New award in recognition of advances in research leadership
ANNUAL AWARDS CEREMONY. The Stefan Bengtsson Research Leader Award is a new award that was presented for the first time at this year's Malmo University Annual Awards Ceremony.
It is presented to researchers at Malmö University who have received their PhD in the past ten years. The 2016 winner is Marité Cárdenas at Biofilms – Research Center for Biointerfaces.
As the name implies, the award was created when the former vice-chancellor of Malmö University, Stefan Bengtsson, stepped down in 2015. To be nominated, the researcher must have had a significant impact on the development of research at Malmö University, and must have contributed to the creation of an inclusive, interactional and innovative international research environment. This can be achieved, for example, by establishing intradisciplinary or interdisciplinary networks, seminar series or research groups.
Focus on neutron dispersion
Marité Cárdenas is a physical chemist and she received her PhD from Lund University in 2004. She then secured a post-doc position at Malmö University, which led to further research at Copenhagen University. She returned to Malmo University in 2014. Her specialist fields are surface chemistry and nanobiochemistry and at present her primary focus is neutron dispersion. A number of her research projects, both past and present, deal with mapping good and bad cholesterol and creating new knowledge regarding atherosclerosis.
Link to ESS
"My contribution has been to link Malmö University to ESS via a European Interreg project connected to ESS and MAX IV. The project involves working with researchers from Norway, Sweden and Denmark. I already have several contacts – in Denmark for example – and I'm extremely pleased that I've been able to bring Malmo University into the project," Marité Cárdenas explained.
ESS is currently under construction and in the interim Marité Cárdenas and her colleagues will need to travel abroad to conduct experiments on neutron chains. These research trips are time-consuming, arduous and costly and the 50,000 kronor prize money – which is intended to fund research – will be put to that use.
What do you do to create and maintain your networks?
"It is a case of preserving and nurturing your contacts and developing an ability to pick up on different needs and to talk different "languages", particularly scientific languages. I have gradually come to realise that researchers from different areas often have different ways of expressing themselves."
What are the challenges?
"The difficulty of getting someone to understand what is required and then encouraging that person to do something new."
And the most enjoyable?
"Being able to demonstrate what you can achieve when you think outside the box."