NIAS is an institute for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences. Each year, the Institute invites around 50 carefully selected scholars, both from within and outside the Netherlands, to its centre in Wassenaar where they are given the opportunity to do research over a ten-month or five-month period. Fellows carry out their research either as individuals or as part of a research theme group.
The Institute is ideally situated in Wassenaar, nine kilometres south of the historic university town of Leiden, and twelve kilometres north of The Hague, the Netherlands' seat of government.
The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) was founded in November 1970 by the joined universities of the Netherlands after consultations with the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Its foundation was approved of by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Since January 1988 NIAS has been an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. The initiator of NIAS was Professor E.M. Uhlenbeck.
The aim of the Institute is to foster advanced research in the humanities and social sciences and to stimulate interdisciplinary scholarly co-operation in an international setting. See also the Institute's Mission Statement and the Policy plan for the years 2011-2014.
NIAS awards residential fellowships to approximately twenty-five scholars from the Netherlands and a further twenty-five from outside the Netherlands. Fellowships awarded to foreign scholars usually carry a stipend while compensation for teaching duties is available for scholars from Dutch universities . A certain number of the Fellows are conducting their research within the framework of a research theme group, other Fellows are pursuing individual research only.
Fellowships cover a full academic year of ten months (September-June), one semester of five months (September-January; February-June), or - in special cases - a fixed three month period.
All fellowships are awarded on the recommendation of a Scholarship Committee, whose members are appointed by the Board of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Every year, the Rector, advised by the Scholarship Committee, tries to put together a stimulating group of Fellows who are likely to find common areas in which co-operation and interaction may prove especially fruitful.
In addition to regular NIAS Fellowships the Institute hosts special Fellowship programmes, such as the Willem F. Duisenberg Fellowship, Golestan Fellowship, KB Fellowship, Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship, Lorentz Fellowship, Spinoza Fellowship, and the Henry G. Schermers Fellowship. There is a Visiting Grant programme for younger scholars from Eastern Europe and Africa and a EURIAS Fellowship programme. At the Rector’s personal invitation, Guests of the Rector spend a short period at the Institute. Finally, NIAS has special programmes for a Writer-in-Residence, a Journalist-in-Residence, and a Literary Translator-in-Residence.
Under the supervision of the Board of the Royal Academy, the Rector is responsible for formulating the policies of the Institute and for stimulating the Fellows in their research. She works in conjunction with the Heads of the four departments within NIAS. They are assisted by a Staff of approximately twenty persons.