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University of Sheffield launches scheme for at-risk academics

Image: Bea [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

Russell Group university offers support worth more than £20,000 for researchers escaping war

The University of Sheffield in the UK has introduced a programme designed to help academics fleeing persecution continue their research.

The research-intensive university’s scheme will support academics escaping war and persecution anywhere in the world, offering help with housing, academic mentoring and financial assistance so that they can continue their research in Sheffield.

The Sanctuary International Visitors Support Scheme will initially offer funding for three researchers to visit Sheffield for up to a year, including a £17,350 subsistence allowance, £5,000 each for up to three dependants, arrival expenses of up to £2,500 and project costs to the same amount.

Applications for the first round are being accepted until 13 November.

Package of support

Malcolm Butler, director of global engagement at the university, said the scheme was “the latest addition to the university’s package of support for refugees, which also includes scholarships, international partnerships and direct support for local communities in Sheffield”.

“We look forward to welcoming new academics to join our diverse and inclusive Sheffield community, which is committed to global collaborations and the exchange of knowledge,” he added.

Applicants must be eligible for a UK visa and their research should align with the university’s own areas of research. They will still be employed by their home institution and they are expected to return after their Sheffield stay and when it is safe to do so.

The announcement comes after the university partnered with the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in Ukraine earlier this year, as part of the wider Ukraine twinning scheme launched by the vice-chancellors’ body Universities UK. Sheffield has donated £20,000 to rebuild air raid shelters on the Ukrainian university’s campus and has set up research collaborations and staff exchanges.