2019 Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars and Professionals on Contemporary American Literature grantees

Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars and Professionals

The Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Scholars and Professionals are designed to strengthen curricula and improve the quality of teaching about the United States in academic institutions. The Institutes will take place over the course of five-to-six weeks during the summer months.

The application period for the summer 2024 programs has ended.

Purpose of the grant program

The Study of the United States Institutes for Scholars and Professionals are intensive post-graduate level academic programs with integrated study tours whose purpose is to provide university faculty, scholars, and other related professionals the opportunity to deepen their understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions. The goal of these programs is to strengthen curricula and to improve the quality of teaching about the United States in academic institutions.

Participants spend four weeks at host universities where they take part in a series of lectures, seminar discussions and site visits related to each Institute’s theme. Each Institute includes an integrated study tour of up to two weeks another region of the United States, which complements the academic program.


Candidates should be mid-career, typically between the ages of 30-50, highly-motivated, experienced scholars and professionals from institutions of higher education or research-focused organizations (not-for-profits, think-tanks, etc.). While the educational level of participants will likely vary, most should have graduate degrees and substantial knowledge of the thematic area of the Institute or a related field.

Ideal candidates are scholars or professionals with little or no prior experience in the United States, whose home institution is seeking to introduce aspects of U.S. studies into its curricula, to develop new courses in the subject of the Institute, to enhance and update existing courses on the United States, or to offer specialized seminars/workshops for professionals in U.S. studies areas related to the program theme.

It is imperative that all candidates demonstrate English language fluency. Institutes are rigorous and demanding programs conducted fully in English; participants will be expected to handle substantial reading assignments in English and to be full and active participants in all seminar and panel discussions.

Finnish citizenship is not required. However, candidates recommended for the program from Finland will need to demonstrate how their participation in the SUSI program will further contribute to their efforts in teaching/education/research in Finland. 

Please note that U.S. citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) of the U.S. are not eligible for the program. Participants who have taken part in past SUSI programs are not eligible to apply. Relatives of U.S. embassy or Fulbright Finland Foundation employees are not eligible to apply.

Essential Information about the SUSI Programs

Program Funding: The program will cover participant costs, including: program administration, travel allowances, domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence, as well as arrange and pay for participants’ international and visa travel costs and travel allowances within set limits and in coordination with the Fulbright Finland Foundation and the U.S. Embassy.

Housing and Meal Arrangements: When possible each participant will have a private room with a shared bathroom during the residency portion (four weeks) of the Institute. Private room accommodations are not guaranteed. During the study tour (up to two weeks), participants will likely share a hotel room with another participant of the same gender. During the residency, housing will usually be in college or university owned housing. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own. Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily or weekly worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied. 

Health Benefits: While all participants will receive the U.S. Department of State's supplemental health benefit ASPE (with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and a $75 co-pay per emergency room visit) for the duration of the program, participants are responsible for their own comprehensive health and travel insurance for the duration of the program. (Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos). 

Program Requirements and Restrictions: Participants are expected to participate fully in the program. The program is intense, and there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program. Participants must attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned readings. Family members and/or friends may not accompany participants on any part of the program. Please note that teaching methodology and pedagogical methods will not be addressed formally in the Institute. Institutes focus on U.S. studies with only a brief focus on the U.S. education system itself. The Institute is not and thus should not be viewed as a research program.

Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the SUSI will pivot to a virtual format. The virtual program will consist of a minimum of 36 hours of required programming and will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Virtual programming may include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, individual assignments, and group activities. Participants are required to fully participate in the entire virtual program from their home location outside the United States.

Expectations: Violations of program rules, U.S. host institution rules, or U.S. local, state or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.  

2019 Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars and Professionals on Contemporary American Literature grantees in Washington D.C.
2019 Study of the U.S. Institues for Scholars and Professionals on Contemporary American Literature participants in Washington D.C. Photo: Tytti Tenhunen

How to Apply?

The application form and CV should be submitted no later than 10am on November 20, 2023 (Finnish time) via this SurveyMonkey link: SUSI for Scholars and Professionals Application Submission

One letter of recommendation from an individual who knows you in a professional capacity is to be uploaded by the recommender via this link by the application deadline: SUSI Recommendation Letters

Application: Here is the Application Form for Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars and Professionals.

