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Published: 23 May, 2022

USBE Scientific Awards 2022

NEWS This year we have three recipients and we congratulate Gabriel Wallin, Department of Statistics, Elin Nilsson, Department of Business Administration and Fei Xu, Department of Economics. The idea behind the scientific awards is to celebrate scientific writing and to distinguish high-quality research in the field of the disciplines.

The Scientific Award in Statistics

Gabriel Wallin did his doctoral studies in Statistics, USBE and defended his dissertation "Extensions of the kernel method of test score equating". in January 2020. After his dissertation he was first post doc at the Université Côte d’Azur & Inria, Nice in France. In 2021, Wallin received an international postdoc position from the Swedish Research Council, since then he is back at Statistics, USBE and affiliated with London School of Economics. Wallin's research focuses on developing statistical methods for obtaining legally secure knowledge tests, partly by being able to compare test results from different test versions but now also to detect if samplers cheat. The methods have been developed in agreement with test developers so that it can be used practically in large-scale knowledge tests, such as university exams.

Although Wallin is relatively new to the subject, he already has three publications in international peer review journals as well as five peer-reviewed book chapters and an internationally well-qualified network with which he collaborates. Wallin is a very competent and promising young researcher.

Gabriel Wallin

– I am very happy and thankful to receive this prize. I wish to thank the steering committee of the USBE Research Institute, and everyone at the Department of Statistics for contributing to a stimulating environment. I wish to express a special thank you to my PhD supervisors Marie Wiberg and Jenny Häggström who have had an important part in my academic career.

The Scientific Award in Business Administration

Elin Nilsson has since her dissertation in business administration published well in international peer review journals. She is a sought-after and appreciated speaker and was, for example, a leader in the arrangement of the NRWC conference in Umeå 2021. Her research in marketing with a focus on, among other things, creative industries has taken her to Australia and the University of South Australia, as a post doc. She has also been part of the accelerator program Future retail Lab at Expression, Umeå - a project that focuses on the creative industries.

In education, her contribution is noticeable, including the mapping of the professional degree program in retail and supply chain management against ELA's European logistics certification. This was made possible by Elin's involvement in SILF. Other positions of trust include the Swedish City Centers Research Council and the board assignment in Gösta Skoglund's international fund. Among the ongoing projects is an externally funded project in collaboration with Norrmejerier.

Elin is a very driving, competent researcher who also contributes in education and collaboration.

Elin Nilsson

– I feel very happy, honored and grateful to have been awarded Umeå School of Business, Economic and Statistics scientific prize in 2022. It is truly an encouragement beyond the ordinary.

The Scientific Award in Business Economics

Fei Xu became a PhD in Economics at the University of Manchester, U.K., in December 2017, and was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Researcher at Sciences Po in Paris, France, between 2018 and 2020. She joined the Department of Economics at USBE as a Browaldh-Scholar in 2020.

Fei is a highly skilled theoretical economist working in the intersection between the economics of corruption, public economics, contract theory, and political economy. Her main research contributions so far refer to topics in the economics of corruption, such as the incentives underlying such behavior and policy implications thereof. To date, Fei has published five journal articles. In addition, she has a number of working papers and papers in progress, dealing with corruption, crime, optimal taxation in economies with tax evasion, and, more recently, also public procurement.

She is currently working together with several co-authors, including her former PhD supervisor at the University of Manchester and me. Fei’s work is of high scientific quality, and her work will most likely publish well renowned scientific journals.

Fei Xu

– I would like to thank the USBE Research Institute for giving me the prize. It is a great honor and I am proud of being part of this exciting organization of competent researchers. My research focuses on weak institutions, and how they remain a great threat to sustainable development. I, therefore, explore the fundamental threat to the rule of law, i.e., corruption, in order to improve the quality of institutions and public trusts. This prize will inspire me to continue my work. I am very grateful to work with my colleagues in USBE, and for the invaluable continued support.