Open Call for New Study Circles 2019-2021

Open Call for New Study Circles 2019-2021

Nordic Summer University

Research, Networking, Folk/bildning

Deadline 15 January 2018

The Nordic Summer University (NSU) call for project proposals for study circles to be active 2019-2021 is now open. We seek proposals for new scholarly networks addressing issues in contemporary culture and society in critical perspectives. Founded in 1950, NSU is an independent, non-profit scholarly institution that provides platforms for networks across disciplines in the Nordic and Baltic regions. NSU is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The activities of NSU are based on three concepts:

Research: NSU provides frameworks for critical scholarship with relevance for culture and society, where scholars and practitioners explore ideas and develop knowledge on equal footing.

Networking: NSU brings together university scholars, students, artists and other professionals from different disciplines, countries, generations and institutions in activities that transcend institutional hierarchies.

Folk/bildning: NSU combines two traditions: the continental ideals of learning and cultivation of the self and the Nordic heritage of folkbildning and self-organization, with its investments in open access education and collaboration through participation and active citizenship. All aspects of NSU are democratically organized by the participants.

What is a study circle?

Activities in the NSU are based on thematic study circles, which are forums for participants to present, discuss, and develop their research. NSU currently consists of eight such study circles, each of which runs for three years. Two people function as coordinators, who are responsible for organizing the activities. Each circle meets twice per year, once in the winter (February-March) in a so called winter symposium, and once in the summer during the annual weeklong NSU summer session, which is typically held the last week of July. The winter symposia are organized by the circles themselves in collaboration with a local partner (another network, a university department, a cultural institution, or similar). NSU funds the winter symposia up to a maximum of 50 000 SEK (app. 5000 €) per circle, per year. The summer session is organized by NSU, where all circles meet in the same location. The circles conduct parallel symposia during the day and partake in joint activities in the evening. For more information about current study circles, visit

Application requirements

NSU gives priority to interdisciplinary applications with an original approach and content, with interested participants from a minimum of three Nordic-Baltic countries, and a detailed plan of the activities of the circle. NSU strives to support topics that are not already established in universities and projects that cross the borders between disciplines and/or academia and society. Early career scholars are encouraged to apply.

The proposals for new study circles must include:

  1. Aims and goals of the project, including outlining:
  • The scholarly context, central questions, and the methodological points of departure for the prospective study circle.
  • Strategies to meet the objectives and values of the Nordic Summer University described in 1 § in the statutes.
  • Considerations regarding impact and outcomes. Depending on the aims of the circle outcomes may vary, but possible outcomes include publications (both academic and directed at the general public), collaborations, and exhibitions.
  1. Structural overview of the activities of the circle, including a detailed plan for the six symposia within the three year cycle – two per year, winter and summer – specifying themes for all six symposia together with suggested locations and possible collaborating partners for each winter symposium.
  2. List of people and institutions supporting the proposal, including:
  • The names and contact information of the two people who will function as the coordinators of the prospective circle.
  • A short list of prospective participants, including their names, present positions, nationalities and/or places of residence. At least three Nordic and Baltic countries should be represented.
  • A list of prospective partner institutions, preferably indicating their willingness to collaborate.
  1. A brief list (maximum one page) of selected bibliographic references, to function as a frame of reference for the study circle.

The length of the text covering the aims and the structure of the circle (1 and 2 above) must not exceed 2000 words. Examples of previous study circle applications as well as the Board’s criteria for assessing new applications can be found here.


Deadline to submit proposals is 15 January 2018. All received proposals will be subjected to peer review by an expert in the field who also has knowledge about NSU. The reviews and the Board’s comments will be sent to the applicants by 1 April 2018. Revised proposals should be submitted by 15 May 2018. Proposals for new study circles must be presented, in person or via Skype, at the NSU Summer session, which takes place 29 July – 5 August 2018 in Fårö, Sweden. The new study circles will be decided on by the vote of the NSU General Assembly.

Contact information

The proposal, as well as questions, should be sent to board [at] Visit our webpage

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