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Idea of EU fellowships for at-risk researchers ‘gaining traction’


Supporter of proposed scheme for threatened scholars says Commission is asking right questions

A prominent supporter of the creation of an EU fellowship scheme for researchers facing threats outside the bloc is hopeful the idea will take off, following a spate of positive developments.

The years-old suggestion for such a scheme was revived in an October 2020 report from an EU-funded research project on at-risk researchers called InspirEurope. In June this year the Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU suggested the bloc should consider setting up structures to support non-EU researchers whose academic freedom is being threatened. A month later, the influential European Research Area Committee, which advises policymakers, said such a scheme could make the EU “a ‘safe haven’ for [the] freedom of scientific research”.

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