Helga de Valk new director of NIDI

19 May 2020

Helga de Valk has been appointed by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences as director of the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) with effect from 1 November 2020. De Valk takes over from Leo van Wissen.

Helga de Valk has been theme group leader Migration and Migrants at NIDI (since 2014) and professor Migration and the life course at the University of Groningen (RUG). She is an international expert on migration and integration issues, the transition to adulthood of migrant youth, the second generation, segregation and European mobility. De Valk received a number of leading research grants such as the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant (2010) for research on migrant families and an ERC Consolidator Grant (2018). In the ERC Consolidator Grant she investigates the mobility of young migrants in Europe.

International experience

De Valk has led a series of international research projects. She also gained broad international work experience at among others the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Bocconi University Milan and CUNY Graduate Center New York. She was editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Population (2014-2018) and winner of the European Demography Award (2016). De Valk is currently a member of the Advisory Committee on Migration Affairs (ACVZ) and president-elect of the European Association for Population Studies (EAPS).

Inspiring scientist

De Valk has a convincing vision and strategic insight concerning the course of NIDI, both in terms of research and cooperation with (foreign) institutions and organisations. She is undoubtedly in a position to reinforce the national and international added value of NIDI. Furthermore, De Valk is an inspiring scientist with an enthusiastic personality and extensive network, which makes her well placed for leading the institute.


NIDI, one of the ten research institutes of the Academy and affiliated with the University of Groningen, conducts high-quality scientific research on population issues. NIDI is also committed to translating demographic knowledge and information for users in science, policy and society. In order to meet the challenges of demographic developments for people and society, NIDI builds and maintains a knowledge infrastructure for population issues. These include population growth and decline, migration and migrants, labour and retirement, population ageing and diversity, life cycle dynamics, intergenerational relationships, and health and longevity. The current director and Professor of Economic Demography (RUG), Leo van Wissen, will focus entirely on research as of 1 November.