Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies
Number of recipients
In addition to being a prestigious academic exchange program, the Fulbright Program is designed to expand and strengthen relationships between the people of the United States and citizens of other nations and to promote international understanding and cooperation. To support this mission, Fulbright Scholars may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host community, in addition to their primary activities.
The Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) offers a unique opportunity for a U.S. scholar and/or specialist to engage in international research, collaboration, teaching and guest lecturing at a higher education institution in Finland. The intention is also to boost industrial-academic collaborations.
The research questions are expected to be related to the digital infrastructure of future societies and industries, as well as directly connected to disciplines of the digitalization era. Topical research areas of interest include software or hardware and algorithms, data science, advanced network technologies and design issues related to digitalization. Research agendas in law, policy, socio-economic development, human-computer interaction, and business practices, directly related to the evolution of technology and information and communications technology, will also be considered.
The Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communication Technologies award emphasizes projects that prioritize active research work, including publications. Some guest lecturing and/or supervising students is also welcomed. While the main aim of this Chair position is designed to promote international exchange, the selected Chair is encouraged to participate in and explore research collaboration, write joint publications with Finnish colleagues, develop international exchange collaboration between the U.S. home and Finnish host institution, and otherwise engage with the host community and Finnish companies. Fulbright scholars are often invited to guest lecture in other Finnish higher education institutions. The Fulbright-Nokia Chair may also be asked to give a guest lecture at Nokia in order to increase the communication and further industrial-academic collaborations.
The scholar and the Finnish host institution work together in designing the Chair position activities. Candidates should discuss and come to an agreement with the host about the ratio of teaching to research, as well as the number and level of courses to be taught. The host may expect the scholar to supervise students who are completing their master’s theses or Ph.D. dissertations. A research and teaching plan should be included in the project statement of the Distinguished Chair application. The host should be from the information and communication technologies field.
If a scholar proposes to collaborate with more than one host institution, the project statement must clearly indicate the exact period of time the scholar will be affiliated with each host.
Finland is technologically one of the most advanced countries in the world. One quarter of the Finnish labor force is directly or indirectly employed by the technology industry and three quarters of private-sector R&D investment goes to the technology sector. The size and the role of Information and Communications Technologies in the Finnish economy and R&D have grown considerably along with Nokia’s worldwide success and subsequently very active technology startup scene. In the last three years, Finland has been the top European country in venture capital investments (relative to the GNP). The purpose of the Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair in Information and Communications Technologies is to enhance cooperation with Finnish and U.S. universities and academics in this field.
Candidates are expected to secure an affiliation with a Finnish institution and include a letter of invitation in the application. Assistance in locating possible host institutions and making connections is available from the Fulbright Finland Foundation, if needed.
Grants must begin in late August 2024 or January 2025, unless otherwise agreed upon with the host and Fulbright Finland Foundation.
It is possible to split an award into two segments that do not exceed the maximum grant period of 9 months (see Flex Description).
The academic year in Finnish higher education institutions begins in September and ends in May/June. The Finnish host department is able to give details on the term structure and teaching periods.
The award can be split into two segments within one academic or calendar year. Each segment must be a minimum of three months and together the two segments cannot exceed nine months.
The Flex Award is designed for scholars who require multiple visits to the host country. Applicants should clearly indicate plans for Flex in their project statement, including a project timeline.
The purpose of the Flex Award is to make the visit as admirably and scientifically productive as possible, for both the host institution and Chair. Therefore, it might be beneficial to have the visit in two segments e.g., when experimental equipment manufacturing or data collection takes place when the Chair is not in Finland. Also, the long summer pause in Finnish universities needs to be taken into account. Longer pauses (more than three months) between visits need to be explained in the application.
The Flex Award is designed for scholars who require multiple visits to the host country. This option allows grants to be conducted over two or three short segments. Applicants must select Flex in the application form, and clearly describe their plans for Flex in their project statement, including a project timeline. Flex grantees may be asked to give public talks, mentor students, and otherwise engage with the host-country academic community.
This award is open to projects in the disciplines of Information and Communication Technologies or Computer Science. There is a special interest in scholars who work in the following specialty areas: Telecommunications, Communications Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Components Design, Electronics, Communication Optics and Materials Technology, and Data Science. Interdisciplinary research specializations that directly focus on the evolution and/or adaptation of technology and ICT will also be considered.
The Distinguished Chair application should include a letter of invitation from a Finnish higher education institution. The letter should include information on the agreed research and teaching plan, contact information for the host and others responsible for the visit, confirmation that the host will pay for and arrange housing (for the scholar and family), and length and dates of the proposed visit (Finnish host institution should refer to these instructions).
