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Microbes and Man Research Programme evaluated: MICMAN programme scientifically a success

The Academy of Finland’s Microbes and Man (MICMAN) Research Programme was scientifically of a very high standard. This is the assessment of the programme’s evaluation panel composed of international top researchers in the field. The panel’s report was published on Thursday 25 January 2007.

The programme generated a substantial amount of new knowledge. Any direct application of this knowledge was not expected, as the programme ran only for a relatively short time, i.e. three years. The panel found the programme well planned and praised the programme for the its fruitful collaboration contacts. The programme was carried out in cooperation with the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research and involved several Finnish-Swedish joint projects.

The MICMAN programme was implemented during 2003–2005. The specific objective of the programme was to increase our understanding and knowledge of the interaction between host and microbes and to apply this knowledge to the maintenance of health and to prevention and treatment of diseases.

In 2005, the Academy appointed an international expert panel to evaluate the programme. The panel was asked to assess the programme as a whole, focusing particularly on national and international cooperation, the scientific quality of research, the added value generated by the programme as well as the applicability of research results. The panel was also asked to give recommendations for the future.

The key recommendations of the panel include: to extend the programme duration to five or six years with a mid-term evaluation, to secure funding for PhD students for four years, to further strengthen international cooperation and to promote the mobility of junior researchers. The panel also recommends the launch of a new research programme with focus on innate immunity and chronic infections.

Niko Rinta | alfa
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