MSC PhD Fellow participated in Paasisavut in Greenland


Elizabeth Cooperat at Paasisavut
Photo: Emil Stach, Arctic Hub

MSC PhD Fellow participated in Paasisavut in Greenland

Elizabeth Cooper, PhD Fellow at MSC, was one of five finalists to participate in the Paasisavut PhD competition on 1 March in Nuuk, Greenland. Paasisavut (which roughly translates to “What we know”) is a research dissemination competition for PhDs who do research in Greenland. The five finalists each had five minutes to convey their research in a simple and catchy way, whilst emphasising its importance for Greenlandic society.

This was the first time a research dissemination competition has ever happened in Greenland - the University of Greenland has only been able to award PhD degrees since 2001. The competition took place in front of a live theatre audience and was also broadcast live on national TV. It was a sold out event, with 400 tickets sold, and many more watching on TV at home.

In her five minutes, Elizabeth shared insights about her PhD project, Towards a Sustainable Cruise Tourism Industry: Changing Tourist Behaviour in the Ports of Greenland, which aims to encourage more sustainable behaviour among tourists in Greenland, through developing and testing behavioural interventions. Tourism is an important industry for Greenland on a social and economic level, but has the potential to cause great damage if not responsibly managed. With three new international airports scheduled to open in Greenland in 2024 and 2025, there is an expectation that tourism numbers will increase dramatically over the next few years.

The topics taken up by the other finalists were extremely varied, with some of them tackling very serious issues and demonstrating enormous potential to improve health, equality and wellbeing in local society. The winner (Nick Duelund from the University of Greenland) is on his way to becoming Greenland's first ever eye doctor and his research will ensure that every child in Greenland has their eyesight tested before they start school.

According to Elizabeth: “It was an amazing experience in an unexpected way! To prepare us for the event, we had 2 days of coaching with an actress, which resulted in all 5 of us finalists becoming very close and not feeling like competitors at all. We felt more like a team working together to make our knowledge accessible and give the public the best possible show.”

Read more about Paasisavut here and the winner here (in Greenlandic or Danish). For further information about her PhD project, contact Elizabeth Cooper,