Call for proposals

The Aleksanteri Institute welcomes applications for its visiting fellowships for the academic year 2020-2021. The Aleksanteri Institute is the Finnish Centre for Russian and Eastern European studies, affiliated with the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki. 

 

The Aleksanteri Institute Visiting Fellowship

  • Is intended for scholars who carry out research in a field relevant to the Aleksanteri Institute’s multidisciplinary research profile on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia, and whose place of residence is outside Finland. Applicants can be at any career stage but must hold a PhD degree. The degree must be granted by 12 February 2020.
  • Carries a monthly grant of 3400 € to cover all expenses related to the stay in Helsinki (e.g., accommodation, travel, insurance, visa).
  • Is intended for a period of one to three consecutive months between 1 August 2020 and 15 July 2021. The last possible starting date for the fellowship is 1 June 2021.
  • Involves a research stay at the Aleksanteri Institute, during which Visiting Fellows are expected to be present at the Aleksanteri Institute and to participate in its academic activities.
  • Provides an excellent opportunity to conduct research and to benefit from interaction with the Russian and Eastern European studies community in Finland. Each Visiting Fellow is assigned two hosts who facilitate integration into the local academic scene.
  • Visiting Fellows are expected to contribute to the advancement of Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian studies in general, and to the research agenda of the Aleksanteri Institute in particular.
  • Visiting Fellows will present their research at the Aleksanteri Institute Visiting Fellows Research Seminar series and can make presentations elsewhere at the University of Helsinki and at other Finnish universities and research centres.
  • Provides Visiting Fellows with office space and IT facilities, as well as use of the Institute’s in-house library and other University of Helsinki libraries, including e-libraries and the Slavonic Library.
  • Grant-holders are required to have an excellent command of English.
  • Submission must be made by 12 February 2020 (by 23:59 UTC +2:00) for the period of
    1 August 2020 – 15 July 2021.
  • Consist of an electronic application form and materials submitted as an attachment to the electronic form (in a single PDF document).
  • Must be written in English.
  • Incomplete applications or applications submitted after the deadline cannot be considered for selection.

Complete an electronic application form, which is open from Monday 13 January until Wednesday 12 February 2020 23:59 Finnish time (UTC +2:00). 

Upload the following material to the electronic application form as a single PDF file:

(1) A cover letter of no more than one page that (a) states the purpose of the research stay, (b) describes how the fellowship would benefit the research of the applicant, and (c) describes how the applicant would contribute to the Aleksanteri Institute’s research agenda.

(2) A research proposal of no more than 2,500 words (excluding references) that must include your name, the title of your research proposal, and all the following sub-headings:

1. Background, objectives, and research question(s)
2. Research methods and research materials
3. Work plan for the visit
Instructions: In the work plan for the proposed visit, specify which part of the research you intend to carry out during the research visit. This should also include information on the specific type of work you are planning to do (for example, working on an article or a book manuscript, analysing data, collecting material, using library or archival sources).
4. Links of the proposed research with the Aleksanteri Institute’s research profile 
5. References (Works cited in sections 1. and 2.)   

At the end of the research proposal, please indicate the word count (max. 2,500 words, excluding references).

(3) The applicant’s CV (max. 3 pages).

(4) A list of relevant publications by the applicant (max. 2 pages).

For all the above documents, please use font size 11 or 12. All page margins should be at least 1.5 cm.

Academic excellence: The quality of the research proposal, feasibility of the work plan for the visit, and scholarly merits of the applicant in relation to the applicant’s career stage. 

Potential for a mutually beneficial research visit: The connection with, and relevance of the applicant’s research to the research profile of the Aleksanteri Institute, and the potential benefit of the visit for the applicant.  

These criteria are combined with our aim to invite a diverse cohort of fellows in terms of research topics, disciplines, and countries of study.

The selection of the Visiting Fellows will be concluded by 7 April 2020 and the names of the Aleksanteri Visiting Fellows will be published on the Institute’s website. In 2020-2021, we expect to invite up to 15 Visiting Fellows, most of them for two- or three-month fellowships. All applicants will be personally notified of the result, but we are not able to provide feedback on individual applications. The applications will each be evaluated by three experts.

Each year, we receive a large number of excellent applications that we cannot fund, and we encourage resubmissions. The number of applications in the past years has ranged from 170 to 250, and we have only been able to invite less than 10% of the applicants. We urge applicants to ensure that they follow the instructions as closely as possible and explain the connection of their research project and the visit to the Institute’s research profile.

The Aleksanteri Institute will assist Visiting Fellows with practical arrangements and will make reservations for accommodation in the Unihome’s Töölö Towers location, with 178 studios and apartments of 14 different sizes, suitable for single occupants as well as for families. The Töölö Towers offer the university’s visitors furnished accommodation in an attractive, centrally-located neighbourhood. It is within walking distance of the Aleksanteri Institute and within easy reach by public transport. Monthly rents for studios and apartments for single occupancy range from c. 1050 € to c. 1600 €. The rent includes breakfast, weekly cleaning and Wi-Fi.

The fellowship is a grant, not a salary, and is not subject to Finnish taxation. Grant recipients should check any potential taxation considerations related to the receipt of this grant in their home country. Because Visiting Fellows are not staff members of the University of Helsinki, they are not covered by the university’s insurance or occupational health care. Fellows are therefore expected to arrange for their own medical and travel insurance and to provide proof of a valid insurance policy when beginning their fellowship term.

Visiting Fellows can use the wide array of university sport services at the staff members’ rate, at all the six UniSport locations, two of which are on the City Centre campus close to the Aleksanteri Institute and one near the accommodation in the Töölö Towers.

We wish to continue working with our previous Visiting Fellows who want to further develop research cooperation with colleagues in Finland, and we welcome resubmissions to the Visiting Fellows Programme by its alumni. The Aleksanteri Institute also encourages the development of research cooperation by providing support for Visiting Fellow Alumni for short visits to Helsinki to conduct joint work with the Institute’s resident researchers.