Call for Applications

for students and young professionals residing in Estonia/other EU countries

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

Target group for this call: MA and PhD students, as well as advanced BA students enrolled in Social Science programmes at Estonian or other EU universities as well as young professionals residing in the EU who have been awarded a degree (BA or higher) in the Social Sciences within the last 5 years (2010 or later).

Note: A separate call has been issued for citizens of Ukraine.

Application deadline: June 30, 2015.

Short synopsis

The Centre for EU-Russia Studies (CEURUS) at the University of Tartu organizes a summer school reflecting on the relevance of the Estonian/Baltic transition and state-building experience for today’s Ukraine. The primary target group for the school are Social Science students and young professionals from Ukraine (whose participation in the school will be supported by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs). However, we also invite advanced undergraduate and graduate students and young professionals from Estonia and other EU countries to take part in the summer school. Please see below for further information.

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 to reflect upon the changes and challenges Ukraine 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 and young professionals from Estonia and other countries of the EU. 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 (see The final two days will be spent in Tallinn, the nation’s capital which is known for its well-preserved medieval city centre. For more information on Estonia, see


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, the non-Ukrainian applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • be currently enrolled in a BA, MA, or PhD programme in the Social Sciences or related fields at a university in Estonia or another EU country (BA students must have completed at least two years of university education) OR
  • have graduated from a university located in the EU with a BA or MA in the Social Sciences or related fields in 2010 or later;
  • have very good command of English (participants must be able to follow lectures, participate in discussions, and write analytical essays in English).

There is no citizenship requirement. However, international participants must be eligible to enter Estonia/stay in Estonia for the duration of the summer school (visa support will be provided if needed).

Costs and financial arrangements

The non-Ukrainian participants of the summer school are themselves responsible for the costs associated with their travel to and stay in Tartu (accommodation, board, travel). However, the organizers will cover the cost of a couple of group lunches/dinners and transportation to Tallinn (for the study trip) for all participants. There are no tuition costs or registration fees.

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 Piret Ehin at piret.ehin[at] AND to Varje Kuut at varje.kuut[at]

Application documents include:

  • A completed application form
  • Applicants who are currently enrolled at a university must submit a copy of university transcripts (no translation needed) OR a letter from the university confirming student status/enrollment in an academic programme;
  • Applicants who are currently NOT enrolled at a university must submit a copy of university diploma and transcripts (only for the highest level of education attained; no translation is needed)
  • A statement of purpose explaining your motivation to apply (in English, maximum 2 pages). 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. We are ready to accommodate participants with special needs.

Applicants will be notified of the outcomes of the evaluation by 10 July 2015 at the latest.

Contact and additional information

For additional information please contact Piret Ehin (piret.ehin[at]