This paper considers the relations between political power and scholarly activity during the period of the communist regime in Slovakia, then part of Czechoslovakia. Taking the example of a research project on the Ukrainian minority, undertaken by the Slovak Academy of Sciences during the years 1954–70, the paper traces the relationships between scholars and politicians and among academic institutions in the Czech lands and Slovakia, and the interventions by political power in academic work. The author focuses on the following questions: how did the project originate, and what were its aims and results? In what political, economic and social context did scholars undertake the project? How did the power relations between scholars and politicians develop and change in the course of the project? Why did political power intervene in research of the Ukrainian ethnic group? The paper draws upon M. Foucault’s views on the exercise of power, develops questions of the legitimacy of power (R. Barker), conceives scholarly work as an activity of a certain kind (P. Rabinow), and concentrates on the actors in power relationships, their strategies and motivations. Empirical data for the answer to research questions were acquired from archival documents about the project and from interviews with scholars who had participated in its work. The findings from analyses show what the specific possibilities and limits were for scholars functioning in the respective network of power relationships. They furthermore reveal a gamut of successful or unsuccessful strategies which scholars employed to bring about changes in the processes of the exercise of power.