UiT and Tromsø forskningsstiftelses (TFS) launch the AURORA Outstanding to support UiT's future leading researchers

UiT aims to focus on young talent that has the potential, the will, and the desire to develop into research team leaders and leading researchers. Therefore, a new talent development program, called AURORA Outstanding, has been created, which offers a cross-faculty and systematic follow-up of talent that is at the start of their research career.

In total, 15 candidates distributed at UiT's four largest faculties have been invited to join the new program. Arctic chronobiology and physiology’s (ACP) Shona Wood is an invited candidate for the AURORA Outstanding program.

"These are very good candidates and they were carefully selected from venues where they have already done well. All candidates will be helped to identify what they are missing in their resume to reach out, for example, in competition for external research funds. In this program we will follow the candidates so that they get the help they need to achieve their career goals, "says Research Director Pål Vegar Storeheier at the Department for Research and Development.

AURORA Outstanding is a two-year program and will receive new candidates every second year. Those who are picked out will, among other things, choose one internal and one external mentor, and they will be helped to create their own career development plan. Selection is based on the following criteria: Candidates who have been awarded a TFS StG (Tromsø Research Foundation's Starting Grant) and are already included in the TFS StG forum Candidates who have been awarded a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (MSCA-IF) at UiT Candidates who have been awarded the European Research Council Starting Grant (ERC) or moved on to step two in the evaluation process Candidates at UiT who are recruited on similar criteria and associated with the Norwegian Center for Molecular Medicine (NCMM)

The candidates at AURORA Outstandig met the first time on Tuesday, September 4, at the launch of the program. It is Jana Jagerska, Krishna Agarwal, Fatih Bayram, Shona Wood, Alexander Tøsdal Tveit, Andreia Aletia Plaza Faverola, Cordian Reiner, Pia Abel zur Wiesch, Sören Abel, Rachel Class, Juha Vierinen, Kathrin Helen Hopmann and Eva-Stina Edholm. Evangelina Leivada and Lorena Arraz were not present when the picture was taken. Photo: David Jensen.

ACP’s Shona Wood and NT Faculty’s Andreia Aletia Plaza Faverola were interviewed by the university newspaper:

"I am pleasantly surprised that the university offers such a program. Getting such support early in his career is great”. This is what scientist Andreia Aletia Plaza Faverola says at the Department of Geoscience. She has been in Norway since 2013.

"I also think it is incredibly good that the university supports its candidates in this way, and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to become part of the program. It is also a good forum for addressing how to effectively progress our research careers, "said Shona Wood, who has worked at the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology (BFE) for 10 months. Her goal is to become a professor and eventually lead a research group of high international standard.

Andreia Aletia Plaza Faverola (left) and Shona Wood are pleased to be able to participate in the talent development program. Photo: David Jensen.

AURORA Outstanding is a collaboration between UiT and Tromsø Research Foundation (TFS), which allocates funding for long-term basic research and research-promoting measures, including research-based recruitment measures, at UiT.

"We wish to focus on the top research talent through our annual funding for long-term research, and as a lasting result of our commitment, we also want to continue to develop further. So, this collaboration with the university looks as a natural extension of the work we already do, says the administrative director of TFS, Unn Sørum.

Read more about Tromsø Research Foundation.
Based on the Norwegian article by Randi Merete Solhaug found here.