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Paavo Hohti

Paavo Hohti
Born October 19, 1944, Helsinki

PhD 1976 (Greek and Roman literature), University of Helsinki
Docent 1977–, University of Tampere and University of Helsinki

Managing Director 2004–13, Council of Finnish Foundations
Director 1980–89, Secretary General 1990–2004, Finnish Cultural Foundation
Lecturer in Latin 1971–80, University of Tampere

Board member 2011, Bonier Books Finland
Board of administration member 1990–99, Board of directors 1999–2008
WSOY Board of administration member 1991–99

Research themes and publications:
Studies of the historical writing and rhetoric of ancient Greece and Byzantium, and papyrology.

Acta Byzantina Fennica, editorial work 1985–90

Finnish translation of Aristotle’s Poetics and Rhetoric (1997)

Publications on the activities and history of private foundations

Awards and honours:
Honorary title of professor 2003

First Class Knight of the White Rose of Finland, Commander of the Order of the Holy Lamb, Commander, first class, of the Greek Order of Honour

Photo: Ida Pimenoff
Written by Olli Siitonen
Translated by Matthew Billington

“Researcher, think for yourself!”

Paavo Hohti, who has spent much of his career managing the Finnish Cultural Foundation, advises students pursuing academic funding to concentrate on a reasoned presentation of both the project and the researcher in their application.

“The bottom line is that that someone always has to decide what to do with an application. To put it simply, the project and the applicant have to fit together. Therefore it is difficult to get funding if the applicant is qualified but the project is wrong, or alternatively if the project is sound but the applicant is not the right person for the job. When deciding on funding, the starting point is often what the applicant has done, what they are doing now, and whether the proposed project is a natural and feasible continuation of their work.”

The research history of the applicant also has to support the proposed project even when entering new fields.

“Central to the application is the idea of the applicant, presented in a manner that is authentic and understandable.”

The purpose of private foundations is to provide opportunities for researchers. This is why Dr Hohti encourages young researchers to persevere in their work.

“Applying means competing for funding, but it is a competition worth joining, and there is no reason to be dejected if you do not get approved right away. Decisions are made in different circumstances and from an ever-changing pool of applicants.”

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