33 doctoral projects were awarded grants from the University of Iceland Doctoral Grant Fund, which is an umbrella term for the University of Iceland Research Fund, the University of Iceland Eimskip Fund and other funds involved with providing doctoral grants. The number of grant applications has never been higher, 163 in total. This year, the University of Iceland Research Fund awarded 19 grants and the University of Iceland Eimskip Fund awarded 14.
Guðbjörg Linda Rafnsdóttir, the pro-rector for science at the University of Iceland, said that it was highly gratifying to be able to award a similar number of grants as last year. It is a sign of the vitality and ambition of research at the University that the applications submitted this year have been numerous and very high quality, meaning that the University of Iceland Research Fund had some tough decisions to make. It is clear that despite the additional funding provided to the Research Fund, for the second year in a row, the Fund has been forced to reject many strong applications.
"The strategy of the University clearly states that the frameworks for doctoral studies will be strengthened. It was therefore highly gratifying to be able to live up to this ambitious strategy by increasing the number of grants in 2018. Last year, the sum of the grants was also raised considerably and we kept to that sum this year. As of last year, the grants have also included disposable funds of ISK 300,000, based on a three-year grant," said Guðbjörg Linda, pointing out that doctoral research is one of the pillars of research activity at the University.
The Rector of the University of Iceland, Jón Atli Benediktsson, agreed and said that the development of research and doctoral studies over the last two decades has been in line with the University's advances in recognised international rankings. "PhD students contribute considerably in the pursuit of knowledge, in collaboration with their supervisors, and have an active role in strengthening the University as an international research institution. They have played a major part in making the University of Iceland a leader on the international stage."
The grant recipients this year come from all five schools at the University, representing many faculties; their research spanning a broad range of disciplines.
The University of Iceland congratulates the new grant recipients and their supervisors on their grants and wishes them all the best with the important work that lies ahead. Information on the grant recipients is available on the University website.