Irja VormedalVormedal is one of only eight researchers in all of Norway to achieve this prestigious scholarship for young academic talents within the humanities and social sciences this year.

A total of 377 scholars applied for the Research Council’s 'young talent' funds, an overview shows; within the field of the humanities and social sciences, only seven per cent of the applications were granted.

Inspiring new ideas

This is the sixth time that the Research Council awards the 'young talent' grants, which are grants specifically intended for promising, young researchers early in their careers. To be eligible, applicants must be younger than 40 years old, and must have distinguished themselves, showing significant talent during graduate studies and as doctoral/ postdoctoral fellows or researchers.

Altogether, the Research Council will be supporting 34 such projects scheduled to start in 2019, all funded under the ‘Free Project Support’ (FRIPRO) umbrella. Eight of these are within the field of the humanities and social sciences (FRIHUMSAM).

The rationale behind these grants is to give young and highly talented researchers the independence and possibilities they need to develop their own ideas. This strengthens research in Norway and it strengthens our research institutions’, said Anders Hanneborg of the Research Council in a comment.

Tipping project

Kristin RosendalThe grant to Vormedal is awarded for the research project ‘Snowballing and Tipping: Market Feedback, Regulatory Coalitions, and Institutional Change in Climate Politics’. The project will explore conditions under which policy-market feedback can cause upward spiralling trajectories towards more stringent and comprehensive institutions in climate politics. It will investigate the causes and effects of ‘snowballing’ dynamics – the accumulation of market change and market demand for more policy over time. It will also explore the conditions under which snowballing may culminate in ‘tipping points’ of market demand for more policy. 

Vormedal feels both humbled and excited:

I’m thrilled to receive this scholarship, as it will allow me to build my own research programme. I look forward to working with project partners at Berkeley and Yale and to advancing knowledge on the role of markets in political and institutional change. I hope that the project results can be used strategically by policy-makers to accelerate a low-carbon transition’.

Acting Director at FNI, Kristin Rosendal, says she is excited and happy on Vormedal’s behalf.

This is of course very good news, not only for Irja, but for FNI as a whole. FNI is encouraging promising, young researchers to develop their full potential. We need the sharpest minds and we need bold and new ideas. Irja brings all of this to the table and we are happy to have her on the team'.

Related reading:

States and markets in global environmental governance: The role of tipping points in international regime formation

From Foe to Friend? Business, the Tipping Point and U.S. Climate Politics