söndag 8 december 2013

We got funding!

This is the third blog post in a row about different research project applications that I have worked with together with my colleague Björn Hedin. This blog post ties back to a previous blog post ("Improved energy habits through quantified self") where I wrote a little about an application we had handed in to the Swedish Energy Agency back then, at the end September. We just found out our application will get funded!

As apart from other recent blog posts about applications for funding smaller pedagogical development projects, this time we are talking about serious money, i.e. millions of Swedish crowns. The approved amount is 20 times larger than the asked-for amount for this project that I wrote about in the previous blog post - and almost 30 times larger than the money we actually got for the project after the asked-for amount was reduced by 25%.

More specifically, the funding will in total cover almost 2.5 man-years and 60% of my annual salary - but spread out over three academic year (summer 2014 - summer 2017). Although the work load will shift (more work during the first year and less during the second), I will on average work 20% in this project (i.e. one day per week) during the following three years.

The four persons who will work in the project are Björn Hedin (project leader), Daniel Pargman (me), Henrik Artman and Jorge Zapico. The project officially starts right now - but only a tiny part of the project will run during the spring of 2014. I guess I could start to read up on things that have been published in the area this spring and we should also have some planning sessions, but there is hardly any time for planning before I leave Sweden a week from now.

Another thing we (Björn) could start to work on directly though is to get students to write their thesis within this project during the spring. That would be a good, lightweight method of starting to explore the area immediately. Each master's thesis represents 800 hours of work on behalf of the student and it would be wonderful if we could recruit one or two students to do their theses on something that is related to the project during the spring!

While this is excellent news for me personally, it is also really good news for the recently-christened (MID4S) sustainability team I lead at our department (MID). We are pretty new as a team (and it takes time to come together and jell), but we have together managed to produce five "items of output" this calendar year (2013); three papers and two research grant applications that altogether have involved no less than eight team members in total. This is thus the first approved research grant application that our team has produced and all four persons in this project are (at least nominally) MID4S members. A number of team members will now have funding to officially work in the area of ICT and sustainability - something that has previously only been true for me and vice team leader Elina as we teach a course on Sustainability and Media Technology each autumn.

While this blog post has wallowed in good news, the one fly in the ointment is that my other, equally great research grant application to the Swedish Energy Agency was turned down :-(

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