Under the agreement, the first fellow supported by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, an independent foundation in Sweden, will be in residence at CASBS during the 2024–25 academic year. The partnership further extends the Center’s global ties and reach.
The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University is pleased to announce a new fellowship partnership with the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ), an independent foundation in Sweden devoted to promoting and supporting research in the social sciences and humanities.
The direct partnership with RJ is part of a wider collaboration between RJ and CASBS, L’Institut d’études avancées de Paris (IEA de Paris), and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS).
Under a memorandum of understanding signed by Walter “Woody” Powell, the Sara Miller McCune Interim Director of CASBS, and Marika Hedin, CEO of Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, RJ will support one RJ-CASBS Fellow per year in residence at CASBS, for an initial period of three years, starting with the 2024–25 academic year.
The partnership’s model is broadly similar to some of the Center’s other fellowship agreements, most notably those with the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies and the government of Taiwan. Each year, RJ will disseminate a call for applications throughout Sweden and draw from a nationwide pool of scholars. Applicants will undergo a double vetting — first through RJ’s own selection process and then through the same evaluation process that CASBS applies to all its fellowship applicants.
The deadline to apply for a fellowship for the inaugural 2024–25 academic year with all three of RJ’s collaborating organizations, including CASBS, is August 21, 2023.
The CASBS-RJ partnership continues the Center’s efforts to extend its global ties and reach. It serves both institutions’ desire to internationalize social science and humanities research, both geographically and in terms of diversifying the range of societal problems and challenges subject to interrogation. The partnership also aims to cultivate long-lasting scholarly networks and collaborations.
“We strive to fund researchers who can benefit from and contribute to the institutes’ multidisciplinary discussions,” said CEO Marika Hedin in RJ’s press release.
The agreement came to fruition after a lengthy process of intermittent discussions that began under the leadership of former CASBS director Margaret Levi and concluded under interim director Woody Powell. The initial impetus inspiring the discussions and the continuity of engagement propelling them forward throughout, however, was provided by Sally Schroeder who, as CASBS deputy director, administers the Center’s fellowship program.
With an eye on expanding the Center’s international ties and anticipating a September 2019 trip that would culminate in Levi’s acceptance of the prestigious Johan Skytte Prize in Uppsala, Sweden, Schroeder contacted a few former CASBS fellows based in Sweden during summer 2019. Bjorn Wittrock, a 1998–99 CASBS fellow as well as the founding director and a permanent fellow of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, suggested the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond as a prospect. Schroeder’s subsequent reach-out to Hedin, the RJ CEO, paved the way for an in-person meeting at RJ’s offices in Stockholm that included Hedin, Levi, and Schroeder.
The meeting was productive. Independently, as it turns out, RJ already had been considering the possibility of creating a program that places Swedish scholars as fellows at multiple prominent research institutes worldwide.
In early 2020, before the onset of the global pandemic, Hedin delegated development of the prospective program as well as continuation of discussions with CASBS to two of its research program staff, Dr. Fredrik Lundmark and Dr. Fredrik Persson-Lahusen. After a lengthy pandemic-induced interruption, email and Zoom conversations resumed in mid-2021 and continued to develop over the next year or so between “the two Fredriks,” as they became affectionately known, Levi, and Schroeder.
Ultimately, in September 2022 Lundmark and Persson-Lahusen visited CASBS to observe the Center’s operations first-hand and advance discussions with Levi (who ended her term as CASBS director in August 2022), Powell (who became interim director in September 2022), and Schroeder. The two Fredriks also met with several 2022–23 CASBS fellows and other CASBS staff members. During this visit, the principals drafted a preliminary fellowship agreement. By the end of 2022, the agreement was finalized and ready for signature.
The outcome is particularly satisfying for Sally Schroeder, who patiently shepherded efforts from the CASBS side off and on for nearly four years.
“The Center’s vibrant intellectual community will enjoy new breadth and depth of perspective with the arrival of the first RJ-CASBS Fellow and those who follow,” she said. “We are delighted to be associated with Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and, jointly through this partnership, accelerate efforts to push the frontiers of cross-disciplinary social sciences and their potential to help us better understand our world.”
Learn more about the RJ fellowship, including eligibility, program focus, application procedure, and selection process here.
Written by Mike Gaetani
CASBS thanks Riksbankens Jubileumsfond for permission to display its logo
Follow the CASBS webcast series, Social Science for a World in Crisis