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Virtual Summer Research Laboratory on Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia, 14 June - 8 August 2021, Online

Publish Date: Feb 17, 2021

Deadline: Mar 03, 2021

Event Dates: from Jun 14, 2021 12:00 to Aug 08, 2021 12:00


June 14 – August 8, 2021



The Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC) and the Slavic Reference Service (SRS) at the University of Illinois are excited to announce a Call for Applications for the 48th annual  Summer Research Laboratory (SRL) program. Traditionally, the SRL is an in-person event, with scholars receiving support to travel to Champaign-Urbana.  Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, this year’s SRL will be held as a Virtual SRL(VSRL), with REEEC and SRS working to support scholars through remote, virtual programming, research assistance, professional development opportunities, and collections and database access.

This year’s VSRL is made possible by generous support from the US Department of State, through its Program for Research and Training on Eastern Europe and Eurasia Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (Title VIII).


  • Designation as a REEEC Virtual Summer Research Laboratory Associate.
  • Virtual research support for general and specialized queries throughout the Summer and beyond. Associates may also request a personalized bibliographic session with the Slavic Reference Service through Zoom.
  • Access to digital and database collections of our Library for an extended period.
  • A free of charge duplication service for University of Illinois Library materials. Restricted to 15 pages per request and subject to copyright restrictions.
  • Thematic and skill-building workshop events as well as opportunities to present and discuss work in progress. For a list of topics, organizers, and dates, see below. 
  • US citizens are eligible to apply for a $1000 Title VIII Research Award to support their research work.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE (Application Coming Soon!)

Applicants must provide a short narrative explaining their research project, and indicate how they will benefit from access to University of Illinois resources and participation in the VSRL. Researchers conducting policy-relevant research projects will be prioritized for Title VIII grant support. All applicants must also submit a short-form CV. US Citizens who are applying for research support must also provide a clearly formulated statement of policy relevance, as described below.


  1. Should public health and travel conditions permit, may in-person research visits to the University of Illinois be possible, as in years past?
    At this point in time, due to the global pandemic, there is no in-person access to our Library’s collections and all public programming is happening remotely. Because of this uncertainty, our full focus right now is on assuring remote research support and virtual programming.  We are not reserving, as in years past, dormitory housing for in person visits. That said, we will update participants about conditions on campus and possibilities for in person research as they emerge.
  2. When can I participate in the program?
    Participation in the Virtual Summer Research Lab is flexible. You may participate at any time between June 14 and August 8, 2021.
  3. How are Title VIII Research Awards awarded?
    Title VIII Research Awards are awarded on a competitive basis. Eligible applicants with strong proposals are more likely to receive funding for their research. VSRL awards are made by a committee of scholars derived from the Research Laboratory Advisory Board and University of Illinois faculty.
  4. What kind of funding is available?
    US citizens who are applying to the VSRL are eligible for research stipends, funded by the Title VIII program (Title VIII Research Award). Successful applications will receive a stipend in support of their work ($1000).
  5. Can I access any of the resources after my time at the VSRL?
    Yes! The Slavic Reference Service librarians are very adept at loaning circulating items through Inter-Library Loan (ILL) and assisting you with any follow-up research requests. The SRS is committed to supporting REEES scholars year-round. 
  6. Why should I participate in the VSRL, if SRS is willing to loan so much material via ILL?
    VSRL is a great opportunity to develop good relationships with SRS librarians. They are ready to work with you one-on-one and use their specialized knowledge to assist with complex queries associated with dissertation research or long-term projects. SRS librarians have a long history of collaborating with VSRL Associates long after they leave the VSRL. Additionally, a virtual visit gives scholars the opportunity to access and utilize one of the largest research collections in North America. Scholars who utilize the VSRL also receive electronic access to an extensive collection of databases and digital collections (including free of charge scans of materials through the SRS duplication service).
  7. Am I allowed to make digital copies of materials that I receive from the VSRL?
    Absolutely! You can create your own digital library of the resources acquired during the VSRL.
  8. Is the VSRL only for preliminary research, or does the VSRL have more in-depth resources that would cater to more specialized research?
    The VSRL can assist both preliminary and advanced stages of research. The VSRL also facilitates access to hard-to-find materials that are not located anywhere else in the US. This can be especially helpful to scholars who have done their preliminary work using more available resources.
  9. What are the library hours for the Slavic Reference Service?
    The Slavic Reference Service is ready to assist scholars Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm (Central Time). Applicants with questions regarding library collections and services can contact the SRS at 


US citizens applying for Title VIII financial support must also upload a Statement of Policy Relevance. This statement should comprise a brief project abstract (up to 500 words) that draws a connection between your research topic and any aspect of US foreign policy issues, strategies, emphases, or concerns. The extent to which a project is policy-relevant will vary with the field of study, but most research pertaining to the region informs our understanding of, helps contextualize, or otherwise holds implications for the history, nature, or legacy of policy considerations. A partial list of contemporary policy-related topics might include security issues of all sorts (e.g., border, military, energy, food, and water security); conflict, extremism, terrorism, trafficking, violence, and international criminal syndicates; government, politics, sociopolitical movements, state building, elections, populism, and the cult of political personalities; Cold War studies and the  legacies of state socialism; environmental policy, degradation, and climate change; displaced populations and demographic movement (political, economic, and climate-change refugees, migrants, and immigrants); studies of social identity and difference (gender, sexualities, ethnicity, nationalism, class, religion and belief); information access and dissemination (freedom of the press, communications, education, journalism, social media); international and supranational alliances; technological advances and artificial intelligence (e.g., aeronautical, bio-, communications, computer, information, medical, nano-, and military technology); and artistic and popular culture engagement with or commentaries on any of these topics, whether through literature, film, music, visual art, dance, or other expressive culture media. In short, applicants are asked to indicate how their research might inform, resonate with, or otherwise contribute to the understanding of regional topics of concern to policy makers as well as the scholarly community.


Climate and Society in Eurasia: Past, Present, and Future - June 28 - July 2 

  • Organized by: Andy Bruno (Northern Illinois University) and Pey-Yi Chu (Pomona College)

A Woman’s Work is Never Done: Female Life and Labor across the Imperial, Soviet, and Post-Soviet Eras - July 10-11

  • Organized by: Colleen Lucey (University of Arizona) and Alexis Peri (Boston University)

Media Culture in Balkan and Eurasian Muslim Communities - July 15-16

  • Organized by: Laura Olson Osterman (University of Colorado Boulder) and Wendell Schwab (Pennsylvania State University)

Frozen Conflicts in Eurasia: Origin, Status and Outlook - Dates TBD

  • Organized by: Cynthia Buckley (University of Illinois), Ralph Clem (Florida International University), and Erik Herron (West Virginia University)

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC) at 

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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