The Estonian Young Academy of Sciences (EYAS) was established in 2017 at the initiative of the Estonian Academy of Sciences as an independent organisation representing the voices and interests of young scientists and scholars in Estonia. It seeks to contribute towards the development of research and betterment of society. We advocate the continuing relevance of the scientists' role in societal and cultural processes, and seek to provide our input into the prosperity of Estonian science.

Members of the Estonian Young Academy of Sciences are outstanding scientists and scholars up to the age of 41. They were either nominated by the Estonian research and development institutions in reply to a call from the Estonian Academy of Sciences as founding members, or applied and were accepted in the consequtive calls for members.

The Estonian Young Academy of Sciences is focused on topics important to young scientists and scholars in Estonia, including but not limited to issues pertaining to research funding, collaboration with Young Academies in other countries, encouraging interdisciplinary cooperation and science outreach, and broadening the career choices for PhD students and people with a PhD degree in Estonia. We work closely with the Estonian Academy of Sciences as well as various other institutions, organisations and individuals representing the private and public sector. Our objective is to introduce the work of Estonian young scientists and scholars outside Estonia, organise academic conferences and events, and foster the mobility of young researchers through the creation of a support system for young scientists and scholars working abroad.

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Estonian Young Academy of Sciences (EYAS)
Kohtu Str. 6, 10130 Tallinn, ESTONIA

Jaan Aru

Senior Researcher, University of Tartu

PhD: Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, psychology and brain research, "Distilling the neural correlates of conscious perception,"  2014.

Research interests: brain research, AI.

Mission in EYAS: Propagating science and scientific thinking in society. I want to show young people that scientists are cool people and do interesting things. I am always ready to answer all questions that young Estonian scholars may have about academic life.

Juhan Aru

Post-doc, ETH Zürich

PhD: ENS Lyon, mathematics, "The Geometry of the Gaussian Free Field Combined with SLE Processes and the KPZ Relation" 2015.

Research interests: random geometry, stochastic processes.

Mission in EYAS: play my part in assuring that the contribution of our whole is larger than the sum of its individual parts. I hope that our varied backgrounds and ways of thinking will help us approach freshly the questions about the nature and the role of sciences & scientists, both at our workplace and in the society.

Anastasiya Astapova

Researcher in Estonian and comparative folklore, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Tartu, Folklore, “Negotiating Belarusianness: Political Folklore betwixt and between” Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, 2015
Institute for Russian Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences, Philology, “Contemporary Student Jokes: Plots and Themes,” 2016.

Research interests: humor, political folklore, nationalism, migration, integration.

Mission in EYAS: bring academic and public attention to issues important to the Estonian society, including the language and integration policies as well as how these function on the daily basis; contribute to the increasing international and public image of the Estonian science.

Helen Eenmaa

Researcher in Information Technology Law, University of Tartu School of Law

JSD (Doctor of the Science of Law): Yale Law School, law, “The Principle of Corrective Justice: Problems of Dependency and Emptiness” 2013.

Research interests: technology law, legal philosophy, law & economics.

Mission in EYAS: To empower science and society by helping them develop together. To inspire a worldview, which takes into account the advances in legal studies and philosophy.

Peeter Espak

Senior Research Fellow of Comparative Religion/Oriental Studies, School of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Tartu

PhD: The God Enki in Sumerian Royal Ideology and Mythology, 2010, Tartu.

Research interests: Near Eastern religion, mythology and history; comparative religion and mythology; Middle Eastern military ideologies and their development, reflections of historical process today.

Mission in EYAS: introduce the main problems of Estonian scientific community to the broader society and into public discourse.

Maarja Grossberg

Professor, Tallinn University of Technology

PhD: Tallinn University of Technology, natural and exact sciences, “Optical Properties of Multinary Semiconductor Compounds for Photovoltaic Applications” 2010.

Research interests: semiconductor physics, optoelectronics, optical spectroscopy, studies of defect structure, solar cells.

Mission in EYAS: making the voice of young researchers heard in the society. Also to increase the contribution of young researchers as the future of science in the design of the science policy. Secondly, to popularise science based approach.

