Significant Academy of Finland funding for for the multidisciplinary consortium project PAWWS – People and Animal Wellbeing at Work and in Society

Astrid Huopalainen, Assistant Professor at Aalto University, Linda Tallberg, Assistant Professor at Hanken School of Economics, and Anna Hielm-Björkman, Docent at University of Helsinki, are the principal investigators of the project
A dog and two researchers. Photo: Aalto University/Mikko Raskinen
Photo: Aalto University/Mikko Raskinen

Researchers from Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics and University of Helsinki receive competitive funding from the Academy of Finland to study people and animal wellbeing at work and in society in innovative and groundbreaking ways.

Academy of Finland grants 840 000 euro in Academy Project funding for Astrid Huopalainen, Assistant Professor at Aalto University, Linda Tallberg, Assistant Professor at Hanken School of Economics, and Anna Hielm-Björkman, Docent at University of Helsinki, for the multidisciplinary consortium project PAWWS – People and Animal Wellbeing at Work and in Society.

Project PAWWS fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration between Animal Organization Studies, Veterinary Science and Social and Healthcare Sciences to study human and animal wellbeing at work in novel and integrated ways. Empirically, the researchers will focus on human-dog working relations in organizations, such as service-, scent detection-, therapy-, pain- and cancer dogs at work. Data will be collected through mixed methods. Project PAWWS creates in-depth understanding and new knowledge about multispecies wellbeing and animal agency in human-animal work. 

Project PAWWS contributes to Animal Organization Studies, Veterinary and Medical studies and Social and Healthcare Sciences. The ethical and legal perspective of working dogs needs scrutiny and development to ensure the work-life conditions for them. Therefore, practical and societal impacts are thoroughly considered, such as developing a DogWork logo and animal welfare certification, employment contracts for dogs and ethical (non)human relations in organizations.

Better human wellbeing is also an important contribution, as the research team includes pain alert-dogs as a novelty, and their impact of decreased opiate use, ambulance need, and hospital stays, and more open access to work for individuals with disabilities. Having an inclusive and healthy workforce is key in our future society. But importantly, if animals are used as workers, then their health and wellbeing need to be at the forefront of any such human-animal interactions and in workplaces that include animals.

The Academy Project funding scheme is the most important funding instrument of the Research Council for Culture and Society for promoting the impact and regeneration of research. In addition to the high scientific quality of the research plan, the Research Council pays special attention to projects that combine high quality with strong academic and societal impact and scientific renewal. 

Further information:


Other competitive Academy of Finland funding

The Research Council for Culture and Society awarded significant grants also to the following professors and projects of the School of Business:

Kibler, Ewald: “Everyday-everyone” entrepreneurship: Fostering social inclusion

Kim, Seongtae: Supply Chain Restructuring in Light of Mega Disruptions: Moving Toward a Sustainable Future


Congratulations on the significant funding!

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