On donations: Olof Karis and Gabriella Andersson
“Donations absolutely vital for our activities”
Research in physics and astronomy at Uppsala University ranges from the unimaginably tiny to the enormously large. In research in astronomy, which extends from planetary systems and stellar physics to the large-scale structure of the universe, donations play an important role.
“We have two donations destined for astronomy that are absolutely vital for our activities. Essentially, this is an operational grant that enables us to run an astronomical observatory,” says Professor Olof Karis, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
He explains that donations can be both a way to finance projects with a relatively short time horizon and an opportunity for doctoral students to give their CV that little extra.
“Even if the donor has specific wishes for how the funds should be used, the money often comes with fewer strings attached than direct government funding for research, for example, where it takes several years from beginning to write an application until funds are granted. The long lead times associated with traditional grants sometimes result in projects coming to a standstill or never being realised. A donation can therefore contribute to greater flexibility, which creates new possibilities. Donations in the form of smaller scholarships for doctoral students are also important to enable individual students to take part in conferences, for example, or conduct part of their education abroad.”
“Receiving a scholarship also has a great symbolic value. It’s a personal success that can make a difference to a doctoral student’s future career,” says Gabriella Andersson, Professor of Materials Physics.