24 May 2017

Information platform on researchers at risk goes online

The Humboldt Foundation in its capacity as the secretariat of the German chapter of the global Scholars at Risk Network offers an initial overview of funding and networking opportunities.

Which types of residence permits are available to researchers at risk? What funding opportunities exist at national, European and international level? What experience has been made with generating appropriate public attention for guest researchers and giving them a voice? And where can I find other institutions in Germany and abroad that are involved in these efforts? Many questions arise when universities and research institutions take in researchers at risk. As the secretariat of the German chapter of the Scholars at Risk Network, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has collected information on subjects that are frequently addressed and reports on experience gained in this area. A compilation of this information has been made available online to provide initial guidance at: www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/sar-germany-section-en.html.

Working together with Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has managed the Philipp Schwartz Initiative since December 2015. The initiative grants funding to German universities and research institutions which they use to finance fellowships for endangered foreign researchers for a period of two years. In 2016 the Foundation additionally assumed the role of secretariat for the newly established German chapter of the global Scholars at Risk (SAR) Network, serving as a platform for networking and the exchange of information. SAR is an alliance of universities, research institutions and science organisations across the globe which work to support and protect threatened scholars and freedom of science. Today, more than 30 scientific and academic institutions in Germany are members of the German chapter.

For its work with the Philipp Schwartz Initiative the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is cooperating with experienced partner organisations such as the Scholars at Risk Network, the Scholar Rescue Fund of the Institute of International Education and the Council for At-Risk Academics.

The funding provided by the Federal Foreign Office to finance the Philipp Schwartz Initiative is complemented by private donations. To date, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Klaus Tschira Foundation, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Stifterverband and the Stiftung Mercator have supported the initiative with funds amounting to more than €2.1 million. The initiative is named after the Jewish pathologist Philipp Schwartz who had to flee Nazi-Germany in 1933 and founded the “Notgemeinschaft deutscher Wissenschaftler im Ausland” (Emergency Society of German Scholars Abroad).


Georg Scholl
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