Fulbright Scholar Award

Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Grant in Health and Environmental Sciences


Application Deadline
Award Code
Activity Type
A combination of teaching and research as described above. Refer to the award description for any specifications on percentages of time that should be devoted to teaching vs research.
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

Award Start Period
August 2023 - September 2023 or January 2024
Award Length
5 months - 9 months
Flex Option
Multi-Country/Area Award
Environmental Sciences
Medical Sciences
Public Health
Social Work
Scholars selected for this award will be required to
Conduct a research project of the applicant’s choosing
Teach graduate and/or undergraduate courses of the applicant’s choosing

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.

Award Activity

The award is meant for conducting research and teaching in the fields of health or environmental sciences at any of the following faculties or research units at the University of Eastern Finland:

Faculty of Health Sciences

Faculty of Science and Forestry

Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies

Other Research Units

Applicants are encouraged to contact the host department, faculty or research program to work together in designing the activities.

The Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Grant in Health and Environmental Sciences is jointly funded by the Saastamoinen Foundation, the University of Eastern Finland and the Fulbright Finland Foundation (the Finnish Fulbright commission).

Location Selection: Award is hosted by the institution listed below
Locations Detail

The University of Eastern Finland (UEF) is one of the largest universities in Finland, UEF is a home to approximately 16,000 students and 2,750 members of staff. The university has two campuses in the cities of Joensuu and Kuopio, located 400 kilometers northeast of Helsinki. UEF’s campuses are significant research and innovation centers, and in the close vicinity of the campuses lie several national-level research institutes as well as the Kuopio University Hospital, the European Forest Institute in Joensuu, and technology parks and knowledge-based enterprises.

The University of Eastern Finland is a multidisciplinary research university, which has recognized e.g. the following global challenges: “Aging, lifestyles and health” and “Environmental change and sustainable use of natural resources”. According to the UEF’s Strategy the university is seeking solutions through its scientific research and research-based education to these challenges.

Kuopio and its surroundings are known for their nature and quality of life, know-how, science and technology and, of course, the character of its people. The beautiful nature and pleasant living environment, with excellent services, make Kuopio an attractive place to live. Water and forests dominate the landscape. Kuopio is also an important university city, and one of the national centers of expertise.

Joensuu is a lively urban hub, where science, technology and industry, as well as public bodies, together form an open ecosystem, where new actors are welcome. In summer Joensuu is fashioned by the Karelian lifestyle by the River Pielisjoki, flowing through the lively city center. Also, in Joensuu, water and forest are close by giving vast array of means to explore nature.

Award Length and Period

The academic year runs from September through mid-May (fall semester: September to mid-December; spring semester: January to mid-May). No teaching is generally offered from June to August.

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.

Grant segments are allowed to be conducted in summer months (June, July, and August)
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.

At UEF, research in both health and environment is extremely multidisciplinary by nature. The health research comprises clinical medicine, molecular medicine, medical physics, pharmacy, nursing science as well as research on health economics and management. The environmental research covers a wide range of expertise not only in natural sciences, forestry, biology, environmental physics, environmental chemistry and environmental health, but also in social sciences, for example research on sustainable use of natural resources, and environmental policy and law.

Special Features

The University of Eastern Finland pays for and arranges the scholar and their family with housing and working facilities at the University. The scholar will be provided with a monthly grant, round-trip travel allowance, residence permit allowance, and a supplemental accident and sickness benefit for the grant period.

Additionally, the Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation grantee will receive the full support services provided by the Fulbright Finland Foundation for all Fulbright grantees in Finland.

Citizenship/Residency Requirement
Applicants residing in the award country at the time of application or thereafter are not eligible to apply for this award.
Permanent residents of the award country are not eligible to apply for this award.
Invitation Requirement
A letter of invitation is preferred.
Invitation Requirement Additional Information

Applicants are encouraged to submit a letter of invitation from the relevant unit. The letter should include information on the agreed teaching and research plan, confirmation that the host institution will pay for and arrange housing during the visit, and length and dates of the proposed visit (Finnish host institution should refer to these instructions).

