Scholarship fund for visiting professors from the Estonian Diaspora — Tartu Ülikooli Sihtasutus

Scholarship fund for visiting professors from the Estonian Diaspora

Fondi eesmärk on tagada nimekate välismaal töötavate eesti päritolu professorite töötamine Tartu Ülikoolis viihemalt ühe aasta või erandina ühe semestri jooksul.


The programme for visiting professors from the Estonian Diaspora has been created to promote collaboration between  the academic community of the University of Tartu with top researchers and professors of Estonian descent from around the world.  The program is directed toward  fostering  recognition for the University of Tartu internationally and to bring to it additional prominence in international academic communities.  The scholarship fund shall enable  professors of Estonian descent who work in academia in other countries to work at the University of Tartu for one year or, at a minimum for one semester.

The qualifying visiting Estonian professor shall have the opportunity to:

  • participate in teaching and conducting research at the university;
  • deliver public lectures at the university;
  • popularise their field of research in Estonia and at the University of Tartu;
  • by mutual agreement participate in the work of all faculties and institutions of the university;
  • participate as an expert or visitor in the work of committees and council with an advisory vote.


1. The initial capital for the Scholarship Fund for Visiting Professors from the Estonian Diaspora (‘Fund’) shall be accumulated from dedicated donations made to the University of  Tartu Foundation (‘Foundation’).

2. The scholarship fund shall be managed by the Foundation.

3. The scholarship shall be awarded once a year. To qualify for the scholarship the applicant must be a  professor or a researchers  of Estonian descent, who works at a university or research institution outside of Estonia.

4. One month before the scholarship competition is announced, the university’s faculties shall inform the management board of the Foundation of the priority fields of research, to which the university would like to invite visiting scholars to Tartu.

5. The scholarship competition, including information with respect to the priority fields of research identified, shall be announced by the University of Tartu and the management board of the Foundation, through the university’s communication channels and other Estonian and international communication channels in conjunction with the anniversary events of the Estonian National University. The first scholarship competition shall be  announced in Tartu, on 1 December 2018.

6. The deadline for submission of applications is 1 October 2019. Recipient(s) of the scholarship shall be  announced at the ceremony of the anniversary of the Estonian National University at the University of Tartu. The first recipient of the scholarship shall be announced on 1 December 2019.

7. Applicants for the scholarship must submit to the management board of the Foundation a letter of application together with additional materials as appropriate and must include at a minimum:

  • curriculum vitae (including information about the applicant’s current and past experience, an overview of the applicant’s education and academic background and a description of their professional specialities and activities);
  • an overview of their planned activities at the University of Tartu;
  • approval by the host faculty at the University of Tartu.

8. Submitted applications shall be assessed by a five-member scholarship committee, appointed by the rector of the University of Tartu. The committee shall be comprised of representative(s) from the University of Tartu, and representative(s) of the persons and organisations who have made the two largest donations to the scholarship fund in the current year.

9. The scholarship committee shall review the applications and make their recommendation to the Supervisory Board of the Foundation for approval.

10. In  selecting the qualifying Estonian visiting professor, the scholarship committee shall take into account the alignment of the applicant’s academic work with the strategic plans of both the University of Tartu and the individual  faculties of the university.  The awarding of the scholarship shall be based on the applicant’s professional qualifications, achievements and reputation as well as their  alignment with the priority research areas submitted by the faculties of the University of Tartu.

11. The Supervisory Board of the Foundation shall approve the recipients of the scholarship based on the recommendation of the scholarship committee.

12. The amount of the scholarship for one academic year (from September to June) is 50,000 euros, which includes:

  • the professor’s salary pursuant to the salary grades for UT professors;
  • travel costs to the Tartu (at least one flight per  semester);
  • accommodation costs.

In addition to the scholarship, the University of Tartu guarantees office space and associated equipment, the services of an assistant and if necessary, an academic workgroup in the host unit.

13. An agreement stipulating the terms and conditions for the award of the scholarship shall be entered into between the recipient of the scholarship and the Foundation. The agreement shall describe the expectations of the University , including. the objectives to be achieved, and expectations with respect to research and anticipated public lectures.

14. If the applications submitted to the scholarship competition for any particular year do not meet the standards required by the statute, no scholarship will be awarded in that year. The scholarship funding  will remain undistributed and continue as part of  the capital component of the fund.

15. The Foundation shall publicly announce the recipient (s) of the Scholarship.  Applicants to the competition will be informed of the selection as a priority.