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Ismintha Waldring receives grant from VCAS/VU Talent Fund

2 September 2021
The VCAS/VU Talent Fund has awarded sociologist Ismintha Waldring a grant of 40 thousand euros for her commitment to education and social impact. Waldring focuses on diversity, inclusion and belonging.

The advisory committee on behalf of the VCAS/VU Talent Fund stated: "Dr. Waldring is a researcher who works on very relevant social issues that fit well with the core values of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. We praise Ismintha Waldring for the way in which she is able to translate her research into different fields: policy-making within VU Amsterdam and in the municipality of Amsterdam. She also makes herself heard in the media and in social debate platforms. Dr. Waldring uses podcasts and knowledge clips to increase the impact of her research. In this way, she brings VU Amsterdam to the public's attention in a positive way.

Waldring says she is delighted with the award. "I have enjoyed trying to contribute to the social debate on discrimination, belonging and diversity in recent years, but it is often a contribution I made in my own time."

Waldring does not yet know what she will do with the grant. "I would like to use part of it to make new episodes of the podcast 'Connecting@VU'. For now, this podcast consists of three episodes. The first one can now be listened to via for example VU radio. In this podcast, we discuss with several students and staff members of VU Amsterdam issues related to feelings of belonging (why and when do people feel at home at VU?), but we also discuss difficult topics such as discrimination, privilege, exclusion and how we can better understand and find each other at the university," says Waldring. "The podcast is not about everyone having to think the same, it's about difference, and how we can continue to make connections with each other despite difference."

She would like to continue this work with this award. "Thanks to this grant, I will have the opportunity to continue my research into social boundaries and feelings of belonging and experiences of exclusion and discrimination in the social field. I would also like to contribute more within VU Amsterdam to initiatives and discussions that are ongoing about this."