Priority will be given to candidates who have firm plans to enhance, update or develop courses and/or educational materials with a U.S. studies focus or component; who have no prior or limited experience in the United States; and who have special interest in the program subject areas as demonstrated through past accomplishments and professional duties.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to visit The Branch of the Study of the United States website to obtain general information about the Institutes.


Applicants that pass an initial screening will be invited for an interview. The interviews are compulsory and will take place virtually via Zoom on December 18 and/or 19, 2023. Candidates invited to the interviews will be notified via email by December 12, 2023.

The Fulbright Finland Foundation does not cover expenses resulting from the interview. The Fulbright Finland Foundation will select applications to be forwarded to the U.S. for consideration. Read more about the selection process and preparing for the interview here.

Final review of the international candidates and selection of the Study of the U.S. Institutes for Scholars nominees from the multinational candidate pool will be conducted by the Study of the U.S. Branch of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Fulbright Finland Foundation organizes a mandatory full day pre-departure orientation for all Finnish Fulbright Finland grantees in May, 2024 (Date TBC)All grantees are expected to attend.

Descriptions of the 2023 Study of the U.S. Institutes and Host Institutions

A.  American Politics and Political Thought

The Institute on American Politics and Political Thought will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced and highly motivated foreign university faculty and practitioners insight into how intellectual and political movements have influenced American political institutions and American democracy.  The Institute will explore the shaping of American identity and the interaction between that identity and U.S. history, politics, and the democratic process.  The Institute will cover a broad range of American experiences that have influenced and been influenced by American national identity.  The Institute will provide a deeper understanding of major currents in U.S. political thought, from the colonial period to the present, and explore contemporary U.S. political and social debates and public policy, relating them back to U.S. political thought and American identity.  The University of Montana will administer this program while the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts will host this Institute. The exact program dates will be confirmed in spring 2024. 

B. Contemporary American Literature

The Institute on Contemporary American Literature will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced and highly motivated foreign university faculty and practitioners with a deeper understanding of U.S. society and culture, past and present, through an examination of contemporary American literature.  The Institute will examine how major contemporary writers, schools, and movements reflect the traditional, and evolving, U.S. literary canon.  The Institute will also explore the diverse communities and voices that constitute the American literary landscape and expose participants to writers who are establishing new directions for American literature.  The Institute will cover a variety of contemporary American writers and texts and suggest how the themes explored reflect larger currents within contemporary U.S. society and culture.  The University of Montana in Missoula, Montana, will administer and host this Institute.  The exact program dates will be confirmed in spring 2024. 

C. Journalism and Media

The Institute on Journalism and Media will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced and highly motivated foreign journalism instructors and other related specialists with a deeper understanding of the roles that journalism and the media play in U.S. society.  The Institute will examine the role of journalists in recognizing, pointing out and preventing disinformation and will explore strategies for media and information literacy to counter disinformation.  Additionally, the Institute will examine best practices in journalism by discussing the rights and responsibilities of the media in a democratic society, including editorial independence, journalistic ethics, legal constraints, and international journalism.  The program will also highlight the impact of technology in journalism, including the influence of the digital economy, globalization of the news media, shifting business and funding models, and other changes that are transforming the profession.  The University of Montana will administer this program while Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, will host the Institute.  The exact program dates will be confirmed in spring 2024. 

D. U.S. Culture, Identity, and Society

The Institute on U.S. Culture, Identity, and Society will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced and highly motivated foreign university faculty and other specialists with a deeper understanding of U.S. society, culture, values, and institutions through the lens of diversity and national unity.  The Institute will examine the economic, ethnic, gender, political, racial, religious, and social contexts in which various cultures have manifested in U.S. society while focusing on the ways in which these cultures have influenced social movements and American identity throughout U.S. history.  The program will draw from a diverse disciplinary base and will provide a model of how a foreign university might approach the study of American culture and society.  The University of Montana will administer this program while Seattle University in Seattle, Washington, will host the Institute. The exact program dates will be confirmed in spring 2024. 

