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On Intellectual Exchange
On Intellectual Exchange

On Intellectual Exchange

“NIAS aims to be a place of intellectual exchange. But what exactly is this intellectual exchange? What are the most fruitful contacts between researchers; how proximate should scholars be in order to help each other develop their ideas? As a witness of different cohorts passing through NIAS, I can conclude that there are few  ‘golden standards.’

Except for this: one should be able to acknowledge the idiosyncrasies of one’s own discipline, the limits of one’s knowledge and an eagerness to learn from other traditions, approaches, and epistemologies. Not to necessarily agree but to be able to put one’s own discipline and research interests into perspective: to relativize them – not to become relativistic, but to deviate from established pathways, and to be ready to ask new questions.”

Jan Willem Duyvendak, Rector of NIAS

What NIAS offers

General information about what the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study offers, and what a fellowship entails.

An Intellectual Haven

NIAS offers an intellectual haven to a diverse year group of international scientists, writers, journalists and artists and provides these NIAS Fellows with the opportunity to devote themselves to an independent research project of their own design. Each year, NIAS hosts around fifty fellows.

During the period of their fellowship, these talented individuals can work with a minimum of interruption by external obligations and are free to challenge boundaries, explore detours, deviate from the status quo and to approach intellectual confrontation head on. The core of a fellowship at an Institute for Advanced Study consists of being able to withdraw as much as possible from other work-related obligations. Therefore, being present four days a week at the Institute is required, for Dutch and international fellows alike.

The institute aims for a balanced year group in terms of academic cultures, gender, phase in career, and disciplines. NIAS puts extra effort into attracting talented scientists from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America, and aims for a cohort that is comprised of one third of scholars with affiliations from these continents. Scholars with a Dutch affiliation will make up another third of the cohort, and scholars with a European or North American affiliation make up the remaining third. English is the working language at the institute.

"NIAS is an excellent institute. It is a service orientated and welcoming place for reflection, imagination, a haven for intellectual retreat that offers a break from everyday routine to make room for creativity and inspiration, and thus for better research" External review committee (2018)

Time, Space and a Passionate Learning Community

A fellowship at NIAS offers fellows an environment conducive to bring curiosity-driven work to fruition.

The institute does so by offering the following services and facilities:

  • An office, shared or single, equipped with a computer, international telephone connection, fast internet cable connection and Wi-Fi
  • Library service that delivers books (almost) to your door steps
  • Hot lunch served on weekdays with good company and lively discussions
  • Weekly academic seminars
  • Grant writing group
  • Creative writing workshop
  • Interdisciplinary reading groups
  • Opportunities to organise expert workshops
  • Opportunities to organise public events
  • Social and cultural activities
  • Subsidized accommodation (for the conditions, please read Practical Matters)
  • Financial support (for the conditions, please read Practical Matters)
  • What we offer
  • Homepage
  • Individual Fellowships 4
  • Homepage 5
  • Home community
  • Accommodation

Located in the Centre of Amsterdam

In 2016 the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study moved from the dunes in Wassenaar to the historical heart of the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam. The office building is situated in the quiet and peaceful Sint Jorishof. The NIAS Fellows House finds itself in the vicinity of the offices, a three-minute walk.

Amsterdam offers a dynamic scientific environment with two universities, the University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam; unique archives and libraries, such as the “Special Collections” of the University of Amsterdam, the war archives of NIOD, Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, library of the International Institute for Social History (IISH) and The Black Archives. Furthermore, it houses two of the humanities institutes of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) as well as the Academy itself, located just across the street.

All other Dutch universities, research institutes, laboratories, special collections and archives can be reached easily by public transport within a few hours.

Amsterdam enjoys one of the lowest costs of living of the European capitals, and is famous for its rich cultural and social life with museums, music venues, restaurants and festivals. Moreover, the Dutch capital city offers a highly diverse environment in terms of ethnic backgrounds, lifestyles and religious orientation of its citizens, with 180 different nationalities living together in the city. Amsterdam is internationally oriented with the majority of inhabitants speaking English.

If you are interested in applying for a NIAS fellowship, please read this information about financial and practical matters carefully.

More information about how and when to apply.

"Freedom, creativity, and the sense that time is no longer the enemy but my friend"