Apply for Postdoc­toral Fel­low­ship in the Arts
The postdoctoral fellowship in the arts aims to develop new forms of cooperation and dialogue between art and scholarship. The positions are primarily intended for persons holding a doctoral degree in the arts. However, also persons engaged in artistic work but having completed a doctoral degree in a different academic field are eligible to apply.

There is an annual call for applications for the position of the postdoctoral researcher in the arts. The selection process is based on a high-level international competition. Applicants are advised to prepare their applications with care and in accordance with the guidelines explained below. Postdoctoral researchers in the arts will be based at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. The positions are primarily intended for persons holding a doctoral degree in the arts. However, also persons engaged in artistic work but having completed a doctoral degree in a different academic field are eligible to apply. Applicants must have completed their doctoral degree by the end of the application period. In addition to the doctoral degree, the requirements for the position include experience of artistic work or artistic research. Applicants for the position must demonstrate ability to produce high-quality artistic work at an internationally significant level. They should also explain why working in an academic community will enhance their proposed project. Should the applicant already have connections to a Finnish university in the field of the arts or to a department or discipline at the University of Helsinki, they are advised to mention this in their application.

Practitioners of all fields of art may apply for the position. The Collegium does not have nationality or gender quotas but, in accordance to the policy of the University of Helsinki, it is committed to promoting equality and preventing discrimination in its operations. Successful applications should propose a research project that brings together academic research and the arts and holds a promise of internationally significant results. Both artistic and academic publications and productions count as such results. The research proposal should include a publishing plan for the results of the project, which may include, for example, artistic events, exhibitions, or academic publications. The applicants must describe in their applications what kinds of facilities and equipment their project requires. The postdoctoral researchers in the arts must be committed to working at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. They are expected to be present 80% of their annual workload of 1,624 hours and to participate actively in the activities of the Collegium, most importantly the weekly Fellows' Seminars. They are also encouraged to organize, for instance, an artistic event or seminar during the research period. As no more than 20% of the research period may be spent working abroad, long trips should be arranged outside the academic year of the University. No leaves of absence will be granted for other duties. All research appointments will begin in August and may not be postponed. The postdoctoral researchers in the arts must submit a final report at the end of their term at the Collegium. Appointments may not be extended. Only individual researchers, not research groups, are eligible to apply to the Collegium.

The postdoctoral fellowship in the arts programme is funded by the Kone Foundation.   

Application process

The selection criteria are the quality, originality, and internationality of the research proposal as well as the applicant’s previous artistic activity. The applicant must also explain why his or her artistic research suits an academic environment such as the Collegium.

Application documents

Applications should be submitted via the electronic application form and complemented with the 6 attachments listed below. All attachments must be saved as pdf documents and named as follows: applicants surname title of the attachment.pdf (e.g. smith abstract.pdf). 

  •  Abstract of the research proposal (a maximum of 4,000 characters)
  • Diploma (PhD Certificate, doctoral degree in a different academic field)
  • Curriculum vitae (1-2 pages)
  • Portfolio (a maximum of 5 pages)
  • Research proposal (a maximum of 12,000 characters)
  • Letter of motivation

The documents should be written in English. Please note that attachments will not be returned. Please note also that no other documents (e.g., letters of recommendation, statements on doctoral dissertations, publishing contracts) will be considered in the evaluation process.

Abstract of the research proposal

The maximum length of the abstract is 4000 characters, including spaces. The number of characters used must be indicated at the end of the abstract. The abstract must contain:

  • The applicant’s name and academic degree
  • The title of the research project
  • A brief description of the research project, indicating the aim, primary research material, methods, and the relevance of the project

Please state the project’s research question and aims briefly in the abstract. The relevant fields of research, ranked in order of importance, must also be included in the abstract. Applicants are advised to pay special attention to the abstract of their research proposal, as this will play an important role in the selection process. 

Curriculum vitae

The curriculum vitae (a maximum of 2 pages) must contain at least the following information (the applicant’s full name must be on both pages of the CV):

  •  Personal details and academic education
  • The most important positions
  • Scientific and artistic grants received during the past five years
  • The most significant scientific and artistic expert duties and elected positions
  • The most significant scientific and artistic honours and awards
  • Language  skills,  especially  when  significant  in  terms  of  the  implementation  of  the research project
Portfolio (a maximum of 5 pages)

Applications for artistic research must include a portfolio, demonstrating the skills of the applicant in the relevant field of the art and describing the applicant’s artistic profile. The portfolio is a sample of the applicant’s artistic work, competence, and special skills and techniques employed. It is advisable to provide a few examples of works closely related to the project (e.g. by providing internet-links to web pages). The portfolio should also include a list of the applicant’s most important publications. The titles of articles and books in languages other than English must be translated into English. Applicants may provide the address of a webpage containing a more complete list of their previous artistic activity.

Research proposal

The maximum length of the research proposal is 12,000 characters (including spaces), excluding the bibliography. The number of characters used must be indicated at the end of the proposal.

The research proposal must state the following:

  • The  significance of the artistic research in relation to the wider artistic or academic discussion
  • The aims and methods of the proposed project
  • The current state and schedule of the proposed project
  • The expected results of the proposed project, especially for international audiences
  • The most important national and international collaboration partners; applicants with connections to a Finnish university in  the field of the arts or to a department or discipline at the University of Helsinki are advised to mention this in their application
  • Explanation of why the proposed research project should be implemented at the Collegium
  • Work abroad during the funding period, if any, including an estimate of the percentage of absences and their timing
  • Issues concerning research ethics, if relevant
  • Explanation of expensive equipment, special facilities, or more than a normal amount of travel, should the realization of the project require such; notice that by appointing the candidate, the Collegium does not guarantee that it will cover such expenses.
Letter of motivation

The  maximum  length  of  the  letter  of  motivation  is  8000  characters  including  spaces.  The number of characters used must be indicated at the end of the letter. Applicants are asked to explain why the applicant’s research should be conducted at the Collegium and how it would benefit from cooperation at the University of Helsinki. In the letter, applicants may also describe their career plans, including possible plans for further funding.

Applications are written in English must be submitted, together with the required attachments, electronically through a link available on this site during the application period. Please notice that even though the online form asks you to identify your career stage and the desired duration of the fellowship, all fellowships in the Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Arts Program are for one year only and at the postdoctoral level. Notice that in this program also more senior scholars (with more than five years from their doctoral defense) are eligible to apply. When you reach section "Key Information" of the online form, the system will not let you continue unless you fill out sections "Academic Level" and "Duration". Please choose, for example, early career as the academic level and 1 year (mid-career) as the desired duration. This information is not relevant for the selection process.

The next application period will be in fall 2022. Only applications submitted within the application period will be processed. Applicants will receive a confirmation of the receipt of their application by email sent to the email address stated in the application. Applicants are asked to submit only one application. Should an applicant send more than one application, only the latest one will be considered. The applicants may update their application during the application period. The application can be accessed by the link sent to the applicant in the confirmation email. If applicants experience any difficulties with the online application system, they should contact the Collegium (hr-erla@helsinki.fi) before the deadline.

See instruction video below for more details.

Applications received by the deadline and meeting the formal criteria will be sent to external review. The director of the Collegium will decide on the appointments by early March 2022 on the basis of the external reviews, after which the decision will be published on the Collegium website and announced to the applicants by email. For more information, please contact collegium-recruitment@helsinki.fi.