Valmynd Leit


Karelian Institute - University of Eastern Finland (UEF)

The Karelian Institute (established in 1971) is a regional research unit of the University of Eastern Finland. Its research activity derives its orientation from the University's location within a sparsely populated northern periphery, close to the Russian border. The three intertwined and multidisciplinary thematic priorities of the Karelian Institute are: 1) regional and rural studies, 2) ethnic and cultural studies, and 3) border and Russian studies. Commissioned expert assignments are conducted by the Institute’s Centre for Regional Research, Spatia. ( The number of staff at the Karelian Institute is approximately 40.


In the priority area of regional and rural studies, the Karelian Institute is currently the Finnish Contact Point of the ESPON research programme (, and carries out several research projects funded by the Academy of Finland, Finnish ministries and the EU. The ESPON team at the Karelian Institute comprises Prof. Heikki Eskelinen, Prof. James Scott, Dr Sarolta Nemeth, Mr Matti Fritsch and Mr Timo Hirvonen. Contact:


Examples of European projects at the Karelian Institute


Lead Partner

  • 2011-2014 EUBORDERREGIONS, European Regions, EU External Borders and the Immediate Neighbours. Analysing Regional Development Options through Policies and Practives of Cross-Border Co-operation, Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) (European Union).
  • 2010-2014 Crossborder Cooperation Practices, ‘Mediascapes’ and Relative (Un)Familiarity  in the Finnish-Russian and Finnish-Estonian Contexts, (European Science Foundation (EUROCORECODE) and Academy of Finland)
  • 2010-2012 ESPON 2013 Programme: Nordic-Baltic Dialogues on Transnational Perspectives in Spatial Planning



  • 2010-2012 ESPON 2013 Programme: Territorial Cooperation in Transnational Areas, Between Regions and Across Internal/External Borders (TERCO)
  • 2006-2009 “EUDIMENSIONS: Local Dimensions of a Wider European Neighbourhood: Developing Political Community through Practices and Discourses of Cross-Border Co-operation”, Sixth European Framework Programme for Research and Technology (FP6) (European Union).


The Finnish national website is at

Contact: Heikki Eskelinen


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