Professor Peter Hans Matthews works as a Fulbright-Aalto Distinguished Chair scholarship holder at the Department of Economics

Fulbright programmes and scholarships are highly appreciated in the United States
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Photo: Aalto University/Mikko Raskinen

The Fulbright Finland foundation is aimed at promoting wider exchange of knowledge and professional expertise between Finland and the United States through educational links. The foundation develops and manages scholarship programmes for students, researchers and professionals in different fields. Additionally, it provides internationalisation services to support high-quality mobility as well as higher education and research cooperation.

Timo Korkeamäki, Dean of the School of Business, is the Chair of the board of Fulbright Finland. ‘Fulbright has a highly valued brand in the USA, which helps it attract high-quality visitors to Finland and Aalto. Finns, on the other hand, should explore Fulbright Finland’s scholarship programmes. The programmes could be used more proactively to support Aalto University’s strategy and to deepen our US collaboration,’ says Korkeamäki.

Peter Matthews
Peter Matthews

Fulbright Finland grants scholarships to American researchers and students arriving in Finland. Late last August, the School of Business’ Department of Economics and Helsinki Graduate School of Economics welcomed Professor Peter Matthews to the position of Fulbright-Aalto Distinguished Chair. He came from his home university, Middlebury College in Vermont, where he is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics.

‘I am a behavioral economist who often uses experimental methods. These days, I am especially interested in political economy, in particular the causes and consequences of political polarization and democratic regress. While in Finland, I am working on several projects, old and new, related to this theme, with a variety of collaborators.’

Finland has become familiar

Peter Matthews also taught macroeconomic policy to MA students during the third period, and really enjoyed interacting with both Finnish and international students. ‘Indeed, a number of conversations have continued even after the course was over.’

‘As a side note, my partner, Carolyn Craven, who is with me in Finland, taught a course at Aalto's Mikkeli campus. Carolyn is a development economist and award-winning children’s book author.’

Peter Matthews is a regular visitor to Finland. He held the Fulbright-Hanken chair in 2017/18 and has been a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Aalto since then, spending several weeks here every year - so the environment is familiar. ‘We continue to appreciate all that Helsinki region and, more broadly, Finland have to offer. This time we will remain long enough to enjoy another juhannus (Finnish Midsummer)!’

Interested in hosting a Distinguished Chair? 

Application period for academic year 20252026 is open 

In accordance with an agreement between Aalto University and the Fulbright Finland Foundation, Aalto seeks every year a Distinguished Chair visitor from the United States for a period of 3–9 months. Distinguished Chair awards are viewed as the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Programme. 

For the US scholars it is an opportunity to conduct research and teach at Aalto University. For Aalto, the programme gives a possibility to welcome distinguished scholars in our community, to strengthen and to deepen our collaboration with the U.S. partners.

The application period for US scholars to join Aalto during academic year 2025–2026 is currently open. An invitation from the hosting department is required. The application deadline is in September. For the current round, the following schools/departments can invite scholars: School of Business, School of Chemical Engineering, School of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering, and School of Science Department of Applied Physics. The grant award is funded by the hosting department/school.

More information on the Distinguished Chair Program: (log in required)

Department of Economics

The Department of Economics provides a comprehensive insight into the functioning of economies and the environment in which companies operate.

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