Niarchos Foundation Awards $1.25M to IIE to Launch Fellowship

40 Greek-Born Academics at U.S. and Canadian Universities Will Collaborate With Universities in Greece

March 3, 2016—The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has awarded a $1.25 million grant to the Institute of International Education (IIE) to launch the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program (GDFP). Over a period of two years, 40 U.S.- and Canadian-based Greek-born academics will receive Fellowships to visit Greek universities to create collaborative, mutually beneficial engagements between students, academics and universities. The GDFP Fellows will develop curricula, conduct research, and teach and mentor graduate students at universities throughout Greece.

In creating the new Fellowship program, the Institute of International Education (IIE), the leader in providing international education strategies and program services, will draw upon its expertise in managing major exchange programs for U.S. and foreign governments, foundations and corporations. The new Stavros Niarchos Foundation-funded program linking Greek diaspora scholars with Greek universities builds on the successful model that IIE and the Carnegie Corporation of New York created for the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program, which has connected 110 African diaspora scholars to universities throughout Africa over the past three years.

IIE will leverage its networks to convene an advisory council of thought leaders, coordinate with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Fulbright Foundation in Greece to extend its outreach to administrators and faculty members at Greek universities, and launch a competitive application and selection process to identify and match qualified scholars with fellowship opportunities. With the Stavros Niarchos Foundation grant, IIE will provide financial and project management to both the host institutions in Greece and the GDFP Fellows.

“The Greek diasporic communities around the world have always been and remain one of Greece’s most important assets. The Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program will reengage Greek academics who have left the country but want to contribute to strengthening its higher education,” stated Sarah Needham, an Education Program Officer at the Foundation. “Over the years, numerous Greek-born scholars have established distinguished academic careers in both U.S. and Canadian universities. Most of them have maintained intellectual ties with the motherland, but until now there has not been an effort to engage them in an organized and systematic manner. We hope that by reengaging them we will inspire short-term collaborations, as well as enduring relationships for the long-term benefit of Greece, putting a positive touch to the brain drain phenomenon that is reaching worrisome levels during Greece’s current socioeconomic crisis.”

“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s generous grant demonstrates the Foundation’s commitment to expanding Greece’s human capital and investing in the country’s long-term economic recovery,” said Allan Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education. “IIE has a long history of managing global fellowships, and we look forward to developing talent through the Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program in order to address challenges and harness opportunities across higher education in Greece and the United States.”

All projects are collaborations between the host institution and the visiting Fellow, with project requests submitted by the Greek universities. The online portal will be available beginning June 1, and project requests must be submitted by August 1 to be considered for the first round of grant selection. Prospective hosts are eligible but not required to name a proposed scholar in a project request, and host institutions and prospective Fellows may collaborate on ideas for a project that is then submitted by the institution. Greek-born academics in the U.S. and Canada who wish to be considered to collaborate on a project should email

About the Stavros Niarchos Foundation

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation ( is one of the world’s leading private international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. The Foundation funds organizations and projects that are expected to achieve a broad, lasting and positive impact for society at large, focusing on vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly, and also exhibit strong leadership and sound management. The Foundation also seeks actively to support projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare. 2016 marks the twentieth year of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s global philanthropic activity. Since 1996, the SNF has made grant commitments of $1.8 billion / €1.5 billion, through 3,316 grants to nonprofit organizations in 111 nations around the world.

In June of 2015, the Foundation announced a new grant initiative of €100,000,000 ($112 million), in addition to its standard grant-making activities, to help address the deepening crisis in Greece by providing immediate relief support to the most vulnerable members of Greek society. The new initiative follows on the heels of two earlier initiatives in 2012 and 2013 of €100,000,000 ($130 million) each. While the initiative in 2012, which has been completed, aimed as well to provide immediate relief against the adverse effects of the socio-economic crisis, the one announced in 2013 aims to address the high percentage of youth unemployment, seeking to create better employment prospects and new opportunities for the young.

The Foundation’s largest single gift is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), in Athens, to be completed in 2016. The project’s total budget of $831mil (€596mil) includes two grants of $6 mil (€5mil) each to the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera respectively, aiming to support the organizations’ transition to their new facilities. The project, designed by Renzo Piano, includes the new facilities of the National Library of Greece, and of the Greek National Opera, as well as the Stavros Niarchos Park. 

About the Institute of International Education (IIE)

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,400 member institutions.


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