Summer Research Laboratory


June 12 – August 4, 2017


For more than 40 years, the Summer Research Laboratory (SRL) on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia has provided a vital comprehensive research opportunity, giving researchers access to unparalleled library resources and to one of the top five library collections for the REEE region in North America. SRL allows scholars to advance their research, forge professional connections through workshops and conferences, and share their research data, methods, and findings with with US government (USG) departments and agencies.

REEEC originally established SRL to provide access to the extensive holdings in the Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Collection at the International and Area Studies Library to scholars with limited resources at their home institutions. Over time, REEEC and SRS have developed a range of integrated programs to enhance the research experience of associates. SRL is held during an eight-week summer session, the first four weeks of which often include discussion groups, lectures, conferences, and other networking events, while the final four weeks are dedicated independent library research.

SRL is open to all scholars with research interests in the Russian, East European, and Eurasian region for eight weeks during the summer months from mid-June through the first week of August. SRL provides scholars access to the resources of the world renowned University of Illinois Slavic, East European, and Eurasian collection within a flexible time frame where scholars have the opportunity to receive one-on-one research assistance advice from the librarians of the Slavic Reference Service (SRS).

For graduate students, it provides an opportunity to conduct dissertation research prior to going abroad and a way to prioritize which resources to target after exhausting materials found within the US.

Applicants to SRL are encouraged to consider studying an area language at the Indiana University Summer Language Workshop from June 5 to July 28. Funding in the form of Title VIII fellowships and other sources is available to eligible applicants. For more information and to apply:


Due to a change in funding for SRL, we have revised our grant guidelines and eligibility requirements. Before submitting an application, please read the Grants page carefully.

Faculty and graduate students who are citizens of Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kosovo, Laos, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Palestine, Serbia, Tajikistan, Tunisia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan may consider applying to the Open Society Foundation’s Civil Society Scholar Awards to secure additional funding.

For programming information, click on Lab Programs in the right sidebar.


All applicants are required to submit an online application, a research proposal and, if applying for funding, a clearly formulated statement of research relevance by March 15, 2017. For more details on application requirements, please select the SRL Application tab in the right sidebar.

2017 SRL Application


  1. Do I have to attend all summer?
    No, the Summer Research Lab (SRL) is designed to be flexible. You may attend at any time while SRL is in session.
  2. I’m not sure how long I want to stay; how should I go about planning my stay at SRL?
    Err on the conservative side when deciding how long you wish to stay at SRL. It is always easier for us to add days to your account than subtract them. If a reimbursement needs to be made for your housing, we cannot simply refund your credit card, since the reimbursement process through the university can be lengthy. Please give REEEC at least one week’s notice if you decide to change your length of stay; otherwise, you will be charged any nights you don’t cancel well in advance of your departure.
  3. Is it difficult to acquire funding for SRL; how constrictive is the funding process?
    Funding for SRL is competitive. Eligible applicants with strong proposals are more likely to receive funding for their research. Eligibility requirements and grant guidelines will be announced in January.
  4. Isn’t SRL only for Humanistic Scholars and Historians? I need current periodicals and new publications, not archival material.
    SRL has resources for a wide range of scholars from many different fields and disciplines including but not limited to Law, Business, and STEM. The resources at Illinois are extensive, and include current periodicals and new publications. There are many items to which SRS provides access that are not available anywhere else in the US. Please see the Russian and Slavic Studies collection and services page or the Slavic Reference Service web page for additional information.
  5. Does SRL require me to participate in workshops or planned events?
    No, but SRL often provides extra programming for the benefit of the associates who come to use the resources at Illinois. None of the programs are required in order to attend SRL.
  6. Can I access any of the resources after I leave the lab?
    Yes! Often when scholars do research during the Summer Research Lab, they find more resources than they can fully investigate in one visit. The Slavic Reference Service librarians are very adept at loaning circulating items through Inter-Library Loan (ILL).
  7. Why should I visit, if SRS is willing to loan so much material via ILL?
    For graduate students, SRL is a great opportunity to develop good relationships with the Slavic librarians at the Slavic Reference Service. They are ready to use their specialized knowledge to help you do research on your dissertation or research project. SRS librarians will work with associates long after they leave SRL. Additionally, an in-person visit gives scholars the opportunity to access specialized materials that carry constraints due to particular governmental and copyright restrictions. Scholars who utilize SRL also have access to the main stacks at the University Library.
  8. Am I allowed to make digital copies of materials that I would like to take with me after I leave?
    Absolutely! Graduate students in the past have really appreciated the ability to create their own digital library of the resources acquired during SRL.
  9. Is SRL only for preliminary research, or does SRL have more in-depth resources that would cater to more specialized research?
    SRL can assist both preliminary and advanced stages of research. SRL also facilitates access to hard-to-find materials that are not located anywhere else in the US. This can be especially helpful to scholars who have done their preliminary work using more available resources.
  10. How should I pay for Housing and Parking charges?
    If possible, please pay your Housing and Parking charges when you arrive with a credit card or a check. After payment, any changes to your length of stay cannot be reimbursed to your account. REEEC must issue a check reimbursement that may take several weeks to process.
  11. What are the library hours for the Slavic Reference Service?
    Slavic Reference Service hours correspond to the Main Library hours of operations. These hours are determined shortly before the start of each session. SRL dates correspond with the University’s Summer Session 2. Please check the Library website at the beginning of June for a full schedule of Library hours. When planning your trip to SRL, please be aware that the library will be closed on July 4th and is open limited hours on weekends.
  12. Can I bring a guest?
    Yes. If staying in a room at Presby Hall, you will be asked to pay for the additional occupant. Guests may also access the library after registering with SRL and paying the registration fee.
  13. What kind of funding is available?
    All SRL applicants (domestic and foreign) are eligible for grants. Housing grants are available for graduate students (up to 10 days) and other scholars (up to 5 days). The grants are intended for a shared three-four bedroom suite. If individuals desire a single suite, they are responsible for the additional fees. A limited number of travel grants are available to qualified graduate students (domestic and foreign) on a competitive basis. Preference will be given to those at the advanced level. All eligibility criteria specified on the grants page applies. Grants are for up to $300, depending on distance and type of travel. The Fisher Fellow and Open Society Foundation’s Civil Society Scholar Awards are also available for participants. Please see their specific details to apply and determine eligibility.