NOTE: Late June, July and early August are traditionally summer vacation months in Finland and responses to inquiries may be delayed. Applicants are advised to contact the Finnish host institution well in advance to solicit an invitation letter for their application.
During the selection process, some applicants may be invited to a Zoom call in mid-January 2024.
Candidates should have a prominent record of scholarly accomplishment, including a significant publication record. Projects that prioritize active research work and publications yet also include guest lectures and student supervision are particularly encouraged.
Additionally, candidates in all Fulbright programs are reviewed on the project’s contribution to the objectives of the Fulbright Program as well as on the adaptability and suitability of the candidate to act as a Fulbright ambassador for the U.S. in Finland.
The monthly grant is €5,600 EUR (approx. $5,926 USD), paid in euros in monthly installments. The maximum amount for a nine-month grant is €50,400 EUR (approx. $53,332 USD). Please note: amounts in USD are subject to change due to currency fluctuations.
There are no separate allowances for accompanying dependents.
A one-time travel allowance of $2,000 USD is provided. Also, a residence permit allowance is provided - based on the actual permit fees (including permit fees for accompanying dependents).
For Flex grants: round trip travel will be included for each segment of the grant.
K-12 education in Finland is generally free or heavily subsidized (some special schools, such as private international schools, may charge tuition). Instruction in English is available in Helsinki and other bigger cities at kindergartens, elementary and secondary schools, as well as at the university level, however many of them require an aptitude test and sometimes entry is competitive.
For details about the Finnish education system please visit the Ministry of Education and Culture, which provides greater insight to education at all levels across Finland.
The host institution arranges housing for the Chair and their family (this information should be confirmed in the letter of invitation) and provides working facilities at the institution. The Chair is provided with a monthly allowance, travel allowance, residence permit allowance, and an accident and sickness insurance for the grant period. Finnish medical care is of high quality and low cost. At some institutions Fulbright Scholars have access to the university health care services provided for faculty and staff.
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 an orientation for scholars at the end of August and again in January; scholars are expected to attend one depending on their arrival.
Final grant amounts will be determined prior to the start of the academic year and are subject to the availability of funds. The United States Department of State and the Fulbright Commission in the host country reserve the right to alter, without notice, participating countries, number of awards and allowances.
To learn more about Fulbright U.S. Scholar awards in Finland for 2024-25, please view our archived webinar and slides to hear directly from the Fulbright Commission, IIE staff and U.S. Scholar alums regarding award details, the scholar experience, and application guidance.
Finland is a Nordic country the size of California located in northern Europe, and is part of the European Union. It is rather sparsely populated (5.6 million people) and has extensive nature: forests, coastline and lakes.The six largest cities host approximately 60% of the population; urban environments are closely linked to nature. It is a country that has a well-organized and efficient society. The general infrastructure, both public and private services, is considered very effective. Well run public services such as transportation, police, education and healthcare are fundamental and highly regarded parts of the society. The arts and design, cultural life, nature and sports are highly valued. Finland ranks as one of the world’s most stable nations and has been named one of the safest and least corrupt countries in the world, which makes it an easy place to live and travel in.
Finns believe strongly in equality and education, and the country is especially known for its effective and free education system. Finland has two types of higher education institutions: universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS). Finnish higher education institutions engage in world-leading research and offer high-quality academic programs. On a national level research and development is highly emphasized. The Finnish government is committed to the target of raising research and development expenditure to four per cent of GDP by 2030. Together with a welcoming and intriguing environment, Finland offers interesting opportunities for American researchers, teachers and professionals. English is widely used at the university level.
The academic year in Finland is based on a two-semester system. The official academic year starts on August 1 and ends on July 31. However, in the fall semester lectures are usually scheduled between September and mid-December, and in the spring semester between early January and May. Typically, there is no teaching during the summer and on public holidays.
Finland has a strong Fulbright program with a unique history. The program has an important role in supporting the internationalization of education and research in Finland, helping U.S. and Finnish institutions create linkages, and promoting a wider exchange of knowledge and professional talents through educational contacts between Finland and the United States. The program has grown in recent years due to the close cooperation of the Fulbright Finland Foundation with Finnish universities, research institutions, governmental agencies and private foundations, as well as to U.S. and Finnish alumni contributions. Most of the program’s funding currently comes from Finland.
The Fulbright Finland Foundation offers awards to U.S. scholars to teach or pursue research in Finland. The majority of awards are available to scholars in all disciplines, but some awards are limited to certain fields. In nearly all categories, housing is provided for the grantee. Awards are also available for professionals for career development.
The Fulbright Finland Foundation also provides information for Finnish institutions, which applicants are encouraged to utilize when contacting prospective hosts.
Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.