E. U.S. Economics and Sustainable Development

The Institute on U.S. Economics and Sustainable Development will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced foreign university faculty, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers with a deeper understanding of key components and structures of the U.S. economy.  Using a multidisciplinary approach, the program will explore various topics of socioeconomics such as how financial institutions, investors, and businesses interact to support sustainable economic development, innovation, and growth; and increasing diverse and equitable employment through institutional regulation, social inclusion strategies, and private and public policies.  Throughout the Institute, participants will examine the interplay of climate change, U.S. business innovation, corporate regulation, entrepreneurship, and economic theory.  Participants will have opportunities to learn about key institutions and stakeholders in the U.S. economy and meet with a diverse range of business leaders and small business owners, among others.  The University of Montana will administer this program while the Institute for Training and Development (ITD), in conjunction with Suffolk University, will jointly host the Institute in Amherst and Boston, Massachusetts. The exact program dates will be confirmed in spring 2024. 

F. U.S. Foreign Policy

The Institute on U.S. Foreign Policy will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced and highly motivated foreign university faculty and practitioners with a deeper understanding of new approaches to U.S. foreign policy and how U.S. foreign policy is formulated and implemented.  The Institute will include a historical review of significant events, individuals, and philosophies that have shaped U.S. foreign policy.  The program will explain the role of key influences on U.S. foreign policy including the executive and legislative branches of government, the media, the U.S. public, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and multilateral institutions.  The Institute will also examine the current U.S. foreign policymaking landscape and emerging trends that are shaping policy.  The University of Montana will administer this program while the University of Delaware will host the Institute in Newark, Delaware. The exact program dates will be confirmed in spring 2024. 



Application period startsSeptember 2023
Application period endsNovember 20, 2023 10 AM Finnish time
Interview invitations will be sent out to selected candidatesDecember 12, 2023
Interviews conductedDecember 18 and/or 19, 2023
Orientation for all Finnish Fulbright Finland granteesMay, 2024 (TBC)
Program StartsJune-July, 2024


2019 Study of the U.S. Institute for Scholars on National Security Policy Making Participants at U.S. Army War College

Alumni experiences

Fulbright Finland Outreach Ambassadors are happy to share their experiences from the U.S. Feel free to contact them.

"I had the pleasure and honor to participate in the SUSI Scholar program, US Politics and Political Thought. The course was organized by the University of Massachusetts (UMass) in Amherst.

I didn’t quite know what to expect. And yet, this experience exceeded all possible expectations. The quality of the lectures, the atmosphere, the general organization was breathtaking.

One can also thank the timing. I doubt that there will ever be a moment in US politics which would provide as much material for both academic and general human considerations as the summer of 2017. It is not only about the president who has, admittedly, an unusual background for his position as the leader of the United States. It is also about the general political atmosphere, the crisis of the US congress in decision making, the extraordinary tensions in world politics.

The specific strength of the SUSI program is the idea of gathering people from all over the world for US studies. Our group consisted of 18 participants from 18 different countries and 4 different continents. The broad knowledge base, experience of scientific thinking and wide experience of national as well as global politics of the group ensured academically ambitious, entertaining and inspirational discussions. A highly inspirational learning experience!

The structure of the program led us all the way from the life of the first colonies to the creation of the constitution and to the history of the US political system. This gave us a firm basis to understand the present politics and the framework of political decision making.

For myself as a researcher of legislative studies the architecture of the program provided excellent basis for further studies of the US politics and US legislative system. The most impressive feature of the US politics and political history is the strong position of the Constitution. The influence of the Constitution stretches from American everyday coffee table discussions to the highest level of decision making in the Congress. During summer 2017 constitutional considerations - especially the question of separation of power and the roles of the legislature, the executive and the court - was a regular topic in practically every morning TV show.

A central common interest of the researchers in our group was to better understand the electoral system of the US. This was clearly an interesting topic when taking into account also the results of the most recent presidential elections. The feeling of unfairness of a candidate winning the Electoral College, yet losing the popular vote is, of course, understandable. However, the Electoral College has provided similar surprises many times during US history. And this specific electoral system is also keenly anchored to the US Constitution.

The US Constitution is not easy to amend. To renew trust in the political system and in democracy might be easier tasks. Not effortless, though."

Harriet Lonka, SUSI Scholar 2017, US Politics and Political Thought



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 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.