Two expat Estonian researchers to work as visiting professors at Tartu University

Annela Anger-Kraavi from Cambridge University and Mart Kuldkepp of the University College London – two expatriate Estonians who have a successful academic career in the UK – will hold visiting professorship at the University of Tartu in 2023.

The scholarship for visiting professors from the Estonian diaspora was established by the University of Tartu Foundation in November 2018 to invite researchers and lecturers of Estonian descent working abroad to work for a year or a semester at the University of Tartu. The scholarship is supported by the University of Toronto’s Chair of Estonian Studies Foundation, the University of Tartu Foundation in Toronto, and the Estonian Students Fund in the US. The scholarship for one semester is €25,000.

Anger-Kraavi is a senior research associate and the director of the climate change policy group at Cambridge University’s chemistry department and Mart Kuldkepp is an associate professor of Scandinavian history and politics and head of the department of European and international social and political studies at the University College London.

During the visiting professorship, Anger-Kraavi will develop competency in environmental economics and climate change policy. She will also have an important role in launching the university’s Centre for Sustainable Development.

Kuldkepp’s research primarily deals with Estonia’s political and social history in the early decades of the 20th century and the historical contacts between Estonia and Scandinavia.

Kuldkepp said in a statement that the scholarship would enable him among other things to prepare a monograph on Estonians’ war experience in the 20th century and study issues related to the national self-determination of Estonians. He also plans to hold a public lecture series on the lesser-known aspects of Estonian political history before the Second World War, which might also interest audiences beyond historians.

Mart Kuldkepp. Photo by Eero Vabamägi.

Enriching the cultural life

“The previous scholarship competitions have confirmed that there are top-level researchers of Estonian origin who work at universities abroad and have the desire and the will to contribute with their knowledge to Estonian higher education and research. The scholarship is an excellent example of how cooperation with the Estonian community abroad can bring new and essential experiences to Estonia,” Peeter Einola, the director of the University of Tartu Foundation in Toronto, said in a statement.

The expatriate Estonian visiting professorship has been previously held by David Ilmar Lepasaar Beecher, a historian and a social scientist of Estonian descent, and Jaan Valsiner, a professor of cultural psychology.

Toomas Asser, the rector of the University of Tartu, expressed gratitude to the expat Estonian community for setting up and continuing to finance the scholarship fund. “In the previous two years, we already saw that the possibility to invite researchers and lecturers of Estonian origin to Tartu adds great value to our teaching and research, and our former visiting professors have enriched the cultural life of our community,” he said.

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