Open Call for New Study Circles (2018-2020)

Application period is open from 15.09 – 01.12.2016
Deadline for proposals: 01.12.2016 

The core of NSU’s work is done in self-organized groups that are funded by the NSU. Activities revolve around thematic study circles that meet twice a year during a three-year cycle. Study circles explore widely diverse topics within the arts and humanities as well as natural and social sciences, often from interdisciplinary perspectives. The three-year cycle of these circles facilitates an involved development of a theme, as well as the formation of durable networks in the Nordic-Baltic regions. More information on the study circles is available here.

How to submit proposals for new study circles

Anybody can apply to start a new circle. If you have an idea for a new study circle, you are invited to send your proposal to the NSU Board. Proposals for new circles will have to be presented for the General Assembly of NSU – which meets during the Summer Session and decides the NSU’s study program – and will be granted for three consecutive years, starting from 2018.

We recommend that those who submit a new proposal also participate at the Summer Session during which the decision about your proposal will be made. (You can participate through taking part in an existing circle, or through registering to the specially designated circle X, which consists of people working on new proposals, or who participate but without following a specific circle at the Summer Session). Every proposal needs to be presented to the General Assembly that gathers at the Summer Session. We recommend prospective Circle Coordinators to attend the entire Summer Session, but you can also make a shorter visit to make your presentation, or make a presentation by Skype. In either case, you should be ready to answer questions from members of the General Assembly.

Generally, NSU gives priority to interdisciplinary applications with an original approach or content, which can show evidence of interested participants from a minimum of three Nordic-Baltic countries, and can present a clear plan of the circle’s future activities. More specifically, the submitted proposals of new study circles have to include:

  1. Aim of the proposal, including outlining:
  •    Some central questions / points of departure – considerations for the new study circle
  •    Considerations regarding possible impacts and outcomes
  1. Methodological considerations on the running of the study circle, including:
  •    Background for the proposal
  •    Structural overview and plans for 3 years (2018-2020)
    • this means a general plan for the six symposia within the three years cycle – two per year, winter and summer – specifying themes for all six symposia  and suggested location for each winter symposium.
  1. List of people and institutions supporting the proposal, including:
  •    The names of the (two) persons who will function as the coordinators of the proposed circle
  •    A short list of people intending to participate, including their names, present positions, nationalities and/or places of residence.
  •    A list of prospective partner institutions, preferably indicating their willingness to collaborate. 
  1. Selected references (brief).


Deadline for submitting a proposal is 01.12.2016. 


About the application format: In all, the total length of the proposal (to be submitted as a word or PDF file) cannot exceed 2000 words. A sample of a proposed study circle can be found here

About the application process: Proposals will be subject to a peer-review process. The peer-review evaluation and the Board’s comments will be sent to the applicants by 01.03.2017. In the event that revisions are required, revised proposals must be submitted by 01.05. 2017.

Questions can be sent to