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Endangered Scholar in Syria Wins Grant Following Nomination by Freie Universität Berlin

Syrian Researcher to Get Assistance through Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

№ 188/2016 from Jun 02, 2016

Freie Universität succeeded in winning a research award for a politically endangered researcher in Syria. The Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Foundation in Bonn announced that it would support him with funds from its Philipp Schwartz Initiative. At the end of 2015, the Foundation called upon German universities and other research institutions to nominate at-risk candidates for research awards. Freie Universität Berlin was the first German member of the Scholars at Risk Network. Since 2013, the university has been welcoming researchers who are endangered in their home countries. Currently there are four here through this program. Through the AvH grant another scholar, who is currently still in Syria, will be able to do research here.

The 23 grants will run for 24 months, starting July 1, 2016, at the earliest. A total of 38 universities had applied for the grants. They are awarded to researchers who seek refuge in Germany because they are at risk of persecution in their home countries. According to the AvH Foundation, grants are being given to scholars from Syria (14), Turkey (6), Libya, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan (one each for the three latter countries)

The Philipp Schwartz Initiative was set up by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation with support from the German Federal Foreign Office. It is funded by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Klaus Tschira Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation, and the Mercator Foundation.

The initiative is named after Philipp Schwartz, a pathologist of Jewish descent who had to flee from Nazi Germany in 1933 and who founded the Emergency Association of German Scientists Abroad. The AvH Foundation plans to call for nominations for the grants again this summer in July.

Further Information

Elke Löschhorn, Division IV: International Affairs, Tel.: +49 30 838-73404, Email: