ExpREES Decision making

The decision-making body of the Russian and Eastern European Studies (REES) network responsible for ExpREESs studies is the executive board which meets three to four times per year. All member universities of the network are represented in the executive board.

Administration of ExpREES is managed by the head of ExpREES and network coordinator.

Since its foundation in 1998, ExpREES (former Master's School in Russian and Eastern European Studies) has had more than 700 students. Our annual intake is approximately 40 students. 

Executive board

REES network/ExpREES has an executive board which represents the 12 universities of the network + students’ representative.

Hanken School of Economics
University lecturer Mats Ehrnrooth firstname.lastname@hanken.fi
Professor Benjamin Maury firstname.lastname@hanken.fi

Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration
Postdoctoral reseacher Daria Kautto firstname.lastname@aalto.fi
Academy Reseach Fellow Päivi Karhunen firstname.lastname@aalto.fi

University of Helsinki
Research coordinator Meri Kulmala firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi
Professor Tomi Huttunen firstname.lastname@helsinki.fi

University of Eastern Finland
Professor Juha Hämäläinen juha.e.hamalainen at uef.fi
Professor Jarmo Kortelainen firstname.lastname@uef.fi

University of Jyväskylä
Professor Mika Lähteenmäki firstname.lastname@juy.fi
Professor Markku Lonkila firstname.lastname@juy.fi

University of Lapland
PhD candidate Susanna Pirnes firstname.lastname@ulapland.fi
PhD candidate Olga Pushina opushina at ulapland.fi

Lappeenranta University of Technology
Professor Juha Väätänen firstname.lastname@lut.fi
Postdoctoral reseacher Daria Podmetina firstname.lastname@lut.fi

University of Oulu
Research Professor Kari Strand firstname.lastname@oulu.fi
Professor Riitta Keiski firstname.lastname@oulu.fi

Tampere University
Professor Sanna Turoma firstname.lastname@tuni.fi
Assistant professor Nelli Piattoeva firstname.lastname@tuni.fi

University of Turku
University lecturer Tamara Budanova firstname.lastname@utu.fi
Postdoctoral researcher Pia Koivunen firstname.lastname@utu.fi

University of Vaasa
Professor Jorma Larimo firstname.lastname@uva.fi
Lecturer Mika Kärkkäinen firstname.lastname@uva.fi

Åbo Akademi
Professor Mikko Lagerspetz firstname.lastname@abo.fi
Assistant Professor Martina Björklund firstname.lastname@abo.fi

Student representative:

Alina Jokela alina.jokela at helsinki.fi

Aleksanteri Institute

Director of the Institute Markku Kangaspuro, Chair of the Executive Board

University Lecturer in Russian and Eurasian Studies, Head of ExpREES, Sirke Mäkinen, Referendary of the Executive Board

ExpREES Coordinator Hanna Peltonen, Secretary of the Executive Board

It is important that the ExpREES programme is visible at all its member universities, For this reason in 2007 we invited students to take part in the marketing and developing of the ExpREES. Student contact persons make up an important part of ExpREES activities. Student contact persons

  • act as a contact person to prospective and current ExpREES students at their home university.
  • help with the marketing efforts of the ExpREES programme especially during the application period in the spring semester (February-early April) and with the gathering of course information from their home university for the ExpREES study guide (April).
  • participate in developing ExpREES studies by giving feedback from student’s point of view. Workshops to develop ExpREES are organized once or twice a year with the ExpREES staff. 

Student Contact Persons 2020-2021:

  • Anton Pehkonen and Timofei Telov / Aalto-university
  • Kukka Louhimies and Elisa Minkkinen / University of Helsinki
  • Suvi Taivalantti / University of Eastern Finland
  • Christina Keronen / University of Jyväskylä
  • Janne Kirjavainen and Aleksi Nissilä / University of Oulu
  • Alisa Virtanen, Senja Matilainen and Elsa Osipova/ Tampere University
  • Rosa Carpelan, Bojan Lavrnja and Riku Rantanen / University of Turku
  • Katariina Härmälä / Åbo Akademi

Student contact person is a position of trust. It offers a lot of benefits and also some fun. It is an opportunity to learn about the administrative side of the ExpREES and to get experience on nationwide network cooperation. You may also mention it as a merit in your CV! 

At the end of the spring semester many of student contact persons graduate, which means that the above list isn’t necessarily up-to-date. New student contact persons will be mainly recruited in the ExpREES summer school in August, but you can also contact our coordinator directly, if you are interested in working as a student contact person.


The Master’s School in Russian and East European Studies/Expertise in Russian and Eastern European Studies (ExpREES), maintained by the nationwide Russian and East European Studies university network (REES), hereby opens the call for course proposals and funding in the academic year 2020–2021. In order to apply for funding for your course proposal, please fill in the e-form at https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/102097/ and submit it by 17 February 2020, at the latest.

