Press release

The Philipp Schwartz Initiative: Another 36 threatened scientists find refuge in Germany

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  • No. 25/2019
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The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has selected the research institutions that will be participating in the sixth round of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative: With the help of this initiative, 30 institutions from throughout Germany will be able to host foreign researchers who are at threat.

Financial assistance will be provided for 36 researchers who have sought refuge in Germany because they are threatened by war or persecution in their homeland. Starting January 2020 at the earliest, these researchers will conduct research as Philipp Schwartz Fellows for two years at the selected institutions.

The 30 host institutions were selected from 46 universities and research institutions that wanted to host one or more threatened researchers and whose proposals included concepts for the researchers’ professional and personal integration. Altogether, 74 individuals were nominated. In addition to the quality of the integration plans, the academic match and the researchers’ qualifications, the deciding factors included the prospects for a successful new start to the respective individual's career.

The Philipp Schwartz Initiative was established by the Humboldt Foundation and Germany’s Federal Foreign Office in 2016 and is funded by the Federal Foreign Office. It also receives financial support from various foundations in Germany and abroad. As a result, up to 50 Philipp Schwartz Fellowships can be funded every year.

The following universities have been selected to take in threatened researchers in the sixth round of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative:

  • RWTH Aachen University
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin
  • University of Bayreuth
  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • University of Bonn
  • Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Goethe University Frankfurt
  • Justus Liebig University Giessen
  • University of Göttingen
  • Universität Hamburg
  • Heidelberg University
  • University of Hildesheim
  • Friedrich Schiller University Jena
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Technische Hochschule Köln (TH Köln/University of Applied Sciences)
  • University of Cologne
  • University of Konstanz
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig
  • Leipzig University
  • Leuphana University Lüneburg
  • Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • Philipps University of Marburg
  • Technische Universität München
  • Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
  • University of Stuttgart
  • University of Tübingen 

The initiative is named after the Jewish pathologist Philipp Schwartz who had to flee Nazi Germany in 1933 and later established the “Notgemeinschaft deutscher Wissenschaftler im Ausland” (Emergency Society of German Scientists and Scholars Abroad). Besides fellowships, the initiative also provides funding for establishing necessary structures at the host institutions, conducting conferences for sharing information, and for networking host institutions with one another. In this connection, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation cooperates closely with international partners such as the Scholars at Risk Network, the Scholar Rescue Fund and the Council for At-Risk Academics.

Funded by:


The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time conducting research in Germany. The Foundation maintains a network of well over 29,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in more than 140 countries worldwide – including 55 Nobel Prize winners.

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