Recipients of the lifetime achievement award and national research awards have been announced

The award of outstanding lifetime achievements in research and development was presented to Professor emerita of the University of Tartu Ene-Margit Tiit, and the national research awards were granted to Associate Professor Priit Väljamäe, Professor Pärt Peterson and Professor Kai Kisand, Associate Professor Ebe Merilo and Professor Hannes Kollist, and Professor Veronika Kalmus, Professor emerita Marju Lauristin, Associate Professor Anu Masso, Research Fellow Signe Opermann, Professor emeritus Peeter Vihalemm and Professor Triin Vihalemm.

Ene-Margit Tiit is the founder of the field of study and the school of mathematical statistics in Estonia. She has been the educator of generations of statisticians, developer of the language of science and a passionate and successful guardian of statistical literacy in society. Her research is dedicated to analysing and alleviating the burning problems in society, from divorce and poverty to the coronavirus epidemic. Her life’s work is crowned by her contribution to social and political sciences, in particular to the creation of a statistical basis for family and demographic studies in Estonia, as well as the development of a methodology for the cross-use of registers in the census. A sensitive public nerve has often brought her to the centre of public debate.

A total of 11 researchers of the University of Tartu were recognised with the annual awards for best research completed and published during the previous four years.

  • Associate Professor in General and Microbial Biochemistry Priit Väljamäe received the award in chemistry and molecular biology for the series of works “Enzymatic degradation of recalcitrant polysaccharides”.
  • Professor of Molecular Immunology Pärt Peterson and Professor of Cellular Immunology Kai Kisand were awarded in medicine for the series of articles “Research on immune ageing and Covid-19”.
  • Associate Professor of Plant Biology Ebe Merilo and Professor of Molecular Plant Biology Hannes Kollist received the award in agricultural science for the series of works “Plant adaptation to climate change”.
  • Professorof Sociology Veronika Kalmus, Professor emerita Marju Lauristin, Associate Professor of Data Studies Anu Masso, Research Fellow in Sociology of Media Signe Opermann, Professor emeritus Peeter Vihalemm and Professor of Communication Studies Triin Vihalemm were awarded in the field of social science for the series of works “Transformation in Estonian society: analysis and interpretation”.

All in all, two awards of 40,000 euros were issued for lifetime achievements in research and development, and eight national research awards of 20,000 euros for the best research work completed and published over the previous four years.  See all recipients of the awards on the website of the Ministry of Education and Research.

On the photo, recipient of the award for lifetime achievements in research and development, Professor emerita of the University of Tartu Ene-Margit Tiit. Photo by Andres Tennus

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