Cornelia Witthöft

Cornelia Witthöft new deputy vice-chancellor for research

As from 1 January 2021, we have a new deputy vice-chancellor for research at Linnaeus University. It is Cornelia Witthöft, professor of food science, who takes on the role and, thereby, becomes new chair of the Research Council.

As Cornelia Witthöft takes on the role as deputy vice-chancellor for research, she will also take the leading role in the Research Council’s work to coordinate the university’s work with research-related questions.

How would you describe the role of the Research Council?

“The Research Council is an advisory body for development of general research questions at Linnaeus University. The council prepares proposals for the vice-chancellor on prioritised measures that are to strengthen Linnaeus University’s research strategy, which applies for all faculties, as well as the quality-assurance system for research”, Witthöft explains.

The establishment of knowledge environments in relation to successful research – what is your view on that? 

“Both our LNUCs (Linnaeus University Centres) and the new Linnaeus Knowledge Environments that transcend faculty borders, were considered by UKÄ’s reviewers to contribute with good conditions for development of successful research environments. However, for the knowledge environments we will, among other things, need to work out proposals for systems through which we can review how effectively resources are used and how well collaboration works, as well as proposals for strategies for support that is suited for its purpose, in order to strengthen our research operations and their quality”, Witthöft continues.

How would you like to develop the work with research at the organisational level?

“The Research Council’s role must become clearer. In our work on the Research Council, we must take recommendations from UKÄ’s review into consideration, where it is stated that they see certain improvement potential. In order to increase our external research funding, the Research Council will, for instance, provide proposals for quality-improving strategies concerning allocation of research funds, planning and funding of research infrastructure and co-funding”, says Witthöft.

“In a few weeks’ time, when I’ve had the time to read up further on the commission, I will be happy to give you more detailed answers to your questions!”, Witthöft concludes.

Vice-chancellor Peter Aronsson – what does it mean for Linnaeus University that we get a new deputy vice-chancellor and chair of the Research Council?

“I’m very pleased that we get a prominent researcher who acknowledges the possibilities of developing research that strengthens knowledge environments that set knowledge in motion for a sustainable societal development. Prominent research is the basis for this work”, says Peter Aronsson, vice-chancellor.

The Research Council consists of representatives from each of the different faculties and is led by a chair. The council is to contribute to the development of research at the university and work to promote collaboration across faculties and departments. The heads of faculty at each respective faculty are responsible for the research at the faculty and the quality of the research.

The deputy vice-chancellor for research is appointed by the vice-chancellor for the period 1 January 2021–31 December 2023.

Cornelia Witthöft is professor of food science with specialisation in nutrition and food chemistry, at the Department of Chemistry and Biomedicine.