Van Woudenberg Dissertation Prize

Gerda Van Woudenberg 300x300

Gerda Van Woudenberg

The Friends of the KNIR Foundation will award the Van Woudenberg Dissertation Prize for the sixth time on the upcoming Summer Event, which is expected to be organized in June 2024. This biennial prize is named after Gerda van Woudenberg, translator and teacher of Dutch Language and Literature at the University of Rome La Sapienza. On her death, she left a considerable amount of money to the Friends of the KNIR. The prize is paid from the proceeds of this bequest.

The Van Woudenberg Dissertation Prize is awarded to a researcher who recently obtained his or her doctorate and who has used a stay at the KNIR in an inspiring way for his or her PhD research. The prize consists of a cash prize of €3,000, of which €1,000 is free to spend. The remainder of the amount ( €2,000) is intended for the organization of a workshop at the KNIR, either on the topic of the dissertation or on follow-up research; all this, of course, in consultation with the KNIR staff members.


• Candidates for the Van Woudenberg Dissertation Prize have completed and successfully defended a dissertation on a subject within Italian studies in the broadest sense of the word and no later than two years before 31 December 2023. This may involve original historical research, special archaeological fieldwork or original art-historical material study – but these are only examples. The prize is not tied to a specific discipline and the research achievement may have been delivered in any field.
• The candidate stayed at the KNIR for their study.


Candidates can send their dissertation to the secretary of the Friends of the KNIR Foundation up to and including 31 January 2024 (preferably digitally, as a PDF): Charlotte van Emstede
Singel 76
3112 GR Schiedam


The dissertation must be accompanied by the following documents:
• a motivation for submission in which the candidate explains how the research is original and relevant to the field of Italian studies, and how the research period and facilities at the KNIR have proved indispensable;
• a proposal for the implementation of the workshop of a maximum of 1 A4, containing the subject of the workshop, a synopsis of 300 words, an initial proposal for implementation (speakers, excursion) and an initial budget;
• the contact details of the researcher and supervisors.
Entries will be judged by an independent jury on aspects of originality and specialness, readability, the importance of the dissertation for the development of Italy studies in the
broadest sense of the word, and the extent to which the research period and facilities of the KNIR have been conditional to conduct the research.


Previous Laureates

2024   Dr. Niels Graaf, Judicial Influencers: Scholarly Use of Foreign Law and the Convergence of German, Italian and French Ideas on the Position of National Constitutional Courts in the EU Legal Context (Universiteit Utrecht, 2022)

2022   Dr. Anna-Luna Post, ‘Claiming Fame for Galileo: Reputation and Scholarly Credibility in Early Modern Italy’ (Universiteit Utrecht, 2020).

2020   Dr. Dina Titan, ‘The origins of instrumental diminution in Renaissance Venice: Ganassi’s Fontegara’ (Universiteit Utrecht, 2019).

2018   Dr. Anne Huijbers, ‘Zealots for Souls. Dominican Narratives of Self-Understanding during Observant Reforms, c. 1388–1517’ (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, 2017).

2016   Dr. Eva Mol, ‘Egypt in material and mind. The use and perception of Aegyptiaca in Roman domestic contexts of Pompeii’ (Universiteit Leiden, 2015).

2014   Dr. Han Lamers, ‘Reinventing the Ancient Greeks: The self-representation of Byzantine scholars in Renaissance Italy’ (Universiteit Leiden, 2013).