Students at the University of Vaasa campus in Finland.

Fulbright-University of Vaasa Scholar Award

The Fulbright-University of Vaasa Scholar Award offers U.S. Scholars the opportunity to conduct research, or conduct research and teach at the University of Vaasa in Finland for a period of 3-12 months.

Purpose of the Grant Program

The grant is intended for conducting high quality research, but also some lecturing at graduate or doctoral level during the visit is welcomed. The grant can be awarded for any field represented by the following four schools or the three multidisciplinary research platforms. Applicants are encouraged to contact the host schools and the research platforms to plan the position activities.

The four academic schools of the University of Vaasa are:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Management
  • Marketing and Communication
  • Technology and Innovation

School-specific research is complemented by the following three phenomenon-based research platforms:

  • Vaasa Energy Business Innovation Centre VEBIC provides an international research infrastructure to serve both academic and industrial needs. It brings together know how from the research and business communities responding to the global needs of efficient energy generation, distribution and consumption, energy business operations and sustainable societal development. It includes two cutting edge technical laboratories and a program for energy and sustainable development research projects which focuses on the wider business and societal impacts of new energy technologies.  
  • Digital Economy focuses on interdisciplinary research on innovations enabled by new technology and digitalization as well as their impact on individuals, organizations, industry and society.
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship InnoLab focuses on open innovations, user innovations, entrepreneurship, and public sector innovation and renewal. Innolab also encourages the application of citizen science, open science and design thinking.

Starting date of position is August or January unless otherwise agreed between the grantee and the Fulbright Finland Foundation. The academic year begins in September and ends in August. There is generally no teaching from June to August.

The Fulbright-University of Vaasa Scholar Award is jointly funded by the University of Vaasa and the Fulbright Finland Foundation.


The Fulbright-University of Vaasa Scholar Award is available for visits of 3–12 months. It includes:

  • Monthly grant of 4,000 EUR  (approx. 4,500 USD), paid out in euro in monthly installments.
  • One-time travel allowance of 1,800 USD.
  • Housing for the scholar and his/her accompanying family arranged and paid for by the host university.
  • 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 U.S. Fulbright grantees at the end of August each year (orientation is also arranged in January for grantees arriving for the spring semester).
  • Fulbright Finland mid-year activities and networking opportunities (such as the American Voices Seminar at the University of Turku) each year.

The grantee will also be eligible, free of charge, to participate in a Fulbright Finland pre-approved summer school in Finland consisting of courses on Finnish language, culture and society, pending availability of suitable programs.


A candidate for the Fulbright-University of Vaasa Scholar Award must hold a Ph.D. degree and should have several years of research and teaching experience in his/her field. The candidate must be a U.S. citizen.

Proposals for medical research involving clinical training, patient care or patient contact are not eligible.

U.S. Scholar Program 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.

The University of Vaasa

“Business and technology driven University of Vaasa educates responsible leaders and experts for the needs of the future”, says Rector Jari Kuusisto. ”Our research produces solutions that matter and that match the global challenges. Focus areas are management and change, energy and sustainable development, and finance and economic decision-making. Our 5,400 students and 500 employees thrive in the most beautiful campus in Finland.”

The university prides itself with a good atmosphere and strong community spirit, which the university sees as contributing factors to the university’s success. The well-being of staff, working conditions and career development possibilities are promoted in many ways, and monitored regularly e.g. by using well-being surveys.

An excellent working environment for research
The University of Vaasa has been awarded the ‘HR Excellence in Research’ logo in recognition of its development work and commitment to the European Commission's principles regarding the implementation of fair and equal opportunity in the recruitment and appraisal procedures for researchers. By endorsing the principles, the University of Vaasa wants to contribute to the development of the European researcher area (ERA) and an open labor market for researchers.”

At the university, researchers have access to two laboratories, which are equipped with modern and latest scientific instruments for conducting experiments and constructing models or prototypes.

