What are you looking for?


  • four fellowships in the academic year 2024-25
  • researchers or professionals that have a relevant working background (selected amongst historians, archaeologists, social scientists, heritage experts, artists, journalists and/or cultural activists) based in formerly colonized countries with collections in the Netherlands


Annette Mullink, Partnership & Selection Officer, via partners@nias.knaw.nl

NIAS – NIOD – KITLV Fellowship: Moving objects, Mobilising Culture in the Context of (De)colonisation

This fellowship is intended for researchers from formerly colonised countries – including heritage practitioners, historians, archaeologists, social scientists, artists, journalists, and/or cultural activists – with an interest in (lost) collections or objects from those countries or regions that are kept in the Netherlands. We look forward to welcoming four fellows in the academic year 2024- 2025: two in the first semester, and two in the second semester. The fellowship is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science,

About the Fellowship

The Fellowship Moving objects, Mobilising Culture enables researchers and heritage practitioners from formerly colonised countries to access and conduct research on (collections of) objects – whether defined as cultural, historical, ancestral, art or otherwise – which are currently (lost) in the Netherlands, as well as on related archives and documentation. The fellows are invited to actively use, reflect on and engage with these collections, but are also encouraged to explore and (re-)establish connections with related collections and sites in the country of origin or other countries. Fellows are encouraged to follow queries regarding the social histories and valuation of objects, in relation to or beyond questions of restitution, and to seek for the signification of objects and their trajectories in space and time, beyond the framings of heritage institutions or national histories.

The Fellowship is designed to enable selected candidates to use their stay in the Netherlands to prepare, develop or realise autonomous research agendas, that may or may not lead to restitution requests by countries of origin, and to explore opportunities for innovative and societally relevant research on the social life of moving objects in the context of broader debates about the history, nature, and future of heritage.

The host and accommodating institution is NIAS. NIOD and KITLV will provide structural support and supervision. The fellows are encouraged to conduct research in depots, archives and collections of the museums that are affiliated to the Colonial Collections Consortium (Wereldmuseum, Rijksmuseum, Museum Bronbeek and the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands), and beyond.

Practical Information

  • The Fellowship Moving objects, Mobilising Culture hosts four fellowships in the academic year 2024-25. Two fellows are invited from 2nd September 2024 to end January 2025, and two fellows will be invited from 3rd February until end June 2025.
  • The duration of these four fellowships is five months each.
  • Compensation of travel costs within the Netherlands (max €500 in total).
  • Read the general information on what NIAS offers to fellows.
  • Read the practical information about attendance, accommodation and stipends.

Application and Selection

  • The Fellowships Moving objects, Mobilising Culture are by application only.
  • The fellowships will be awarded to researchers (selected amongst historians, archaeologists, social scientists, heritage experts, artists, journalists, and/or cultural activists) based in formerly colonised countries with collections in the Netherlands.
  • An application consists of:
    o Curriculum Vitae and list of publications, works or products
    o Preferred starting date (2nd September 2024 or 3rd February 2025)
    o Plan of activities to be carried out during the fellowship, max 500 words.
    o An outline of objects or collections in the Netherlands (and possibly abroad) to be researched, max 500 words.
    o Reflections on how this research relates to agenda’s, needs and questions in the country of origin, max 500 words.
    o Reflections on how this research may help in finding new local or supra-local histories that go beyond dominant frames of heritage institutions or states, max 500 words.
  • The fellows will be selected by a committee consisting of staff of NIOD, NIAS, and KITLV. The committee will rank and invite candidates on the basis of the information provided in the applications, but also strives to balance the group of fellows with a diversity of disciplinary, regional, and working experience backgrounds. Moreover, the selection committee will not focus on the best academic CV but will also consider alternative engagements with cultural heritage.
  • The application deadline is 18 March 2024, 12.00h (noon) CET.
  • Questions may be addressed to partners@nias.knaw.nl.
  • Candidates will be informed of the outcome of the selection procedure around the end of April 2024 (in the case of the starting date 2nd September 2024) or the end of June (starting date 3rd February 2025).


Past & present Fellows