Press release

Support for researchers at risk: Philipp Schwartz and Inspireurope Stakeholder Forum in Berlin

On 18 and 19 April 2023, some 400 people will gather at the Philipp Schwartz and Inspireurope Stakeholder Forum in Berlin to discuss issues revolving around international scientific and academic freedom and the protection of researchers.

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Press, Communications and Marketing
Tel.: +49 228 833-144
Fax: +49 228 833-441

Throughout the world, authoritarian regimes are targeting educational institutions and researchers and silencing critical thinking. The forum will offer networking opportunities for researchers at risk and all those supporting them, whether on a local, national or international level. 

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By creating the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation became Germany’s first research funding organisation to establish a funding programme to protect researchers who are persecuted and at threat.

Philipp Schwartz Initiative

During the conference’s first panel discussion, researchers from Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Iran and Turkey will report on strategies being used to repress scientific and academic freedom and how they are offering resistance against them. 
The conference will also focus on the question of how research institutions can manage diversity and multidimensional discrimination, particularly with respect to the long-term prospects of researchers in exile.
Drawing on the example of the Ukrainian diaspora, participants will furthermore discuss how valuable academic networks in exile can also be for research communities in these individuals’ countries of origin. 

Journalists are welcome to attend! To attend, please register by e-mail to presse[at] We will be pleased to arrange interviews. Please note that taking photos is not permitted in order to protect participants. The Humboldt Foundation will make official photos available. The conference will be held in English.

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Programme (PDF, 2 MB)

Thursday, 18 April 2024, Telekom Haupstadtrepräsentanz (Deutsche Telekom AG Berlin office), Französische Str. 33a-c, 10117 Berlin

2:00 p.m.
Opening ceremony 

  • Robert Schlögl, President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • Robert Quinn, Scholars at Risk Network for the Inspireurope+ Consortium
  • Anke Reiffenstuel, Commissioner for External Science, Education and Research Policy, Federal Foreign Office

2:30 p.m.
Panel 1: Academic Freedom in Authoritarian Contexts – A Multinational Perspective 

  • Azadeh Ganjeh (Iran), Philipp Schwartz Fellow, University of Hildesheim
  • Trifonia Melibea Ntutumu Obono (Equatorial Guinea), Humboldt Research Fellow, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Vedat Demir (Turkey), Philipp Schwartz Alumnus, Einstein Guest Researcher, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Belgheis Jafari Alavi (Afghanistan), INALCO, PAUSE Fellow

4:00 p.m.
Panel 2: Rethinking Diversity and Displacement

  • Encieh Erfani (Iran), Philipp Schwartz Fellow, University of Mainz
  • Nick Gill (UK), Professor of Human Geography, University of Exeter
  • Andrea Lenschow (Germany), Vice-President, Osnabrück University

5:30 p.m.
Panel 3: Exiled Academics and Diaspora Networks 

  • Anastasiia Hubina, MSCA4Ukraine Fellow, University of Chemistry and Technology Prague
  • Oleksandra Ivashchenko, coordinator for Science4Ukraine, University Medical Center Groningen
  • Lucian Brujan, Senior Officer, Department International Relations, Leopoldina
  • Marija Mitic, policy analyst for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), European Commission
  • Oleksandra Antoniuk, chairperson of the Scientific Committee of the National Council of Ukraine on Science and Technology Development and long-time president of the Humboldt Club in Ukraine

All panel discussions on the first day will be carried live on the internet.

The second day of the conference will feature informational, training and networking activities for Philipp Schwartz and MSCA4Ukraine fellows as well as for other researchers in exile, research mentors and further representatives of host institutions in Germany and other European countries.

The Philipp Schwartz and Inspireurope Stakeholder Forum is organised every year by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and partners of the EU-financed Inspireurope project.

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Recommendations for rebuilding Ukrainian science and academia


Before the Forum, Ukrainian researchers in Germany will have the opportunity at a networking event being held on 17 and 18 April to share views and information during workshops involving various fields and during discussion sessions on science diplomacy topics. The programme for these activities at the dbb forum berlin is being organised by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, the German Federal Environmental Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Leopoldina and the Volkswagen Foundation. Philipp Schwartz and MSCA4Ukraine Fellows will then take part in the Philipp Schwartz and Inspireurope Stakeholder Forum. The networking event will be broadcast live.

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Ukrainian Networking Event / Programme (PDF, 330 KB)

(Press release 6/2024)

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 an interdisciplinary network of well over 30,000 Humboldtians in more than 140 countries around the world – including 61 Nobel Prize winners.

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