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 to be launched soon!

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 approximately 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 also includes an integrated study tour of up to two weeks, which complements the academic program. The study tour aims to showcase the rich cultural, geographic, and ethnic diversity of the United States and includes visits to sites of interest in another geographic region of the country.


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.

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: The program will cover participant costs, including: program administration, international travel, ground transportation in the U.S., housing and subsistence, and book, cultural, mailing, and incidental allowances.

Housing and Meal Arrangements: When possible, participants will have a private room with a shared bathroom during the residency portion (four weeks) of the Institute. However, private room accommodations cannot be guaranteed during the residency portion of the program. 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.

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 are not covered. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at usdos.sevencorners.com. The 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 Requirements and Restrictions: Participants are expected to participate fully in the program. They are expected to 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. The Institute should not be viewed as a research 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, CV, and one letter of recommendation from an individual who knows you in a professional capacity should be submitted no later than Monday, November 30, 2020 to the office of the Fulbright Finland Foundation, e-mail: [email protected].

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 little or no prior experience in the United States, and who have special interest in the program subject areas as demonstrated through past accomplishments and professional duties.

Applicants must be citizens of Finland. Please note that U.S. citizens 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 that pass an initial screening will be invited for a personal interview. The interviews are compulsory and will take place on January 14, 2021. Candidates invited to the interviews will be notified via email by December 22, 2020. 

The Fulbright Finland Foundation does not cover expenses resulting from the interview. The Fulbright Finland Foundation Board of Directors 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 full day pre-departure orientation for all Finnish Fulbright Finland grantees in May 2021 (date TBC). All grantees are expected to attend.

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

A. Religious Freedom and Pluralism

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 freedom as a foundational American value. The program will include a survey of the religious landscape of the United States, including major and minor religious groups; historic religious traditions and contemporary American religious groups will also be included.  The Institute will explore both the historical and contemporary relationship between church and state in the United States; examine interfaith understanding and dialogue, religious pluralism, freedom of religion as a fundamental unalienable human right and source of stability; and discuss ways in which religious freedom is protected. In addition, the Institute will examine the intersections of religion and politics in the United States, especially in U.S. foreign policy. Participants will have opportunities to meet with U.S. community leaders of different faiths who advocate for collaboration and tolerance among religious groups.  The program will take place during the June to August timeframe in 2020. The host institution and the exact program dates will be confirmed in spring 2020.

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 players in 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 and the new trends that are shaping policy. Topics such as the concept of American sovereignty, shifting attitudes towards globalism, U.S. foreign aid, the monitoring of foreign investment in the United States, the efforts to combat terrorism and radicalization, new trade policies and agreements, immigration and border safety, and cybersecurity will be included. The program will also discuss the reorganization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the new U.S. approaches to international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Institute will include an integrated study tour to New York City, Philadelphia, Texas and Washington, D.C. Pending grant approval by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Institute will be hosted by the University of Delaware in Newark, DE, tentatively from June 11 until July 24, 2020. The host institution and the exact program dates will be confirmed in spring 2020.


Application period starts November 2020
Application period ends November 30, 2020
Interview invitations will be sent out to selected candidates December 22, 2020
Interviews conducted January 14, 2021
Orientation for all Finnish Fulbright Finland grantees May, 2021
Program starts June-July, 2021


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.