The SI Summer Academy for Young Professionals (SAYP) 2017

The Swedish Institute (SI) invites young professionals to apply for participation in SAYP 2017.

SAYP is a training programme developed to build new networks, knowledge and practices for increased transparency, efficiency and resilience in public administration in the Baltic Sea region and in the EU Eastern Partnership countries. The programme also aims to strengthen young professionals and their individual capabilities to meet the requirements of a modern governance structure.

This year, the programme offers three different thematic modules that applicants may choose from, depending on which topics within sustainable modern governance they are interested in.

The programme consists of three main components; the first takes place in the participants’ home countries in the form of preparatory meetings and/or reading of material provided by the thematic module organisers. This is followed by an intense thematic two-weeks-module in Sweden during the period of June–August. The module is followed up in the participants’ home countries during autumn, in the form of, for example study visits or workshops.

After participating in SAYP, all former participants become members of the SI Alumni Network, a vast professional and global contact network meant to keep building good practices and mutual learning processes for a sustainable future. SI also offers SAYP alumni exclusively the opportunity to apply for Peer shadowing, a short-term mobility grant which allows for week-long visits to an organisation in another country, where the visiting peer can closely follow/shadow one or several colleagues to observe/study how their workplace/organisation is structured and functions in practice.

In 2017, SAYP offers three separate two-week thematic modules with 30-35 participants each. The modules, which have different topics/focus, are held at Malmö University between 13-24 June, at Linköping University 7-18 August, and Lund University 14-25 August.

The application period for SAYP 2017 is 16 January – 19 February 2017.

Who can apply?

The programme is targeted primarily at young professionals (up to 35 years old) already employed in the state structures, working with development of policy and measures to create a more transparent, resilient and efficient public administration. But SAYP has a cross-sectoral ambition and we also welcome participants from other parts of the society, if the thematic focus of the module is relevant for the candidate’s professional development, and to the work at his/her home organisation.

In 2017, we are focusing on young professionals from these groups:

  • Policymakers (politicians, government officials, employees of political parties)
  • Public servants (non-political civil servants working at government agencies)
  • Civil society workers (CSO/NGO volunteers/employees)

A general requirement for any applicant is a good command of English language and a relevant education, consisting of at least three years of previous studies. Previous participants of SAYP are not eligible to apply.

Eligible countries

Citizens of Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Sweden and Ukraine up to 35 years old may apply to SAYP. Young professionals employed in any of the above-mentioned countries but with a citizenship of another country in the Baltic Sea region are also qualified to apply. Young professionals currently not working in any of the eligible countries according to the above cannot apply.

Practical details

Participation in the programme is offered free of charge and includes, meals, accommodation and travel expenses to Sweden. Some minor expenses may be expected during the stay in Sweden, depending on what the participants choose to do in their spare time and during the free days in the weekend.

How to apply?

The application is made electronically, using the SI online application portal. You need to go through the following steps in order to apply for participation in SAYP 2017:

    1. Choose a module that you find interesting and relevant to your professional development (see a short description of the modules below). Keep in mind that while it is possible to apply for several of the modules, you may only attend one of them. Therefore, in the motivation letter you should select which modules you are interested in, and in what order/priority.
    2. Prepare your Motivation letter according to the SI template. Motivation letters in any other templates or formats are NOT valid. Make sure to read the questions in the Motivation Letter thoroughly and be specific and personal in your reasoning. Without exception, answers may not exceed the allowed number of characters (letters and spaces) for each question.
    3. Prepare your Curriculum Vitae (CV) in the Europass format of maximum 3 pages. A CV submitted in any other format than the Europass is NOT valid. Additional pages will be disregarded.
    4. Prepare a Letter of Reference. It is recommended to use the SI template. Remember that a letter of reference that is not signed is NOT valid.
    5. The application must include an English language certificate. If you do not have an English language certificate, prepare the SI template to be submitted with your application. An English language teacher or other professional, who can evaluate your English language proficiency, may sign the template to validate your English language level. To participate in SAYP 2017 we will require at least English 6 or Independent User B2 (in average) according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
    6. Apply using the SI online application portal and attach the necessary enclosures. The link to the application portal will be available on this page during the application period 16 January – 19 February 2017. Remember that an application that has not been submitted within this period will not be taken into consideration.