Els Heinsalu

Senior Researcher, National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics

PhD: University of Tartu, theoretical physics, "Normal and Anomalously Slow Diffusion under External Fields" 2008. 

Research interests: stochastic processes, diffusion processes, complex systems (ecological models, language dynamics, econophysics).

Mission in EYAS: draw attention to problems important in science and society, think about them and seek for solutions. It is a possibility to think together with other young scientists in which Estonia we would like to live and work and what we could do for achieving it. I also believe that EYAS offers a possibility to promote interdisciplinary science and to introduce the research of young Estonian scientists and scholars to the community and especially to young people.

Mario Kadastik

Senior Researcher / Research Director, National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics

PhD: Tallinn University of Technology, particle physics, “Doubly charged Higgs boson decays and implications on neutrino physics” 2008.

Research interests: experimental particle physics.

Mission in EYAS: My main mission is to make sure that both current and future researchers have the best environment to work towards Estonia becoming a knowledge-based society. In that light I actively partake in science policy making, especially by inclusion of top international research labs for research cooperation as well as education and training. In addition I’m keenly interested in enhancing the cooperation between public research and private sector, as a more knowledge based and R&D intense private sector would give added value to the society.

Kristo Karjust

Professor, Director, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Tallinn University of Technology

PhD: Tallinn University of Technology, mechanical engineering, “Integrated Product Development and Production Technology of Large Composite Plastic Products” 2008.

Research interests: natural sciences and engineering; industrial engineering and management; production technology; manufacturing optimisation, monitoring and prediction; rapid product and processes realisation theory and methodology.

Mission in EYAS: popularise the application of science (engineering),contribute towards  improving young researchers' funding.

Karin Kogermann

Associate Professor / Senior Researcher, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Helsinki, pharmacy, “Understanding Solid State Transformations During Dehydration: New Insights Using Vibrational Spectroscopy and Multivariate Modeling” 2008.

Research interests: solid state, drug-excipient interactions, process analytical technology, design and preparation of nanocarrier systems, antimicrobial drug delivery systems, bacterial (wound) infections, antibiotic action mechanisms.

Mission in EYAS: help to increase the public awareness and understanding of science and pharmaceutical sciences in Estonia, promote the development opportunities for young researchers and strengthen the collaboration between young researchers in different scientific fields.

Heisi Kurig

Research Fellow, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Tartu, chemistry, "Electrical Double-Layer Capacitors Based on Ionic Liquids as Electrolytes" 2011.

Research interests: electrochemistry, physical chemistry, energy storage, gas sorption, hydrogen, neutron scattering methods.

Mission in Young Academy of Estonia: Being an ENTA member gives ma a chance to contribute actively in developing towards to a scientific fact based society. In my opinion, one of the key objectives of ENTA is to make the Estonian young scientists’ opinion heard and increase the influence of science-based argumentation in different decision making processes in our society.

Kajar Köster

Academy Research Fellow, University of Helsinki

PhD: Estonian University of Life Sciences, forestry, “Dynamics of Living and Dead Woody Biomass in Forest Ecosystem after Windthrow” 2009.

Research interests: forest disturbance ecology, greenhouse gas fluxes, carbon dynamics, fire ecology, boreal and arctic ecosystems, reindeer and climate change.

Mission in EYAS: through organisation we are able bring to attention the problems of science financing for young scientists and present these to the society (young scientists are competing for the financial support with top scientists, although their scientific background might not yet be competitive) My priority is to bring the scientific methods to the society and public use, and increase the possible connections between the home university (the university where PhD thesis was defended) and young researcher who has started to work in private sector or abroad.

Rainer Küngas

Principal Research Engineer, Haldor Topsoe A/S

PhD: University of Pennsylvania, chemical engineering,  “Factors Governing the Performance and Stability of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathodes Prepared by Infiltration” 2012.

Research interests: heterogeneous catalysis, solid state electrochemistry, fuel cells, electrolysis cells, battery materials, ceramics processing, application of Design of Experiments statistical tools to industrial processes.

Mission in EYAS: demonstrate that it is possible to do high quality research in an industrial setting. Promote the industrial career as a viable alternative for young researchers and PhD students in Estonia. Improve collaboration between young researchers and entrepreneurs.

