Published: 25-04-2022 16:06 | Updated: 25-04-2022 17:22

Junior Investigator Award: Six KI-researchers awarded grants for SDG-related research

Photo: GettyImages.

In november 2021, KI announced the second internal call dedicated to junior researchers who conduct SDG-related research. Six research projects have been selected in a competitive review.

A text in blue that reads: Sustainable development goals.
Photo: United Nations.

The UN has developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. KI is devoted to finding solutions to health challenges as described in Strategy 2030.

KI:s second internal call, announced at the conference on Sustainable Development, aimed to encourage junior KI-researchers to engage in sustainable development and to further develop SDG-related research. 

6 high-quality projects addressing a wide range of SDGs have been selected in a competitive review of 29 applications, to share 1 million SEK, which is financed by the KI Strategy 2030 operational plan and is a key component of the project “One KI for sustainable development”.

Awarded researchers and their projects:

Anna Kågesten
Anna Kågesten. Photo: Joel Nilsson.

Anna Kågesten

Department: Global Public Health (GPH)
Awarded: 200,000 SEK
Project: Leveraging the Sustainable Development Goals to improve adolescent health and wellbeing: priority indicators to enhance monitoring and evaluation of progress on the world’s adolescents.
Summary: Adolescents aged 10-19 are largely invisible in the SDG framework. We will determine how a recently developed set of priority indicators recommended by the Global Action for Measurement of Adolescent Health (GAMA) Advisory Group, can advance monitoring and evaluation of adolescent health across the SDGs – particularly the goals related to good health and wellbeing (SDG 3), no poverty (SDG 1), zero hunger (SDG 2), quality education (SDG 4), gender equality (SDG 5) and reduced inequalities (SDG 10). The project will be carried out in collaboration with the World Health Organization, Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing.

Margit Endler and her research group in South Africa.
Margit Endler and her research group in South Africa. Photo: private.

Margit Endler

Department: Women´s and Children´s Health (KBH)
Awarded: 200,000 SEK
Project: Telemedicine for contraceptive counselling after abortion in South Africa: a pilot project.
Summary: Effective contraception is a crucial part of sexual and reproductive health and rights, women's empowerment and poverty reduction (SDG 1,4 and 5). Despite this, unmet need of post-abortion contraception and underutilisation of long-acting reversible contraception remain high globally. The peri-abortion period presents an opportunity to provide women with choice and access to modern contraceptives. Using human-centered design, this research project will develop and pilot an online application for individualised contraceptive counselling, informed by systematic research into the preferences and experiences of women in South Africa.

Sibylle Herzig van Wees at the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology
Sibylle Herzig van Wees at the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology. Photo: private.

Sibylle Herzig van Wees

Department: Global Public Health (GPH)
Awarded: 200,000 SEK
Project: Working with faith-leaders to address gender inequality and intimate partner violence in Ethiopia.
Summary: Addressing violence against women and girls (VAWG) and achieving gender equality are some of the most pressing issues in Ethiopian society and relate to several SDGs (3, 5, 10 & 16). The purpose of this project is to assess an intervention that engages faith-leaders to address VAWG in religious communities in Ethiopia. The findings of this project can inform discussions about the involvement of faith-leaders in gender and health interventions more broadly.”

Elena Raffetti
Elena Raffetti. Photo: Antonietta Pelamatti.

Elena Raffetti

Department: Global Public Health (GPH)
Awarded: 200,000 SEK
Project: Extreme temperatures, adverse health effects and future scenarios.
Summary: Anthropogenically driven climate change is increasing the frequency of temperature extremes. This project aims to uncover how societal processes influence adaptation to non-optimal and extreme temperatures leveraging historical data and building future scenarios. This will support practitioners and stakeholders in developing recommendations and adaptation strategies. This award will contribute to data acquisition and will be carried out in collaboration with the Center for Natural Hazards and Disaster Sciences (CNDS) and Uppsala University.

Jonatan Martín-Rodríguez
Jonatan Martín-Rodríguez. Photo: KI.

Jonatan Martín-Rodríguez

Department: Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC)
Awarded: 100,000 SEK
Project: Antibiotic resistance and transmission in waterborne bacteria.
Summary: Antibiotic resistance is an ongoing, silent pandemic largely driven by the horizontal dissemination of resistance determinants in the environment. In this sense, the aquatic milieu, suffering from high levels of anthropogenic pressure and contamination, represents a transmission hotspot and a reservoir of resistance genes. Less studied but not less important are sediments, where inherent oxygen gradients, distinct microbiota composition, and presence of biofilm communities, may provide completely different dissemination routes. In this project we will monitor antibiotic residue contamination in aquatic ecosystems as well as waste waters. We will isolate resistant Shewanella spp. and Vibrio spp., and we will analyse the (epi)genetic determinants driving the acquisition of resistance in these model bacteria.

Shireen Sindi. Photo: Ingemar Kåreholt.

Shireen Sindi

Department: Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS)
Awarded: 100,000 SEK
Project: Air pollution and dementia: A novel investigation of multi-system biological mechanisms (PolluDem).
Summary: Dementia & Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cause great suffering with substantial burdens. Air pollution has recently been highlighted as an important modifiable risk factors. PolluDem Project aims to investigate the underlying mechanisms, including the associations between air pollution, noise, lack of greenness & AD/dementia incidence, neuroimaging, synaptic & neuroinflammatory markers, AD biomarkers, and stress biomarkers. This interdisciplinary multi-site will facilitate tailoring future interventions at the individual & societal levels.