Adjunct Professor Sofia Laine appointed as Research Professor
The Board of the Finnish Youth Research Society has selected Sofia Laine as the new Research Professor of the Finnish Youth Research Network. Photo: Raisa Kyllikki Ranta.
The Board of the Finnish Youth Research Society has selected Adjunct Professor Sofia Laine (PhD) as the new Research Professor of the Finnish Youth Research Network. Laine is currently serving as a research manager at the Juvenia Youth Research and Development Centre of South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk) and as a researcher at Tampere University. The Finnish Youth Research Network and Laine share a long history: Laine started her academic career as an intern at the office of the Finnish Youth Research Society in 2004. Her dissertation (Young Actors in Transnational Agoras. Multi-Sited Ethnography of Cosmopolitan Micropolitical Orientations) for the University of Helsinki was published as part of the Finnish Youth Research Network’s publication series in 2012.
The Board selected Laine because of her diverse range of impressive research activities and her extensive international and Finnish networks, among other reasons. Extensive cooperation networks were emphasised as a criterion, because they play a key role in terms of research activities and social impact.
- The Research Professor also plays a significant role in managing and developing the research operations of the Finnish Youth Research Network under the Finnish Youth Research Society. We hope that the Research Professor will bring interesting research programmes to the Finnish Youth Research Network, and that she will support the operations of the entire research community, says Tiina Valkendorff, Vice Chair of the Board of the Finnish Youth Research Society, who was a member of the recruitment committee.
The Research Professor will start her work in a situation that is historically very interesting and involves a great deal of uncertainty in Europe and globally.
- Extensive changes – climate change, the pandemic and the security policy situation in Europe – are having a strong impact on children’s and young people’s lives and future outlooks. I believe that the Research Professor will help us address these themes in our research and implement our mission in society, says Sinikka Aapola-Kari, Research Director at the Finnish Youth Research Network.
Laine’s strong vision for the role of the Research Professor in developing Finnish and international youth research was an important factor in favour of her selection.
- My vision is related to planetary youth research: how academic and applied research can help us understand and best support the development of children and young people on this limited planet, now and in the future. In this historic time, we need both local and global insight. I feel that the position of the Research Professor is, above all, one of cooperation and service. I hope I will be able to support younger researchers’ academic careers, participate in developing the Finnish Youth Research Network as a research organisation and facilitate national and international research cooperation,” says Sofia Laine.
Laine has extensive experience in working for national and international organisations in the field of youth research, including nearly all of the key youth research units in Finland: the University of Helsinki, Tampere University, the Juvenia Youth Research and Development Centre of South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk) and the Finnish Youth Research Network. She also holds several international positions of trust in youth research and has broad and varied experience in international research.
- The multidimensional role of the Finnish Youth Research Network as a research organisation, scientific publisher and impactful player in society is unique. As a flexible and agile organisation, the Finnish Youth Research Network has always been a more significant operator than its size suggests. With my expertise and networks, I want to further strengthen its role in Finland and internationally, says Laine.
The position of research professor with the Finnish Youth Research Network was established in 2009, when Adjunct Professor Tommi Hoikkala (PhD) was invited to serve as the network’s first research professor. Hoikkala retired in April 2021, but he entered into an emeritus agreement with the Finnish Youth Research Network. Hoikkala and Laine are currently working together within the Young People’s Sense of Place and Worries project.
The open international application process to hire a research professor began in September 2021. A total of 17 applications were submitted: 11 from Finland and six from different parts of the world. The final selection was made at the meeting of the Finnish Youth Research Society’s Board of Directors on Friday 18 March 2022. Laine will start her work as Research Professor on 1 August 2022.
Research Professor (from 1 August 2022) Sofia Laine
+358 50 596 0084
Research Director Sinikka Aapola-Kari
Tel. +358 44 416 5303