17 June 2020

Juulia Suvilehto receives 2.3 million in funding from Forte for her research project "Social adjustments in early adulthood". In the project, she will inspect loneliness and social adjustments - current issues in our modern society.

Juulia Suvilehto John Karlsson

What does it mean for you to get this Forte grant?
- I am very grateful for Forte for this grant. This is the first grant awarded to me where there is significant funding allocated to research expenses in addition to my salary/stipend. As an early career researcher, my previous projects have always had to fit into the plans and funding framework of my supervisors. This is an opportunity for me to do something ambitious on my own terms and gain skills and expertise which I will need when I move on to more senior research positions.

What is the project “Social adjustments in early adulthood” about?
- This project inspects loneliness, which is a huge issue in the modern society. We know that major life transitions, such as starting at a university, can bring about dramatic changes in the loneliness status of individuals. Some people, who did not use to experience loneliness, become lonely as they move away from their families and old friends. But, research has also shown that some people who may have been lonely before quickly find new social connections and become less lonely after starting their studies. We plan to follow a group of new university freshmen starting at LiU to see what kinds of social behaviour patterns are associated with successes and challenges with socially adapting to their new environment. If there are programansvariga for kandidatprogram who are interested in this project and potentially interested in their program being included in the project, please contact me and we can discuss this further!

What do you hope your research can contribute in the future?
- This project will help us understand how we humans establish and maintain social relationships. This is important from a basic science perspective, but also crucial when building interventions to combat loneliness. In the future, this project might help us plan interventions to support social adjustments in different large life transitions including but not limited to starting at the university. If we as a community are better able ward off loneliness, this will have a large scale impact on the mental and physical well-being of members of the community.

See the granted applications for Forte International Postdoc 2020.

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