Summer Institute for the Study of East Central and Southeastern Europe

Funding Agency:
American Council of Learned Societies

In partnership with the Centre for Advanced Study Sofia (CAS), ACLS enables scholars to undertake research, writing, and local fieldwork in Bulgaria and engage in interdisciplinary discussions during the Summer Institute for the Study of East Central and Southeastern Europe (SISECSE). In 2023, ACLS and CAS convened leading scholars from Eastern Europe and North America for a two-week residency, hosted by the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG), in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, and looks forward to holding SISECSE again in 2024 and 2025.

With international travel restricted during the pandemic, many scholars had to delay their research. SISECSE provides participating scholars with two weeks to dedicate to their own research and writing in a collaborative and interdisciplinary setting. Participants are also able to undertake local fieldwork, including archival research, work in museum collections, interviews, site surveys, and other forms of data collection. In addition to conducting their own research, scholars 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.

The program covers travel, accommodation, and per diem expenses. Participants are expected to be in residence and attend all planned events for the duration of the institute. Scholars also may be provided with opportunities to travel locally during this time.

Deadline: Nov. 2, 2023

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must have a PhD degree conferred (officially awarded) by an accredited university. An established scholar who can demonstrate the equivalent of the PhD in publications and professional experience may also qualify.

    • If the PhD is not conferred (officially awarded) by the application deadline, the applicant must submit:

      • (At the time of application) an institutional statement signed by a university official (dissertation advisor or departmental chair) confirming that the applicant is on schedule to complete the PhD by April 15, 2024.
      • (By April 15, 2024) a letter from the applicant’s graduate school confirming that the dissertation has been submitted and approved by the graduate school for conferral according to the university calendar. The applicant is responsible for submitting the dissertation on time in order to meet this requirement. The applicant should request that the graduate school send the letter to ACLS at
  • The competition is open to scholars in any field or discipline in the humanities or interpretive social sciences pursuing postdoctoral or advanced research in East Central and Southeastern Europe, including Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine.
  • Applicants must have an affiliation—a long-term regular research or teaching appointment—with an institution (i.e., college, museum, university) in North America (Canada, Mexico, US) or East Central and Southeastern Europe (see the list above).
  • There are no restrictions as to the citizenship of applicants.

Funding Type



Post Doctoral Fellows


Arts & Humanities
International Opportunities
Social Sciences

External Deadline

November 2, 2023