Call for proposals
The Aleksanteri Institute welcomes applications for its visiting fellowships for the academic year 2023-2024. The Aleksanteri Institute is the Finnish Centre for Russian, Eurasian and Eastern European studies, affiliated with the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki.
About the Fellowship

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, Central and 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 2023.
  • Carries a monthly grant of 3400 € to cover the expenses related to the stay in Helsinki (e.g., accommodation, travel, insurance, visa). (See exceptions to this below in the section “Visiting Fellowships and Russia’s war in Ukraine”.)
  • Is intended for a period of two consecutive months between 1 August 2023 and 30 June 2024. (See exceptions to this below in the section “Visiting Fellowships and Russia’s war in Ukraine”.)
  • Last possible starting date for the two-month fellowships is 2 May 2024. Visits cannot start between 1 December 2023 and 14 January 2024.
  • 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 scholarly activities.
  • Provides an excellent opportunity to conduct research and to benefit from interaction with the Eastern European, Eurasian, and Russian studies community in Finland. Each Visiting Fellow will have academic hosts who facilitate integration into the local academic scene.
  • 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.
  • Visiting Fellows will present their research at the Aleksanteri Institute Visiting Fellows Research Seminar series and can give presentations elsewhere at the University of Helsinki and at other Finnish universities and research centres.
  • Grant-holders are required to have an excellent command of English.
Applications
  • Submissions must be made by 12 February 2023 (by 23:59 UTC +2:00).
  • 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 cannot be considered for selection.
Visiting Fellowships and Russia’s war in Ukraine
  • Proposals that support Russia’s war against Ukraine will not be considered for selection. 
  • Scholars resident in Ukraine or who have had to flee Ukraine after 24 February 2022, are encouraged to apply. 
  • Scholars at risk because of Russia’s war in Ukraine, or at risk in other countries due to repressive measures by their respective governments, can apply for up to a three-month visit.
  • A research visit by a scholar at risk does not have to take place in two or three consecutive months but can be split in two or three stays that are at least one month each.       
  • An applicant’s at-risk status should be described in the application form and will be taken into consideration in the selection of Visiting Fellows. However, this is not the primary criterion of selection.
  • For the time being, we cannot invite scholars affiliated with an institution in the Russian Federation or Belarus unless the visit takes place in an individual capacity. Affiliation to a Russian or Belarusian institution must not be referred to in any research output arising from a visit at the University of Helsinki.
  • Update 30 January 2023: There will be two max three-month fellowships that carry an additional support for accommodation costs (up to 1400 €), dedicated for scholars affected by Russia’s war, either residing in Ukraine or having had to flee Ukraine after 24 February 2022. Scholars eligible to apply for these fellowships can opt to apply only for these fellowships or both for these and the regular fellowships.
    • Selection of recipients of these fellowships will be concluded in March 2023, at the latest by 17 March 2023.
    • Visits with this fellowships can take place any time after the invitation until end of the regular visiting fellowships term in June 2024 besides July 2023 and between 15 December 2023 and 14 January 2024. 
    • These visits can be split in two or three stays that are at least one month each.
    • Otherwise, all instructions and conditions stated in the call for proposals apply.
    • Scholar possibly eligible for these fellowships who have submitted their applications before the updates on 30 January will be personally notified of this option.
How to submit the application

Complete the electronic application form at: https://www.lyyti.in/Aleksanteri-Visiting-Fellows-2023-2024.

The form is open from Tuesday 17 January until Sunday 12 February 2023 23:59 Finnish time (UTC +2:00). Late applications cannot be considered for evaluation.

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 2,000 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. 2,000 words, excluding references).

(3) The applicant’s CV (max. 2 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.

If you are using a screen reader and cannot therefore access the online application form, please be in touch with Anna Korhonen (anna.korhonen@helsinki.fi) to receive the application form in an alternative format. All other applicants must submit the application through the online application form.

Selection criteria

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 relevance of the applicant’s research to the research profile of the Aleksanteri Institute, prospects for collaboration, and 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. While it is not the main criterion in the evaluation, we will take a scholar’s at-risk position into account in the selection of Fellows.

Notification of applicants and evaluation of applications

The selection of the Visiting Fellows for the academic year 2023-2024 will be concluded by 21 April 2023 and their names will be published on the Institute’s website. We expect to invite up to nine or ten Visiting Fellows, most of whom for two-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 two experts.

Update 30 January 2023: Selection of Visiting Fellows invited with support of the University of Helsinki Ukraine Appeal funds will be concluded no later than March 17th. Applicants having applied either only for these fellowships or both for these and the regular fellowships will be notified of the results of the selection of these fellowships aimed only at scholars affected by Russia’s war in Ukraine. Results of the regular visiting fellowships selection will be notified as above. 

Accommodation and other practical matters

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 will have workspace assigned in the Aleksanteri Institute premises on the City Centre campus, near the University Main Library and the National Library. Please note that we can host at most three Visiting Fellows at one time and our capacity to change the timings of visits from their initial schedules is therefore limited.

Visiting Fellows can book accommodation in the Unihome’s Töölö Towers location, with 178 studios and apartments of different sizes, suitable for single occupants as well as for families. The Töölö Towers has furnished accommodation in a centrally located neighbourhood, within walking distance of the Aleksanteri Institute and within easy reach by public transport. Monthly rents with university guest discount for studios and apartments for single occupancy range from c. 1300 € to c. 1900 €. The rent includes breakfast, weekly cleaning, and Wi-Fi. Visiting Fellows can also look for other accommodation options, but the Aleksanteri Institute is not able to conduct housing searches.

Update 30 January 2023: Two fellowships aimed at scholars affected by Russia’s war, either residing in Ukraine or having had to flee Ukraine after 24 February 2022, carry an additional support for accommodation costs (up to 1400 €).

Visiting Fellow alumni resubmissions

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.

Further information on the Visiting Fellowships

During the application period 17 January-12 February 2023, contact: aleksanteri-fellows@helsinki.fi

For more information on the Visiting Fellows Programme: Head of International Affairs Anna Korhonen at anna.korhonen@helsinki.fi.
 

Other opportunities in Finland for Ukrainian researchers

For Ukrainian scholars and students at risk, longer-term support is available in Finland. Please see, for instance, the Academy of Finland’s call (expected to be open during February 2023) for Finland-based researchers to invite Ukrainian scholars at risk to Finland, and the Finnish National Board of Education’s EDUFI Fellowships for doctoral students from Ukraine.

Call for Proposals as PDF