The Jury

The first review of Skolar Award applications is done by a preliminary jury, which is composed of twelve experts from different scientific fields. After the first round of reviews, the eight finalists will be selected by a final jury of six scientific experts.

Final jury

These world-known academics and science communicators are the ones selecting the eight finalists and the final winner at Slush on Dec 5th.


George E. Uhlenbeck Professor of Physics at the University of Michigan and currently a visiting professor at Stockholm University. Her research in theoretical cosmology is focused especially on dark matter and dark energy. This was also the subject of her popular science book The Cosmic Cocktail– three parts dark matter (2014).


Professor at the Department of Digital Humanities at the University of Helsinki. Honkela’s research interests include artificial intelligence, language technology and machine learning. His acclaimed book The Peace Machine (2017) presents the idea of artificial intelligence that could help to achieve world peace.


Academy professor of molecular cell biology at the University of Turku Centre for Biotechnology. Ivaska’s research group studies cell adhesion and the spreading of cancer. Her group’s achievements in cancer research were recently awarded with the Medix prize for world-class Finnish research.


Clinical professor of bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Kotche is the director of the Medical Accelerator for Devices Laboratory (MAD Lab) which develops healthcare device ideas into feasible concepts. Recently she has studied medical device design at the Finnish VTT Technical Research Centre.


Professor of technological culture and aesthetics at the University of Southampton, Winchester School of Art. Parikka is also a docent in digital culture theory at the University of Turku. His research combines different aspects of culture theory, media, technology and art. Parikka has also written several books on media archeology.


Director of the multidisciplinary Helsinki Sustainability Institute (HELSUS) and professor of forest economics at the University of Helsinki. Toppinen’s research interests include responsible business management in forest bioeconomy and sustainable consumer behavior.

Preliminary jury

These 12 academic superstars from six different fields of research (Natural Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Medical and Health Sciences, Agricultural Sciences, Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences) will review and rank the Skolar Award applications.



Professor of sociology at University of Tampere. Alasuutari is the author of several influential books on the methodology of social sciences and qualitative research. He was named Professor of the Year in 2014 by the Finnish Union of University Professors.



Professor of nutrition at the University of Helsinki. His research is focused on public health issues and he is actively involved in forming the national and nutrition recommendations in Finland as well as in the Nordic countries. Fogelholm is also known as a talented science communicator and lecturer.



Professor emeritus of biochemistry at the University of Helsinki. He has received several awards for his research on e.g. leukocyte adhesion. Gahmberg is also a member of several international academies of science, including the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.



Dean of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and previously professor of artistic research. Kaila’s work includes photography and installation art and is often inspired by research in history, anthropology and archeology. He is also a scientific advisor in artistic research at the Swedish Research Council. 



Senior researcher and visiting professor in physics and materials science at the Nanomicroscopy Center at Aalto University. He leads his own research group in the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf center in Germany. Krasheninnikov was one of the most highly cited researchers in physics in 2017.



Professor, medical doctor, and director of the PET-imaging centre at University of Turku. He has also participated in forming the European clinical practice guidelines for cardiology. Knuuti is a health columnist and actively communicates medical science to the public.



Media researcher and professor of cinema studies at Stockholm University. Her research interests include the construction of nationality, gender and sexuality in audiovisual culture. Koivunen is active in public discussion as a columnist and media commentator and through social media.



Professor, medical doctor, and research director at the Finnish Institute for Molecular Medicine. His research concerns examining the genetic basis of common diseases such as migraine and cardiovascular diseases. He also conducts research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Human Genome Research.



Professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia. Her research includes ecosystem restoration and long term effects of forest fertilization. She is the editor of Forest Ecology and Management scientific journal. She received the Canadian Forestry Scientific Achievement Award in 2005 and received an honorary doctorate at the University of Helsinki in 2014.



Vice-rector of Lappeenranta University of Technology. Her previous titles at LUT include dean of the School of Business, as well as professor of strategic management accounting. She is also a member of the EPAS board that evaluates and develops business education internationally.



Professor and head of the Laboratory of Green Chemistry at Lappeenranta University of Technology. Sillanpää is was one of the most highly cited researchers in engineering in 2017. His current projects concern the creation of new and profitable wastewater treatment methods.



Professor at the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering at Tampere University of Technology. She leads a research group that studies and develops wireless intra-body sensing technologies that could help paralyzed patients move and communicate. Her group does international collaboration with e.g. UCLA, Berkeley and UCSF.

Watch all the Skolar Award pitches at Slush 2017

Wondering what it’s like to pitch your research idea at the Slush stage? Here are all the amazing pitches by last year’s Skolar Award finalists! If you wish to join them, go wild and apply here.

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“Skolar Award opened my eyes once again to the fact that there’s far more to the world than just university lecture halls.”

Tommi Himberg, Skolar Award 2017 finalist