Professor Thea Hilhorst wins prestigious Spinoza Prize

For her work on the impact of humanitarian aid on society

The International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam is proud to announce that Professor Thea Hilhorst has been awarded the prestigious Spinoza Prize for her work on the impact of humanitarian aid on society and the ways in which people and institutions shape the organization of aid relations.

The Spinoza Prize is the highest award in Dutch academia. It is awarded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) each year to researchers for their outstanding and groundbreaking research with a broad social impact. The prize comes with a bronze statue of its namesake, 17th century Dutch scientist Baruch Spinoza, and prize money of 2.5 million euros to be spent on academic research.

Professor Hilhorst is considered one of the founders of the relatively new research area of humanitarian studies. Her work is highly significant in the context of current global challenges such as international migration, climate change and pandemics.

Conducting research that is meaningful and that makes a real difference in global development and social justice

Professor Hilhorst is internationally recognized as a leading figure in the further development of humanitarian studies. Crucial to Hilhorst’s approach is cooperation with academics and practitioners in the countries and regions affected and the establishment of local centres and expertise networks.

In awarding Professor Hilhorst with the Spinoza Prize, the Spinoza committee noted her critical research into what she terms ‘resilience humanitarianism’: aid that focuses on building the resilience of the recipients themselves.

The committee also recognized Hilhorst’s conviction that academic research should be meaningful and make a real difference to global development and social justice.

Award ceremony

Professor Hilhorst and the other Laureates will be awarded their Spinoza prize during a festive ceremony on Wednesday 5 October 2022. During the ceremony the Laureates will elaborate on their research and on how they intend to spend the 2.5 million euro prize money.

What is the Spinoza Prize?

NWO Spinoza Prize

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