December is here, and Christmas and the new year are approaching fast. As I’m writing this, it feels like January was only yesterday – how can time go in so quickly?
Just as we thought the pandemic was over, we’re hit by the war in Ukraine, as well as increasing electricity and consumer prices. This was also the year when Sweden elected a new government, and as of 1 January 2023, we will belong to the new Ministry of Infrastructure. We’re certainly living in a changing world, with many challenges we haven’t encountered before. It’s at times like these we need to remember all the positive things and make the most of opportunities and the glimmer of light that is there.
Doing well in rankings
There certainly are both glimmers of light and opportunities. We can look back at a good year for our faculty, and that is thanks to all of you. We can be rightfully proud as SLU did well in rankings, including Naturvetarbarometern 2022 where we were ranked the most attractive employer in bio-production and ranked 5th in the overall category for most attractive employer.
It was also an amazing year when it came to research grants from the Swedish Research Council, Formas, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish Energy Agency, Novo Nordisk Foundation and Horisont Europa – something to be happy about, and something that offers new opportunities.
In total, we received close to SEK 140 million through 30 new grants (>2.5 million per project). BIG CONGRATS to Marcus Hedblom (SoL), Ramesh Vetukuri (VF), Dennis Eriksson (VF), Eva Johansson (VF), Gun Hagström (VF), Sanna Stålhammar (LAPF), Kibrom Abreha (VF), Fluturë Novakazi (VF), Erik Andreasson (VSB), Ramune Kuktaite (VF), Cecilia Hammenhag (VF), Marie-Claude Dubois (BT), Aakash Chawade (VF), Neva Leposa (SoL), Andrés Cortés (VF), Carolina Diller (VSB), Naga Charan Konakalla (VF) Erik Hunter (IMS), Bill Hansson (VSB), Tibebe Dejene Biasazin (VSB), Anders Carlsson (VF), Selvaraju Kanagarajan (VF), Johan Stenberg (VSB), Rickard Ignell (VSB) and Mattias Qviström (SoL).
New docents, doctoral students and doctors
In 2022, the faculty had the pleasure of appointing four new docents. BIG CONGRATS to Christine Haaland (LAPF), Vera Vicenzotti (SoL), Therese Bengtsson (VF) and Knut-Håkan Jeppsson (BT).
We also did well when it comes to doctoral studies. We admitted 16 new doctoral students (12 for the degree of doctor and 4 for the degree of licentiate), and 17 doctoral students defended their theses. BIG CONGRATS to Muhammad Awais Zaid (VSB), Björn Eriksson (VSB), Joel Markgren (VF), Priscilla Olayide (VSB), Anna-Lovisa Nynäs (VF), Guillermo Rehermann Del Rio (VSB), Aneth Bella David (VSB), Sebastian Larsson Herrera (VSB), Charles Kwadha (VSB), Johan Wirdelöv (LAPF), Annika Hinze (VSB), Christina Lundström (IMS), Andreas Nicolaidis Lindqvist (BT), Sjur Sandgrind (VF), Jonatan Leo (VF), Edson Sanga (SOL) and Evelyn Gutierrez Villanueva (VF).
Teaching staff and operational support
I also wish to thank all our teachers, who through their commitment and hard work ensure that our students can enjoy high-quality teaching of relevance to society. And let’s not forget our colleagues in administration and operational support who make our everyday working lives run smoothly, competently and efficiently.
Strategic research investments 2022–2023
This autumn, as part of the efforts to strengthen the faculty’s research and education, we launched new strategic research investments offering new chances to apply for seed money for transdisciplinary projects and funding for associate senior lecturers (BUL), both with the themes Our next step for sustainable development and Digitalisation and technology.
There was also an opportunity to apply for Best Practice funding to improve the quality of both subject content and teaching methods at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels.
For spring 2023, it’ll also be possible to apply for co-funding for key competencies of strategic importance to the faculty, or for the in-house acquisition of scientific qualifications.
The campus development plans are in full swing, and for our faculty, this is an exciting and important process. We look forward to what will hopefully be an inspiring new campus plan. There are, of course, a lot of expectations for a “new campus”, however, we need a realistic plan that balances the nice-to-have with the need-to-have.
Finally – a web page for the faculty’s subject area review
The web page for the faculty’s subject area review has now been published. On this page, you will find info on the background and purpose of the overview, a process description, schedule, results and presentations from the two workshops that have been held, information about the situational analysis currently taking place and a Q&A section.
Last but not least, I want to thank all students and staff at the faculty in Alnarp, Skara and Ultuna for their meaningful and forward-looking work during 2022. I’m very much looking forward to cooperating with you next year. Until then, I hope you all get the chance to rest and recover a bit.
I wish you all a merry christmas and a happy new year!