History of the Niels Stensen Fellowship

Since the early 1960s, the Niels Stensen Stichting - renamed the Niels Stensen Fellowship in 2012 - has awarded grants to enable young postdoctoral students to gain international experience abroad early on in their careers.

The Niels Stensen Fellowship is a programme implemented by Porticus, the international organisation that manages the grant-giving programmes of charitable entities established by Brenninkmeijer family entrepreneurs. The work of both Porticus and the Niels Stensen Fellowship is inspired by Catholic social teaching, in which the key values of human dignity and social justice are carried out. 


The mission of the fellowship is to contribute to the formation of excellent scholars who are also socially committed.

A socially committed researcher has developed a personal vision concerning the relevance and impact of their research: he or she works with integrity, engages in a dialogue with society and demonstrates a willingness to share their knowledge with colleagues and students.

The Niels Stensen Fellowship Committee is of the opinion that staying between nine and twelve months at a foreign university or research institute is a good way to encourage young scholars to extend their research skills, their network and their experience of life.

In the more than fifty years that scholarships have been provided, close approximately 300 young people have gone into the world in the name of science. More than 100 of them have gone on to become professors at renowned academic institutions.