Twitter: @rainerkungas

Äli Leijen

PhD: Utrecht University, “The Reflective Dancer: ICT Support for Practical Training” 2008.

Research interests: teacher professional development, reflection in education, ICT in education, doctoral studies.

Mission in EYAS: present the viewpoints of PhD students and young researchers more in the society. I would like to contribute i) to developing doctoral studies in different universities and ii) to improving the funding of young researchers and advancing their career perspectives in Estonia.

Innar Liiv 

PhD: Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia), informatics, “Pattern Discovery Using Seriation and Matrix Reordering: A Unified View, Extensions and an Application to Inventory Management” 2008.

Research interests: e-government and data science, computational social science, information visualization, and data mining technology transfer to industrial and governmental applications.

Mission in EYAS: sparking discussion about future of work, professions and researchers, supporting big data-driven policy making; technology transfer to industrial and governmental applications; entrepreneurship.

Heli Valtna

Senior Researcher, Tartu Ülikool; Head of Autonomy Devlopment, Milrem AS

PhD: University of Tartu, physics " Superluminally propagating localized optical pulses" 2010.

Research area: wave optics, design and characterization of ultrawideband optical wave fields.

Mission in EUAS: I believe in wisdom and desire of young researchers to contribute to evolution of Estonian ecosystem of science, higher education and knowledge based economy to make it sustainable, self-renewing and visionary. Forthcoming 30-40 years of professional career poses both responsibility and opportunity to shape the future.

Lili Milani

Research Professor, University of Tartu

PhD: Uppsala University (Sweden), molecular medicine, "Gene Expression in Cancer Cells: Detection of Splice Variants, Allele-specific Expression and DNA Methylation" 2009.

Research interests: human genetics, disease genetics, pharmacogenetics, epigenetics.

Mission in EYAS: inspire future scientists, work towards better science funding and networking opportunities for young scientists in Estonia, and reduce unnecessary.bureaucratic barriers.

Twitter: @MilaniLili

Kerli Mõtus

Associate Professor, Estonian University of Life Sciences

PhD: Estonian University of Life Sciences, veterinary epidemiology, "Epidemiology, Impact on Herd Health and Control of Bovine Herpesvirus 1 in Estonian Dairy Cattle Herds" 2012.

Research interests: veterinary epidemiology, dairy and beef cattle, mortality, euthanasia, risk factors and causes.

Mission in EYAS: contribute in topics essential for young scientists (financing, career development, popularising science and sharing with community).

Eva Näripea

Director, Film Archives of Estonian National Archives, Member of Council of Estonian Academy of Arts

PhD: Estonian Academy of Arts, art history, "Estonian Cinescapes: Spaces, Places and Sites in Soviet Estonian Cinema (and Beyond)" 2011.

Research interests: film studies.

Kärt Ojavee

Senior Researcher, Estonian Academy of Arts

PhD: Estonian Art Academy, art and design, “Active Smart Interior Textiles: Interactive Soft Displays” 2013.

Research interests: sensing textiles, responsive environments, calm technology, textile displays, spatial textiles, haptic materials in architecture, living materials.

Mission in EYAS: represent the interests of designers and artists whose work is based on practice led research. In the future I would like to contribute to finding opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations.

Ester Oras

Senior Researcher, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Cambridge (UK), archaeology, "Practices of Wealth Depositing in the 1st - 9th Century AD Eastern Baltic" 2014.

Research interests: archaeological science, analytical chemistry, organic residue analysis, ancient foodways, prehistoric migration studies, dating.

Mission in EYAS: multidicipliary reseach, the role of young scholars in academia and society, funding opportunities for young researchers.

Gert Preegel

Researcher, Tallinn University of Technology

PhD: National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, “Cyclopentane-1,2-dione and Cyclopent-2-en-1-one in Asymmetric Organocatalytic Reactions” 2016.

Research interests: organic chemistry, industrial chemistry.

Mission in EYAS: improve the career prospects of young researchers and promote evidence-based decision making in society.

Priit Purge

Researcher, University of Tartu
PhD: University of Tartu (Estonia), “Performance, Mood State and Selected Hormonal Parameters during the Rowing Season in Elite Male Rowers”.

