Researcher of the Month for February is Mats Granlund, Professor in Disability Research.
Who are you?
Mats Granlund, Professor in Disability Research.
What led you to join JU?
I was recruited by Jönköping University in 2006. My responsibility was to develop the research on children in need of special support. CHILD is a group of about 40 researchers from the School of Health and Welfare and the School of Education and Communication.
What is your research about?
Our research group is studying everyday functioning and how we can improve the everyday functioning of children who for any reason are in need of special support. We believe that everyday functioning has two key aspects: 1) to be able to participate in the same activities as everyone else, 2) to be involved while in you are in those activities. Many children with disabilities or long term illness have difficulties with this. To be involved is important for both health and learning. We now know quite a lot about the factors that affect engagement. Therefore, we are now trying to do more projects where we investigate if different actions can make the children more involved. We work together with scientists from South Africa, Portugal, Australia, United States and Taiwan.
What is the best thing about conducting research at JU?
Great support from the Deans of both School of Health and Welfare and School of Education and Communication, a super nice research group to work with, and the freedom that comes from the group itself being able to decide in which direction we would like to evolve.
What are your plans for the future?
We will extend the collaboration with international partners. Everyday functioning is important for children in all countries and the more we know about what is typical for one country and what is universal the better.