Meet the Skolarists

Over the years we have had the pleasure to meet a colourful bunch of brilliant Research Pitching Competition finalists. Meet and learn more about the new and previous finalists.

Research Pitching Competition Premiere 2018

Last year’s finalists tell what Research Pitching Competition is really like


Application period for Research Pitching Competition 2019 is now open! We asked last year’s finalists to speak their mind and reveal the truth about Research Pitching Competition as an experience.

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Watch the final pitches of 2018


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

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Lab work and new business ideas – This is what 2018 winner Sandra Jernström is up to


Sandra Jernström from Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute won the 100 000 euro Skolar Award in December 2018 at Slush. What is she up to now with all that money?

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Sandra Jernström at Slush

Winner Sandra Jernström wants to change the way we treat cancer


Skolar Award 2018 winner Sandra Jernström wants to really understand cancer and create a selection of personalised treatments with faster results. Jernström works as a researcher at Karolinska Institute, Department of Oncology-Pathology.

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Sandra Jernström wins Research Pitching Competition by Slush and Skolar!


Eight young researchers pitched new research ideas at Slush at the Skolar Award research pitching finals. The main prize, a 100 000 euro research grant, went to Sandra Jernström from Karolinska Institute, who’s winning idea strives to find a new kind of treatment to cancer.

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Joosu Kuivanen wants to transform plastic into proteins


The oceans are full of plastic. Skolar Award finalist Joosu Kuivanen from VTT Technical Research Center of Finland wants to tackle the problem with microbes. His research idea is focused on exploring the microbes that degrade plastic, so that they could be used as a protein source and turned into fish food.

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Amber Geurts wants to change how we see artificial intelligence


Skolar Award finalist Amber Geurts recognizes that the conversation around AI is limited and we need more varied perspectives. She wants to show the full spectrum of AI by studying and visualizing the full depth and breadth of their current applications.

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Ulrike Pfreundt wants to 3D print coral reef structures to save the oceans


Skolar Award finalist Ulrike Pfreundt boldly bridges digital architecture and marine ecosystem restoration to create artificial reef structures that could help save our oceans.

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Elina Marttinen wants to find out why the youngsters are so lost


Mental health symptoms among young people have increased. This Skolar Award finalist, researcher and psychologist Elina Marttinen from University of Helsinki* thinks identity formation should be studied further so we can find out why the youngsters are so lost.

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Yang Bai wants to create a material that allows us to get renewable energy from everywhere


Skolar Award finalist Yang Bai has an idea that takes renewable energy production to the next level. Instead of solar panels and wind turbines, this Skolar Award finalist would like to create multi-functional energy generators that can turn any renewable energy into electricity.

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Foivos Perakis wants to secure safe and clean water in the Nordics with cryo-desalination


Climate change creates challenges for ensuring safe water even in the Nordics. Skolar Award finalist Foivos Perakis wants to explore how salt and water separate at the molecular level to generate freshwater from frozen seawater.

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Ville Pihlajaniemi wants to turn wood into food


Skolar Award finalist Ville Pihlajaniemi from VTT Technical Research Center of Finland thinks cellulosic sugar could be one solution to the food crisis our planet is inevitably facing in the future.

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Meet the eight finalists of Research Pitching Competition by Slush and Skolar 2018!


These wild postdoc researchers pitched their ideas on the Slush stage on December 5th 2018.

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“Sell the science, not the hype”


Although pitching is most often done in startup circles, it works just as well for scientific purposes, too. Skolar Award alumnus Janne Hakkarainen advises future applicants to not forget the science in their pitch, but most importantly, to have fun – a mantra he also follows in his career.

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“Be clear on what is important about what you do”


Research pitches should focus on the most important aspect of the research, believes Skolar Award alumni Ivana Trapani. Even the complex research topic of genetic engineering can be understood if it’s narrowed down to its key elements.

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Research Pitching Competition winner and PostNord will collaborate to collect water samples from around Sweden


Earlier this year, Johan Seijsing, Skolar Award winner spoke of his wishes to engage the Swedish public in his research on antibiotic resistance. Now the Swedish postal service PostNord has agreed to help him.

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“Postdocs are massive energy reserves for the academic community”


Researchers in the beginning of their careers are extraordinarily productive and have unparalleled scientific freedom. Last year’s Skolar Award finalist Tommi Himberg thinks that’s exactly why providing funding for postdocs really pays off.

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Hear it from a postdoc – last year’s finalists share their thoughts on Research Pitching Competition by Slush and Skolar


An experience to remember, awesome team spirit, learning to deal with extreme nervousness – Skolar Award offers lessons that can make you smile and shine long after the competition is over.

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Johan Seijsing has gone wild!


We met with Skolar Award 2017 winner Johan Seijsing in Stockholm and heard about his ambitious goals for the future.

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Research Pitching Competition 2017 winner shares his story


Taking a leap of faith, making it through insecurity, facing nervousness, rehearsing, rehearsing… Competition winner from 2017 Johan Seijsing shares his experience.

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“The experience will be very different from your ordinary work day.”

Johan Seijsing, Research Pitching Competition 2017 winner