It is with great pleasure and happiness that we note that Anna Runemark, who defended her PhD-student in May earlier this year, has received a prestiguous postdoctoral grant from The Swedish Research Council (VR). Congratulations Anna! This requires celebration with some sparkling wine at tomorrow's lab-meeting (December 11 at 10.30). The new postdoctoral grant system means that Anna will be employed at the Biology Department in Lund, being part of our lab, but will work abroad at the University of Oslo (Norway) for two of the coming three years. She will then perform research on the genomic consequences of homoploid hybridization among Passer-sparrows in southern Europe.
Anna's achievement is well-deserved and impressive, particularly in the light of the severe competition for such grants (23 % success rate). To my knowledge, Anna was the only evolutionary biologist this year who got such a postdoc among the natural sciences in Sweden. Anna's achievement is hers, and hers only, but as a former PhD-advisor I do of course take some pride too, and takes the opportunity to boost my already big ego a bit further. I am glad that Anna keeps up my good statistics in terms of former PhD-students who get VR-postdocs: She is number five, out of five in total, resulting in a 100 % success rate (future students in this lab should take it as an encouragement and not feel stressed about it, I hope).
We also have several other reasons to celebrate tomorrow: our postdoc Maren Wellenreuther got a "Junior Researcher" grant from VR earlier in November this year, and I myself also got a four-year grant from the same agency. Further, Jessica Abbott recently got 380 000 SEK for buying equipment to the fly lab, and Maren got 100 000 SEK from the "Nilsson-Ehle Foundation". All in all a very successful year for the lab members in terms o grants, and hopefully this will continue in the near future.
These are achievements we all should be proud of, whether we actually got a grant or not ourselves, as research is a collective enterprise and scientists do not work in isolation. One colleague's success can largely be attributed to his/her colleagues too, who have contributed to create an intellectually and scientifically stimulating research environment, and this is true whether you are a PhD-advisor, professor, lecturer, postdoc, PhD- or Master's student.