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Published: 2022-09-23

Networks around Arctic health research gathering on Greenland

NEWS Five Questions for Lena Maria Nilsson, research coordinator at the Arctic Centre, who is joining the Nunamed conference in Nuuk, Greenland from 30 September to 3 October.

Text: Jonas Lidström

From having originally been locally focused on Greenlandic medicine, the Nunamed ­ conference – which is organized every three years in Nuuk, Greenland – has grown into a meeting place for health researchers from the entire Arctic region.

At the turn of the month, Lena Maria Nilsson, research coordinator at the Arctic Centre at Umeå University, will join the conference.

Why are you attending th Nunamed conference?

“The most important reason is for the networking opportunities. This year is the first time since 2018 that Arctic health researchers in the Arctic have had the opportunity to meet each other face to face, so I think that many researchers will be there.”

“There are two types of people who go to this type of conference: the key people and the new people. The key people are recognized researchers with large networks. The new people are people that you discover on your own, perhaps by listening to someone else's presentation. For me, both kinds are equally important.“

Are there any specific networks that are particularly important to you?

“Yes. Umeå University is a member of an umbrella organization called UArctic – an association of more than 165 universities with a northern profile. Within the framework of the UArctic there are more than 60 thematic networks for researchers. These thematic network are strategically important to Umeå University. And one of these networks – the one for research on health and well-being in the Arctic– will have a side meeting during the conference in Nunamed. I will attend that meeting.”

”At the Arctic Center, we intend to become more active and more strategic with connecting our associated researchers in Umeå to the UArctic thematic networks. Me attending the meeting with the thematic network for health and well-being during the Nunamed conference as part of that work.”

Will you be presenting any of your own research during the conference?

”Yes, I will. Alongside my work as a project coordinator at the Arctic Centre, I am also active in the Lávvuo research group within the Department of Epidemiology and Global Health, my current home department.”

”During the conference I will present the method behind the Lávvou group's survey study "Sami health on equal terms". In this way, we also want to open up collaboration and networking around our own research on Sami health in Sweden.”

Are there any more highlights of the conference that you're looking forward to?

”Naturally, I hope to be inspired by the meeting with other researchers. I also plan to visit the university in Nuuk. It's a fairly small university, and apart from the health researchers, I have no connections with anyone there.”

If a researcher in Umeå would like to get in touch with a researcher in Nuuk, could you help with that in connection with your trip?

”Yes, I would be happy to help with that. Feel free to contact me at my email address if you have any suggestions!”