Technobothnia - Research and development laboratory

Technobothnia is a wide ranged laboratory unit which serves as a channel of cooperation between educational institutions, enterprises and other research institutes and technology centers in Finland. It has 25 specialized laboratories of different expertise in a total area of approximately 8000 square meters. Some of the laboratories include, for example, following:

  • Construction Engineering laboratory
  • Energy Technology and Smart Grid laboratory
  • Environmental laboratory
  • Electrical laboratories
  • Information Technology laboratories
  • Mechanical Engineering laboratories
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality laboratory

VEBIC laboratory

VEBIC laboratories are comprised of engine and fuel laboratories which are equipped to carry out a wide range of research into energy technologies and different fuels. These laboratories are in close cooperation with more than 30 partner companies and organizations. The VEBIC laboratories are equipped with cutting edge technical and scientific instruments in a total area of 3268 square meters. The laboratories are in regular use for carrying out highest level international research conducted by research professors, researchers and doctoral students.

International working culture

The University of Vaasa embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities for all staff members. 30 % of its research and teaching staff come from outside of Finland. The students, researchers and other staff members represent more than 80 different nationalities.

“The most beautiful campus in Finland”

The Fulbright-University of Vaasa Scholar will work on a beautiful campus on the coast, right next to the city center. The grounds of the campus area contain a historic red-brick cotton factory and light, airy new buildings, with windows looking out over a beautiful marine landscape.

The campus is also home to several other institutes of higher education. The Palosaari campus employs a total of 900 people, and there are 10,000 students.

The Vaasa Region

Vaasa is an urban coastal city in western Finland. The Vaasa region is a source of jobs and center of culture and commerce for more than 110,000 inhabitants. Vaasa has a leading energy technology cluster in the Nordic countries with over 140 companies, several of which are global market leaders and employing over 11,000 experts from over 120 nations in the energy sector. The local universities, businesses and municipalities are cooperating closely. The region is widely recognized as highly innovative. Long traditions in energy technology of the region have led to today’s strong research expertise.

There are plenty of free-time activities available for all tastes. Nature is close at hand and the city centre is just minutes away from the seaside, with stunning views that can be enjoyed e.g. on foot, by bike or by boat. Just a little further away one can locate the UNESCO World Natural Heritage scenery of the Kvarken archipelago, as well as the fertile flatlands of the Ostrobothnian countryside.

Vaasa has good transport links: Helsinki is three hours by train from Vaasa, and flights operate to the capital and further afield. There is also regular a ferry service to Umeå, Sweden. 

How to Apply?

The application period for the academic year 2021-2022 closes on September 15, 2020.

The U.S. program partner in the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is the IIE/CIES (Institute of International Education/Council for International Exchange of Scholars). Applications are submitted through IIE/CIES and forwarded to discipline-based peer review committees in the United States. Applications that pass this initial peer review in the United States are forwarded to the Fulbright Finland Foundation in Helsinki to be reviewed by the Fulbright Finland Foundation’s review committees. The Fulbright Finland Foundation makes the funding decisions and final selections of grantees.

Additional information and detailed application instructions are available from IIE/CIES website.

Resources for Hosts


Application period starts: February 14, 2020
Application period ends: September 15, 2020
Earliest possible starting date: August 2021
Orientation seminar in Helsinki: TBC (expected in mid-August 2021 or mid-January 2022 for scholars arriving in 2022)

Further Information

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.


Contact Information

  Fulbright Finland Foundation
(general Fulbright program related questions)
University of Vaasa
(host institution related questions)


Emmi Jelekäinen
Program Specialist
+358 44 5535 275

Ms. Hanna Turpeinen
HR Specialist, International affairs and mobility
+358 29 449 8131

Useful links:

University of Vaasa
Guide for incoming researchers
University of Vaasa Visitors
Vaasa Region
This is Finland

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 Finnish higher education institutions.

What Makes the Fulbright Finland Foundation programs 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-University of Vaasa Scholar Award program is part of the global Fulbright program operating in over 160 countries worldwide.