Research interests: health, sport science, training monitoring, overtraining.

Mission in EYAS: popularising science outreach activities among scientists, improving the opportunities for young scientists to realise their own interesting projects.

Marju Raju

Researcher, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre

PhD: Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, "Some aspects of singing development, the song creating process and favorite songs of Estonian children" 2015.

Research interests: music psychology, development of singing (infants and toddlers)
Mission in EYAS: promote the position of young scientists in the society and promote scientific thinking.

E-mail: marju.raju@eamt.ee 

Ringa Raudla

Professor of Public Finance and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology

PhD: University of Erfurt, economics, “Constitution, Public Finance, and Transition" 2009.

Research interests: public finance, budgeting, public sector financial management, public management reforms, fiscal policy, institutional economics.

Mission in EYAS: contribute to academic discussions about economics and governance in the Estonian society, promote evidence-based decision making in the public sector and focus on the issues of research funding.

Tuul Sepp

Associate Professor of Animal Ecology, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Tartu, animal ecology, "Hematological Health State Indices of Greenfinches: Sources of Individual Variation and Responses to Immune System Manipulation" 2012.

Research interests: animal ecology, animal physiology, evolutionary biology, urban ecology, aging in the wild.

Mission in EYAS: popularising science outreach activities among scientists, improve the opportunities for young scientists with families.

Andra Siibak

Professor of Media Studies, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Tartu, media and communication, "Self-presentation of the 'digital generation' in Estonia" 2009.

Research interests: Internet use, social media, audiences, privacy, generations, digital literacy, mediation of internet use.

Mission in EYAS: developing science communication, popularisation of science in particular. I would like to see to that (young) scientists are provided with a chance to gain additional knowledge on how to communicate their scientific results intelligebly, appealingly, accurately and through various mediums to different audiences.  Furthermore, I also believe it to be crucial that (young) scientists would immediately have a chance to practice their newly learnt skills.

Leho Tedersoo

Research Professor, University of Tartu

PhD: University of Tartu, botany and mycology, "Ectomycorrhizal Fungi: Diversity and Community Structure in Estonia, Seychelles and Australia" 2007.

Research interests: mycology, ecology, biodiversity, high-throughput sequencing, metagenomics, soil eukaryotes.

Mission in EYAS: accomplish improvement of funding for young researchers and PhD students and simplify financial reports.

Twitter: @tedersoo

Elmo Tempel

Professor, Tartu Observatory of University of Tartu

PhD: University of Tartu, astrophysics, "Tracing Galaxy Evolution by their Present-Day Luminosity Function" 2011.

Research interests: astronomy, galaxy physics, cosmology, astro-statistics.

Mission in EYAS: possibility to influence the world where we live in; put forward interdisciplinary research.

Katrin Tiidenberg

Associate Professor of Participatory Culture
Baltic Film & Media School, Tallinn University 

PhD: Tallinn University, sociology, "Image Sharing, Self-Making and Significant Relationships: Understanding Selfie-Practices" 2015.

Research interests: social media, visual culture and visual self
-presentation, photography on social media, selfies, norms and normativity, identity, digital research methods and research ethics.

Mission in EYAS: represent social science and internet research perspectives in EYAS and wider scientific discussions in Estonia. Contribute to the development of a smart society and people's critical literacy, in particular in topics pertaining to the digital.

Aare Tool

Lecturer of Music Theory, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre

PhD: Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, musicology, "The Modes of Limited Transposition and Form in the Music of Eduard Oja" 2016.

Research interests: music theory, music analysis, Estonian music.

Mission in EYAS: active presence of humanities in the Young Academy will contribute to our better understanding of the relationship between various fields of study and open up new perspectives for cooperation.

Hannes Tõnisson

Senior Researcher, Coastal Research Group, Institute of Ecology, Tallinn University 

PhD: Tallinn University, ecology, “Development of Spits on Gravel Beach Type in Changing Storminess and Sea Level Conditions” 2008.

Research interests: coastal processes, coastal evolution today and in the past, extreme storms and climate fluctuations; geophysical methods.

Mission in EYAS: icrease cooperation between private enterprises and young researchers. Help to increase the share of science in the private sector.

