Academy Job Shadow Days Report

Tessa Free at NIAS

Tessa Free, communication advisor for the Netherlands War Sources Network at NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, shadowed Kahliya Ronde, communication officer at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS).

Tessa Free visits Kahliya Ronde

Tessa Free, Fotografie Anne Reitsma

‘First of all, let me say how glad I am that the Academy organised these Job Shadow Days! It’s very instructive to see how our sister institutes tackle things and a lot of fun to explore another organisation on the inside.

I learned that there are a lot of similarities between Kahliya’s work and my own. We both work in relatively small teams. I’m solely responsible for communication regarding the Netherlands War Sources Network (Netwerk Oorlogsbronnen), a programme facilitated by NIOD. And the same can be said of Kahliya’s work at NIAS. So we talked a lot about how we structure our work, for example: what do you spend a lot of time on? What would you like to do but almost never get round to?

Kahliya is currently developing a new website for NIAS. I developed the website for the War Sources Network last year, so we talked about her plans. Another similarity is that we’re both more focused on communicating with our own networks (B2B) than on outward communication, with the public (B2C). Kahliya tends to be in contact with co-sponsors and the universities where NIAS fellows are employed (and also mainly with the war heritage sector). Communication with the general public runs through these parties.

Besides talking shop, I went on a guided tour of the building and to top it all off, I was invited to attend the award ceremony for the Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship. The recipient, Franjo Weissing, is a professor of theoretical biology at the University of Groningen. He is sceptical about the theory of cultural evolution and will be working on his ideas during his fellowship at NIAS.

NIAS is a dynamic and inspiring organisation because the fellows here are driven to make the most of their research. And with new fellows joining the ranks every so many months, it’s a very lively environment.’

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Franjo Weissing at the award ceremony for the Distinguished Lorentz Fellowship