Mission and Organization

Read more about the mission of the HCAS, its organizational structure and regulations that govern its practices.

The Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies is an independent institute of the University of Helsinki.

The Collegium’s mission is to
1) offer scholars a state-of-the-art research environment that is attractive and international for conducting research in the humanities and social sciences
2) reform research in the humanities and social sciences and to promote interdisciplinary research
3) collaborate with the University faculties and engage researchers to participate actively in the researcher education offered by the University.

The Collegium is governed by its Executive Board and Director. The Executive Board represents various academic constituencies of the University of Helsinki, and the Director is an active scholar with an international orientation. Professor Tuomas Forsberg began his term as the director of the Collegium in August 2018. He holds a professorship in International Relations at the University of Tampere.

The Collegium also has a deputy director, whose responsibilities include developing programs with external funding as well as the Collegium's publication series, in addition to doing active research as university researcher. Dr. Hanne Appelqvist has held the position of deputy director at HCAS since the beginning of 2019.

In addition, the Collegium organizes regular staff meetings and has an Internal Committee for Academic Affairs that assists the Director, the Deputy Director and the Research Coordinator in planning the academic program of HCAS. 

The Collegium may have committees and other forums appointed by the director to support him or her in academic decision-making.

HCAS Board

The Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies has a Board entrusted with the following duties in addition to those stipulated in the Regulations of the University of Helsinki: 

  • To monitor that the Collegium’s activities are in line with Collegium's mission and support the University’s strategic objectives
  • To define, together with the director, the thematic areas of emphasis of the Collegium
  • To propose to the rector the appointment of the Collegium’s Academic Advisory Board
Members of the HCAS Board, 8 April 2022 – 31 March 2026
(Member / Deputy Member)

Vice Rector Hanna Snellman (Chair) / Director Ritva Dammert
Vice Dean Jutta Jokiranta / Dean Antti Räsänen
Vice Dean Jaakko Husa / Professor Päivi Leino-Sandberg
Vice Dean Filipe Pereira da Silva / Vice Dean Tiina Airaksinen
Dean Johanna Mäkelä / Vice Dean Markku Jahnukainen
Vice Rector Stefan Sjöblom / Professor Suvi Keskinen
Vice Dean Timo Kaartinen / Vice Dean Jari Eloranta
Postdoctoral Researcher Tero Toivanen / University Researcher Svetlana Vetchinnikova
Doctoral Researcher Annukka Saaristo (8.4 2022- 31.3.2024) / Doctoral Researcher Jimena Bigá-Iltanen (8.4 2022- 31.3.2024)


The Board of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies comprises nine (9) members, each of whom has a deputy. Of the members, seven (7) represent the research fields and academic leadership of the City Centre Campus. The Collegium staff elects one member and his or her deputy from among themselves. The University of Helsinki Student Union elects one postgraduate student member and his or her deputy from among themselves for a term of two years.

The Rector of the University appoints the members of the Board. The Board elects a vice chair from amongst its members.

Academic Advisory Board

The Helsinki Collegium has an international Academic Advisory Board, whose members are appointed by the Rector of the University. The Collegium’s Academic Advisory Board includes five (5) members who are distinguished scholars in the fields represented at the Collegium. The rector of the University invites, on the proposal of the Board, the members to serve on the Academic Advisory Board for a term of three years.

The following Academic Advisory Board members have been appointed for the period 1.1.2022 – 31.12.2024:

  • Ph.D. Christine Helmer, Northwestern University
  • Ph.D. Ann Phoenix, University College London
  • Ph.D. Morten Kyndrup, Aarhus Universitet
  • Ph.D. Johannes Persson, Lunds universitet
  • Ph.D. Andres Kasekamp, University of Toronto

The duty of the Academic Advisory Board is to, together with the director and Board,

  • Support the Collegium leadership in strategic planning by offering visions for the Collegium’s development
  • Take initiatives and issue statements on directing the Collegium’s research
  • Evaluate the activities and operational structure of the Collegium within the overall framework of the University

International networking is central to the mission of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. The HCAS is engaged in cooperation with other comparable institutes in the world and seeks to develop contacts to new institutes of this kind.

The HCAS is an active member in the following networks:

In addition to formal networks, the HCAS maintains and develops its international relations in form of personal visits and contacts.