Summer Institute for the Study of East Central and Southeastern Europe


December 1, 2022, 9 pm Eastern Standard Time

Workshop Details

  • The program will cover travel, accommodation, and per diem expenses for the two-week residential institute. 
  • Institute members will be expected to be in residence and to participate in all planned events for the duration of the institute. 
  • Scholars will also be provided with opportunities to travel locally during this time.
  • Scholars should apply with their own research proposals through the ACLS online system. 

This program is made possible thanks to a generous donation by Carl and Betty Pforzheimer.


The Summer Institute for the Study of East Central and Southeastern Europe (SISECSE) is a two-week residential fellowship, that provides scholars of Eastern Europe the opportunity to undertake local fieldwork in Bulgaria. ACLS in partnership with the Centre for Advanced Study Sofia (CAS) will convene leading scholars from Eastern Europe and North America for a two-week residency in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria from June 1, 2023 to June 15, 2023.

SISECSE will provide participating scholars with two weeks to dedicate to their own research and writing in a collaborative and interdisciplinary setting. Participants will be able to undertake local fieldwork, including archival research, work in museum collections, interviews, site surveys, or other forms of data collection. 

Immersive Discussions

In addition to conducting their own research, scholars will also have the opportunity to participate in small group writing workshops, as well as a series of immersive discussions on a broad topic of shared academic interest.

In 2023, discussions will explore “Scholarly Writing in the Digital Age.” Participants will be asked to consider broad questions of accessibility and audience; the democratization of scholarly writing, manifested in the expansion of acceptable writing styles in journals and books; the blur between scholarly writing and creative writing, essays, and memoirs; the implications of digital sources for the way scholars treat their work; the potential of graphics and digital publication; the perceived over-production of articles and books; changing institutional frameworks and cultures of academic writing, and the growing demands for wider impact while retaining intellectual substance; and more.

Discussions will be held over several meals and in one seminar session. 

Please note: It is not required or expected that applicant’s research projects are connected to the workshop theme. Thematic discussions are intended for the enrichment of the participants.


  • Applicants must have a PhD degree conferred by an accredited university by December 1, 2022. (An established scholar who can demonstrate the equivalent of the PhD in publications and professional experience may also qualify.)
  • The competition is open to scholars in any field or discipline in the humanities and interpretive 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).
  • Applicants must have an affiliation—a long-term regular research or teaching appointment—with a university or college in North America (US, Canada, Mexico) or Central/Eastern Europe (see the list above).
  • There are no restrictions as to the citizenship of applicants.

Application Guidelines

Applications must be submitted online and must include:

  • A completed brief application form including demographic information.
  • A description of the applicant’s research project (no more than 4 double-spaced pages in Times New Roman 11-point font). The application essay should lay out the research project—what it is about, its location in the current literature, what sources are to be examined, and how the applicant plans to carry out the work.
  • Up to 2 additional pages of images, musical scores, or other similar supporting non-text materials. [Optional]
  • A bibliography (no more than 2 pages, double-spaced between entries, Times New Roman 11-point font).
  • A list of the applicant’s publications (no more than 2 pages, double-spaced between entries, Times New Roman 11-point font). Applicants should indicate if any of their publications resulted from prior ACLS funding.
  • A statement of interest by the applicant (no more than 1 page, single or double-spaced, in Times New Roman 11-point font) describing the type of research or fieldwork they intend to carry out in Bulgaria, the impact of this work on their research project, and their interest in participating in interdisciplinary conversations. ACLS is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the fellowship application process. Please use the applicant’s statement to note any relevant information about your personal background and/or ways in which your proposed research addresses issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Only complete applications, submitted through the ACLS Online Fellowship Application system ( by 9pm Eastern Standard Time on December 1, 2022 will be considered.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of

  • Significance of the topic and its potential contribution to the study of East Central and Southeastern Europe
  • The quality and innovativeness of the proposal with regard to its methodology, scope, theoretical framework, and grounding in the relevant scholarly literature.
  • The impact of the fieldwork on the applicant’s research project



Please email with questions. Please read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)before making inquiries.

Supporting Documents