Faculty of Social Sciences Wins U.S. Embassy Grant

The U.S. embassy grant will fund the “Women in Global Security” student exchange programme scheduled for later this spring between the University of Helsinki and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The University of Helsinki and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill won a 2024 grant from the U.S. Embassy in Finland to host a student exchange programme on the topic of Women in Security. Up to 12 students will participate in the programme which will take place for one week at UNC Chapel Hill and one week at the University of Helsinki. 

Students will encounter themes related to women in national and global security professions in Finland and the United States. The programme aims to facilitate networking and mentoring between professionals, leaders and students in the U.S. and Finland. Through a series of workshops, lectures and panels, students will explore environmental and energy security, cybersecurity, defense, Russia’s geopolitical goals and the war in Ukraine, and the overarching role of NATO in addressing many of these issues. There will also be a focus on Finland’s recent NATO accession. 

The programme will be convened by Adj. Prof. S.M. Amadae, program director of Global Politics and Communication, and co-convened by Vice-Dean Hanna Wass, both representing the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Another aim is to develop research ties between these two leading research universities. The programme incorporates faculty exchange to deepen connections and develop new avenues of collaboration between the two campuses. The University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Social Sciences plays an important role in studying the relationship between democratic politics and international relations. 

The student exchange visits to Helsinki and North Carolina will take place in April and May. This grant opportunity follows the visit of U.S. Ambassador to Finland, Douglas Hickey, and U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Julianne Smith to the university in the spring of 2023. The University of Helsinki looks forward to continued collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Finland and other U.S. governmental agencies.

The Women in Global Security follows a series of Global Politics and Communications events, including a 2022 panel on Finland’s bid for NATO accession. In 2023 Vice-Dean Wass and her research team were awarded a Kone Foundation grant for the project Dynamic Support for Finnish Defense Policy. This research initiative on evolving Finnish public opinion on NATO resulted in two policy briefs on this topic. Read these here: