and participation of children and young people. These include for example Hanni Muukkonen-van der Meer’s implementation project, where teachers and guidance councelors are trained to navigate the changes in work life due to sustainability transitions. With the Foundation’s support, people will get to play a strategic board game on the Baltic Sea, thanks to Jannica Haldin’s implementation project, and watch an animated film and TikTok videos based on the results of Panu Pihkala’s research on climate anxiety. The Foundation is also funding Zsuzsa Millei’s implementation project to better understand the role of microbes in the kindergarten environment and produce pedagogy that takes into account the relationship between humans and microbes. 

Multidisciplinarity has been a trend in application statistics for several years now. This year was no exception, with as many as 91 projects identifying themselves as multidisciplinary. The Nessling Foundation has a history of funding projects in the field of natural sciences, but this year there were fewer than usual (120) natural science projects.   

The level of applications was again very high this year. The committee of experts evaluating the projects paid particular attention to how the applicant had been able to link their research to the broader issue of sustainability transformations that protect natural systems. 

Examples of successful projects include Nadja Weisshaupt’s implementation project to create a scientific real-time and predictive online weather radar service mapping bird and insect migration for the use of scientists, industry and birdwatchers, Kateryna Tsytlishvili’s post-doctoral project developing modern, environmentally friendly and efficient methods for antibiotic treatment and wastewater disinfection, and Simo Pekkinen’s PhD thesis that aims to understand and propose solutions to the constraints of hydrogen gas storage. 

The funded projects are divided between organisations as follows: the University of Helsinki (6 funded projects), the University of Tampere (5), Aalto University (4), the University of Eastern Finland (3), the University of Turku (3), the University of Oulu (2), the Finnish Environment Institute (2),  the University of Jyväskylä (1), the Finnish Meteorological Institute (1) and other organisations (1).   

See the full list of funded projects here.

Would you like feedback on your application?

Did your project go unfunded? We will give feedback to applicants by phone appointment (5 min). The feedback is based on the committee of experts’ notes on the application. The Foundation does not have the resources to provide written reviews of projects.   

Click here to read the instructions for feedback and to book a feedback appointment.