We want CSSM to be a hub where social scientists interested in microbes can encounter each other but, most of all, we want those encounters to be productive. To achieve this, we have designed a series of activities that can be organised by anyone and where anyone can participate, no matter where they are in the world. Becoming a part of the CSSM is as easy as participating or contributing to any of our activities.
CSSM hosts three international visiting scholars each year, for 1-3 months each. During their visits, fellows will be able to participate in joint activities and pursue their own research that should push the boundaries of existing social knowledge about microbes. They will come to Helsinki in cohorts to take advantage of synergies between visitors. Any researcher at any stage of their career and from anywhere in the world is welcome to apply. Scholars from the Global South and members of minorities are especially invited to apply. The CSSM has also budgeted funds to cover your expenses and make sure anyone is eligible to visit.
The Centre hosts one artist-in-residence per year, for 6 months each. The residency’s aim is to produce collaboratively new ways of knowing microbes with researchers and various publics, opening to non-textual, embodied, and practice-based knowledges. All lines of artistic work that have microbial foci are eligible. In recruitment, we will use similar selection criteria of commitment, creativity, and collaboration as for postdocs and fellows.
The CSSM also offers opportunities to scholars looking for longer term research projects. The centre offers postdoctoral (2 and half years) and PhD positions. People applying for these positions will bring their own project, aligned with the centre’s interests with the objective of pushing the boundaries of existing social knowledge about microbes. As Helsinki-based researchers, they will become part of the core group and actively participate in deciding the direction of the CSSM. Scholars from the Global South and members of minorities are especially welcome to apply. The CSSM has also budgeted funds to cover potential expenses from moving to Helsinki and make sure anyone is eligible to apply.
CSSM will organise regular workshops for theory and methodology production of various formats: e.g. fermentation, art practice, and DIY laboratory biohacking. Workshops challenge how we make knowledge by involving social and natural scientists, artists, and DIY communities. Workshops are non-representational ways to pursue microbial relations, and are an opportunity to engage with dominant scientific understandings. We will run workshops that experiment with new forms of knowing microbes, giving space to sensory and embodied epistemic practices. This commitment stems from calls to decolonise knowledge production, which we take not only to stand in for a de-westernisation of knowledge but something more profound about de-centring humans, and pursuing care for living beings at large.
Each year, the Centre will provide a competitive small grant to organise an external seminar on a theme and at the location proposed by the applicant. Vision, innovation and creativity will be key factors in selecting recipients for this grant. Applicants from the Global South and members of minorities are especially welcome to apply.
Annually, we will organise a week-long international PhD school and mentor doctoral candidates to guarantee prolongation of the productive networks for collaboration beyond the duration of the programme. The school will offer a regular venue for a new generation of social scientists to establish collaborative efforts and become an internationally identifiable research community.
The CSSM offers opportunities for participation and collaboration. There are calls multiple times per year for visiting fellows, an artist residency, and international seminars. One can also participate in our Helsinki-based workshops, seminars, and PhD schools. If you are based in Helsinki, to join the Centre, just come to one of our events, get to know us, and get engaged in microbes and more!