The European University Institute (EUI) and the International Visegrad Fund (IVF) have signed an agreement confirming the International Visegrad Fund Research Grant Programme at the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU). The agreement provides for up to six short-term research grants each year for postgraduate scholars from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, as well as the Western Balkans and Eastern partnership countries.
IVF Executive Director Peter Mares and EUI President Professor Renaud Dehousse signed the new Agreement on 24 October 2022 at the EUI's Villa Salviati. Slovakia's Ambassador to Italy Karla Wursterová; Szymon Wojtasik, Head of the Political and Economic Section of Poland’s Consular Office of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Rome; EUI Secretary General Marco Del Panta; and Director of the Historical Archives Dieter Schlenker were also present for the ceremony.
For the EUI, the IVF and the HAEU, the IVF grant programme is an important effort to build bridges and cultivate academic networks between the EUI's international academic community and scholars in the target countries.
Professor Dehousse expressed "I am extremely pleased to sign this Agreement with the International Visegrad Fund. Not only does it provide an excellent opportunity for early stage scholars from Central Europe and neighbouring countries to pursue research and experience academic life on our campus, but it will strengthen our relationships with the academic communities in this region."
IVF Executive Director Peter Mares said "Signing this Agreement, I am proud of the results of the IVF cooperation with the EUI so far, and am full of expectations for the future. It represents a unique opportunity for new generations of scholars not only from the four Central European countries but also from the Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership countries. It will enlarge and strengthen the already existing networks that interconnect experts across our countries."
A fantastic research opportunity
In 2021 and 2022, the Historical Archives published two calls for applications for the pilot International Visegrad Fund Research Grant Programme. Thirty-eight applicants from 11 countries submitted proposals, and a total of 10 grants were assigned.
Dieter Schlenker, Director of the HAEU, expressed his gratification for the grant programme and the opportunity it gives young scholars to consult the archives and meet with archivists and academics across the European University Institute. "The grant recipients during the pilot phase benefitted greatly from this experience. They were able to further their research using our archives, but also engage with the EUI community and work on developing their networks in Europe."
Jakub Szabó, a doctoral student in Economics at the University of Bratislava, was the first researcher to take up a grant in 2021. "I would highly recommend that any researcher from the V4 countries interested in the history of European integration apply for this grant. It is a splendid opportunity for everyone, not only in the field of economics, but also in the fields of history, European studies, political science and law," he says.
Ana Shalamberidze, a doctoral student at Tblisi State University in Georgia who was awarded a grant in 2021, said "In Georgia, there is still no research centre dedicated to work on the European Union. I hope other people from this region will be able to take advantage of this opportunity."
The Historical Archives expects to make the first call for applications in early 2023. More information about the grant programme is available here.