Hasselblad Science is the natural sciences branch of the Hasselblad Foundation. The foundation’s aim is to support both photography and science. In the scientific domain, we award research funding, donations and stipends, and our ambition is to support larger projects of long-term strategic importance in primarily Western Sweden.

Grants 2019

Female Scientists 2019

Subsequent to the decision in principle of the Board of Directors of the Erna and Victor Hasselblad Foundation (“referred to below as “the Hasselblad Foundation” or “the Foundation”) to make funding available for further research qualification for women researchers in the natural sciences, with a possible extension to closely-related fields of technology and life science, the following general prerequisites, rules and regulations have been adopted.




The intention is, to appropriate SEK 2,000,000 annually to be used as further research funding for two women researchers (SEK 1,000,000 each). For reasons of resources and accounting on the part of the Hasselblad Foundation, the grant will be awarded annually, and on the condition that the necessary funding is available.


Once the grant has been awarded, it is to be considered project funding to be put toward further research qualification and is to be paid into each respective researcher’s research or project account at the university in question, successively, for a period of no more than three years, and with reviews at regular intervals during the course of the grant period.


In order to be eligible for a grant, the individual must be a researcher employed at Chalmers University of Technology or the University of Gothenburg and, after having been awarded her PhD, completed a post-doc period and commenced upon an academic career. No more than six years shall have passed between the date of the PhD and the date of application, maternity leave excluded.


The grant from the Hasselblad Foundation may be used to fund research activities including, for example, infrastructure utilization and periods spent as a guest researcher abroad, but not for purchasing equipment. The Hasselblad Foundation requires reports concerning the use of the funding, and reserves the right, when relevant, to require that the researcher contributes to popular science presentations of her research field.


The decision of the Hasselblad Foundation is contingent upon agreement from the university in question to participate, with no charges and no contributions to overhead costs, as specified in the following detailed rules and regulations.



Each year during the period in question, the Hasselblad Foundation will inform the vice chancellors of the two universities that the Foundation has budgeted SEK 2,000,000 to fund two grants of SEK 1,000,000 each to be used as further research funding for two women researchers with PhDs.


Each vice chancellor will circulate information concerning the opportunity to apply for these grants at his or her university and the conditions attached to it, stating the date by which an application in Swedish or English, addressed to the Hasselblad Foundation, must have been submitted to the vice chancellor, and the number of copies specified. The Hasselblad Foundation is to receive three copies of each of the three ranked applications (see below).


There is no specific application form, but in order to assess the scientific content and the realism concerning implementation of the further research on the basis of which the funding is being applied for, each application must include:

  • a general presentation (no longer than two pages) of the applicant’s field of research,
  • a general long-term development plan including a plan for the applicant’s own further scientific qualification and future scientific focus, further education, participation in teacher training courses, courses on how to serve as an academic advisor, courses in leadership, etc.
  • a working plan/time frame for the intended use of the grant being applied for, including information on planned collaboration, time to be spent in other structures/environments (preferably abroad), expenses, payment tranches, and proposed dates for review
  • A Curriculum Vitae including a list of publications
    letter(s) of recommendation describing the applicant’s current situation and future potential for development, seen in light of the possible application for the grant being accepted.


Each vice chancellor will have a critical assessment of the applications received carried out, and forward to the Hasselblad Foundation no more than three applications by July 1st 2019.

The recommendations of the vice chancellor are to be accompanied by a justification and a proposal concerning dates for review.


When the Hasselblad Foundation has received all the applications – no more than nine in total – the members of the Board of Directors of the Foundation who are professionals in fields relating to the natural sciences will examine them and propose a decision to the Board of Directors of the Foundation.


The Board of Directors of the Foundation will make its decision, which will be announced by the Foundation, and payment of the grants will begin in accordance to the payment arrangements determined by the Foundation.


Each respective vice chancellor will have follow-ups carried out of the recipient’s achievements, and submit a report to the Foundation after every agreed date for review. If continued payment of the grant is recommended, payment will be made. If the recommendation is to cease payment, or if there is any question about continuing, the matter will be referred to the Board of Directors of the Foundation for a decision.


Forskning & Framsteg 

For the 18th time, the Hasselblad Foundation is supporting the International Science Festival.

Each year, the International Science Festival in Gothenburg creates a meeting place for knowledge, inspiration and new perspectives. The Festival attracts about 70 000 per year, which makes it one of Europe’s leading popular science events.

The Festival offers an exciting mix of science and culture. There are three separate programmes: the public programme, the school programme and the specialist programme – Forum for Research Communication.

The support amounts to SEK 300 000.

Grants 2018

Female Scientists 2018

For the eighth straight year, the Hasselblad Foundation is allocating funding to female researchers in the natural sciences.

Two scientists from the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology are this year’s recipients of the Hasselblad Foundation’s annual research grants for female researchers, each worth SEK 1 million. The grant programme was established in 2011 to acknowledge female researchers and enable them to continue and further develop their research.

This year’s grants go to Brina Blinzler, Assistant Professor at the division of Material- and Computational Mechanics, Department of Industrial and Materials Science, Chalmers University of Technology and Marina Rafajlovic, Assistant Professor at Department of Marine Sciences University of Gothenburg.

