The Philipp Schwartz Initiative provides universities and research institutions in Germany with the means to host threatened foreign researchers for a period of 24 months on a fully funded research fellowship. It is funded by the Federal Foreign Office, with generous additional support from the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Klaus Tschira Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Stifterverband, and the Stiftung Mercator.
Applications in the context of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative cannot be submitted at this time. Applicants in the 3rd round will be informed of the outcome by 30 June 2017.
If the Initiative is continued, the next call for applications will be published no earlier than the end of 2017.
Who can apply?
Research-performing institutions in Germany in the following categories may apply:
- public and state-recognised universities, including universities of applied sciences ("Fachhochschulen")
- Max Planck Institutes, Helmholtz Institutes, Leibniz Institutes, Fraunhofer Institutes
- Federal and State Research Institutes
- other research-performing institutions that can convincingly demonstrate their research focus and infrastructures
Successful applicants will be able to grant a Philipp Schwartz Fellowship to a threatened researcher. In detail:
- institutions that were successful in the 1st or 2nd call for applications (no submission of support concepts in 3rd call; only nomination of researcher)
- institutions that applied but were not successful in the 1st or 2nd call for applications
- institutions that have not applied for Philipp Schwartz funding before
Please note that researchers cannot apply on an individual basis. We recommend that researchers interested in this programme contact potential host institutions in Germany, which may be in a position to submit an application.
Who is eligible for a Philipp Schwartz fellowship?
Threatened researchers from any academic field and any country of origin who
- have completed their doctorate or a comparable academic degree (PhD, CSc or equivalent)
- have not been resident outside their own country for more than three years; researchers who hold German university entrance qualifications (“Bildungsinländer”) are not eligible
- possess the language skills required to successfully conduct their research projects
- possess academic qualifications (e.g. publications)
- possess potential to be integrated into the (research-related) job market
- who have not yet been funded in the context of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative
- persons that have access to residence in safe countries due to multiple citizenship and German citizens are not eligible for nomination
- multiple nominations of one person by several institutions are not permitted
The Humboldt Foundation imposes no restrictions with regard to country of origin or current location if the threat can be confirmed in accordance with the programme guidelines.
If an institution is interested in hosting a threatened researcher, but not aware of a specific person, they are invited to contact the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR), and the Scholar Rescue Fund of the Institute of International Education (SRF), and the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA). All three organisations are experienced in placing threatened researchers and are able to make suggestions accordingly.
What does the funding include?
Host institutions will receive funding from the Humboldt Foundation and act as fellowship-granting agencies, awarding a Philipp Schwartz fellowship to the threatened researcher. The funding consists of two components:
- fellowship funds including subsidies of 3,500 EUR/month for up to 24 months
- a one-off lump sum of 12,000 EUR for the host institution
What are the elements of an application?
- concept for a sustainable support infrastructure for threatened researchers (this does not apply to institutions successful in the 1st or 2nd call for applications)
- application for a Philipp Schwartz fellowship including confirmation that the researcher is threatened
- financing plan
How can a threat to a researcher be confirmed in the context of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative?
In the context of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, a pertinent threat of researchers who are demonstrably threatened in their countries can be confirmed in two ways:
- by way of a residence status in the context of an asylum-granting procedure that confirms a recognised threat
- by way of a credible threat assessment from a third party, such as the Scholars at Risk Network, the Scholar Rescue Fund, or the Council for At-Risk Academics
We strongly suggest that universities, rather than individual researchers, contact one of the above organisations to request threat assessments. In order to ensure that assessments can be completed before the 21 April 2017 deadline, all relevant documentation should be submitted to our partners SAR, SRF, or CARA by 5 April 2017. Otherwise the review by our partners may not be concluded in time.
In each individual case, the host institution is responsible for ensuring that, in terms of residence legislation, the status of the person to be sponsored does allow him/her to stay at the respective host institution in the context of the Philipp Schwartz fellowship. Double funding is not permitted.
The following events are aimed primarily at representatives of universities and other research institutions in Germany. They are of less relevance to threatened researchers.
27-28 April 2017
3rd Workshop on the Philipp Schwartz Initiative
The Humboldt Foundation, supported by the Federal Foreign Office and in cooperation with the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR), the Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF), and the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA), is convening a workshop to facilitate the exchange of expertise and best practices amongst institutions in Germany that are hosting or interested in hosting threatened researchers. Representatives from SAR, SRF, and CARA will join and provide expert insights. The event takes place under the auspices of the German section of the Scholars at Risk Network.
Please note: The event is open only to participants who have registered in advance.
Please find the updated version of the program here.
Please find the response form here.
- 20 September 2016
Towards a German Section of the Scholar at Risk Network
Under the guidance of the Humboldt Foundation, 20 higher education institutions in Germany founded the German section of the global Scholars at Risk Network. Please find the programme here.
- 7-10 June 2016
Scholars at Risk Network SAR 2016 Global Congress
Over 200 stakeholders from academia, government and civil society gather to discuss how to improve the protection of universities and scholars, and how to strengthen the capacity of the university sector to contribute to a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.
Learn more about the SAR 2016 Congress.
- 19-20 April 2016
2nd Workshop on the Philipp Schwartz Initiative
The Humboldt Foundation, supported by the Federal Foreign Office and in cooperation with the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR), the Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF), and the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA), is convening a workshop to facilitate the exchange of expertise and best practices amongst institutions in Germany that are hosting or interested in hosting threatened researchers. Representatives from SAR, SRF, and CARA will join and provide expert insights. The workshop will also explore establishment of a SAR German Section to foster a regular and on-going exchange on the topic of supporting threatened scholars, and to serve as a bridge for and to represent German higher education in the global SAR network.
Please find the programme here.
In addition, both the Scholars at Risk Network and the Scholar Rescue Fund offer events focusing on the area of protecting threatened researchers.
- 28-29 April 2016
2nd Annual IIE Scholar Rescue Fund Forum: Scholar Voices and University Action
New York City, US
Convening partners from diverse sectors, the annual SRF Forum will address the urgent need to support scholars who have been silenced at home by censorship, violence, and other human rights abuses. It will also explore the role of the university in responding to higher education emergencies. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Partners of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has arranged for advisory and other services to be made available to German universities and research institutions interested in applying to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for support through the Philipp Schwartz Initiative. The Scholars at Risk Network, the Scholar Rescue Fund, and the Council for At-Risk Academics, leading organizations in the field of assisting threatened scientists and researchers will offer comprehensive support including advice and assistance in identifying suitable researchers, vetting candidates identified by institutions directly, pre-arrival and post-arrival advice for candidates and hosts, transition assistance and possible follow-up placement for researchers at the end of their Philipp Schwartz fellowships.
Information on each organization and the services offered can be found with the links and contact information below.
Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of more than 400 universities, colleges, research centers and associations in 39 countries collectively working to protect threatened scholars and to promote academic freedom and related higher education values. more ...
The Institute of International Education (IIE), an independent nonprofit, launched the Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) in 2002 as a formalized response to ongoing attacks on scholars worldwide. more ...
The Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara) was founded in London in 1933 in response to the Nazis' expulsion of many academics from their posts at German universities. more ...