Scholarships are awarded two times per year on a com­pet­i­tive basis to scholars, artists or journalists from V4 and non-V4 coun­tries who wish to con­duct research at OSA, and whose cur­rent research projects are rel­e­vant to the hold­ings and the given research pri­or­i­ties of the Fund and OSA.

The €3,000 scholarship is designed to pro­vide access to the archives, cover travel to/from Budapest, mod­est sub­sis­tence, and accom­mo­da­tion for a research period of two months. Scholarships for shorter peri­ods are pro-rated.

Altogether, 20 fel­low­ships are awarded annu­ally to selected applicants from V4 coun­tries.

Research theme within the Visegrad Scholarships at OSA in 2024/25

The Language(s) of Freedom(s)

The criticism about infringements of academic freedom, or about the radicalization of autocratic powers cannot do without an understanding of the loaded vocabularies of freedoms in the past and present, for both societies and their elites. A complex rethinking and recontextualization of the thinkers of liberties, including from the Cold War era, must also be undertaken, together with the truth-seeking adventures and projects from the past.

We invite historians, researchers, political scientists, sociologists and socially engaged artists to reflect on the past uses of the languages of (attaining) freedoms by taking cues from the Blinken OSA collections. The applicants are encouraged to reflect on the connections as well as on the differences between current times and the past by following some recommended sub-topics listed below.

  • the contribution to Eastern European intellectuals and dissenters to political philosophy in the past and present, the relevance and afterlife of their insights (clues: personal collections of Eastern European oppositionist and the RFE collections regarding their activities)

  • the comparative and different understandings of what constituted authorship and censorship

  • independentist movements in the 90s: the complex interplay of nationalism, decolonization, political freedoms, and their impact nowadays (clues: curated collection Winning Freedom, Ukraine 1989-1991 and similar collections from the Soviet Red Archives, Samizdat archives, Western Press Archives)

  • the representation and analysis of citizens’ aspirations within the communist regimes by internal and external observers; what was the understanding of political freedoms in relationship with other rights? (clue: the collection of audience and opinion surveys done by RFE and RL)

  • the fascination with the revolution and social movements among the Western intellectuals and the communist parties within the non-communist countries; self-reflexivity with regards the nature of real existing socialism (clue: Kevin Devlin collection)

  • the different meanings of freedom in the East and the West, and the transformation brought by the human rights paradigm

  • the complex status of the alternative movements and artistic phenomena within centralized socialist systems (from gray zones to radical opposition); the transformative meaning they gave to an official lexicon through their concern with “peace,” “futures,” etc.

  • the dysfunctional relationship between language and meaning and the ensuing concern for truth within different intellectual and scientific communities

  • the language of transnational politics in the 70s and the adaptation of local political visions to the language of Western liberatory international organizations (ILO, Helsinki institutions, Amnesty international), etc.

  • discursive strategies of Cold War observers, theorists and activists:
    - the usage of the term totalitarianism, analytical term or discursive mechanism revived by the transnational activism and history writing in the 70s and 1980s (a situation re-emerging now?)
    - the role of “liberatory” Western radios within the Cold War: political impact, protective strategies towards endangered oppositionist, documentation of issues then and now
    - what have was or could be achieved by preserving records documenting rights abuses? A critical assessment of and ways of repurposing human rights archiving in times of democratic backsliding.

The application process is run via the OSA website. Deadlines for applications are: 25 July, 15 November.

Application procedure

Please submit the following to OSA:

  1. Application letter in English (should specify expected period of stay and preferred dates).
    Please note that the Archive’s Research Room is closed during the Christmas period, and the research stay must end on the last day of the given academic year, July 31.

  2. Research description/plan in English (about 800 words and should include the following: introduction, presentation of the stage of research, literature on the subject, preliminary hypothesis, questions, identification of possible documents in the OSA holdings). Artists are expected to submit a portfolio, too.

  3. Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)

  4. Proof of officially recognized advanced level English language exam (native speakers and those with qualification from an English language institution/degree program are exempted)

  5. Names of two referees with contact address. Letters of reference are not needed.

The Application letter, C.V., the Research description/plan, the copy of a language exam certification and the Referees’ contact information should be sent by email to Katalin Gadoros at