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6 Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)


The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS), founded in 1985, is a national scientific institution, chartered by the Government of Sweden as an institute for advanced study, mainly in the social and human sciences.

The Collegium is a scholarly community where Fellows pursue research of their own choosing in a context of interdisciplinary dialogue and cooperation. The ambition is to provide an optimal research environment. SCAS hosts senior scholars from all over the world as well as early-career scholars, mainly from the Pro Futura Scientia Programme, most of them nominated by Swedish universities but many with a scholarly background from other countries. The Collegium hosts Fellows for the time of one academic year or semester. During 2017-18 the Fellows come from twenty-one universities in ten countries on three continents; some eighty per cent of the Fellows come from abroad (and more than ninety per cent of the senior scholars).

SCAS is partly financed by the Swedish government. However, support from research foundations, most importantly from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ), accounts for the largest share of the budget, including funding for most of the Fellows.


The Collegium is open to applications from scholars across the range of the human and social sciences. All candidates are
assessed on the basis of their individual achievements and the quality and promise of their research proposal, including those who apply within the framework of a group. Every year there tends to be a mixture of scholars who work on their individual projects and Fellows who are part of a cluster of scholars with similar interests. Support from the
Erling-Persson Family Foundation and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has made it possible to accept also scholars from four thematic fields of the natural sciences.

The Swedish Collegium has an ambition to articulate the significance of the social and human sciences for an understanding of the contemporary and historical condition of humankind in its global contexts. This stance has found expression in collaborative research involving historians, social scientists and linguists. This work has resulted in reformulations of the idea of the Axial Age but also in the development of the idea of multiple modernities. More recently it has involved efforts to reconceptualise shifts occurring on a global scale during the tenth to thirteenth centuries in an age of transregional reorientations. These efforts are now being further pursued through a series of symposia and publications with a focus on transformative periods in global history, the so-called Karlgren-Eisenstadt Programme.

As an extension of this programme and together with IAS Princeton and École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris, the Swedish Collegium has also conducted a three-year Summer Programme in Social Science (SPSS) for early-career scholars from Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

In addition, the Collegium has consistently explored links between the economic sciences, philosophy and other human and social sciences. Ideas of this programme have been taken up in the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP), an endeavour that is uniquely ambitious and involves scholars on a global scale. Another consequence of the Collegium’s
engagement in this field has been a strengthening of study programmes with a focus on PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) in universities on different continents.


In 1999, the Swedish Collegium and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond set up a cutting-edge programme for promising early-
career scholars in the humanities and social sciences, namely the Pro Futura Scientia Programme. The selection of scholars to the programme and the management of it rests on the Collegium, which collaborates with internationally leading institutes for advanced study. The idea is to provide optimal conditions for young scholars and to give them the chance to pursue curiosity-driven research during a five-year period. In the course of the programme they are offered a tenured position at the nominating university.

Candidates are nominated by Swedish universities and leading research universities in neighbouring countries but also by the University of Cambridge. The nominating universities are encouraged to propose candidates not only from their own university but also from other universities and countries.

After a rigorous selection procedure, some 15 per cent of the nominees are admitted to the programme. The Pro Futura scholars remain associated with the nominating university and, in addition, spend one to one and a half years at the Swedish Collegium. They also spend one year abroad.

The researchers who have attended the Pro Futura Scientia Programme have come to play an important role in the Swedish academic landscape. They have taken up distinguished professorships, been elected members of academies, including the Young Academy of Sweden, and joined national research councils and governing bodies at universities.


SCAS interacts with a large number of scholarly institutions. Especially important is the collaboration with originally six, now nine, leading institutes for advanced study within the SIAS group (Some Institutes for Advanced Study), of which the Collegium was a founding member in 1991: Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University; Institut d’études avancées de Nantes; Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, Jerusalem; National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, NC; Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Amsterdam; Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University; and Wissenschafts-
kolleg zu Berlin.

In 2004, the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study was a founding member of the network of now twenty-two European institutes for advanced study (NetIAS). SCAS has also special links to other institutes for advanced study, including institutes in Beijing and Göttingen.


Professor Björn Wittrock is Principal of the Collegium and a Permanent Fellow.

The Collegium benefits from the contributions of four Non-resident Long-term Fellows, namely Professors Peter Gärdenfors (Lund University), Hans Joas (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the University of Chicago), Michael J. Puett (Harvard University), and Wlodek Rabinowicz (Lund University).

The Academic Senate is a key resource. It oversees the activities of the Collegium and gives advice on institutional matters. Its members are Professors John Broome, Lorraine Daston, Peter Goddard, Jürgen Kocka (Chair), Helga Nowotny,
Carole Pateman, Dame Marilyn Strathern and Wang Hui.

The Collegium has a national board consisting of representatives of Swedish universities. Professor Anders Malmberg (Uppsala University) is Chairman of the board.


The Collegium is located in the Botanic garden in a national heritage building, Linneanum, from the turn of the eighteenth century. Since 2011 and 2017 respectively, the Collegium has added two adjacent heritage buildings, namely the Prefect
Villa and Villa Therese Andersson.


Thunbergsvägen 2, 752 38 Uppsala
Thunbergsvägen 2, 752 38 Uppsala
Björn Wittrock 018-557085

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Thunbergsvägen 2, 752 38 Uppsala

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