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Scholars at Risk

Around the world, researchers and would-be academics are persecuted and threatened because of their research and ideas and are subject to restrictions in their work. The international network Scholars at Risk (SAR) is a response to these attacks. The association is committed to defending academic freedom and the human rights of researchers and academics the world over.

One of the core tasks of SAR is to support researchers and academics who are under threat and persecuted in their home country by offering them a position as a visiting scholar at one of the network’s member institutions, thus enabling them to pursue their research unhindered for a certain period of time. Since 2014 the SAR Advisory Board has been deciding on nominations of potential candidates for external funding programs, such as the Philipp Schwartz Initiative (PSI) or the Academic Freedom Program of the Einstein Foundation Berlin, as well as for internal funding opportunities provided by Freie Universität Berlin.The board is chaired by Freie Universität’s Vice President for International Affairs.

The SAR network consists currently of more than 560 members (as of 2021) worldwide. FUB has joined the network in 2011 and is a sustaining member since 2013. Since then we have hosted more than 30 scholars at risk, especially from the Middle Eastern countries, for a duration of 2 or more years. FUB is also a member of the Scholars at Risk Network - Germany Section Steering Group and has hosted the Scholars at Risk Network Global Congress in April 2018. 

As part of its engagement for academic freedom FUB regularly participates in SAR Action Campaigns, most recently by again calling on the Iranian authorities to reverse the death sentence issued to Dr. Ahmadreza Djalali, a scholar of disaster medicine, and to ensure his unconditional release. 


For suggestions and questions regarding scholars at risk and for questions regarding the SAR network:
Stefan Rummel, Division IV: International Affairs, Tel.: +49 30 838-73402,
E-mail: stefan.rummel@fu-berlin.de