Scholars at Risk
Since 2016, the University of Göttingen has been a member of the international network Scholars at Risk (SAR). SAR is an association of over 400 universities, research institutions and other scientific organisations in 39 countries working together to support scientists and scholars threatened by repression. The network thus aims at strengthening academic freedom worldwide.
Based in New York, the network supports hundreds of researchers each year through independent risk assessments that can pave the way to fellowships or temporary positions at member institutions in safe countries. On-site assistance for researchers and their families enables them to settle in a safe location and continue their research.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's Philipp Schwartz Initiative provides funding to host scientists and scholars at risk. Researchers from all countries outside the EU who are demonstrably exposed to a significant acute threat can be nominated by the university as the host institution. Self-applications by academics at risk are not possible.
Successful institutions will receive funding to provide their nominated researchers with fully funded fellowships, alternatively employment for up to 24 months of research. An extension of up to twelve additional months is possible under a co-funding model. An additional amount of funding supports the university in establishing sustainable infrastructures for hosting researchers at risk as well as in implementing formats that contribute to the public visibility and awareness of threats to academic freedom.
A programme description of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, programme documents and further information can be found on the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's website.
Research projects funded under the Philipp Schwartz Initiative are open to demonstrably at-risk researchers from all disciplines and all countries of origin who
- hold a doctorate or comparable academic degree,
- at the time of application still reside in their home country or have not resided outside their home country for more than five years,
- provide evidence of language skills necessary for the successful implementation of the research project,
- can provide evidence of relevant academic qualifications beyond the doctorate (e.g. publications),
- who show potential for integration into the research-related labour market,
- who have not yet been funded within the framework of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative.
German nationals and persons who have access to a safe country of residence due to dual citizenship are excluded from nomination. Multiple nominations of a person by several potential host institutions are not possible.
Applications in the current 12th round of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative should be completed by 07 October 2022 in order to be ready for submission by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's application deadline on 21 October 2022. Please note that researchers cannot apply themselves, but must be nominated by the university as the host institution.
The contact person at the University of Göttingen for questions regarding this programme and the application process is Dr. Philipp Jeserich, Head of the Incoming Office in the University’s International Office (please find contact information below).We must also point out that cuts in the federal funds supporting the programme will limit the number of available grants to 25. The awarding is likely to be highly competitive. An application also requires a risk assessment by the Scholars at Risk network, which the university can commission for not more than two researchers. Scholars at Risk states that the at-risk status can only be confirmed in case of an acute and individually attributable risk, not on the basis of an abstract risk situation, for example due to authoritarian tendencies in society in the home country as a whole or increasing restrictions on academic freedom.
The contact person at the University of Göttingen for questions regarding this programme and the application process is Dr. Philipp Jeserich, Head of the Incoming Office in the University’s International Office (please find contact information below) .
- The Philipp Schwartz-Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation
- Scholars at Risk Network
- IIE Scholar Rescue Fund
- Council for At-Risk Academics