University of Tartu scholarship for expatriate Estonian visiting professors is granted to Jaan Valsiner

Next year, the expatriate Estonian visiting professorship of the University of Tartu will be held by Jaan Valsiner, professor of cultural psychology at Aalborg University. He is one of the world’s leading cultural psychologists, whose research focuses on the intersections and interconnections of psychology and semiotics, and who has helped to promote Estonian research in the world.

Jaan Valsiner has worked as a professor of psychology at Clark University in the USA, and is currently a professor of cultural psychology at Aalborg University in Denmark.

Aune Valk, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Tartu, said that the committee selected Valsiner considering his academic excellence and the great interdisciplinary impact of his research. “Jaan Valsiner is a pioneer in his field of research in the world, and he has contributed a lot to promoting Estonian research in the world. We hope that during his year in Tartu he will encourage our students of humanities and social sciences to exchange ideas and, with his exciting public lectures, he will reach a broader audience of students and the public,” Valk explained.

The 50,000-euro scholarship enables the visiting professor to teach and do research at the University of Tartu’s Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics in the 2021/2022 academic year. Professor Valsiner plans to organise an interdisciplinary seminar “Semiosis in irreversible time” and deliver three public lectures.

Professor Valsiner was happy that the scholarship enables him to stay longer in Tartu and at the University of Tartu, his alma mater. “The Tartu school of semiotics has a very important role internationally and I am extremely pleased that when working here I can give my contribution to it,” Valsiner said. “I am particularly grateful to the expatriate Estonian community whose support allows me to do significant work at the University of Tartu during the year,” he added.

The aim of the expatriate Estonian professorship is to guarantee that professors of the Estonian origin working in other countries could work at the University of Tartu for at least a year or, as an exception, a semester. The professorship aims to promote collaboration between researchers of the University of Tartu with top researchers of Estonian descent in the world, to increase students’ opportunities to attend the lecture courses of top-level international professors, and to introduce Estonia’s national university and its role in the world.

The scholarship is supported by the Foundation of the University of Toronto Chair of Estonian Studies, the University of Tartu Foundation in Toronto, and the Estonian Students Fund in USA.

The scholarship for visiting professors from the Estonian diaspora was created at the University of Tartu Foundation in November 2018 and this year it is presented for the second time.

Further information: Aune Valk, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, University of Tartu, +372 526 7930,