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 2018-19 the Fellows come from nineteen universities in ten countries on five 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.
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.
The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study is located in the late eighteenth-century Linneanum and the adjacent late nineteenth-century Prefektvillan in the middle of the Botanic Garden in Uppsala, as well as in the early twentieth-century Villa Therese Andersson, just across the street.
The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) is a scholarly community of some thirty-five fellows, normally from at least a dozen countries and more than twenty universities on several continents. Visiting fellows are in residence for a full academic year or a full semester. Fellows are free to focus on their own research but the Collegium tries to serve as a free meeting place and a breeding ground for new ideas across disciplinary, national and age boundaries. A number of the Collegium’s features and activities have been designed to allow for the best scholarly environment possible.
As an institute for advanced study, SCAS is committed to the concept of residential fellowships. Fellows are expected to be free from other obligations and spend their working days at the Collegium. A fellow should not be absent from SCAS for more than ten (10) working days during the autumn and spring semesters respectively. Absences due to invitations to give seminars or lectures at Swedish universities are not included for international fellows. Fellows have to attend and participate in daily lunches on-site and in weekly seminars. They are also expected to give a seminar during their period in residence. Also, other activities such as fellow dinners and excursions are important features of the fellowship programme and attendance and participation is expected.