Fulbright Scholar Program

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Catalog of Awards

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Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award

Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies

Europe and Eurasia


Award Details
Award Activity

The Fulbright Bicentennial Chair was established in 1976 to institutionalize the teaching of American history, culture and language at the University of Helsinki. It was the first chair in the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program. The Bicentennial Chair holder plays a crucial role in developing the interdisciplinary approach to American studies found at the University of Helsinki and at other Finnish universities with American studies programs. Today it is one of the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Department of Cultures and its faculty pride themselves on having a very friendly and collegial atmosphere to pursue a variety of professional activities, such as teaching and research, research collaboration, writing joint publications with Finnish colleagues and mentoring student research at the master and doctoral level. The Chair and the North American Studies program faculty work together in designing the Chair position activities.

The Chair is expected to teach one survey course (12 x 2 hour lectures) and one seminar (12 x 2 hour lectures) per semester in their area of expertise (the contact hours for teaching both the survey course and seminar is similar to teaching a 3-credit course in the U.S.) The first survey course is directed to third-year BA students and the other to master’s level students. The seminars are part of the master’s program and one of the seminars should discuss the contemporary issues of American society (for more information on the contemporary seminar, please contact the Department). The Chair is furthermore invited to participate in the program’s Ph.D. seminar and in development of the North American Studies program in general. In addition to lecturing at the University of Helsinki, the Bicentennial Chair is able to network and create linkages throughout Finland and give occasional guest lectures at other Finnish universities. The Chair is requested to participate in Fulbright Finland Foundation (the Finnish Fulbright commission) activities as an application reviewer and interviewer.

Previous holders of the Chair position have represented a wide spectrum of academic fields; for example, history, political science, popular culture, American borderlands, foreign policy, intercultural communications, legal history, music in American culture, ethnography, and women's studies. Candidates should possess a broad knowledge of American social dynamics (within their field) and current issues (e.g. trade, race relations, immigration, politics, etc.) relevant for transatlantic discussions and a Finnish audience.

The Fulbright Bicentennial Chair is jointly funded by the University of Helsinki and the Fulbright Finland Foundation.

Scholars selected for this award will be required to:
  • Advise and/or mentor students
  • Conduct a research project of the applicant’s choosing
  • Teach graduate and/or undergraduate courses designated by the host institution
  • Teach graduate and/or undergraduate courses of the applicant’s choosing
Award Length
Nine months
Award Dates

Grant must begin in late August 2022.


Department of Cultures, North American Studies program, University of Helsinki.

The University of Helsinki is the leading research university in Finland and consistently ranks among the top 20 universities in Europe and the top 100 globally. The Department of Cultures is the university’s center for area and cultural studies. The North American Studies program offers a broad, multidisciplinary view on the United States and Canada, their histories, cultures and societies. The program offers studies up to the Ph.D. degree.

The Department and its faculty are committed to international and interdisciplinary teaching and research, covering, for example, Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America, the Nordic countries, Russia, Eastern Europe and Asia-Pacific. The faculty’s scholarly interests represent a variety of fields in history, sociology, anthropology and beyond.

Together with a welcoming scholarly environment, Finland and the Chair position offer interesting opportunities for U.S. researchers and teachers, both professionally and socially. One can experience a way of life in Finland that combines a dynamic urban culture with close connection to the natural environment.

Flex Option
Discipline Type
Only applications in the following disciplines will be considered
American Studies
Area Studies, non- U.S.
Art History
Film/Cinema Studies
Gender Studies
History, American
International Relations
Literature, American
Political Science
Public Administration
Public Policy
Urban Planning
Areas of Interest

While this award is open to any project in the disciplines listed above, there is interest in scholars who are in these particular specialty areas.

Study of the United States, with specialization in American studies, anthropology, art and design, communication, cultural geography, cultural studies, environmental humanities, ethnic studies, film studies, history, indigenous studies, international relations, literature, music, Native American studies, political science, popular culture, race and ethnicity, and/or sociology. Cross-disciplinary approach is preferred.

Special Features

In addition to being a distinguished academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between the people of the U.S. and citizens of other nations and to promote international understanding and cooperation. To support this mission, the Fulbright Finland Foundation organizes orientation, lectures, and visits for the Fulbright scholars to deepen their understanding of the Finnish culture. The Fulbright Finland Foundation in Helsinki arranges a four-day orientation for scholars at the end of August, which scholars arriving for the fall semester are expected to attend.  In addition, Fulbright Scholars may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities‎.


Application Deadline
Activity Type
Degree Requirements
Ph.D. (or other terminal degree) required
Career Profile
Mid-Career Academics

Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for more than seven, and less than 13, years.

Senior Academics

Awards are open to those who have been working in the capacity of a teacher or scholar for more than 13 years.

Number of Recipients
Program Staff
Jaclyn Assarian
Outreach and Recruitment Specialist

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