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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.

NIAS offers an intellectual haven for researchers, writers, journalists and artists to pursue their research or projects, to work in an interdisciplinary environment and to share their knowledge with society. Participating in NIAS’ international and interdisciplinary community inspires the generation of new approaches and ideas that will bring ground-breaking work to fruition. Each year, a new group of about 50 fellows is formed. Below you find general information about what a fellowship entails.

Please note that as of 1 December 2021, the conditions of a NIAS fellowship will slightly change. The information below will be updated as soon as possible.  

"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)

Work at NIAS

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

  • An international year group with fellows from abroad and from the Netherlands
  • English as working language at the institute
  • A work environment that is, in terms of pressure and pace, probably the calmest, slowest and the least competitive place in the Netherlands
  • An engaged close-knit interdisciplinary intellectual community of scholars, authors, artists and journalists that is open, diverse and inclusive
  • Hot lunch served 12.30 weekdays with good company and lively discussions
  • Weekly academic seminars and peer group sessions
  • Regular social and cultural activities
  • Access to  your office 8.00 – 20.00 weekdays; 10.00 – 17.00 at the weekend in the 17th-century historical NIAS building in the heart of the old city centre of Amsterdam
  • Computer, international telephone connection, fast internet cable connection, Wi-Fi, Skype sets
  • Library service that delivers books (almost) to your door steps
  • Free coffee, tea and chilled water
  • Facilities to organise short academic workshops
  • Opportunities to organise public events
  • Fellows from abroad receive support from NIAS and In Amsterdam (an expat center) with official matters and formalities such as residence permits
  • What we offer
  • Homepage
  • Individual Fellowships 4
  • Homepage 5
  • Home community
  • Accommodation

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, library of the International Institute for Social History (IISH) and The Black Archives
  • 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 a few hours
  • Amsterdam enjoys one of the lowest costs of living of the European capitals
  • A rich cultural and social life with famous museums, music venues, restaurants and festivals
  • Diverse in terms of background, religion and orientation, with 180 different nationalities living in the city

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

Advantages of the Netherlands

  • Internationally oriented country where almost everyone understands and speaks English
  • First-ratesccientific 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
  • Metropoles like Paris, Berlin and London can be easily reached within a few hours by high-speed rail services
  • The Netherlands is known for its healthy work/life balance, with a culture of working part-time


The NIAS community is made up of fellows from the Netherlands, and abroad. Fellows from abroad are automatically eligible for accommodation, against subsidized rental rates. 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 studio apartments for singles or couples 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


Four furnished two- or three bedroom modern apartments (for fellows with children)

  • In a popular residential area of Amsterdam 20 minutes by tram to NIAS
  • Modern light apartments, sitting room, two or three 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 grant. This is financial compensation to cover part of the costs to replace teaching obligations (as stated in their university employment contract).
  • Fellows who work and live abroad and stand to lose income because of the fellowship can apply for a stipend.
  • We believe that a fellowship is beneficial to the applicant as well as to the applicant’s home institution and academia at large. Financial funding by NIAS is limited and does not add up to a full salary. Fellowships are therefore generally supported by the applicant’s own faculty or institute.
  • The amounts awarded are adapted to individual circumstances, with a maximum of 3.800 euro per month for late-career fellows.


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