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Institute of Advanced Study


2018/19 IAS Fellowship Scheme is open to receive applications

Applications for Fellowships in 2018/19 are now being accepted. Closing date – 30 June 2017. 

Launched in October 2006 to mark the 175th anniversary of the foundation of the University, the IAS aims to foster creative interdisciplinary thinking – and to communicate this to public audiences – through dialogue and collaboration across disciplinary boundaries. The Institute seeks to catalyse new ideas by bringing together internationally recognised academics as well as writers, artists and practitioners. 

At its core lies a generously funded International Fellowship programme which allows the IAS to invite scholars to Durham from the full spectrum of the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities to address research themes of global significance.

Fellows may contribute to the any of the four major projects support by the Institute during 2018/19 (see: and/or collaborate with other Durham scholars. 

An IAS fellowship provides the holder time to develop their research and ideas in a thriving academic community of scholars. Fellowships are offered for a three-month period between October to December 2018 and January to March 2019. 

Full details and information about the scheme can be located here. 

(18 May 2017)

Professor Nicholas Saul organises and addresses conference ‘Novalis und die Medizin’ ‘(Novalis and medicine’) at the International Novalis Society

Professor Nicholas Saul both organised and spoke at the conference of the Internationale Novalis-Gesellschaft 4-7 May 2017 to mark Friedrich von Hardenberg’s 245th birthday and also the 25th anniversary of the Society's foundation. The conference took place at Schloß Oberwiederstedt, the Hardenberg family Stammschloß (ancestral castle) and Novalis’s birthplace, in Sachsen-Anhalt. 

22 papers by leading international scholars including Nicolas Pethes, Alice Kuzniar, Dietrich von Engelhardt, Heinz Schott, Manfred Engel and Jürgen Barkhoff were delivered on the theme of 'Novalis und die Medizin‘ (Novalis and medicine). Professor Saul, who is Vice-President of the Socitey, spoke on ‘Blüthenstaub. Leben und Mitteilen. Zum Kommunikationsbegriff der Romantik’. 

The conference was sponsored by the State of Saxony-Anhalt (Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff), the Alfred Krupp von Bohler und Halbach-Stiftung, and the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina in Halle.

(12 May 2017)

Chris Gollon

It is with sadness that we announce the death, following a short illness, of artist Chris Gollon, who was an IAS Fellow in 2009, and a member of St Mary’s College. At the IAS, Chris worked on a series of paintings as part of the Institute’s Being Human theme. His work made a further impression in Durham in 2015, when the Cathedral hosted an exhibition of his series of paintings about women in the Bible. Former IAS Director, Professor Ash Amin, notes that:

Chris was an exemplary artist in residence during our Being Human theme, observing and working with the academic fellows, and always present at their lectures and seminars. After three months he produced an astonishing number of paintings based on his engagement at the IAS. Modest to a fault, few knew what a great artist we had in our midst. We were overjoyed by the two paintings he donated to the IAS. His death is a tragic loss felt by all of us who were privileged to have known him. 

An established name in British painting, Chris first became known as a finalist in The Spectator Prize in 1989, and exhibited with Yoko Ono, David Bowie and Gavin Turk in 1998. In 2000 he was commissioned by the Church of England to paint 14 Stations of the Cross, and in 2004 he exhibited work in St Paul’s Cathedral with Bill Viola, Craigie Aitchison and Tracey Emin. His paintings are now included in the collections of several major museums and art galleries, and he also collaborated with film makers JABOD in 2005 to create a new cinematic art work, featuring over 500 of his paintings set to music by Gavin Bryars (with Tom Waits), Paolo Conte and Calexico. The film installation, entitled ‘Kaleidomorphism', was successfully premiered in 2008 at the East End Film Festival in London.

Further information about his work, and his involvement at the IAS is available at: or at his home website

(9 May 2017)

Reading the Flowers: a new poetry collection by former IAS Fellow Linda France

Reading the Flowers
began during Linda France's 2010/11 Leverhulme Residency at Moorbank, Newcastle University's Botanic Garden and led to a tour of Botanic Gardens across the UK, Europe and Australasia including: Italy, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Kew, Benmore, Dawyck, Sheffield, Linn and Durham Botanic, as well as culminiating in her visiting IAS Fellowship during 2013/14. 

Nature and culture meet in this collection of Linda's poems looking at flowers cultivated and wild, trees in the garden and the rainforest, plants and creatures that live alongside them under the microscope of memory and imagination.

(28 Apr 2017)