The ExpREES Master's School trains experts in Russian and East European Studies by offering Master’s level courses in different fields of Humanities and Social Sciences focusing the territory of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in all Finnish universities. The majority of the courses in the ExpREES curriculum consist of the courses offered by the member universities as part of their regular teaching. In addition, in the academic year 2020–2021, the Master’s School may fund courses specifically designated for the purposes of the ExpREES with up to 50 000 euros in total.

Target group and form and content of teaching

The ExpREES enrolls students from all 12 member universities of the nationwide Russian and East European Studies university network. In order to facilitate the participation in the courses funded by the ExpREES for as many ExpREES students as possible, preference in the allocation of funding will be given to courses that provide an opportunity for distance learning or are offered as short intensive courses. In the e- form we would ask you to specify how the course may be taken by using the distance learning option, e.g. whether live streaming will offered, whether the lectures will be recorded or whether the whole course will be available online.
When allocating funding, we give preference to courses with a multi-disciplinary approach as well those organized around one theme but addressing different regions/countries of the territory of the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe. We also encourage applicants to propose courses that focus on the territory of the former Soviet Union other than Russia and that of Eastern Central Europe.

The extent and level of the course

●  The extent of the course should be 5 ECTS. However, please follow the rules of the host university.

●  The course should be offered at the Master’s level (i.e. advanced).

●  In the course description, please give the following information: the content of the course (the lecture outline and the names of teachers, the amount of contact hours, teaching/learning methods, language of instruction), learning outcomes and assessment methods.


●  The intensive course/other course with contact teaching or a course with the opportunity for distance learning (e.g. if the lectures will recorded and offered in the Moodle) may be reimbursed by the ExpREES with up to 2,500 euros. In case of an online course (all lectures and assignments are available and may be taken online), the reimbursement may be up to 3,000 euros.

●  The reimbursed costs may include payments for teaching (payments for unsalaried teachers, researchers working with a scholarship, visiting teachers, teaching which is not part of the work plan), teaching materials and organization of exams, social security fees, travel and accommodation expenses, and rents of the teaching premises. The host university is expected to participate in covering part of the costs. Please note that if your university charges the VAT, it must be taken into account in the budget (i.e. it will decrease the amount of funding available e.g. to the payments for teaching).

●  The costs will be reimbursed only according to real expenses. Therefore, a report of accountancy must be attached in the invoice. Detailed instructions will be given in the letter of the funding decision.

A joint application by the university – please contact a member of the REES board

When planning to apply for ExpREES course funding, we would recommend to contact a member or deputy member of the Board of the REES network at your university, please see http://blogs.helsinki.fi/vie- maisterikoulu/henkilot/johtoryhma/. The course proposals of one university may be gathered together and submitted as a joint funding application. From the members of Board you may learn about a potential joint application of the given university. When gathering and submitting a joint application, you will avoid proposing overlapping topics. In addition, discussing the topics among the researchers specializing in REES may also support the research interests of each host university.

The sum applied for the courses of the joint application may be defined as a total sum in the e-form. However, the applicant must differentiate the costs of each course in an attachment (regarding the differentiation, please see the budget section in the e-form). If you submit a joint application, please tick the correct box in the appropriate section of the e-form. Individual and joint applications will be processed on equal principles.

Please note before submitting the course proposal and after receiving a positive funding decision

●  The course must be offered free of charge and it should be part of the curriculum and teaching programme 2020-2021 of a degree programme of the given member university of the REES network. If the host university takes part in the funding of the course, this will be regarded as an advantage when making decisions on the allocation of the ExpREES funding.

●  Before submitting the application, the applicant should make sure that all teachers of the course give their consent e.g. to the recording of the course, or offering the course online.

●  The applicant together with the host university must plan the schedule and book the teaching premises for the course.

 The applicant/other person responsible for the course should submit a more detailed outline of the course and other updated information to the ExpREES Study Guide by the deadline given in the funding decision.

● Student feedback should be gathered from all the courses funded by the ExpREES. The teacher responsible for the course should write a summary based on the student feedback (instructions will be sent together with the funding decision).

Instructions for the invoicing

Upon a positive funding decision made by the Board of the REES network, the applicant must first, after the course has been organised, pay the remunerations from the assets of the host university. Then the host university submits a breakdown of expenditures to the Aleksanteri Institute together with the invoice.

Announcing the decision

The funding decision will be made by the by the Board of the REES network. The applicants will receive the funding decision by 13 March 2020.


On behalf of the ExpREES Master’s School,

Sirke Mäkinen
Senior Lecturer in Russian and Eurasian Studies, Head of the ExpREES Master’s School sirke.makinen@helsinki.fi

Hanna Peltonen
Coordinator of the ExpREES Master’s School hanna.o.peltonen@helsinki.fi