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NIAS and the UAF introduce Scholars-at-Risk Fellowship

NIAS and the UAF introduce Scholars-at-Risk Fellowship

NIAS and the Foundation for Refugee Students UAF have set up a new fellowship as part of the Scholars-at-Risk programme for scholars who are not free to carry out their research in their own countries without fear of reprisals. The first Scholars-at-Risk Fellowship at NIAS was awarded to the Cameroonian philosopher Dr Dieudonné Zognong.


“Scientists who cannot work without fear in their home country need our help,” says Nick den Hollander, NIAS’s Head of Academic Affairs. “We are committed to providing a safe-haven at NIAS. Institutes for Advanced Study have a long-standing tradition of offering sanctuary to scholars. In fact, Princeton, founded in 1930, opened its doors to Jewish scholars from Europe fleeing Hitler’s anti-Semitism. With the Scholars-at-Risk Fellowship, NIAS hopes to continue this tradition.”

Scholars at Risk

The Scholars-at-Risk Fellowship is part of the international Scholars-at-Risk programme, dedicated to protecting threatened scholars, preventing attacks on higher education communities and promoting academic freedom worldwide.

The agreement between UAF and NIAS was officially signed on 2 October 2014, at the UAF’s annual Scholars-at-Risk event.

Mardjan Seighali (Director UAF) and Paul Emmelkamp (Rector of NIAS) sign the agreement.

First SaR Fellow

Dieudonné Zognong, is a lecturer in Ethics and Moral Philosophy from the University of Yaoundé I (Cameroon). As a human rights activist involved in numerous human rights NGOs, Dr Zognong met with opposition in his home country. He is currently working on a book about the rise of religious entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa, and the human rights violations that this can lead to. Dr Zognong will be at NIAS for the full academic year, until end of June 2015.

About the UAF

The Foundation for Refugee Students UAF provides financial support and guidance for educated refugees and asylum seekers, who plan to study in the Netherlands. The Foundation also helps graduates to find a job that matches their qualifications. Each year, the UAF helps about 3000 students prepare for further education.

The UAF has set up the Dutch and Flemish branch of the international Scholars at Risk programme.

About NIAS

The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) offers residential fellowships of three, five or ten months to individual scholars and groups of researchers. It provides a place to reflect, study and write as well as the opportunity to interact with colleagues from around the world. NIAS is an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).