Bloggfćrslur mánađarins, september 2008

Support for Basic Research from Private Foundations

I recently learnt about the existence of a new centre of excellence in Denmark devoted to topics close to me research area. Anna and I know basically all the consortium members very well. These people have been collecting centre-of-excellence funding from Danish governmental funding bodies before and on a regular basis. A very interesting aspect of this CoE is that this time around the 25 million DKK (roughly 458 million ISK at today's exchange rate) are being provided by a private foundation, The Villum Kann Rasmussen Foundation. (See also this page to find out what other things they fund.)

Wouldn't it be good to have a similar foundation in Iceland supported by a consortium of Icelanders who made it big and want to support the scientific development of their country? This is daydreaming, I know....

Graduate program in molecular life sciences

Yesterday we saw a new program established at the University of Iceland. Scientists working on biological, biochemical and medical research have joined forces, as a grassroot organization, to found a new program aimed at recruiting and training graduate students, foster collaborations, and enrich the academic environment as a whole.

The program is outlined on the website and is summarized as:

"The international Graduate Program in Molecular Life Sciences, GPMLS, is a joint effort of biomedical research groups in the different faculties and research organisations of the University of Iceland to create a dynamic interdisciplinary education program in molecular life sciences. The main objective of the Graduate Program in Molecular Life Sciences is to advance education and research in this field. The program enhances cooperation of scientists and students in the field of molecular life sciences. "

Currently the main obstacle to the success of the program is funding. Though the University of Iceland has celebrated the program, and supported its initial phase with 1 million kr, no further funds have been provided by that source. Which does not reflect well on the stated objectives of the University of Iceland to boost basic research.


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