Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Distinguished Chair in Health Sciences

Fulbright Finland, the University of Eastern Finland, and the Saastamoinen Foundation offer a unique new opportunity for international academic collaboration in health sciences, especially in cardiovascular diseases and metabolic diseases research.


Applications in the following disciplines will be considered: Medical Sciences, Public/Global Health


Cardiovascular Diseases and/or Metabolic Diseases research

Grant Activity

The Fulbright Saastamoinen Foundation Distinguished Chair position provides an American scholar with the opportunity to conduct research at the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) at the Faculty of Health Sciences. The Chair position is available for scholars and specialists in any field of Health Sciences, but priority will be given to research work in Cardiovascular Diseases and/or Metabolic Diseases.

The research area at UEF boasts an extensive international network of partners in Europe and the United States. The specified research area focuses on the pathophysiology, genetics, molecular mechanisms, prevention and novel treatments of these diseases by using modern methods in molecular biology, genetics, nutrition, translational medicine and gene transfer. The research area comprises researchers from the fields of internal medicine, clinical nutrition, molecular medicine, vascular biology and cardiology. It brings together researchers from UEF and Kuopio University Hospital, and is closely linked to the activities of the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease, the Genome Center of Eastern Finland, and the National Virus Vector Laboratory.

The Scholar has an opportunity to serve as a resource for doctoral students as well.

The Chair and the UEF faculty will work together in designing the Chair’s activities.

Applicants are advised to include an invitation letter from the relevant unit at UEF in their application as well as a research plan in the project statement of the Distinguished Chair application. Proposals for medical research involving clinical training, patient care, or patient contact are not eligible.

Length of Grant

The grant is awarded as a Flex grant for two visits of one month each over two consecutive years. The grant periods will be agreed together with the Chair and the host Professor at UEF Unit according to the guidelines of the Finnish Fulbright Commission.


University of Eastern Finland will provide the Chair and his/her family with free housing and working facilities at the University. Fulbright Finland will provide the Chair with a monthly grant of EUR 5,600. and a round-trip travel allowance of USD 2,000.

Additionally, the Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation grantee will receive the full support services provided by Fulbright Finland for all Fulbright grantees in Finland.


Open to academics and appropriately qualified professionals outside of academia. MD, PhD, or other terminal degree required. Candidates should have a prominent record of scholarly accomplishment.


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

The application period for the academic year 2020-2021 ends on September 16, 2019.

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


The University of Eastern Finland is a multidisciplinary research university that hosts several Centres of Excellence research groups nominated by the Academy of Finland or the Nordic Council of Ministers. The University operates in two main campuses, Kuopio and Joensuu, and it has four faculties. The Faculty of Health Sciences is located on Kuopio campus.

UEF Kuopio campus is located in the city of Kuopio, about 400 kilometers northeast of Helsinki. Kuopio Science Park, which is located on the university campus, offers excellent opportunities also for extensive collaboration with local national research institutes like the National Institute of Health and Welfare, and the National Institute of Occupational Health. The city of Kuopio (founded 1775) is a modern, developing center of economic life, scientific knowledge, and technological expertise in Eastern Finland. A unique natural setting and a high quality of life make it an appealing place to live, especially with children. It is the eighth largest city in Finland with about 120,000 inhabitants.

Assistance and Additional Information

Helpful Links

University of Eastern Finland
UEF Strategy for 2016-2020
Faculty of Health Sciences
Visit Finland/Kuopio
Puijo Tower

Applicants are encouraged to contact the University of Eastern Finland directly.

NOTE: July is traditionally a summer vacation month 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.

University of Eastern Finland

Primary point of contact:

Ms. Anitta Etula
Head of International Relations, UEF
tel: +358 50 5905 012

Dr. Riikka Pellinen
Executive Head of Administration, UEF
Faculty of Health Sciences
tel:+358 40 3552 453

Prof. Jussi Pihlajamäki
Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, UEF
tel: +358 50 3440 187

Fulbright Finland Foundation

Ms. Emmi Jelekäinen
Program Coordinator

Hakaniemenranta 6
FI-00530 Helsinki
tel: +358 44 5535 286

Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES/IIE)

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