Nico Gunzburg Fund

Nico GunzbergAs dean and professor at the law faculty, Nico Gunzburg was responsible for introducing Criminological Sciences at Ghent University. He even donated a building to the university as a home for the Criminological Institute. He was very active in the Flemish movement and was a key figure in promoting the Dutch language at Ghent University. To avoid persecution due to his Jewish roots, he fled Belgium at the start of the Second World War. 

After spending time in Brazil where he helped reform the criminal law, he ended up in the United States. There, at the request of President Roosevelt, he was involved in preparations for the Nuremberg trials. After the war, he returned to Belgium, and following the independence of Indonesia he was called on to reform the prison system and the police there. As a benefactor, during his life he founded a number of different Jewish charitable institutions, including De Centrale, and remained committed to these causes until his death. Nico Gunzburg left his mark not only on Ghent University but on the whole world. 

Want to make a donation to the Nico Gunzburg Fund?

Your donation to the Nico Gunzburg Fund will go towards promoting Criminological Sciences at the Ghent University Faculty of Law and Criminology. In particular, your donation will help finance a three-month stay at Ghent University for a visiting researcher with an international reputation in the field of criminology. Thanks to your donation, every criminology student at Ghent University, regardless of their background or financial means, will get the chance during their degree to become familiar with the ideas and perspectives of top international researchers in the field. At the same time, your donation also provides financial support to researchers from outside Belgium during their stay at Ghent University, so that they can prepare a collaborative research project involving Ghent and their home university. 

I would like to donate online

We gratefully welcome donations to the Nico Gunzburg Fund – donations can be made via bank transfer to the account number BE26 3900 9658 0329, including the message “Nico Gunzburg” or “RE_989”. Your gift is tax deductible starting from €40 per year.

Read more about Nico Gunzburg. (Dutch)

"Nico Gunzburg was a prominent figure at Ghent University, in Flanders and worldwide. He believed it was important to develop an individual and broad outlook on social themes, not least for issues that are at the heart of criminology. We want to put this vision into practice through this Fund. We offer students from Ghent University and researchers from abroad the chance to meet and develop their own take on the many visions and points of view on criminological topics." – Prof. Marc Cools & Prof. Christophe Vandeviver.

"A donation to the Nico Gunzburg Fund is always money well spent. This fund provides a lasting tribute to Gunzburg’s legacy as an international humanist, and puts his commitment to the students and researchers in criminology back in the spotlight. – Ilse Ledure, Antwerp.

More information about the fund?

Background information

The fund was founded at Ghent University in 2020 by Professor Marc Cools and Professor Christophe Vandeviver, as a tribute to the prominent figure of Nico Gunzburg and to promote criminological sciences.


The aim of the fund is to provide financial support for research, teaching and public outreach in criminological sciences. The research and teaching activities include: 

  1. Causes and consequences of criminality, rule-breaking behaviour and insecurity;
  2. Manifestations, social and situational aspects of criminality, rule-breaking behaviour, and insecurity;
  3. Perpetrators and victims of criminality, rule-breaking behaviour and insecurity;
  4. Theories and methods for research in criminology;
  5. Formal and informal reactions to criminality, rule-breaking behaviour, and insecurity;
  6. Actors and stakeholders in all stages of the criminal justice system.

Want to find out more about the research?

What else can I do?

Contact us

Do you have questions about this or any of the other Ghent University funds? Please get in touch and we will be happy to assist you.

University Fund of Ghent University
Wim Van der Planken
+32 9 264 33 84