Dossier Philipp Schwartz Initiative

Their home countries are blighted by war, their freedom of research is curtailed or they are persecuted: in many parts of the world, scientists and scholars are in danger. The Philipp Schwartz Initiative helps researchers who have fled their countries to find their feet at German universities and research institutions.
 

Nedal Said from Syria (second from left) and the Turkish translation scholar Meral Camci (second from right)
Two of the first fellows to conduct research with German colleagues in summer 2016: Nedal Said from Syria (second from left) at UFZ Leipzig; the Turkish translation scholar Meral Camci (second from right) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Photos: Humboldt Foundation/Nikolaus Brade/Alexander Paul Englert).

Safe at last

The Syrian microbiologist Nedal Said was one of the first fellows to benefit from the Philipp Schwartz Initiative. He fled to Germany via Turkey and embarked on his fellowship at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig in summer 2016. “I work in science. Colleagues support me, and my family is with me at last – I am a whole person again,” he said. The translation scholar Meral Camci from Istanbul was also one of the first Philipp Schwartz Fellows. She had been subjected to massive pressure in Turkey, given her notice as a professor and even held in custody for several weeks. In Germany she conducted research at the University of Mainz.

Hope for 159 researchers

In the course of the Initiative, 159 researchers at risk have been awarded Philipp Schwartz Fellowships. So far, 127 researchers (as of December 2018) have embarked on their fellowships.The initiative grants funding to German universities and research institutions which they can use to finance these foreign academics for two years. The Humboldt Foundation launched the programme together with the Federal Foreign Office. Universities that apply for sponsorship under the Philipp Schwartz Initiative must submit, amongst other things, a strategy explaining how they will treat endangered researchers and integrate them academically.

Distribution of Fellows according to Discipline and Gender

A bonus for German universities

“We want to set an example for the international mindset of academia in Germany,” emphasises Hans-Christian Pape, the President of the Humboldt Foundation. “We help people who can benefit our science system and who will be urgently needed in their own countries when the time comes, in the hopefully not too distant future, for reconstruction.”

Following the selection of 24 researchers in summer 2016, it was possible to increase the number of new recipients to 44 in the second round and 56 in the third round. In the fourth round in summer 2018, 31 universities were selected to receive funding to enable them to host a further 35 Philipp Schwartz Fellows. In comparison with the first call, the fellows’ home countries have changed: whilst the majority of fellows in the first selection round came from Syria, since then, most of the fellows have hailed from Turkey.

Origin and Federal States

Universities supported

Fourth selection round in August 2018

  • Forum Transregionale Studien Berlin
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR Berlin)
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), Berlin
  • Berlin Social Science Center (WZB)
  • Bielefeld University
  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB)
  • University of Bonn
  • Technische Universität Braunschweig
  • Technische Universität Dresden
  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Goethe University Frankfurt
  • University of Freiburg
  • Justus Liebig University Giessen
  • Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
  • Universität Hamburg
  • Heidelberg University
  • University of Hohenheim
  • Friedrich Schiller University Jena
  • Forschungszentrum Jülich
  • University of Kassel
  • University of Cologne
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig
  • Leipzig University
  • Philipps-Universität Marburg
  • Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Universität (LMU), Munich
  • University of Potsdam
  • University of Siegen
  • Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
  • Bergische Universität Wuppertal

Third selection round in July 2017

  • RWTH Aachen University
  • University of Augsburg
  • University of Bamberg
  • Alice Salomon Hochschule
  • Forum Transregionale Studien
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP)
  • Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO)
  • German Institute for International and Security Affairs, SWP
  • Technische Universität Berlin
  • Bielefeld University
  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Medical Image Computing MEVIS
  • University of Bremen
  • Chemnitz University of Technology
  • Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Goethe University Frankfurt
  • European University Viadrina
  • University of Freiburg
  • Giessen University
  • University of Göttingen
  • University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg
  • Universität Hamburg
  • Friedrich Schiller University Jena
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – KIT
  • University of Kassel
  • University of Cologne
  • University of Konstanz
  • Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO)
  • Hochschule Mannheim University of Applied Sciences
  • Philipps-Universität Marburg
  • Technical University of Munich
  • Münster University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Potsdam
  • University of Siegen
  • University of Stuttgart
  • Ulm University
  • Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU)

Second selection round in December 2016

  • RWTH Aachen
  • University of Bamberg
  • University of Bayreuth
  • International Psychoanalytic University Berlin
  • Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research
  • Technische Universität Berlin
  • Zentrum Moderner Orient Berlin
  • Bielefeld University
  • EBZ Business School Bochum
  • BICC Bonn International Center for Conversion
  • University of Bonn
  • Technische Universität Braunschweig
  • University of Bremen
  • Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • Technische Universität Dresden
  • University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Hochschule Düsseldorf, University of Applied Sciences
  • Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space
  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Arnold Bergstraesser Institute
  • Leibniz Universität Hannover
  • Justus Liebig University Giessen
  • Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum Heidelberg
  • Heidelberg University
  • University of Hohenheim
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – KIT
  • The Kiel Institute for the World Economy
  • University of Cologne
  • HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management
  • Frankenförder Forschungsgesellschaft mbH (FFG)
  • Philipps-Universität Marburg
  • University of Münster
  • Osnabrück University
  • University of Potsdam
  • University of Siegen
  • Hochschule Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, University of Applied Sciences
  • Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

First selection round in June 2016

  • University of Bayreuth
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • University of Bonn
  • University of Bremen
  • University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Goethe University Frankfurt
  • Justus Liebig University Giessen
  • Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Heidelberg University
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – KIT
  • University of Cologne
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Leipzig
  • Leipzig University
  • Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
  • Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Philipp Schwartz
The Philipp Schwartz Initiative is named after the Jewish pathologist who had to flee from Nazi Germany in 1933 and founded the “Emergency Society of German Scholars Abroad” (Photo: Archive G. Kreft).

Networks for researchers at risk

As well as sponsoring individuals, the initiative also seeks to provide a platform for information sharing on the situation of endangered researchers. In this context, the Humboldt Foundation cooperates with international partner organisations such as the Scholars at Risk Network, the Scholar Rescue Fund and the Council for At-Risk Academics. Until March 2019, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is also hosting the secretariat of the newly-founded German Section of the Scholars at Risk Network.

Contact

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