Aalto Distinguished Chair

Fulbright-Aalto Distinguished Chair (Business Studies and Electrical Engineering)

The Fulbright-Aalto University Distinguished Chair provides U.S. scholars with the opportunity to conduct research and teach in Business Studies or Electrical Engineering at Aalto University. Although this award emphasizes active research work, teaching is also expected.

Purpose of the Grant Program

This prestigious appointment in the Fulbright Scholar Program is available for scholars and specialists for visits of 3–9 months in the areas of expertise within any of the following four broad themes:

  • ICT and digitalization
  • Materials and sustainable use of natural resources
  • Art and design knowledge building
  • Global business dynamics

In addition to the broad themes, the university invests in three integrative multidisciplinary themes focusing on solving challenges that are important globally and for the Finnish economy:

  • Advanced energy solutions
  • Health and well-being
  • Human-centred living environments

The grant is jointly funded by the Aalto University and the Fulbright Finland Foundation (the Finnish Fulbright Commission).

The Chair Position

The Fulbright - Aalto University Distinguished Chair will lecture and conduct research. The award emphasizes projects that highlight active research work but the Chair is expected to do some teaching as well. The position can be awarded for any field but the applicant‘s area of expertise should fall within the interdisciplinary themes mentioned above.

Aalto University strives to provide a very friendly and collegial atmosphere to pursue a variety of professional activities, such as research collaboration, teaching and lecturing, writing joint publications with Finnish colleagues, and mentoring student research at the M.A. and doctoral level. In addition to lecturing at Aalto University, the Fulbright - Aalto University Chair is able to network and create linkages throughout Finland and give occasional guest lectures at other Finnish universities. The Chair and Aalto University faculty at the department will work together in designing the Chair’s activities.

Applicants should include a letter of invitation from the relevant unit at Aalto University in their application. A research and teaching plan should be included in the project statement of the Distinguished Chair application. Applicants should include a letter of invitation from the relevant unit at Aalto University in their application.


The Fulbright-Aalto Distinguished Chair is available for visits of 3–9 months. It includes:

  • Monthly allowance of 5,600 EUR (approx. 6,200 USD*). A total stipend for 9 months is 50,400 EUR (approx. 56,000 USD*).
  • Travel allowance of 2,000 USD.
  • Arranged and payed housing by the host institution for the scholar.**
  • Work facilities and administrative support.
  • Orientation and support services provided by Fulbright Finland in Helsinki. For example, Fulbright Finland will arrange a four-day arrival orientation in Helsinki for all American Fulbright grantees at the end of August each year.
  • Fulbright Finland mid-year activities and networking opportunities (such as the American Voices Seminar at the University of Turku) each year.
  • Possible lecturing opportunities in other Finnish higher education institutions and in other European countries.

* amounts are subject to change due to currency fluctuations.
** should be confirmed in the letter of invitation. 


Distinguished Chair eligibility guidelines and review criteria are published on the Council for International Exchange of Scholar (IIE/CIES) website.

In Finland the applications are evaluated according to the evaluation criteria set by the Fulbright Finland Foundation Board.

Applicants residing in Finland are not eligible for a Fulbright grant.

Aalto University

Aalto University is a multidisciplinary university where science and art meet technology and business. Our mission is to work towards a better world and create solutions to meet the greatest challenges facing society through top-quality research and pioneering education.

Aalto University has six schools with 12 000 full-time equivalent students and 4 000 employees, 400 of whom are professors. 40% of our academic staff is international. The university is committed to international and multidisciplinary teaching and research, and offers studies up to the doctoral level. Aalto University was founded in 2010 by merging three institutions: Helsinki University of Technology, the Helsinki School of Economics and the University of Art and Design Helsinki.

The main campus in Espoo's Otaniemi supports Aalto University's vision for building an innovative society. All the university's core activities will be located in Otaniemi by 2021. Otaniemi is about 15 minutes from the city center of Helsinki. The campus and its immediate vicinity is the site for many of Finland’s largest companies’ headquarters, not to mention home to a great number of smaller companies.

How to Apply?

The application period for the 2022-23 academic year closes on September 15, 2021.

The U.S. program partner in the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program is the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (IIE/CIES). Applications are submitted through IIE/CIES, which pre-screens the applications in the United States and forwards the recommended dossiers to the Fulbright Finland in Helsinki for final selection.

Additional information, including detailed application instructions is available from the IIE/CIES website and Fulbright U.S. Scholar Catalog of Awards.

Fulbright Finland encourages potential applicants to contact the office directly with any questions.

NOTE: Late June, July and early August are traditionally summer vacation months in Finland and responses to inquiries may be delayed. Applicants are advised to contact the Finnish host institution well ahead of time to solicit an invitation letter for their application. 


Contact Information

  Fulbright Finland Foundation 
(overall program related questions)
Aalto University 
(host institution related questions)
  Leasa Weimer, PhD
Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives
+358 44 7169 482
[email protected]
Leena Plym-Rissanen
Senior Manager, International Relations
Leadership Support Services
+358 50 3045 658
[email protected]

Resources for Hosts


Application period start: Early February, 2021
Application period end: September, 2021
Earliest possible starting date: August 2022
Mandatory orientation: TBC (expected in mid-August 2022 or mid-January 2022 for scholars arriving in 2023)

Alumni Experiences

"Solving Problems the Finnish Way" Joshua Pearce: A Life Changing Experience

What is the Fulbright Finland Foundation?

The Fulbright Finland Foundation is a private, independent, not-for-profit organization based in Helsinki, Finland. The Foundation’s aim is

  • to promote a wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents through educational contacts between Finland and the United States, and
  • to support the internationalization of education and research in Finland, and help U.S. and Finnish institutions create linkages.

What Makes the Fulbright Finland Foundation Program Unique?

  • In addition to the grant, the Fulbright Finland Foundation offers the grantees several additional benefits and free support services, as well as an access to a global, multi-professional network.
  • We are looking for applicants who want to impact the future and to make a difference – applicants who want to facilitate positive change, develop and advance their own profession or discipline, and find solutions to national and international challenges in their field.
  • The grantees also act as ambassadors for the Fulbright Finland Foundation, their home country, and their home organization and, in this way, do their part in sharing their home country and culture and contributing to the relations between Finland and the U.S.
Global Fulbright Program logo

Fulbright-Aalto Distinguished Chair program is part of the global Fulbright program operating in over 160 countries worldwide.


Leasa Weimer
Leasa Weimer, PhD
Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives
+358 44 7169 482