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The SNF Awards $1.25 Million to the Institute of International Education to Launch Greek Diaspora Fellowship Program

Mar 03, 2016
The SNF 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 September 1st 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 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.