Hendrik Voll

Professor, Tallinn University of Technology

PhD: Chalmers Technical University, building,
"Cooling Demand and Daylight in Commercial Buildings the Influence of Window Design" 2008.

Research interests: indoor climate, heating, ventilation, cooling, daylight, energy efficiency of buildings, solar radiation.

Mission in EYAS: develop and popularise technical science and research.


Anneli Veispak (member 2017‒ 2019)



We organized a seminar on strategies of science popularization for the membership of EYAS, sponsored by TeaMe+


We mobilized our resources to analyze data, help prognose, publish and advice the Estonian Government regarding the Covid-19 pandemic



We elected five new members. Read the article on Portal Novaator


We collaborated with the Estonian Science Journalists Association and the Estonian Chamber of Research to organize the general election debate on science policy. EYAS was represented by Katrin Tiidenberg. Watch the video at Portal Novaator.

We collaborated with the Academic Unions, Estonian Chamber of Research and student unions to organize the Support Science Day. Event page in FB.


We participated in the Nordic and Baltic Young Academies joint workshop. EYAS was represented by Katrin Tiidenberg, Tuul Sepp and Lili Milani.


We participated in the collaboration seminar of Meeting of the European Young Academies - Improving Collaboration Between European National Young Academies (organized by Young Academy Finland) in Helsinki. EYAS was represented by Kajar Köster

We organized a research funding related protest march “The Burial of Estonian Research”. FB event page.


We signed the Nordic-, and Baltic Young Academies of Science in a statement regarding gender equality in the academy. Take a look at the Statement.

We organized and moderated the Fresh Research stage at the Estonian Opinion Festival. Tuul Sepp, Mario Kadastik, Katrin Tiidenberg, Marju Raju ja Ester Oras took part in the panel “What’s the use of fresh research?”. Read the article (in Estonian).


We organized a seminar on science communication for the membership of EYAS, presentation by Arko Olesk, sponsored by TeaMe+


We helped organize the Parliament’s sixth research policy conference „Researc as the basis of Estonian development”. novaator.err.ee/994165/otseulekanne-teaduspoliitika-konverents-riigikogus

We organized a seminar on leadership for the membership of EYAS, presentation by Marju Unt, sponsored by TeaMe+


We won Estonian Research Agency’s science popularization award for our series of articles “What do we need basic science for?” docs.google.com/…/1LC18cMoHYlnOfIfKc5ewAFX2Ai…/edit…



We collaborated with the Academy of Sciences to organize the conference “Young Scientists in Estonia and Abroad”. noorteadlased.ee/


We participated in the Meeting of the European Young Academies - Improving Collaboration Between European National Young Academies in Amsterdam. EYAS was represented by Andra Siibak and Heisi Kurig. globalyoungacademy.net/european-young-academies-meeting-in-amsterdam/


We collaborated with the Estonian Academic Women’s Union to organize a roundtable “Female researcher’s joys and sorrows.” EYAS was represented by Äli Leijen, Karin Kogermann and Andra Siibak. www.facebook.com/195091304347648/posts/327938017729642/


We contributed to the agenda setting, public communication and political lobby surrounding Estonian research funding, which led to the signing of a Research agreement by all political parties at the invite of the Estonian president. EYAS was represented by Els Heinsalu. novaator.err.ee/886104/eesti-teadusleppe-taistekst

The Estonian Young Academy of Sciences has active members and supporting members. Active members are outstanding Estonian scientists and scholars with a PhD degree, who participate in fulfilling the aims of the organization. Membership status expires at the age of 41 or due to cessation of contribution. Each year, new members will be chosen to vacant positions. Calls for members are published on this website and on the EYAS Facebook page.

Supporting members are physical or legal persons, both inside and outside Estonia, who support the activities of the organization. Supporting members have the same rights as active members, the only exception concerns the right to vote. The supporting member status is determined by the decision of the Board. To become a supporting member, please apply via enta@akadeemia.ee.

The five member Board of the Estonian Young Academy of Sciences was elected during the General Assembly meeting in 2019 are:

Mario Kadastik


Tuul Sepp

Vice President

Anastasiya Astapova

Secretary General

Innar Liiv

Development Manager

Katrin Tiidenberg

Communications Manager