Scholars at Risk

Since 2016, the University of Göttingen is a member of the international network Scholars at Risk (SAR). Around the world, scholars are persecuted because of their research and ideas, threatened and restricted in their work. SAR is a global association of more than 400 universities, research institutions and other scientific organizations in 39 countries that work together to protect threatened scholars and strengthen values such as academic freedom.

The New York based network assists hundreds of scholars each year through temporary positions at network member institutions, direct in-country assistance to threatened scholars and their families as well as advice and referrals for scholars and their host campuses. Thus, enabling them to pursue their research unhindered for a certain period of time.

Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Starting today, universities and research institutions in Germany can apply for funding from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to support threatened researchers in the 7th call for nominations in the Philipp Schwartz Initiative. Scholars from any non-EU countries who have been exposed to significant and acute risks can be nominated (to learn more about eligibility and confirmation of risks, please see programme information). Kindly note that scholars must be nominated by an institution and cannot apply directly.

Selected institutions will receive funding to grant fully funded fellowships to successfully nominated threatened scientists and scholars for research stays in Germany of initially up to 24 months. The host institution will also receive a lump sum intended to offset expenses for the support of Philipp Schwartz fellows in integrating at the institution and in re-starting their careers. An extension of up to 12 months can be granted in the framework of a co-financing model.

Threatened researchers from any academic field and any country of origin who

• have completed their doctorate or a comparable academic degree (PhD, CSc or equivalent)
• do not reside or have not been resident outside their own country for more than three years; researchers who hold German university entrance qualifications (“Bildungsinländer”) are not eligible
• possess the language skills required to successfully conduct their research projects
• possess academic qualifications (e.g. publications)
• possess potential to be integrated into the (research-related) job market
• who have not yet been funded in the context of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative
• persons that have access to residence in safe countries due to multiple citizenship and German citizens are not eligible for nomination
• multiple nominations of one person by several institutions are not permitted

The following websites provide information and concrete examples of at-risk scholars who are currently seeking a host institution:
Scholars at Risk Network
IIE Scholar Rescue Fund
Council for At-Risk Academics

Please find updated programme documents and further information on the website of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative.

The internal University deadline is 6 February 2020, the deadline for applications at AvH is 29 February 2020. Kindly note that researchers cannot apply directly, but must be nominated by a suitable institution.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Nadine Dreyer, Head of the Welcome Centre and contact person for Scholars at Risk:, 39-21331.