The Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters is an independent foundation that furthers excellent, fundamental, curiosity-driven research.
CAS' primary objective is to further excellent research by providing its fellows with uninterrupted time for research. Since its opening in 1992, the Centre has hosted more than a thousand researchers.
CAS was established by the Academy in 1989, and is organised as an independent foundation with a board appointed by the Academy, the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR), and the Research Council of Norway (NFR). The Centre is located in the historic building of the Academy.
Fellows at the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) hold lunch seminars every semester. Here, Heather Swanson gives a talk about domestication.
New research every year
Each year, CAS hosts three research groups working on projects within and across the fields of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
All faculty members who hold permanent research positions at CAS' partner institutions in Norway are eligible to submit a project proposal and assemble and lead the corresponding research group at CAS.
Project leaders can invite researchers from around the world at any stage of their careers to participate in the project -- whether for an entire year or for a few months. CAS projects often include Ph.D. candidates and/or postdoctoral fellows, which promotes career development and mentorship.
Each year, 40 to 45 researchers from 10 to 15 countries participate in CAS projects.
Following an application process that includes an international peer review, the CAS Board of Directors selects three projects for a one-year residency. Project leaders are then given two years to plan for their stay at CAS.
The deadline for applications for the 2021/22 academic year is 14 January 2019.
Read more about the application process: https://cas.oslo.no/apply/
‘Most productive year of my career’
The scholars at the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS) work in bright and well-equipped offices. Inger-Maren Rivrud was part of the research project Climate effects on harvested large mammals.
CAS fellows often describe their stay at the Centre as the best and most productive year of their career. The reason for this success is that CAS offers a range of services that enable fellows to focus exclusively on their research.
CAS assists fellows with accommodation, conference planning, IT and library services, and provides lunch every day. CAS also helps fellows who want to bring family members during their stay in Oslo with finding suitable kindergartens or schools.
2018/19 CAS projects - From mathematics to religion
Fellows eat lunch together every day in the turret room at the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS). Here, Professor Houston Smit and Professor Jon Swenson.
A cornerstone of the CAS concept is that the Centre facilitates for communication and cooperation across research fields. The 2018/19 CAS projects highlight that goal:
The Demise of Religions explores how and why religions go extinct. The scrap heap of history is full of discarded religious groups and traditions. Some were gradually replaced by new religions and forgotten, others were exterminated along with their faithful. By taking a comparative approach, this project aims to investigate what happens when a religion disappears, and what that can tell us about the life cycle of other cultural phenomena.
In Sync: How Synchronization and Mediation Produce Collective Times, Then and Now deals with collective experiences. Living in a society means experiencing things together -- not just major events like elections, sporting events, and parades, but also small, everyday happenings. This project will study how societies from the 18th century to the present are organised around such events, and the important role that different media play in ensuring that they take place.
Homotopy Type Theory and Univalent Foundations is built on two fundamental questions within the field of mathematics: ‘What is a proof?’ and ‘What does it mean to be equal?’ The answers to these questions have varied throughout the course of history. Today, scientists can use powerful computing tools to verify mathematical proofs, but then the challenge is to find a language that is both efficient and expressive enough. The scholars behind this project believe that homotopy type theory is the solution.
Read about former and future CAS projects here.
Scientific director of Centre for Advanced Study (CAS), Professor Camilla Serck-Hanssen. Etisk råd for forsvarssektoren
Scientific Director Camilla Serck-Hanssen
The day-to-day operation of CAS is handled by a scientific director and an administrative team of five staff members. One-third of the scientific director’s position is reserved for his or her own research.
In 2018, the CAS Board of Directors appointed Professor Camilla Serck-Hanssen as the sixth scientific director in the Centre’s history. The chair of the board is Professor Rolf K. Reed.
Serck-Hanssen is a professor of philosophy at the University of Oslo (UiO). She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego, and her research focuses on the history of philosophy during the 17th and 18th centuries -- in particular the works of German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Serck-Hanssen is president of the Norwegian Kant Society, serves on the board of several international philosophy networks, and is co-editor-in-chief of the scholarly journal Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.
At UiO, Serck-Hanssen has served in multiple leadership roles, including as dean of research and head of department. She is one of three directors of the project Conceptual Engineering, which is supported by a FRIPRO Toppforsk grant from the Norwegian Research Council.
In addition to her work at UiO, Serck-Hanssen leads the Norwegian Defence Ethics Council. She previously served on the Norwegian Press Complaints Commission and as the vice president and leader of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
Serck-Hanssen has first-hand experience with the CAS concept. During the 2015/16 academic year, she co-led the CAS project Disclosing the Fabric of Reality - The Possibility of Metaphysics in the Age of Science.