Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies

The Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies offers a unique opportunity for an American scholar to engage in international research collaboration. The Chair position is available for scholars and specialists in Information and Communications Technologies and includes research and lecturing at a higher education institution in Finland.
The application period for the academic year 2020-2021 ends on September 16, 2019.

The research questions are expected to be related to software or hardware and algorithms, as well as directly connected disciplines of the digitalization era. Topical research areas of interest include also data science, advanced network technologies and design issues related to digitalization.

The Fulbright Distinguished Chair position is viewed as among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program. The Chair is able to engage in a variety of professional activities, such as:

  • research collaboration in an international environment
  • writing joint publications with Finnish colleagues
  • teaching and lecturing
  • mentoring student research at the master and doctoral level
  • developing international exchange collaboration between the American home and Finnish host institution
  • a brief lecture visit to another European country through the Inter-Country Travel Grant program.

The scholar and the Finnish host institution work together in designing the Chair position activities in detail.

The Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies is funded by the Nokia Foundation and the Fulbright Finland Foundation. The U.S. program partner is the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (IIE/CIES).


The award includes a monthly stipend. The total stipend for 9 months is 50,400 EUR. The stipend is paid out in monthly installments in Finland (5 600 EUR per month).

  • The Chair will also receive a travel allowance of 2,000 USD prior to arrival in Finland.
  • The host institution will arrange and pay for housing for the scholar.
  • The host institution will provide work facilities and offer administrative and academic support for the scholar.
  • The Fulbright Finland Office in Helsinki provides support services both prior to arrival and during the Chair position in Finland.
  • Fulbright Finland will arrange a three-day arrival orientation in Helsinki for all American Fulbright grantees at the end of August each year.
  • Fulbright Finland arranges mid-year activities and networking opportunities (such as the American Voices Seminar at the University of Turku each year).
  • Fulbright scholars are often invited to lecture in other Finnish higher education institutions. The Chair may also be asked to give a guest lecture at Nokia.
  • The Inter-Country Travel Grant program offers opportunities to lecture in other European countries

Length of Position

A minimum period of 3 months and a maximum period of 9 months. The award can be split to two or more periods that together meet the maximum 9 months and individually respect the minimum 3 months.

Starting date of position is late August unless otherwise agreed upon with Fulbright Finland.

The academic year in Finnish higher education institutions usually begins in September and ends in May. The Finnish host department is able to give details on the term structure and teaching periods.

An international researcher does not necessarily need Finnish or Swedish in order to be able to live in Finland. English is widely spoken in academic circles and in the country as a whole.

Opportunities in Finland

Finland is technologically one of the most advanced countries in the world. One quarter of the Finnish labor force is directly or indirectly employed by the technology industry and three quarters of private-sector R&D investment goes to the technology sector. The size and the role of Information and Communications Technologies in the Finnish economy and R&D have grown considerably along with the Nokia’s worldwide success.

Finnish higher education institutions engage in world leading research and offer high quality academic programs. In relation to the gross domestic product, Finland invests more in research and development than almost any other OECD country. Finnish institutions and researchers are also among the most active scientific publishers in the world.

Together with a welcoming and intriguing environment, Finland offers interesting opportunities for American researchers and lecturers both professionally and socially. Please visit the following websites to begin your search.


The purpose of the Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies is to enhance cooperation between Finnish and American higher education institutions and academics in the field.

Candidates are expected to secure an affiliation with a Finnish institution themselves. However, assistance in locating possible host institutions and making connections is available from Fulbright Finland if needed.

The candidate and the Finnish host institution work together in designing the Chair position activities. Candidates should negotiate and agree with the host on the teaching and research ratio and the number and level of courses to be taught. The host may expect the scholar to supervise students who are completing their master’s thesis or Ph.D. dissertation. A research and lecture plan should be included in the project statement of the Distinguished Chair application.

The Finnish host institution is expected to arrange and pay for housing for the scholar. Candidates should communicate their housing needs to the host institution so that appropriate housing can be arranged for them.

The Distinguished Chair application should include a letter of invitation from a Finnish higher education institution. The letter should include information on the agreed teaching and research plan, details of housing, and length and dates of the proposed visit (Finnish host institution should refer to these instructions).

Candidate profile

Candidates should be eminent scholars and have a prominent record of scholarly accomplishment, including a significant publication and teaching record. Projects that prioritize active research work and publications yet also include lectures and student supervision are particularly encouraged.

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

In Finland the American scholar applications and the proposed Fulbright projects are evaluated on:

  • candidate's academic or professional qualifications and match of the research discipline to the Chair position
  • originality and feasibility of the proposed project
  • benefit to the host institution
  • potential for long-term impact
  • importance of conducting the project in Finland
  • contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the candidate's field
  • contribution to the candidate’s personal and professional development
  • host institution support provided for the candidate
  • potential for contribution beyond the host institution.

Additionally, candidates in all Fulbright programs are reviewed on the project’s contribution to the objectives of the Fulbright Program as well as on the adaptability and suitability of the candidate to act as a Fulbright Ambassador for the United States in Finland.

Applicants residing in Finland are not eligible for a Fulbright grant. Preference may be given to candidates with no or little experience in Finland. As a general matter, preference for Fulbright Scholar opportunities will be given to candidates who have not previously received a Fulbright Scholar grant. This policy is set by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in Washington D.C.


The U.S. program partner in the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program is the Institute for International Education/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 Fulbright Finland for final selection.

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

Living in Finland and Bringing Family

One can experience a way of life in Finland that combines a dynamic urban culture with a richly diverse natural environment. The Destination Finland section of this website is designed to learn more about the country and the opportunities it offers.

It is very common for a Fulbright scholar to take their family along to Finland. The experience can be life changing not only for the scholar but to the spouse and children as well. The Finnish school system is considered one of the best in the world. Schools accommodate international visitors very well and instruction in English is also available in many cities. Finnish public schools are free of charge, although some special institutions, such as international schools, may charge tuition. Higher education institutions offer many degree and non-degree programs in English. In universities, non-EU students usually need to pay tuition fees in English-taught Bachelor's or Master's degree programs.

Finnish medical care is of high quality and low cost. At some institutions Fulbright Scholars have access to the university health care services provided for faculty and staff.

Assistance and Additional Information

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

NOTE: July is traditionally a summer vacation month in Finland and responses to inquiries be delayed. Applicants are advised to contact the Finnish host institution well ahead of time to solicit an invitation letter for their application.

Fulbright Finland Foundation

Ms. Emmi Jelekäinen
Program Coordinator

Council for International Exchange of Scholars (IIE/CIES)

1400 K Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005

The Nokia Foundation

The Nokia Foundation was formed in 1995 and supports the scientific development of information and telecommunications technologies and promotes education in the sector in Finland.