Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation Grant in Health and Environmental Sciences
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 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
- A. I Virtanen Institute for Molecular Sciences (research institute)
- School of Medicine (Proposals for medical research involving clinical training, patient care, or patient contact are not eligible)
- School of Pharmacy
- Department of Nursing Science
Faculty of Science and Forestry
- Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences
- School of Forest Science
- Department of Applied Physics
Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies
- Law School
- Department of Health and Social Management
- Department of History and Geography
- Department of Social Sciences
Other Research Units
Applications should preferably be on following multidisciplinary research focus areas:
• Water Research
• Forests and Bioeconomy research
• Neuroscience research
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 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.
The University of Eastern Finland is the most multidisciplinary university in Finland and we offer education in nearly 100 major subjects. Our high standard of interdisciplinary research and education respond to global challenges and build a sustainable future.
Water and forests dominate the landscape of Kuopio, which is known for its nature and quality of life, know-how, science and technology and, the character of its lively people. The beautiful nature and pleasant living environment, with excellent services, makes Kuopio an attractive place to live
In Joensuu River Pielisjoki flows through the lively city center. As the capital of North Karelia, Joensuu is fashioned by the Karelian lifestyle, hosting numerous cultural events. Close by iconic national landscapes and rich Karelian culinary tradition attract visitors especially in the summertime.
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.
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: 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 ahead of time 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.
A candidate must hold a Ph.D. degree and have sufficient experience in teaching and research in Health or Environmental Sciences.
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:
Tel: +358 44 5535 275
The stipend includes a monthly grant and free housing for the scholar and their accompanying family.
The monthly grant is €7,500 EUR (approx. $8,200) 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.
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).
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 grantee will receive the full support services provided by the Fulbright Finland Foundation for all Fulbright grantees in Finland.
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 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.
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.