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 application period 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 whose purpose is to provide foreign university faculty and other scholars 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 enhance the quality of teaching about the United States in academic institutions abroad.

The programs will utilize a hybrid format. Each Institute will include a virtual academic residency and an integrated in-person experience approximately two weeks in length at a U.S. host institution. During the academic residency, participants will engage remotely from their home countries in Institute activities. If conditions allow, participants will travel to the U.S. in fall 2021 or winter 2022 to participate in educational and cultural activities inside and outside of the classroom, lectures and site visits to local communities. The in-person component in the U.S. will be organized taking into consideration all necessary safety guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state, local and campus authorities. 


Candidates should be mid-career, 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; participants will be expected to handle substantial reading assignments in English and to be full and active participants in all seminar and panel discussions.

Essential Information about the SUSI Programs

Program Funding: Program related participant costs will be covered, including program administration; international and visa travel (within set limits), travel allowances, domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence. 

Program Requirements and Restrictions: Participants must complete the entire virtual program in order to participate in the in-person program component in the United States. Candidates should be aware that they are applying for an intensive, rigorous, academic program and are expected to fully participate in all aspects of the program. The Institute is not a research program. Participants must attend all lectures and organized activities and complete assigned readings. During the U.S. component of the Institute, family members and/or friends may not accompany participants on any part of the program. Please note that Institute curriculum will not formally address teaching methodology and pedagogical methods.

Housing and Meal Arrangements for the in-person component: Each participant will have a private room and bathroom during the in-person portion of the Institute. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities; 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 worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.   

Health Benefits: All participants will receive the Department of State's supplemental health benefit with a coverage of $100,000 with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and a $75 co-pay per emergency room visit, for the duration of the program. Pre-existing conditions may be covered up to $100,000, subject to policy exclusions and limitations. COVID-19 is treated like any other illness under the ASPE policy. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at usdos.sevencorners.com.

Please note that grantee is responsible for obtaining sufficient travel, luggage, health and accident insurance coverage for the duration of the program. The grantee must make sure that the insurance covers all the relevant medical expenses including pandemic related expenses and the coverage limit must be adequate for purposes in the United States.

Program Model: The virtual program will consist of a minimum of 36 hours of required programming and will be a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. To the extent possible, the virtual programming will include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, site visits, assignments, and individual and group activities. Participants are required to fully participate in the entire virtual program from Finland. Participants must complete the virtual program in order to continue to the in-person program in the United States.

Technology Requirements: In order to participate in the initial virtual program component in their home country, participants must have access to a computer and a stable internet connection. For the in-person component of the program, the host institutions will provide participants with access to a computer and internet.

Participation: Participants will be expected to actively engage in all program activities, and therefore, they should notify immediately the host institution of any issues with their online access during the duration of the program as well as any difficulties affecting their participation.  

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 Monday, March 1, 2021 at 10 o'clock (Finnish time) via this SurveyMonkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SUSI-Scholars-2021

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: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/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 professional duties.

Applicants must be citizens of Finland. Please note that U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. are not eligible for the program.

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


Applicants who pass an initial screening will be invited for a personal interview. The interviews are compulsory and will take place via Zoom on March 15, 2021. Please save the date at this point as this is the only interview date available. Candidates invited to the interviews will be notified via email by March 10, 2021.

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 pre-departure orientation for all Finnish Fulbright Finland grantees on May 12 and 24, 2021. All grantees are expected to attend.

Descriptions of the 2021 Study of the U.S. Institutes and Host Institutions

A. Religious Pluralism in the United States

The Institute will provide a multinational group of up to 18 experienced foreign university faculty, scholars, researchers and religious leaders with a deeper understanding of U.S. society and culture, past and present, through an examination of religious pluralism in the United States and its intersection with American democracy.  The program will include a survey of the religious landscape of the United States, including religious groups; an exploration of the historical and contemporary relationship between church and state in the United States; an examination of the ways in which religious thought and practice have modified and have been influenced by, the development of American-style democracy; and discussions on the intersections of religion and politics in the United States in such areas as elections, public policy, and foreign policy.  Participants will have opportunities to meet U.S. community leaders of different faiths who advocate for collaboration and tolerance among religious groups.  The Institute for Training and Development (ITD) in Amherst, MA will oversee and administer this program; Seattle University in Seattle, WA will conduct and host the Institute. 

B. U.S. Foreign Policy

The Institute will provide a multinational group of 18 experienced 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 Institute 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 program will also examine the current U.S. foreign policymaking landscape and recent trends that are shaping policy. The University of Montana in Missoula, MT will oversee and administer this program; the University of Delaware will conduct and host the Institute in Newark, DE.


Application period starts February 2021
Application period ends March 1, 2021 at 10 am (Finnish time)
Interview invitations will be sent out to selected candidates March 9-10, 2021
Interviews conducted March 15, 2021
Orientation for all Finnish Fulbright Finland grantees May 12 and 24, 2021
Virtual program June-August, 2021
In-person program in the U.S.  Fall 2021 or Winter 2022


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

Alumni experiences

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 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.