Regional finals of the 2017 Researchers’ Grand Prix were held around Sweden during Researchers’ Night on 29 September and shortly after.

Here we present the finalists, who will compete in the national final in Stockholm on 28 November 2017.


Finalist: Emil Rofors

Marlene Andersson
Department for Nuclear Physics, University of Lund

Counting neutrons in a Helium crisis

Neutrons are found in everything around us. I like to extract them out and shoot them through things. When the neutrons go through things, I can see what’s inside, just like X-rays. I also like electronics and making things so I research and build devices that can count how many neutrons are going through what is being investigated. In this way we can learn how to make stronger materials, better batteries, medicines and much more. That’s why it’s very exciting that the world’s best neutron plant is being built in Lund, called ESS. But in order to use the ESS to its potential, we must first be able to count the small neutrons



Finalist: Ellen Lindell

Ellen Lindell
Southern Älvsborg Hospital and University of Gothenburg

Crystal disease

I am researching dizziness with a focus on a disease called “Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo” (BPPV), also commonly called crystal disease. Many of those who are diagnosed with BPPV also feel dizzy in bed, either the symptoms start when they wake up or they feel dizzy when they turn over in bed. When I investigated this more further, almost everyone who had been diagnosed with the condition became dizzy when they rolled over in bed. And although it’s a common disease, many people do not know how to detect or treat the condition



Finalist: Peter Ueda

Peter Ueda
Södersjukhuset and Karolinska Institute

Replacing a time machine with huge amounts of data

I use large data files with millions of observations to find out how we can improve the treatment of various diseases. I research the side effects of medicine and how well they actually work, as well as new ways to find patients with a high or low risk of a disease (e.g. heart attack) or side effects so that we can individually tailor treatment according to the patient’s risk profile.



Finalist: Ewa Andersson

Ewa Andersson
Department of Health, Blekinge Institute of Technology

Life after a heart attack at an early age

I research the experiences of younger people and their close relatives after a heart attack and want to understand their needs when they are living directly or indirectly with this long-term illness. This knowledge is important in designing healthcare and rehabilitation that meets the needs and expectations of younger people and their close relatives after a heart attack. Furthermore, this knowledge is of importance for the design of secondary prevention interventions for these people, thus reducing the recurrence of a heart attack. Work as a nursing lecturer also gives me the opportunity to use the results from my research in my daily contacts with students.


Finalist: Carina Jahani

Carina Jahani
Uppsala University

Balochi – creating a written language!

Balochi is  a language spoken by more than 10 million people, particularly in Pakistan and Iran, but it has no standard written language and no official status in any of the countries where it is spoken. My research consists of describing the grammar of various Balochi dialects and documenting the language, partly by publishing oral literature. In order to ”create” a standard language, my research team and I collaborate with institutions in Pakistan and Iran. This includes developing an orthography with clear spelling rules and standardising what is right and wrong in the written language. It also includes developing keyboards, spellchecking, apps, etc and a dictionary.


Finalist: Birgitta Häggman-Henrikson

Birgitta Häggman-Henrikson
Faculty of Odontology, Malmö University

Is exercise good or bad for pain?

This is one of the research questions we are trying to answer. Many people in Sweden suffer from chronic pain, and we see that the number of people suffering from pain is increasing, especially teenagers, and that pain is often related to stress. Pain can be an important warning signal that tells you that something in the body is damaged, but this warning signal may also get stuck and send signals even when there is no injury to the body. I am a dentist and senior lecturer in Odontology. My research is about different aspects of pain and finding ways to reduce pain. One important aspect we are investigating is different methods for reducing chronic pain.

Finalist: Alexandra Krettek

Alexandra Krettek
School of Health and Education, University of Skövde

Global development of lifestyle diseases linked to the heart – increased knowledge counteracts the trend

Cardiovascular disease is now one of the leading causes of death in low-and middle- income countries, such as Nepal. In Nepal, we are also seeing an increase in risk factors and a population with limited knowledge of this disease. The foundation for cardiovascular disease is laid at an early age and parents have an important role to play in supporting children to have a healthy lifestyle. Part of my research is developing, implementing and evaluating a health education initiative for cardiovascular health and physical activity in Nepal. This education is aimed at mothers with children between the ages of 1-7 years. Despite major cultural and economic differences between countries, the findings are also transferable to Sweden, e.g. to different migrant groups. I am a Professor in Public Health and an Associate Professor in Cardiovascular Prevention. Over the last 10 years, my research has focused on the field of global health.


Finalist: Stina Wessman

Stina Wessman
RISE Interactive Institute AB

Design (research) as a tool for positioning in a sustainable future

Based on various research findings, I design and create experiences to explore what a sustainable future might look like. Future scenarios and fictional examples of design (products, services and experiences) serve as fragments of the future that can be used to position users in such a future. This is called Research through Design and is a tool you can use to discuss what a sustainable future feels like and what you want it to be or not to be.


Finalist: Lena Lid Falkman

Lena Lid Falkman
Stockholm School of Economics

Charismatic leadership requires critical thinking!

What is it that makes us follow certain people and trust what they say? I research leadership and communication, and one of the things I want to understand and explain is why we listen to certain leaders. I have several different projects on leadership, for example in different types of offices, in innovation, and through social media. But I’m particularly fascinated by charisma. A charismatic leader can change the world for the better, but there are also dark type of charisma that can lead us in the wrong direction. It’s an important current topic, and I think we all have to be good at thinking critically!