Key dates and deadlines for SAYP 2017

  • 16 January-19 February 2017: Application period
  • March 2017: Successful candidates are confirmed for participation
  • 12–23 June 2017: Thematic module, held at Malmö University
  • 7-18 August 2017: Thematic module, held at Linköping University
  • 14-25 August 2017: Thematic module, held at Lund University
  • October–December 2017: Evaluation, peer shadowing and follow-up activities

Programme outline

In 2017, SAYP will be held as three separate thematic modules. While it is only possible to attend one of the modules in Sweden, applicants may apply for one, two or all three modules. In this case, please rank the modules in your application. Below you find a short description of the three modules of SAYP 2017.

Module title: Sustainable Public Management

Malmö University 12–23 June 2017

The module Sustainable Public Management aims to strengthen young professionals in their work to create a more transparent, resilient and efficient public administration in the participants’ countries. The module consists of two parallel tracks.

The first track is structured thematically and will cover topics such as: public management, governance, transparency, leadership, gender equality and public ethics. Each topic is introduced by a lecture, followed up by a group seminar, and completed with a practically oriented seminar with representatives from a Swedish governmental agency. The idea is to within each theme move from a theoretical and research perspective to a more practical and tool-oriented discussion. The Swedish cases presented at the seminars will serve as examples for discussions on issues pertinent to all public servants, regardless of cultural or organisational context.

The second track is oriented towards project management and group work. Throughout the module, each participant will participate in a multinational group exercise, working with specific tasks in order to facilitate mutual learning processes. Specific focus will be directed towards cross-sector collaboration and social and public innovation. At the end of the course, each project group will present a project connecting to one or several themes of the course. The group work will be facilitated by a series of lectures on project management with focus on cross-sector collaboration and social and public innovation.

For more information, please visit the Malmö University thematic module website.
Contact at Malmö University: Tom Nilsson, tom.nilsson(at)
Read more about Malmö University here.

Module title: Sustainable e-Governance for Resilient and Innovative Democratic public administration (SeGRID)

Linköping University 7–18 August 2017

Digitalisation is characterising our time in many different ways and challenging all parts of the society when opening for new practices. Public administration is indeed influenced by the digitalisation both by new demands from citizens and other actors using the technology and forming new social practices and internally by demands from professionals and policy makers aiming to improve public efficiency, transparency, accessibility and other public values by smart use of digital technologies. e-Government has to search for new ways to be sustainable, legitimate and effective and gain the confidence of citizens required to state. There is also a challenge to design e-Government so as to reach everyone and manage public organisations at local as well as global levels. This use of digital technologies in public administration and democratic processes is grasped by the concept e-Government. There are needs to continuously strive for a more sustainable e-Government, where resilience and innovation is guiding the modern democratic public administration. The aim of this module within the program SI Summer Academy for Young Professionals (SAYP) is to develop skills and address challenges around sustainable e-Government in a digital society through an interactive learning anchored in both theory and practice.

The pedagogical approach of interactivity, knowledge building, sharing and application characterizes the entire module. The module is preceded by small, preparatory pre-studies in the participating countries and two webinar discussions on the goals, expectations and the work methods in the module. The thematic module is based on a number of key interactive lectures, mirroring work groups and case studies – led by researchers and practitioners from Sweden, on e-government, public organisation and administration in Sweden, with focus on challenges, lessons and best practices. The discussions from the lectures are subsequently mirrored in smaller work groups so that they focus more specifically on reflections and questions that connect to the respective countries realities.

For more detailed information, please visit the Linköping University thematic module website. Contact at Linköping University: Elin Wihlborg, elin.wihlborg(at)
Read more about Linköping University here.

Module title: Perspectives on Multi-level Governance, Decentralisation & Human Rights

Lund University 14–25 August 2017

This module within the Summer Academy for Young Professionals (SAYP) will focus on decentralisation within public administration and how human rights can be implemented on a regional and local level. The module combines theory with a high level of practice, including lectures, seminars/workshops with highly qualified staff from Lund University, with study visits to relevant organisations and institutions. This combination enables the participants to get a deeper insight in public administration, as well as exchange experiences and establish new contacts and networks between all participating countries.

The module will have a clear focus on decentralization of public administration and implementation of human rights on regional and local levels. After finishing the programme, the participants will have an enhanced knowledge of these issues and have gained tools that can be used in working within this area. The participants will also have gained knowledge about Swedish public administration, and about methods for working with development and human rights in such a decentralised public administration. The participants will also gain new contacts and establish new networks for their future work.

For more detailed information, please visit the Lund University thematic module website.
Contact at Lund University: Alexandra Hertz, alexandra.hertz(at)
Read more about Lund University here.

Contacts at SI