Call for Applications


Second International Summer School

Prospects for Democracy, Stability and Europeanization in Ukraine:
What Lessons from the Baltic Experience?
download (.pdf)

Organized by: Centre for EU-Russia Studies (CEURUS), University of Tartu
: Tartu, Estonia
: 17-22 August 2015 (arrival to Estonia on 16 August, departure on 23 August)

Target group for this call: BA, MA and Ph.D students enrolled in Social Science programmes at Ukrainian universities as well as young professionals who have been awarded a BA degree in the Social Sciences within the last 5 years (2010 or later). BA students must have completed at least three years of university education. Applicants must be citizens of Ukraine.

Note: Note: A separate call has been issued for Estonian and EU citizens

Application deadline: 30 June 2015

Description and objectives
The Ukrainian revolution of 2014 opened up new opportunities for a comprehensive reform of the country’s political, economic and legal system, as well as for building closer ties to the European Union. The Ukrainian government has launched an ambitious reform programme and concluded an association agreement with the European Union. The civil society is playing an active role in the process of change. However, the country’s ability to implement reforms is severely hindered by violations of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, ongoing military conflict in the East of the country, a major economic crisis, high levels of corruption and low capacity of state structures.

The summer school provides an opportunity for young Ukrainians to reflect upon the changes and challenges their country is facing in light of the reform and transition experiences of the Baltic states. The three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – are the only former Soviet republics that have become fully consolidated democracies and functioning market economies, and have joined the European Union and NATO. The school is premised on the idea that many of the key themes of Baltic transition experience are relevant to Ukraine’s current reform effort and political situation. The topics of shared interest include state-building and the creation of modern and effective administrative structures, integration with Western political and economic structures, democratization, de-communization and de-Sovietization, fight against corruption, economic reforms, nation-building and societal integration, and questions related to both external and internal security. Of course, there are also many differences between the Baltic and Ukrainian contexts. Thus, we do not claim that all Baltic transition experiences are directly relevant or applicable to Ukraine. Instead, the goal is to inform the participants about the Estonian transition experience, to consider critical choices and their consequences, and to jointly reflect on Ukraine’s current dilemmas and challenges in light of broader comparative evidence about post-communist transition, democratization, market reforms and modernization.

The school offers a diverse programme, combining lectures and seminars with on-site visits to various public institutions and meetings with politicians, civil servants, and civil society representatives. The summer school offers lectures and seminars focusing on: 1) democracy, justice and rule of law, 2) state- and nation-building in divided societies; 3) European integration, including EU enlargement and neighbourhood policy, 4) factors influencing domestic and international stability in the post-Soviet space, with a particular focus on policies pursued by the Russian Federation 4) factors shaping the outcomes of transition processes, including an analysis of the reform and transition experiences of the Baltic states.

The summer school will bring together 30 students or recent graduates of Ukrainian universities, and up to 20 students studying in Estonian universities (including international students). The language of instruction is English.

The summer school will be held at Tartu, Estonia’s second-largest city which is home to Estonia’s oldest and most renowned university. The final two days will be spent in Tallinn, known for its well-preserved medieval city centre. For more information on Estonia.

The summer school is financially supported from the Development Cooperation programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia.

A preliminary programme of the summer school is available here
Please note that the programme is subject to change.

Eligibility criteria
In order to be eligible for the Summer School, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • be a citizen of Ukraine permanently residing in Ukraine (within borders recognized by international law);
  • be enrolled in a BA, MA or Ph.D programme in the Social Sciences at a Ukrainian university OR be a young professional holding a BA degree (or higher) in the Social Sciences that has been awarded within the last five years (i.e. 2010 or later). BA students must have completed at least three years of university education. Applications from students and university graduates specializing in Politics or International Relations are especially encouraged. However, students and graduates who major(ed) in Sociology, Economics, History, Media and Communication studies or related disciplines are also welcome to apply.
  • have very good command of the English language (be able to follow lectures, participate in discussions, and write analytical essays in English).

Individuals holding a PhD are not eligible. Individuals who have lived, studied or worked in the EU or North America for more than 6 months during the last five years are not eligible.

Costs and financial arrangements
Virtually all expenses related to the participation of Ukrainian nationals in the summer school will be covered by the organizers of the summer school. Specifically, the following costs will be covered:

  • round-trip flight ‘Kyiv-Tallinn-Kyiv’,
  • travel between home town and Kyiv;
  • travel between Tallinn and Tartu;
  • visa and insurance fees;
  • accommodation in Estonia (five nights in Tartu, two nights in Tallinn).

The participants will receive a stipend that covers the cost of meals and incidental expenses.
The following cost is NOT covered:

  • The cost of travelling to Kyiv to apply for a visa at the Estonian embassy.

Required readings, credit points and certificates of attendance
Summer school participants are expected to attend all lectures, seminars and on-site visits and read the texts assigned by summer school instructors (generally one or two chapters or articles per lecture). Participants who attend all lectures, seminars and on-site visits will receive a certificate of attendance. Those participants who want to receive credit points (3 ECTS) are additionally required to write and submit an analytical essay (about 3000 words) within three weeks of the end of the summer school.

Application procedure
The deadline for applications is 30 June 2015. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All application documents must be prepared in English. The documents must be submitted via e-mail to Mariana Semenyshyn at semenyshyn.m[at] AND to Varje Kuut at varje.kuut[at] (Please note that you are requested to submit scanned copies of some documents, such as passport identification pages and the university diploma. If you do not have access to a scanner, please contact Mariana Semenyshyn well ahead of the application deadline to discuss alternative options for submission such as sending a fax, etc).

Application documents include:

  • A completed application form;
  • A copy of the identification pages (first page) of your passport (travel document);
  • A copy of university diploma and transcripts (for the highest level of education attained; no translation is needed);
  • A letter from your university confirming student status/enrollment in an academic programme (for current students only). The letter should be signed by a representative of your university/faculty/department) and scanned.
  • A statement of purpose explaining your motivation to apply (in English, maximum 2 pages). Note that the statement constitutes a key part of your application and should be prepared with care. The statement should address the following questions:
    > Why do you want to participate in the Summer School?
    > How is the topic of the Summer School related to your previous education and/or work experience?
    > In what ways will the Summer School help you attain your academic and professional goals?

All applications will be read and evaluated by a three-member selection committee. Selection criteria include: academic and professional ability and achievement, relevance of previous educational and work experience to the theme of the summer school, motivation to participate, and command of the English language. The organizers seek to ensure a balanced representation of different regions of Ukraine, to the extent possible. We are ready to accommodate participants with special needs.

Applicants will be notified of the outcomes of the evaluation by July 10th, 2015 at the latest. Please note that applicants selected for participation will have to apply for the Estonian visa during the month of July at the Estonian embassy in Kyiv.

Contact and additional information
For additional information and enquiries (in English, Russian or Ukrainian) please contact Mariana Semenyshyn (semenyshyn.m[at]

Read the Testimonials by participants to last year’s Summer School! (.pdf)