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university of tampere: institute for advanced social research:
Institute for Advanced Social ResearchUniversity of TampereInstitute for Advanced Social Research

Frequently Asked Questions


? Is there a research profile for the IASR?
Are the fellowships focused on some annually changing theme?

According to its operating principle, the IASR does not pursue any other profile than fostering advanced research focused on society. This is why defining some theme would also be a very complex matter. On the one hand, by choosing some specific theme, the Steering Committee could annually select such Fellows whose interests run parallel and so could easily form a community, which would also facilitate cooperation. On the other hand, some specific theme would limit the number of the potential applicants in advance and so the Fellows would be selected partly on criteria other than their merits. At least as long as the resources of the IASR are limited, it is more desirable that the application for the fellowships should remain open to everyone interested.

? What is the meaning of the requirement that research performed in the IASR must be "focused on society"?

The IASR defines "society" in very broad terms. Therefore, the meaning of "society" is not restricted to the nation-state or to macro structures; rather, it is synonymous to social reality. Research focused on it denotes investigations aiming to explain social phenomena and, in doing so, takes into account the special features of social reality, for instance, the fact that people's interpretations of reality and their ways of relating to it are an essential part of that reality. The broad definition also means thet not only social scientists, but also scholars from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds, including the humanities, education, psychology, management, the health sciences and information sciences, are eligible for a fellowship.

? Can Fellows get an extension to their fixed-term fellowships?

If any extensions were awarded, the prospects of some other potential Fellows would suffer. This could also obscure the operating principle of the IASR. Hence no extensions are awarded, but Fellows are free to reapply five years after their IASR period.

? Can a research group obtain funding from the IASR?

The fellowships are personal, which means that each member of a research group should apply for it individually. Because there is a very limited number of fellowships, it is not likely that several members of one group would all be awarded with a fellowship.

? Can the IASR offer premises for research assistants or to other members of a research group than the selected Fellow?

Within the frameworks of the premises available, we can always try to find offices for the members of the same project as close as possible, but to locate an entire project on the premises of the IASR may not be very rational because the Fellows work in the IASR for only a fixed term.

? Can one come to work in the IASR on other funding?

This is possible based on a negotiation with the Director of the IASR, Professor Risto Heiskala. However, the policy of the UTA is to place most researchers morking on external funding at one of the faculties of the university, and the extent of the premises sets the limits. Additionally, it is clear that every scholar working at the IASR must pass a selection process controlled or accepted by the Steering Committee.

? In the introduction it is mentioned that the Fellows are assumed to work regularly on the premises of the IASR. Does this refer to an obligation to be present?

Because the operating principle of the IASR is to build up a functioning interdisciplinary community of the selected Fellows generating new ideas, cooperation patterns and researcher networks, it is assumed that the Fellows really use the premises provided by the IASR and participate in common activities. Common lunches and joint seminar are our core functions and repeated absences from lunch discussions or seminar sessions are strongly discouraged. Naturally, academic work involves a reasonable number of trips, but those holding a fellowship in the IASR are not supposed to become telecommuters. Any engagement in teaching and administration should also be minimal.

kysymys.gifWhy does the IASR not have a publication list of its own?

The IASR has faith in the established academic publishing forums and, therefore, encourages all Fellows to publish their work through these channels.

kysymys.gifHow are Fellows selected?

The Steering Committee first shortlists approximately one third of the applications. These applications are then reviewed by five to seven independent international experts, who all provide a list of the best eight applicationa in the order of their preference in each category. The Steering Committee then makes its proposal of the Fellows to be appointed to the Rector of the University of Tampere. The Steering Committee usually follows the recommendations of the international experts literally and, thus far, the Rector has never made any changes to the Steering Committee's proposal.

kysymys.gifWhy do I not get extensive feedback on my application?

Getting first-rate international experts is becoming increasingly difficult due to their heavy workloads. The IASR easies this problem by guaranteeing the experts the right to not to be forced to comment extensively all applications. Therefore, they only provide written reviews on the applications which they include in their list of the best applications.

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Last update: 14.11.2017 18.21 Muokkaa

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