Mission and Profile

The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) aims to provide optimal research conditions
for curiosity-driven research. The Collegium is a scholarly community where Fellows pursue re-
search of their own choosing in a context of interdisciplinary dialogue and cooperation. Since its
foundation in 1985, it strives to protect and nurture independent inquiry, collaborative and deep
thinking, and to emphasize the importance of academic freedom worldwide. Governmental support
and support from major research foundations allow the invited Fellows to freely decide on their study
and to engage in focused research.

Chartered by the Government of Sweden as an institute for advanced study, SCAS is a national
scientific institution. The Collegium is open to applications from scholars across the range of the
human and social sciences, as well as from the natural 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 presents a novel mixture of Fellows
from all over the world who either work on their individual projects or who are part of a cluster of
scholars with similar interests.

SCAS hosts advanced senior scholars as well as early-career scholars.

Scholarly Profile
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 diverse global
contexts. This stance has long been a cornerstone of the profile and activities of SCAS. The most recent
articulation of this ambition is the engagement in questions pertaining to global governance. This has been
realized by funding from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) focused on the instalment of a new research
programme: the Global Horizons Fellowship Programme. The purpose of the Global Horizons Programme
is to advance multi-disciplinary frontline research on global future governance issues, focusing on large-
scale challenges. The programme aims to attract research fellows pursuing research on contemporary
aspects of globalization and to promote a thematic collaboration across faculty lines. The programme revolves
around three thematic areas: Global Knowledge Cultures and Regimes; Global Political Predicaments; and
Global Futures. The programme is future-oriented in its ambition to contribute to the advancement of know-
ledge on contemporary forms of governance and their future implications. The programme also offers a
basis from which to reach out and engage with university scholars across disciplinary boundaries, but also
with public intellectuals, policy makers, and politicians.

In addition, the newly launched Barbro Klein Fellowship Programme contributes to the overarching aim of
the Collegium. The programme emphasizes research on cultural and social diversity, cultural heritage and
creativity, societal structures and public resistance, and varieties of cultural expressions in local and global

The expansion of the Collegium to include a Natural Sciences Programme aims at advancing cutting-edge
research in the natural sciences, as well as at bridging the gap between these and the humanities and social
sciences. This expansion has been made possible by support from the Erling Persson Family Foundation
and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. There are four thematic foci of the programme: Theoretical
Biology; Human Brains and Societies; Measurable Man; and Exoplanets and Biological Activity on Other

The academic profile of the Collegium has grown out of a consistent ambition to study and inquire into the
variety of trajectories that characterize the development of human societies. This has found expression in
collaborative research involving historians, social scientists and linguists, resulting in reformulations of the
idea of the Axial Age but also in the development of the idea of multiple modernities. It has also brought
forth efforts to reconceptualise shifts occurring on a global scale during the tenth to thirteenth centuries
in an age of transregional reorientations. These efforts have been further pursued with a focus on trans-
formative periods in global history, in the so-called Karlgren-Eisenstadt Programme. In addition, the Colle-
gium has consistently explored links between the economic sciences, philosophy and other human and
social sciences. Dimensions of this research are reflected in the International Panel on Social Progress
(IPSP), an endeavour that is uniquely ambitious and involves scholars on a global scale. Another conse-
quence 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 Collegium of today is an institution that offers scholars the opportunity to be driven by their own
intellectual curiosity; that crosses disciplinary boundaries; and remains small enough to build a sense of
community. By doing so, research at scas may provide insight, knowledge, and reflection that contribute
to the advancement of science at large.

Institutional Collaboration
SCAS interacts with a large number of scholarly institutions. Especially important is the collaboration with
originally six, now ten, leading institutes for advanced study within the SIAS group (Some Institutes for
Advanced Study), of which the Collegium was a founding member in 1991: Center for Advanced Study
in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University; Institut d’études avancées de Nantes; Institute for Advan-
ced Study, Princeton; Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, Jerusalem; National Humanities Center, Re-
search Triangle Park, NC; Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences;
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University; Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study; and Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. In 2004, the Swedish Collegium was a founding member of the network of
now twenty-five European institutes for advanced study (NetIAS). SCAS also has special links to other institutes
for advanced study.