The American Council of Learned Societies Announces New Summer Institute for the Study of East Central and Southeast Europe (SISECSE)


We are proud to partner with the Center for Advanced Study in Sofia to continue our support for scholars from Central East and South East Europe through this three-year initiative which will provide crucial opportunities for research, travel and cooperation.

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), in partnership with the Center for Advanced Study Sofia (CAS), is pleased to announce the launch of a new Summer Institute for Researchers from Central and Eastern and Southeastern Europe. ACLS and CAS will bring together leading scholars from Eastern Europe and North America for a two-week residency in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria during the summers of 2023, 2024 and 2025.

With international travel restricted for the past two years due to the pandemic, many researchers have been forced to delay their research. The Summer Institute for the Study of Central East and South East Europe (SISECSE) will enable scholars to undertake local fieldwork in the region, including archival research, work in museum collections, interviews, site surveys or other forms of data collection. Participating researchers will be able to spend two weeks focusing on their own research projects in a collaborative and interdisciplinary setting.

“ACLS has a long history of supporting humanistic scholars and scholarship in Eastern Europe, from the ACLS American Studies program for foreign scholars sixty years ago to the Humanities program at the ‘ACLS in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine,” said ACLS President Joy Connolly. “We are proud to partner with the Center for Advanced Studies in Sofia to continue our support for scholars from Central East and South East Europe through this three-year initiative which will provide crucial opportunities for research, travel and collaboration.”

In addition to conducting their own research, scholars will have the opportunity to participate in small group writing workshops, as well as a series of immersive discussions on a key topic of shared academic interest. In 2023, these discussions will explore “Scholarly Writing in the Digital Age”. Participants will be asked to think about general issues of accessibility and audience; the democratization of scholarly writing, manifested by the expansion of acceptable writing styles in journals and books; the blurring of boundaries between scholarly and creative writing, essays and memoirs; the implications of digital publishing for scholarly production; and related subjects. The exchanges will take place over several meals and in a single seminar session.

The program will cover travel, accommodation and per diem costs. Members of the Institute will be required to be in residence and participate in all scheduled events during the term of the Institute. Fellows will also have the opportunity to travel locally during this time.


The competition is open to scholars from all fields or disciplines of interpretative humanities and social sciences pursuing postdoctoral or advanced research in the region (Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine).

Fellows must be based in institutions in North America (USA, Canada, Mexico) or Central/Eastern Europe (see list above).


Researchers should apply with their own research proposals through the ACLS online system. The application will be available on the ACLS website in August 2022. The deadline for submission will be December 2022.

This program is made possible through a generous donation from Carl and Betty Pforzheimer.

Created a century ago, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is a not-for-profit federation of 79 scholarly organizations. As the leading representative of American research in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, ACLS upholds the fundamental principle that knowledge is a public good. In supporting its member organizations, ACLS uses its $179 million endowment and $34 million annual operating budget to expand the forms, content, and flow of scholarly knowledge, reflecting our commitment to the diversity of the world. identity and experience. ACLS works with institutions, associations, and individuals to strengthen the scalable scholarship infrastructure. In all aspects of our work, ACLS is committed to principles and practices that support racial and social justice.

the Sofia Center for Advanced Studies is an independent institution with a strong international and interdisciplinary focus, promoting freedom of research and academic excellence in the humanities and social sciences. Since its creation in 2000, the CAS has attracted young talents and exceptional scholars by offering institutional conditions conducive to the free pursuit of knowledge and dialogue within the framework of individual research fellowships or multidisciplinary and intercultural collaborative enquiries. In partnership with other institutes of advanced study, universities, scholarly and cultural associations, it works to reestablish the tradition of intellectual communities and to facilitate open critical debate and the exchange of ideas nationally and transnationally.

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