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The commodity of time is an ever-crucial component for a scholar’s pursuit in academia. Through the Graduate Sabbatical Grant, the Institute for Humane Studies provides scholars greater access to this invaluable resource to allow them to focus on developing impactful research in their field. Silviya Nitsova, PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, was a 2023 sabbatical recipient and is making the best use of this important commodity.

“The importance of having protected research time for one’s academic career cannot be overstated,” Silviya said. “I am able to focus on my research, have discussions with my peers, faculty members, and mentors, and go to conferences and workshops, where I engage in current debates with other scholars in my field. This allows me to advance knowledge a lot further, which, I think, is one of the greatest values of the sabbatical.”

In the field of political science, Silviya found significant overlap in her research with classical liberal ideas, particularly pluralism, democracy, and the role of business in society. Her research is uniquely positioned to simultaneously speak to all of these themes and advance discussion and discourse surrounding them.

Using the IHS graduate sabbatical grant, Silviya is able to focus on honing this research to develop a better understanding of human freedom by providing a careful, data-based analysis of big business and politics.

Silviya Nitsova

“The sabbatical will allow me to advance my independent research agenda, make important contributions to the scholarship on money in politics, patronalism, legislative studies, and Ukrainian politics, and establish myself as a leading early career researcher in these fields.”

-Silviya Nitsova 

Silviya’s work focuses on the interactions between big business and politics in developing democracies and draws heavily from the contemporary experience of Ukraine. Her research has been published in a variety of academic journals, featured in the Washington Post, and shared with numerous scholars at different academic conferences.

In her continued pursuit to develop robust work that will have a lasting impact, Silviya plans to advance her papers and present them at prestigious conferences, including the 2023 annual conventions of the American Political Science Association and the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. She also hopes to contribute to pressing policy debates on the Russo-Ukrainian war and Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction within the U.S., Europe, and Ukraine.

“I hope to see a real impact in terms of policy decisions being taken based on my research and findings,” Silviya said.

Find out how you can help IHS continue to support scholars like Silviya Nitsova and their pursuit of creating a lasting impact in their academic fields. For more information on our scholars, programs, and academic funding opportunities, visit

Here is the timeline for our application process:

  1. Apply for a position 
  2. An HR team member will review your application submission  
  3. If selected for consideration, you will speak with a recruiter 
  4. If your experience and skills match the role, you will interview with the hiring manager
  5. If you are a potential fit for the position, you will interview with additional staff members
  6. If you are the candidate chosen, we will extend a job offer


All candidates will be notified regarding the status of their application within two to three weeks of submission. As new positions often become available, we encourage you to visit our site frequently for additional opportunities that align with your interests and skills.