The International Science Festival 2018

For the 17th time, the Hasselblad Foundation is supporting the International Science Festival.

Each year, the International Science Festival in Gothenburg creates a meeting place for knowledge, inspiration and new perspectives. The Festival attracts about 70 000 per year, which makes it one of Europe’s leading popular science events.

Photo: Niclas Bernstone

Photo: Niclas Bernstone

The Festival offers an exciting mix of science and culture. There are three separate programmes: the public programme, the school programme and the specialist programme – Forum for Research Communication.

The support amounts to SEK 300 000.

The connection between the Foundation and the observatory dates all the way back to 1975 when Erna and Victor Hasselblad donated the land to Chalmers to enable the construction of a radome-enclosed cm- and mm-wave telescope. The Hasselblads lived nearby and owned the land in the area. On 21 May 1976, Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf inaugurated the new telescope in Onsala just south of Gothenburg.

Guest professors:

James L. Davis, Research Professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, New York, USA. He has a past as a partner with the research group Space Geodesy and Geodynamics at Chalmers, located at the Onsala Space Observatory. In the 80’s he carried out studies in the field of geodetic long-base interferometry (VLBI) to improve the accuracy of the method, and especially developing methods for corrections of the atmospheric impact. Then, in the 90’s and a few years after the turn of the millennium, Jim participated in joint projects that included GPS observations and studies of the land uplift in northern Europe. Jim today has a broad profile that extends across several research areas such as climate related research on sea level, ice cover, and glacier dynamics. It is natural for this new collaboration to link to previous work on atmospheric measurements and crustal dynamics in northern Europe where there is still improvements to be made in the accuracy of the geodetic measurements, which hopefully open for new geodynamic issues to be addressed.

Matt King is Professor of Polar Geodesy in the School of Land and Food, University of Tasmania, Australia. His field of expertise is geodetic observation of the global water cycle, including ice sheet mass balance and sea level change and particularly using the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE). He also works on reduction of systematic and random errors in these techniques in order to maximise the information content in the data and improve the reliability of the interpretations. His research currently encompasses the following broad areas: i) measurement and modelling of glacial isostatic adjustment in Antarctica for understanding previous and current ice mass changes; ii) improved observation of sea-level change and present-day polar contributors; iii) using geodetic techniques to understand ice sheet and glacier change; and iv) probing Earth’s internal structure using glacial unloading and earthquakes.

Prof. Paola Caselli obtained her PhD degree in Astronomy at the University of Bologna in 1994. Since 2014 she is one of the directors of the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, where she leads the ‘Center for Astrochemical Studies’. She is one of the most prominent astronomers in Europe. Her research ranges in topics from the study of young, planet-forming, disks to the chemistry of galaxies in the early Universe. Some of her most important contributions concern the understanding of the fundamental physical and chemical processes that regulate and control the earliest phases of star formation.

Dimitra Rigopoulou is professor of Astrophysics at Oxford University, UK.  She is a highly distinguished astronomer of a strong international standing. Her research spans topics ranging from the study of young galaxies in the early Universe, to investigating the properties of nearby active- and dust-embedded galaxies. Some of her most important contributions include the understanding of the fundamental physical processes that regulate dust-enshrouded star formation in distant and local galaxies and the development of diagnostic tools (in particular in the infrared wavelength regime). Her >160 refereed journal papers have more than 15000 citations. Dimitra’s professional web-page can be found here.

Mark Birkinshaw is Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Bristol, U.K. Until 1995 he worked in the U.S.A. at the Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory and at Harvard University where he was involved in preparations for the launch of the Chandra X-ray telescope. He is best known for being the first to detect the so-called Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect, a faint distortion of the cosmic microwave background radiation due to the presence of hot gas along the line of sight. This first detection opened the door for an entire field of research and has even been used recently to detect previously unknown distant clusters of galaxies. Birkinshaw has remained at the forefront of extragalactic research through his whole career. He is actively involved in several international collaborations such as XXL (a multi-wavelength survey of two parts of the sky to study clusters and galaxies with supermassive black holes), work with LOFAR (the LOw Frequency ARray, a digital radio telescope with a core in the Netherlands and stations in several European countries, including one in Onsala); he also uses ALMA to probe galaxies lensed by foreground massive clusters.

The five affiliated professor appointments supported by the Hasselblad Foundation will  be in the period 2019-2021.

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A Swedish contribution to the Synoptic Arctic Survey (SAS)

The Arctic Ocean is changing faster than our present approaches to properly measure and document all the different shifts as well as the driving forces behind them. Thus there is a need for a Synoptic Arctic Survey that seeks to define the present state of the Arctic Ocean and understand the major ongoing transformations. It will not be possible to assess either the consequences or the range of the ongoing changes unless necessary empirical data are collected, analyzed and understood in concert with each other. A fundamental premise for approaching, sampling and understanding the far-reaching changes in the Arctic Ocean is thus that the survey should be synoptic across the ocean, which is beyond the scope of any single nation.