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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 NIAS has to offer, and what a fellowship entails.

Advantages of the Netherlands

  • Internationally oriented country where almost everyone understands and speaks English
  • Excellent scientific infrastructure – all universities listed in the 200 best universities of the world
  • Many long-established universities with a solid tradition in the humanities and social sciences
  • Many unique collections and archives across the Netherlands
  • Public transport system is extensive and easy to use
  • Fast internet everywhere and excellent mobile phone coverage

Advantages of Amsterdam

  • A dynamic scientific environment and home to two universities: the University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam
  • Houses 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, and library of the International Institute for Social History (IISH)
  • Two of the humanities institutes of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) as well as the Academy itself, are located just across the street
  • All other Dutch universities, research institutes, laboratories, special collections and archives can be reached easily by public transport within hour a few hours
  • A rich cultural life with famous museums, music venues and Art Galleries
  • Diverse in terms of background, religion and orientation

"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)

  • What we offer
  • Homepage
  • Individual Fellowships 4
  • Homepage 5
  • Home community
  • Accommodation

Work at NIAS

A fellowship at NIAS offers you an environment conducive to bring academic work to fruition.

  • NIAS is located in a 17th-century historical building in the heart of the old city centre of Amsterdam
  • An office
  • Computer, international telephone connection, fast internet cable connection, Wi-Fi, Skype sets
  • Library service that delivers books (almost) to your door steps
  • Access to personal office 8.00 – 20.00 weekdays; 10.00 – 17.00 at the weekend
  • Free coffee, tea and chilled water
  • Hot lunch served 12.30 weekdays with good company and lively discussions
  • An international year group with fellows from abroad and from the Netherlands
  • English as working language at the institute
  • An engaged community of advanced scholars, authors, artists and journalists
  • Weekly academic seminars and regular social activities
  • Facilities to organise short academic workshops
  • Facilities to organise public events
  • An inclusive and safe working environment for all fellows, regardless of gender, race, age, religion, sexuality or cultural background

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


The NIAS community is made up of fellows from the Netherlands, and abroad. Fellows from abroad are automatically eligible for accommodation. Fellows from the Netherlands who live more than an hour and a half by public transport from Amsterdam Central can apply for accommodation. Fellows from the Netherlands who live less than a 1.5-hours’ journey by public transport to Amsterdam Central, commute to NIAS.

NIAS offers accommodation on top locations against subsidized rates:

Twelve furnished single occupancy studio apartments in the heart of Amsterdam

  • Studios of about 80 m with a private bathroom and fully equipped kitchenette
  • Each studio with unique décor in tastefully restored 17th-century building
  • Large fully-equipped communal kitchen, lounge, dining room (and grand piano)
  • Two minutes’ walk to NIAS


Six furnished two-bedroom modern apartments (for fellows with families)

  • In a popular residential area of Amsterdam 20 minutes by tram to NIAS
  • Modern light apartments, sitting room, two bedrooms, bathroom and fully equipped kitchen
  • Nearby train, tram and bus links to centre and Schiphol; supermarkets, restaurants, outdoor market, schools, nursery, general practitioner and more


  • Researchers who work at Dutch universities or institutes can apply for a replacement subsidy. This is financial compensation to cover (part of) the costs to replace teaching obligations (as stated in their university employment contract).
  • Researchers who work and live abroad and stand to lose income because of the fellowship can apply for a stipend.


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