The University of Helsinki has something called a Collegium for Advanced Studies, whose aims are:
- to enhance scholarly excellence within humanities and social sciences;
- to endorse dialogue between different academic orientations;
- to provide an innovative environment for concentrated study;
- to encourage theoretical and methodological reflection in research;
- to promote international visibility of Finnish research and interaction between scholars from all over the world.
Every year the Collegium offers a number of researcher positions concentrated on interdisciplinary work. Helsinki is the fifth closest university to where I live, and so I have applied a few times. I just received their reply to my most recent application. No luck so far.
To people who plan to apply for a job at the Collegium for Advanced Studies, some stats may be of interest. This year, 375 people applied for the 15 jobs. This means that, everything else being equal, your chance of getting a job is 4%, or less than half of the chance of getting funding for research in the humanities from the Swedish Research Council. My project proposal got a decent grade from the reviewers, but in order to reach the top 4% you must of course score extremely high.
I note with some sadness that neither of my two reviewers appears to have been an archaeologist. One opines that a project of interest only to scholars in Finland and the Nordic countries would have an “uncertain wider significance”. This, of course, pretty much kills all archaeology practiced in the countries in question, since archaeology is at heart strongly regional. The other reviewer asks, with a real sense of curiosity, “Is metal detector survey a good method in archaeology?”. Ouch.
To my current knowledge no scholar in Scandinavian archaeology has ever got a job with the Collegium for Advanced Studies.