Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

Daria Gritsenko

University of Helsinki

Winner of the Nils Klim Prize

The 2021 Nils Klim Prize is awarded to Finnish-Russian Daria Gritsenko, for her outstanding research contributions in the intersection between political science, environmental studies and digital humanities.

The Nils Klim Committee has decided to recommend that Daria Gritsenko be the recipient of the 2021 Nils Klim Prize.  

Daria Gritsenko is Assistant Professor of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University of Helsinki, where she is affiliated with the Aleksanteri Institute and the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS). She is an exceptionally accomplished young scholar who has carried out innovative and cross-disciplinary research in the intersection between political science, environmental studies and digital humanities.  

With her versatile background, having obtained academic degrees in Russia, Germany and Finland, she has already built an outstanding international profile as a researcher. Furthermore, she has received numerous fellowships for research stays in the U.S., Japan, the UK, Norway and Spain. Throughout her career, she has specialised in Arctic studies, maritime transportation, energy and sustainability. All of her research is highly relevant in regard to current global issues of political governance and environmental concerns. In her recent research, she has been increasingly engaged with Big Data in examining renewable energy and other aspects of governance in Russia. Her ambitious and creative approach to these issues attests to her courage as a researcher, combining digitalization and social and environmental analysis of potentially volatile political questions. 

Gritsenko has published an impressive number of articles in prestigious international journals and has been a dynamic force in establishing an environment in Helsinki that operates at the forefront of her research areas. From within her Nordic context, she has been active in creating important links in matters of technology, culture, and sustainability across borders within the Eurasian space. 

Daria Gritsenko’s bold and resourceful approach as well as her impressive range of research areas and methodological competence make her a most worthy recipient of the 2021 Nils Klim Prize. 

On behalf of the Nils Klim Committee, 

Ástráður Eysteinsson, Chair 


(b. 1986) 

Daria Gritsenko is Assistant Professor in Russian and Eurasian Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She holds a PhD in Social Sciences (2014) and a title of Docent in Environmental Policy (2018), both from the University of Helsinki. Gritsenko worked as a visiting researcher in Tromsø(Norway), Sapporo (Japan), Exeter (UK), and Las Palmas (Spain). In 2018-19, she was a Fellow of the prestigious Fulbright Arctic Initiative and a Visiting Scholar at the George Washington University (DC, USA), investigating pathways of renewable energy development in the Russian Arctic.

Gritsenko's research is in the field of public policy and governance, with a particular focus on the dynamics between the state and non-state actors in response to the changing natural and technological environments. Her work appeared in renowned academic journals, including Energy Policy, Energy Research and Social Science, Elementa, Policy Studies Journal, and Regulation and Governance. 

In 2017, Gritsenko co-founded Digital Russia Studies, a scholarly network exploring new ways for combining data science and social sciences in area studies. This initiative resulted in publication of multidisciplinary Palgrave Handbook of Digital Russia Studies (2021), a volume that reflects how the 'digital' is simultaneously changing Russia and the research methods scholars use to study Russia and offers practical methodological guidance.

Gritsenko and her family spend winters in Helsinki and summers on a small energy independent island in the Baltic archipelago. 


Personal page at the University of Helsinki

The Nils Klim Committee Citation

The Nils Klim Seminar: "Aligning Digitalisation and Sustainability"

Award Ceremony for the 2020 and the 2021 Holberg Prize and Nils Klim Prize

Nils Klim Laureate Daria Gritsenko's Acceptance Speech