Pernilla Nilsson is the new Secretary General for Educational Sciences

The Swedish Research Council’s new Secretary General for Educational Sciences is Pernilla Nilsson, who is Professor of Science Education and Pro Vice-Chancellor at Halmstad University. She has a great interest in teaching, learning and quality issues. Creating better career opportunities for newly qualified researchers, digitisation, and developing teacher education are other issues of importance to her.

Pernilla Nilsson has been part of building up several graduate schools for teachers and teacher educators.

“As a researcher, I have always been very keen on contributing to creating opportunities for teachers and student teachers to develop professional knowledge. In recent years, I have been researching how digitisation enables learning, with particular focus on digitisation in schools and education,” she says.

Over the years, Pernilla Nilsson has held a number of management positions. As a deputy vice-chancellor and pro vice-chancellor, she has led the work of building up quality assurance systems for education, research-level education, and research at Halmstad University, and also been responsible for preparing the university’s range of educational programmes, as well as leading a research team in a cross-disciplinary research environment.

These are experiences that she believes can be of benefit in her new role as Secretary General for Educational Sciences. When asked how she want to contribute to developing educational sciences research, she emphasises collaboration with the surrounding community, and work with internationalisation.

“Educational sciences research addresses several of the major societal challenges, such as digitisation, sustainability, marketisation, integration, and broadened recruitment. I believe that it is important to show how multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary this research field is.”

Pernilla Nilsson

Pernilla Nilsson

She sees a great need to map ongoing research inside and outside Sweden, to identify strategically important research areas, and to support the development of strong research environments for educational sciences at Swedish higher education institutions. With her experience of collaborating in graduate schools and on several major research projects with colleagues from different higher education institutions, she has acquired a large national and international network within educational sciences research.

“I think that it is important to collaborate with major international networks, but also to work together with the Nordic research councils. Digitisation and its consequences for teaching and learning, and the importance of educational sciences research in developing teacher education and other higher education are other issues I want to focus on.”

Pernilla Nilsson will take up the position as the new Secretary General for Educational Sciences on 1 February 2022.

The Swedish Research Council has five secretaries general, each with a high level of scientific competence, who contribute knowledge and experience to the organisation

The secretaries general are part of the Swedish Research Council’s executive management team, and initiate, drive and follow up issues within their respective areas of expertise. The secretaries general are active researchers, and usually employed by the Swedish Research Council on a part-time basis for a maximum of six years.

Read more about the Swedish Research Council’s secretaries general



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