Spotlight on 25 Years of Grantmaking: Notes from SNF Grants Administrator Loukia Synodinou
02 August 2021



What’s a site visit that stands out in your memory?

A visit etched into my memory is one to the islet of Daskalio, located opposite the island of Keros, for the Keros Cambridge Project. I would never have imagined that a tiny piece of land like Daskalio could reveal such major archaeological discoveries, discoveries which lead to the conclusion that Keros hosted the first maritime sanctuary in the world.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has supported the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge in various aspects of its research work on Keros. During this visit, I realized the importance of grants to projects such as this, through which we get to uncover a place’s past and the history of its inhabitants, but also realized the significance of these discoveries for our current era.

Beyond the significance of their findings, another striking aspect of the project was the difficult working conditions of the archaeologists who had traveled from different parts of the world to participate in the project.

What’s your favorite part of working at SNF?

One aspect of my work at SNF I can readily single out is free access to knowledge. I remember, when I was interviewing for the position I now hold, I expressed interest in learning more about the multifaceted work of the Foundation across various areas. The answer I received was that I would have the opportunity to learn as much as I wanted, about any program area or grant I wanted, without limit. This really does happen on a daily basis. All my colleagues are willing to share information, collaborate around specific grants, or help you learn more about a specific program area where SNF is active.

This way, you get a comprehensive overview of the needs that exist in our society, in different areas, from different perspectives, in different social groups, and different parts of the world. It’s magical to be able to know the needs of an organization in a small town in India as well as those of a major organization that’s active internationally, and to contribute to meeting them.

Loukia Synodinou, SNF Grants Administrator, Athens
Originally from the island of Amorgos, Loukia loves traditional Greek dance and has been a member of the SNF family for three years