Ruralia Visiting Scholars Programme

For more information on the Ruralia Institute Visiting Scholarship, please contact

Eeva Uusitalo, 

The University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute Visiting Scholars Programme is an opportunity for experienced scholars in the field of multidisciplinary rural research to visit Ruralia Institute for a period of one to two months, supported with a monthly grant during their stay.

The scholarship is applicable for scholars holding a PhD degree in a field relevant to the research profile of Ruralia Institute residing outside of Finland. During the research stay, Visiting Scholars are expected to give a presentation about their research and if possible to participate the publishing activities and seminars of the Ruralia Institute. Visiting Scholars interact and network with the researchers of Ruralia and plan joint research and/or development projects.

Visiting Scholars are provided office facilities including a computer, as well as the use of general services of the University of Helsinki, such as the e-libraries.


Ruralia Institute Visiting Scholars for 2017 - 2018 have been chosen

Altogether 15 applications were sent for the scholarship. The executive group of Ruralia Institute selected six scholars to research visit of one month:

  Dr. Adam Czarnecki
Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
  Dr. Sam Hillyard
Durham University, UK
  Dr. Francisco Navarro
University of Granada, Spain
  Dr. Sara Walton
University of Otago, New Zealand
  Dr. Elize Van Eeden
Norh-West University, South Africa
  Dr. Richard Yarwood
Plymouth University, UK

We sincerely thank all the applicants for their interest in our programme. The next period of application will be in March-May 2018.

Ruralia Institute Visiting Scholars 2016–2017


Dr. Gun Lidestav
SLU, Umeň, Sweden

Video of her research interests


Dr. Ifigeneia Douvitsa
Home Institution: Law school, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
Visiting period: 5.9. - 23.11.2016
Research topic: Analysis of the Sources of Public International Cooperative Law, with an emphasis on Case Law.


Dr. Murray Knuttila
Brock University, Canada
Research topic: Is the Family Farm and Endangered Species? Implications for Rural Men

Video of his research interests


Dr. Hannah Chiswell
University of Exeter, UK


Dr. Ruta Spiewak
Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development, Poland

Video of her research interests

Ruralia Institute Visiting Scholars 2015–2016


Örjan Furtenback
Home Institution: Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Umeå, Sweden
Visiting period:  1.11.–30.11.2015
Research topic: Where should we allocate new forest reserves? Regional welfare impacts of different allocation rules.

Marie Mahon

Marie Mahon
Home Institution: Department of Geography, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Research topic: The role of the arts, culture and creativity in a rural context.

Ruralia Institute Visiting Scholars 2014–2015

Agatha Herman
University of Reading, United Kingdom
Visiting Period: 18.5.–19.6.2015
Research topic: Food politics and ethics

Read her`s story about visiting Ruralia Institute

Lif Rødtness Vesterby Knudsen
Technical University of Denmark, National Veterinary Institute, Copenhagen (Denmark)
Visiting Period: 26.1.–27.2.2015
Research topic: Postpartum uterine diseases in dairy cows

Read her`s story about visiting Ruralia Institute

Esther Muniz
University of Vallodolid, Spain
Visiting Period: 6.5 –30.5.2015
Research topic: Renewal of agrifood law

Artur Steiner
Home Institution: Scotland's Rural College, United Kingdom
Visiting period: 2.–28.2.2015
Research topic: Social and economic aspects of rural life including evaluations of community-related interventions and grass-root initiatives.

Read his story about visiting Ruralia Institute

Kadri Ukrainski
Home Institution: University of Tartu, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (Estonia)
Visiting period: 1.12.2014–15.12.2014 & 12.1.2015–23.1.2015
Research topic: The role of users (customers) as a source of innovation

Read her´s story about visiting Ruralia Institute

X. Lourdes Xavier Wilson
Home Institution: Sri Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya College of Arts and Science (India)
Visiting period:  7.11.2014–15.12.2014 & 4.5.–4.6.2015
Research topic: Leveraging the Food Security through Cooperatives in Finland

Read his story about visiting Ruralia Institute


Ruralia Institute Visiting Scholars 2013–2014

Francisco Diaz Bretones  
University of Granada (Spain)
Visiting period: 1.4.2014–30.4.2014
Research topic: Emerging Cooperatives and Corporate Social Responsibility

Read his story about visiting Ruralia Institute

Maria Letícia Galluzzi-Bizzo
Universidade do Brasil (Brazil)
Visiting period: 30.7.2014–27.8.2014
Research topic: The international rural agenda of the 1930 - 1940s: The role of international organizations

Read her´s story about visiting Ruralia Institute

Agatha Herman
University of Reading, United Kingdom
Visiting Period: 31.3.–2.5.2014
Research topic: Climate Change and Food Justice

Colin R. Johnson
Indiana University, Department of Gender Studies, United States
Visiting Period: 26.5.–23.6.2014
Research topic: Sexual minorities in rural regions of Finland and the United States

Read his story about visiting Ruralia Institute, page 14

Egil Petter Straete
Centre for Rural Research, University Centre Dragvoll, Trondheim, Norway
Visiting Period: 20.11.–16.12.2013
Research topic: Food qualities as a basis for differentiation through innovation in food supply chains

Ruralia Institute Visiting Scholars 2012–2013

Adrian Morley
Cardiff University, The ESRC Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability & Society (BRASS) (United Kingdom)
Visiting period:  25.3.–4.6.2013
Research topic: Sustainable food chains

Alexander Nikulin
Center for agrarian studies, Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under President of Russian Federation, Moscow (Russia)
Visiting period: 1.5.–30.6.2013
Research topic: Sustainable rural communities in Russia

Julie Smith
Centre for Food Policy, City University London (United Kingdom)
Visiting period: 1.3.–28.3.2013
Research topic: Traditional food markets in Europe


Ruralia Institute Visiting Scholars 2011–2012

Alexandra Franklin
Places Research Institute (PLACE), Cardiff University (United Kingdom)
Visiting period: 8.12.2011–17.12.2011, 26.1.2012–23.3.2012, 24.5.2012–10.6.2012
Research topic: Sustainable Place-Making: Building Rural Community Resilience

Katalin Kovács
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Centre for Regional Studies (Hungary)
Visiting period: 16.4.2012–16.6.2012
Research topic: Rural Governance and development in Finland and Hungary

David Watts
School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen (United Kingdom)
Visiting period: 1.3.–29.3.2012
Research topic: Hunting tourism in Northern Europe