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Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, University of Tartu

Submissions open: 
Thursday, November 14, 2019
Application deadline: 
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 23:59

Host Organization:    University of Tartu


Organization Profile:

The University of Tartu is Estonia's leading institution of research and higher education. Founded in 1632, it is one of the oldest universities in Northern and Eastern Europe. Today, the UT is the only Baltic university ranked among the best 350 universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2018,  Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018). It is also ranked as the best university in “New Europe” – the 13 nations that have joined the European Union since 2004 (Times Higher Education New Europe Ranking 2018). The UT’s competitive edge stems from research excellence and impact, as well as the quality of its learning environment.

The UT has about 13, 000 students (including over 1000 international students from 70 countries) and about 3000 employees (including 1500 academic staff members). It has four faculties, including the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Faculty Science and Technology.  During the 2018/2019 academic year, the UT had 56 BA curricula, 68 MA programs, and 33 doctoral programs. The UT has about 1300 doctoral students and awards more than a half of all doctoral degrees issued in Estonia. The UT has 80 partner universities in 31 countries. It offers a wide range of support services to its international students and staff.

City:      Tartu and Narva

Internship Department:     Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies

Department Profile:

The Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu combines top-level scholarly research with a dynamic, international learning environment at all three levels of higher education. It offers a Political Science BA program at the Bachelor’s level (in Estonian), five MA programmes (International Relations and Regional Studies, Democracy and Governance, EU-Russia Studies, European Studies, Central & East European, Russian & Eurasian Studies) in English and in Estonian, as well as a Political Science PhD program (in English). The institute has over 430 students and about 20 academic staff members. The Skytte Institute is one of the most international units of the University of Tartu, both in terms of staff and students. The Institute is ranked as one of top three political science departments in the new member states of the European Union (QS University Ranking by Subject 2019).

Research conducted at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies encompasses the main subfields of political science (comparative politics, international relations and political theory), as well as area studies (Baltic, Russian, East European and EU politics) and, more recently, research on the usage and impact of information and communication technologies. The main research directions of the Institute include:

  • democracy, elections, and government, including e-governance and e-voting;
  • identity, sovereignty and international relations;
  • memory politics and transitional justice;
  • Baltic politics and history;
  • Russian and East European Studies, with a focus on politics and international relations;
  • European integration and transatlantic cooperation.

The Institute’s research activities are organized under several clusters, including the Centre for Baltic Studies, the Centre for EU-Russia Studies, the Centre for IT Impact Studies, and a multi-disciplinary Centre for Applied Social Science. The Institute also hosts the Estonian National Election Study as well as the V-Dem Regional Centre for Eastern Europe and Russia.

The Institute has been successful in obtaining competitive research grants, including from the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, the Estonian Research Council and other domestic and international funders. Since 2011, the Institute has been very active in hosting and supporting foreign visiting scholars, post-docs and PhD students, and has developed a reputation as a reliable organizer of large-scale international conferences in political science and area studies.

Work description:  

The intern will have two main tasks:

1) Assisting with the organization of an international summer school entitled “The Soft Power of the European Union and Russia in Divided Societies,” held 29 June – 5 July, 2020 at the University of Tartu Narva College, Narva, Estonia. The summer school is organized in the framework of a Jean Monnet network BEAR (led by McGill University in Canada, more info: The summer school will focus on the issue of “soft power” of the EU and Russia at common borderland. The summer school will consist of one of week classes, research workshops and discussion sessions for graduate students. The intern’s tasks include communication with participants both before and after arrival, providing logistical and administrative support, collecting and analyzing participant feedback, and helping with reporting. The intern will be able to attend any or all summer school activities (lectures, discussions, study trips, excursions) free of charge. The intern will be based in Narva (third largest Estonian city on the border with the Russian Federation) during the week of the summer school. All preparatory and follow-up activities will be performed in Tartu.

2)  Assisting Dr. Piret Ehin with compiling a dataset on national and European Parliament elections and European political parties. The tasks include working with online resources such as the ParlGov database (, inserting data into an Excel file, and possibly conducting basic descriptive statistical analysis (if the intern has relevant skills or would like to acquire them). This work will be performed in Tartu, Estonia. The intern will work mostly independently and the work hours will be flexible.

Number of Opening(s):     1

Work Hours and Internship Start/End Dates: (Monday to Friday, June

22 –August 14, 2020):    Full time, five days a week.

Work Attire:     Casual

Local Language:     Estonian. Not required. English and Russian are also widely spoken.

Additional desired intern qualifications: 

An ideal candidate for the position:

- Has very good communication and writing skills in English.

- Being -motivated, punctual and reliable, and able to work effectively both independently and as part of a team;

- Has an interest (and at least some background) in political and societal developments in Russia, the countries of the former Soviet Union, or Eastern Europe.

- Previous experience with basic statistical analysis is an asset (but is not required). 

City or Cities: 
Tartu and Narva
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, and coterms who are undergraduates in all majors, including undeclared. Coterm students must still have undergraduate status.
  • Applicants must be current Stanford students during the internship period. Seniors must postpone graduation paperwork until the internship ends, but may participate in commencement. For summer graduation requirements, including details regarding enrollment requirements and information about participation in the June commencement ceremonies, students should contact their major department's student services office and Registrar's Office for graduation quarter petition.
  • Preferably, before beginning their internships, selected candidates should have taken at least one course regarding the internship region. The course can be taken in the spring quarter. 

For more internship positions provided by the Stanford Global Studies Internship Program, please see our internship listing

Each applicant can apply for a maximum of two program-arranged positions. If you apply more than two positions, we will only accept the first two applications based on the time of your submission. 

For more information, please see Eligibility and Stipend.

Time of Year: 
Open To: 


Stanford Global Studies Internship Program