NOTE: July is traditionally a summer vacation month in Finland and responses to inquiries may be delayed. Applicants are advised to contact the Finnish host institution well ahead of time to solicit an invitation letter for their application.

Language Proficiency Requirements
None, English is sufficient. However, feasibility of conducting the project must be demonstrated in the project statement.
Additional Qualification Information

During the selection process, some applicants may be invited to a Zoom call in mid-January 2023.

A candidate must hold a Ph.D. degree and have sufficient experience in teaching and research in Health or Environmental sciences.

Additional Comments

University of Eastern Finland

The University of Eastern Finland encourages applicants to contact the Kuopio Campus staff in advance. An invitation letter is recommended as part of the application, but not required.

Dr. Riikka Pellinen
Director of international affairs
+358 40 3552453

Ms. Hanna Ollikainen-Richards
Executive Head of Administration
Faculty of Health Sciences, UEF
tel: +358 403552163

Dr. Arja Hirvonen
Executive Head of Administration
Faculty of Forest and Natural Sciences, UEF
tel: +358 447163422

Mr. Marko Junkkarinen
Executive Head of Administration
Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, UEF
tel: +358 50 473 8422

Fulbright Finland Foundation:

The Fulbright Finland Foundation encourages potential applicants to visit its website for further information and contact the office directly with any questions:

Emmi Jelekäinen
Program Specialist
Tel: +358 44 5535 275

Award Allowances

The stipend includes a monthly grant and free housing for the scholar and their accompanying family.

The monthly grant is €5,000 EUR (approx. $5,700) a month, paid out in euro in monthly installments.

Please note: amounts in USD are subject to change due to currency fluctuations. 

The University of Eastern Finland will arrange and cover the cost of housing for the scholar and their family. Applicants should communicate their housing needs to the host institution during the application process, so that appropriate housing can be arranged for them.

There are no separate allowances for accompanying dependents.

Estimated Travel and Relocation Allowance for Grantee

A one-time travel allowance of $1,800 is provided.

For Flex grants: round trip travel will be included for each portion of the grant.

Also, a residence permit allowance is provided - based on the actual permit fees (incl. grantee and accompanying family members).

Additional Dependent Benefits

No dependent tuition allowance is offered, but 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.

The Finnish school system is considered one of the best in the world. Finland has been one of the top performers in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), an ongoing study administered every three years that tests the math, reading and science literacy of 15-year-olds in OECD nations. Average group sizes in basic education in Finland have for a long time been below the OECD average.

For details about the Finnish education system please visit the Ministry of Education and Culture (link), which provides greater insight to education at all levels across Finland.


Special Award Benefits

The Fulbright Finland Foundation in Helsinki arranges a four-day orientation seminar for scholars at the end of August, which scholars arriving for the fall semester are expected to attend. An orientation meeting is also arranged for scholars arriving in January. In addition, the Fulbright Finland Foundation organizes seminars and other events throughout the academic year for the Fulbright scholars to deepen their understanding of the Finnish culture.

The grantee will also be eligible, free of charge, to participate in a Fulbright Finland pre-approved summer school in Finland consisting of courses on Finnish language, culture and society, pending availability of suitable programs.

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.


What is life like for Fulbrighters in your country?

The general country landscape

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 (5.5 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.

You can read more about Finland online here and here.

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. In relation to its gross domestic product, Finland invests more in research and development than almost any other OECD country. Finnish institutions and researchers are also among the most active scientific publishers in the world. 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.

For more information on living and studying in Finland, please click here and here.

Fulbright in Finland

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 (the Finnish Fulbright Commission) offers awards to U.S. teachers and 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.

Candidates interested in applying for an award to Finland are welcome to consult the Fulbright Finland Foundation's website for more information.

The Fulbright Finland Foundation also provides information for Finnish institutions, which applicants are encouraged to utilize when contacting prospective hosts.

Read more about Finland:

Statistics Finland
Fulbright Finland News Magazine

Previous Fulbright Recipients

Visit the Fulbright Finland Foundation to see grantees from previous years.

Visit our Scholar Directory to view and search all Fulbright alumni. You can also learn more about Fulbright Alumni Ambassadors.