Professor Outi Fingerroos awarded with this year’s Scientific Conference Power Player prize


Acquiring conferences is an effort that requires long-term preparations and networking. No-one can become a conference power player on their own – they need the support of a good organising team and the backing of a well-functioning service organisation. This is how this year’s recipient of the Scientific Conference Power Player award, Professor Outi Fingerroos from the University of Jyväskylä, sums up the key to success.

Professor Outi Fingerroos was awarded for her efforts to promote the organisation of international scientific conferences in Finland. The EUR 5,000 award was donated by the Finnish Fair Foundation. The prizewinner was selected by the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies.

Outi Fingerroos works at the Department of History and Ethnology in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä. She has been involved in the organisation of workshops, symposiums and conferences related to her own research interests since 2002. The latest of these was the world congress of the International Somali Studies Association, the 12th SSIA Congress Revisiting Somali Identities - Addressing Gender, Generation and Belonging (2015) and the International Oral History Association’s XX IOHA Conference - Memory and Narration (2018).

“For us researchers, scientific symposiums, workshops and major world congresses are a festive addition to our daily bread and butter. Participating in the activities of the research community is part of a researcher’s training. I joined the organising team for the symposiums of the active Finnish Oral History Network FOHN even before I completed by PhD. Thanks to this, I got to know the international oral history movement inside and out. At the same time, I gained the skills and courage to start organising larger conferences,” says Outi Fingerroos.

“Applying for and organising a major international conference requires long-term effort, preparation and networking. The reward is being able to bask in the international spotlight for a few days. Noone can become a conference power player on their own – the “chair” needs the support of a reliable conference secretary and a familiar organising team as well as the backing of a well-functioning service organisation. All these players roll up their sleeves at a very early stage. The University of Jyväskylä has been a good employer for me as a conference organiser,” says Fingerroos.

"The Scientific Conference Power Player prize is awarded to individuals who have made a positive contribution to Finland’s role in international scientific activities and who have successfully petitioned for international conferences to be arranged in Finland. The award winner contributes to the positive image of the discipline in question, widely promotes the development of the discipline and has the ability to look to the future. Outi Fingerroos is exactly this kind of person,” comments Lea Ryynänen-Karjalainen, citing the grounds for the selection.

This is the sixth time that the Scientific Power Player prize has been awarded. The prize has previously been awarded to Jari Nurmi, Professor of Electronics and Communications Engineering at Tampere University of Technology (2013), Tuomas Martikainen, a researcher in comparative religion and immigration from Åbo Akademi University (2014), Samuli Siltanen, Professor of Industrial Mathematics at the University of Helsinki (2015), Marjaana Niemi, Professor of International History at the University of Tampere (2016) and Pia Siljander, University Lecturer in the Biochemistry Of Health at the University of Helsinki (2017).

The competition for the 2019 Scientific Power Player award will be launched in January.

The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies comprises four scientific academies and 279 societies from all branches of the arts and sciences. The Federation is responsible for distributing state subsidies for organising conferences (approximately €800,000 per year).

Every year, the Finnish Fair Foundation awards prizes, scholarships and rewards worth approximately €400,000 in total. The best-known prizes include the Scientific Conference Power Player prize, the Kaj Franck Design Prize, the Habitare Design Award, the For Love of the Book Award and the Young Designer of the Year Award.
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Contact details of the winner:
Outi Fingerroos, University of Jyväskylä, tel. +358 40 4818 455
Further information on the prize:
Messukeskus, Paula Blomster, Congress Manager, +358 40 456 6066,
The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, Lea Ryynänen-Karjalainen, Executive Director, +358 9 228 69 222,
  • Where?

  • Jyväskylä Convention Bureau
  • Office: Tietotalo, Kilpisenkatu 1, 40100 Jyväskylä

  • Address:
  • City of Jyväskylä
  • PL 1008
  • 40101 Jyväskylä
  • Finland