Scholarships 2020

The Donner Institute announces scholarships for doctoral students to be applied for the year 2020. The application period is 1–29.2 2020. The electronic application form opens on 1 February at 9.00 and closes on 29 February at 16.00 (Finnish time UTC+02:00).

The research grants are awarded to doctoral students primarily working in Åbo and Uppsala, with priority given to doctoral students registered at Åbo Akademi University or Uppsala University. The scholarships are awarded only to registered and active doctoral candidates, whose research focus primarily on the fields of comparative religion, philosophy of religion or cultural studies to the extent that they pertain to research questions relating to religion in a broad sense. In selecting the recipients of the scholarships, the Donner Institute takes into account the will of the donors. According to the testamentary instruction, the purpose of the Donner fund is to advance the research on the history of religion and culture “on strictly scientific grounds”, primarily with a focus on mysticism and esotericism, but also by considering contemporary phenomena within the fields of religion, philosophy, science, art and literature.

One scholarship is granted for a period of 12 months and four scholarships for six months, following the scholarship rate implemented by Åbo Akademi University (€ 1,800 per month in 2020). Scholarships can either be raised for full-time research or half-time. At least half of the scholarship amount should be claimed during the calendar year 2020.

Evaluation Criteria and Process

The following criteria are taken into account in the evaluation of the applications: research idea, scientific quality, feasibility of the project, relevance in society as well as its connection to the purpose and aims of the Institute. Applicants, who have previously be granted a scholarship from the Donner Institute, can be awarded a new scholarship when two years have passed since the previous decision.

The applications are evaluated by the board of the Institute. Decisions on scholarships are taken at the board meeting on 17 April 2020.

The receivers of the scholarships undertake to submit a report of the scholarship period to the board of the Institute within February 2021. Furthermore, receivers shall submit a short presentation of their research to be published at the Institute’s website. DI supports open science, and therefore grantees are asked to write a short news article about their research to be published in the online research portal (in Swedish or Finnish) or at the Institute’s website.

To apply

The applicant should fill in the electronic application form and, as attachments, submit a research plan and a certificate of attendance (Finland) or valid individual study plan (Sweden/other Nordic countries). A letter of reference from the applicant’s supervisor should be sent directly to the director of the institute. If the applicant has completed her/his primary education in Swedish or Finnish, the application and the appendices should be written in Swedish. Otherwise, the English application form may be used.

For further information concerning the handling of personal data at Åbo Akademi University Foundation, see: Read about the register of scholarship holders here.

For further information about the application process, please contact the Director Ruth Illman,, tel: + 358-20-786 1462.