Top Research

Focusing on the core research areas has increased research strengths of the Faculty and established a distinguished position in the national as well as in the international context.  The researchers of the Faculty of Mathematics and Science have been successful in applications for external funding, such as Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence funding and academy professorships, as well as ERC funding from the European Union. Cooperation with other universities, research institutes, such as CERN, GSI, Brookhaven, FAIR, Oxford, Cambridge, and various research groups around the globe produce high level scientific knowledge published in acknowledged international journals.

Centres of Excellence

One of the most important forms of external funding is the Centre of Excellence (CoE) funding which is granted by Academy of Finland. A CoE is a research and training network that has a clearly defined set of research objectives and is run under a joint management. The Faculty of Mathematics and Science is currently participating in one Centres of Excellence:

  • Centre of Excellence of Inverse Modelling and Imaging, in co-operation with University of Helsinki

Academy Professors

The board of the Academy of Finland appoints the Academy Professors. The Academy Professor is the highest research post of the Academy of Finland. To be appointed as an Academy Professor, applicants shall have demonstrated their skills and competencies in research and be regarded as contributing to the progress of research within their own field. Research posts as Academy Professor are intended for fixed-term, full-time research work. Academy Professors are nationally and internationally renown researchers. Academy Professors carry out their own research plan, supervise their own research team and provide guidance to junior researchers. Their duties also include supervision of thesis and dissertation writers in their own field and teaching related to their research. Two Academy professors work at the Faculty of Science and Mathematics:

  • Academy Professor Johanna Mappes (Department of Biological and Environmental Science)
  • Academy Professor Hannu Häkkinen (Department of Physics and the Department of Chemistry)

ERC researchers

The European Research Council's (ERC) funding is one of the most highly noted research funding programs. The ERC funds ground-breaking frontier research projects across all fields of science, in order to support European leadership in world-class research. Support is given to individual outstanding Principal Investigators of any nationality on the basis of scientific excellence. The following researchers at the Faculty of Science and Mathematics have received funding from the European Research Council:

  • Prof. Marja Tiirola (Department of Biological and Environmental Science)
  • Academy Research Fellow Anna Kuparinen (Department of Biological and Environmental Science)
  • Academy Research Fellow Anu Kankainen (Department of Physics)
  • Professor Tuomas Lappi (Department of Physics)
  • Prof. Heikki Tuononen (Department of Chemistry)
  • Prof. Mikko Salo (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)
  • Academy Research Fellow Enrico Le Donne (Department of Mathematics and Statistics)


The goal of the Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) funding programme is to strengthen scientific knowledge and know-how in Finland, add a more international element to the Finnish research system, generate added value into the national innovation system and support research-driven profiling of universities and research institutes. Within the framework of the programme, universities and research institutes can hire foreign professor-level researchers or Finnish professor-level researchers who have long worked abroad to conduct research in Finland for a fixed period.