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UK fellowship scheme for Ukrainians opens for applications


Programme will allow at-risk academics to continue research in UK for up to two years

A government-backed £3.5 million fellowship scheme prioritising academics fleeing the war in Ukraine has opened for applications.

The Researchers at Risk Fellowships Programme, a partnership between the UK’s national academies and the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara), will support at-risk researchers to continue their research in the UK for up to two years.

The programme’s first priority will be supporting Ukraine-based academics and their dependents. But the academies hope to expand the scheme to cover at-risk researchers from other nations.

“UK universities have a long tradition of offering sanctuary and support to their colleagues around the world whose livelihoods and dreams are being destroyed,” said Cara’s chief executive, Stephen Wordsworth.

“Since the ‘pre-announcement’ of this important new programme, many have wanted to find out more about it, so they can offer safe places and new opportunities to their Ukrainian colleagues.

“Now that it is being launched, I am sure that many will follow up, quickly; and, like others, I hope that it will become a permanent part of our response to tragedies like these, broadening out to offer all academics who are in danger a chance to come here to continue their work in safety and to enrich our cultural, scientific and intellectual lives, as their predecessors have done.”

‘Urgent need’

Julia Black, president of the British Academy, said there was an “urgent need to support researchers from Ukraine to find safety for themselves and their families and continue their work. These fellowships provide a means of doing just that”.

She added that the academy hoped to secure funding to “broaden access to the scheme and support all at-risk researchers wherever they may be based”.

The government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy contributed £3m towards the scheme, with an additional £500,000 coming from the Nuffield Foundation.

The fellowship scheme will provide around £37,000 per year to researchers, to cover salary, research expenses and living costs, as well as visas. Host institutions will be asked to identify at least six months’ accommodation for the researcher and their dependents.

This article also appeared in Research Fortnight