PublISHED ON 25 May 2018

UpDATED ON 23 November 2018

Meet our personnel

Meet some of our knowledgeable and committed employees, who will tell you about their day-to-day work at the Swedish Research Council.

Emmie Chau, Research Officer

Emmie Chau

Photographer: Anders Norderman

Emmie Chau has a background in economics, and has worked with statistics both during and after her studies, for the Swedish Schools Inspectorate and others.

My work consists of handling research grants, and the specific tasks depend on where we are in the process. Ahead of a new call, I work a lot with making sure the call text is correct, and that the application forms the researchers use work as they should. An important aspect is to put yourself into the researchers’ shoes as applicants, and to understand their work processes, what questions they ask, and how we in the future can make the work easier for both the researchers and ourselves.

During the period while the call is open, and in particular when the deadline is approaching, there are many questions about methodology and terms and conditions, from both applicants and universities. Once the decisions have been made, our most important task is to produce statistics of the number of people who have applied for and been awarded grants within the different subject areas and grant forms.

What do you appreciate most?

Having such great colleagues! The atmosphere is good, and we help each other out when needed. It’s also rather cool to be funding research – it shapes the future after all! Our grantsfund everything from a researcher who has an idea within a specific area that they want to investigate, to supporting young researchers at the start of their careers.

Maud Quist, Analyst

Maud Quist

Photographer: Anders Norderman

Maud Quist was originally a researcher within plant ecology. She then started working as an inquiry officer – initially with evaluations of educational quality at the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education.

I work mainly with various types of interesting evaluations and inquiries. The assignments cover very diverse areas within research and research policy. We often receive Government mandates, as the Swedish Research Council also has the task of advising the Government on research-related issues.

My work may concern matters such as following up priority areas within research, responding to documents circulated for comment and evaluating the impact and societal benefit of clinical research in the healthcare regions given national government funding – via the “ALF agreement” for training medical doctors, clinical research and development of health and medical care.

What do you appreciate most?

Having very interesting, varied and stimulatng work tasks! We often work in project form, which suits me. It is fun to collaborate in various constellations, with personnel members with varying backgrounds. We also nearly always work together with external groups of experts, who are often international, so a lot of the work is done in English.

Having good opportunities for professional devlopment is also a plus. It is important to stay updated within current research policy issues and methodology development, for example through contemporary environment monitoring and relevant conferences and seminars.

Tomas Andersson, Senior Research Officer

Tomas Andersson

Photographer: Anders Norderman

Tomas Andersson has a PhD in Materials Science from KTH Royal Institute of Technology. He then started working as Senior Research officer at the Swedish Research Council for Engineering Sciences, which merged with four other research councils in 2001 to form the Swedish Research Council.

Every year, I work with the review process for assessing the applications from researchers. The process also includes discussions on rules and practice with the researchers appointed in order to ensure the Swedish Research Council’s policy is complied with. Apart from this, my tasks have varied over the years. I have had many international assignments. For example, I work with bilateral calls together with China and India. I also work with a network of stakeholders to develop collaboration in research within the countries around the Baltic, and with researcher networks of European research councils supporting the EU’s flagship programme.

I am also the Swedish Research Council’s representative on EISCAT (radar system for studying the upper atmosphere), an international research infrastructure that we support, and that is just now facing a very interesting development.

What do you appreciate most?

My inner driver has always been to gain understanding of how the research system works, and to form an opinion on how it can best be developed. For this, the Swedish Research Council is the perfect place to work. Fundamental to enjoying your workplace is of course also having pleasant colleagues – which has always worked well at the Swedish Research Council. When you are familiar with the Swedish research system, it is also very stimulating to get an insight into how it works in other countries. And then the contacts you make are a further bonus. These days, I have friends all over the world.

Lena Hed, Communicator

Lena Hed

Photographer: Anders Norderman

Lena Hed studied history of ideas and media and communication studies, and has worked as a communicator within the private sector and within national and local government.

An ordinary day for me is often about familiarising myself with various issues, planning and producing documentation ahead of work meetings on several different projects. They might concern drawing up communication plans, making stakeholder analyses and activity plans, and implementing various communication inputs in the form of text production, meetings or seminars.

What do you appreciate most?

I like the strategic perspective – juggling ideas with highly skilled colleagues on how to handle a challenge or highlight a result in various ways, so that the issue receives notice in the right circumstances. Lots of very knowledgeable persons work here, and through my work tasks I am constantly learning new facts about the conditions for research, societal development and communication. We learn from each other. It is inspiring and fun to contribute by adding something new, improving the way we work, or bringing together different perspectives on an issue. If you are curious and good at collaborating in varying and ever-changing constellations, keeping your own projects going while at the same time being part of a larger department, then you will like it here.

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