Research networks that received support 2020-2021

The board of Circus has in November 2019 decided to support six new research networks which will start in January 2020.

The Interdisciplinary Island and Seascape Research Cluster

Ferry with cars between two islands.
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There are around 600 million islands in the world. Despite the fact that they make up a small percentage of the total land mass, they have played a significant role in the history of humanity. How can we face tomorrow’s challenges by studying islands and seascapes from a long-term perspective? In this project, researchers gather around questions of how climate change impacts eco systems, how life is shaped by the particular dispositions of islands and seascapes, and how these spaces are used by local inhabitants and external stakeholders as heritage sites, as tourist destinations, and as scientific laboratories. The network includes researchers from Archaeology, Heritage Studies, Anthropology, Ethnology, Management, Physics, History, Sociology, Geoscience and Engineering Science.

Project leader: Helene Martinsson-Wallin, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Archaeology,

TextWorlds: Global Mapping of Texts From the Pre-Modern World

Babylonic kil script stone.

From Egyptian hieroglyphic papyri and Babylonian cuneiform tablets to Inka quipu knots, Chinese oracle bones, and Viking rune stones - texts from the pre-modern world form a critical basis for our knowledge of the past. But how do these bodies of historical source material compare? How many are there? And where do they come from? TextWorlds brings together scholars from Assyriology, Latin, Turkic, Old Norse, History, Archaeology and Digital Humanities to explore text corpora of the pre-modern world in a comparative perspective.

Project leader: Rune Rattenborg, Department of Linguistics and Philology,

TextWorlds: Global Mapping of Texts From the Pre-Modern World

Justice, Sustainability and Arctic Futures

Oil pipe in Svalbard
Photo from

The Arctic region is right now experiencing large geopolitical shifts and climatic change. How can the response to these challenges be made in a just and fair way? Artic Futures gathers researchers to investigate the pre-conditions for creating sustainable development in the Arctic by researching aspects of justice in global climate initiatives and economic expansions currently under way. By looking at how different ethical systems can be part of regional and national governance and political goals, the project aims to develop theoretical models for how to safe-guard equality and justice in future sustainability initiatives. The network gathers researchers from International Relations, Geography, Theology, Anthropology, Social Science and Business Studies. 

Project leader: Corine Wood-Donnelly, Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies,

Migration as a legal and political process

Walking family (shadows).
Photo from

Migration is one of the major social challenges of our time and decision makers need a solid knowledge base in order to meet these challenges. The network Migration as a legal and political process brings together researchers from different disciplines who approach legal and political dimensions of migration in a number of ways. Traditional migration research has often started from the notion of migration as movement in space, over borders. But where a person is located geographically may not necessarily be decisive for his or her migration status. Therefore, the project aims to study migration as a movement in time, that is as a temporal process. Time as in a person’s age and time spent at a particular location may play an important role in the identification of who is counted as a migrant, as well as where, how and why this is the case. The network gathers researchers from Law, History, Philosophy, Social Science and Theology.

Projektledare: Rebecca Thorburn Stern, Department of Law,

HERO- den högre utbildningen som forskningsobjekt

Studenter in white tail and white cap at the stairs at the University building, Uppsala University
Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

Given the enormous expansion of higher education in recent decades and its increasing strategic significance in society, it is surprising that relatively little research has been conducted in this field in Sweden. HERO investigates questions regarding the organisation and governance of education, its social structures, and the foundations for the university as an idea. The network gathers researchers from Political Science, Business Studies, Education Studies, History of Ideas, and Philosophy. The network has twice been awarded support from CIRCUS between 2017-2020. Since 2021, HERO is its own research center, Centrum för högre utbildning och forskning som studieobjekt (HERO).

Project leader 2017-2019: 
Mikael Börjesson, Department of Education,

Project leader 2019-2020:
Linda Wedlin, Department of Business Studies,

Studies on Education, Migration and Segregation (EMS)

Two boys next to a school yard.
Photo: Mostphoto

Sweden is witnessing an increase in ethnic and socioeconomic segregation, both in terms of housing and education. The negative effects of these two segregation processes primarily impact socially and economically disadvantaged groups. One group that has increasing difficulty in asserting itself on the housing market and on the educational market consists of individuals with a foreign background, i.e. people who are born in another country or whose parents have migrated to Sweden. EMS gathers researchers from Sociology of Education and Culture, Housing and Urban Research, and Social and Economic Geography to study the social, spatial and societal effects relating to education, migration and segregation.  

Project leader: Håkan Forsberg, Department of Education,

Last modified: 2022-09-06