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Freie Universität Berlin Successful in Nominating Two Threatened Researchers for Fellowships

Support from Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

№ 195/2017 from Jul 12, 2017

Freie Universität was successful in its application for fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for two researchers who are politically at risk in their home countries. As the Humboldt Foundation announced in Bonn, two individuals will be supported through the Philipp Schwartz Initiative to do research at Freie Universität. Since the end of 2015, the foundation has invited German universities and research institutions to nominate candidates for fellowships. Freie Universität Berlin, the first German university to join the Scholars at Risk network, has been providing fellowships for scholars at risk in their home countries since 2013. Currently, two researchers are receiving this kind of funding, one from Syria and one from Iran. The Humboldt Foundation will fund two additional such fellowships at Freie Universität. One of the researchers is currently in her/his home country. In order to not jeopardize their safety, no details are being given regarding the subject area or home institution.

The Humboldt Foundation has now approved funding for 56 fellowships over a period of 24 months beginning on September 1, 2017. Forty-one universities had submitted proposals delineating strategies for personal and academic integration. The scholars and scientists are seeking protection in Germany because they are persecuted in their home countries or endangered due to war. According to the foundation, they come from Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Venezuela, Yemen, and Ukraine.

The Philipp Schwartz Initiative was founded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation with support from the German Federal Foreign Office. It is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office with generous additional support from the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (USA), the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Klaus Tschira Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Stifterverband, and the Stiftung Mercator.

The Philipp Schwartz Initiative is named after the Jewish pathologist who had to flee from Nazi Germany in 1933 and founded the “Emergency Society of German Scholars Abroad.” As well as sponsoring individuals, the initiative also seeks to provide a platform for information sharing on the situation of endangered researchers. It provides funds to create suitable structures at the host universities, to facilitate networking among the host universities. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation works closely with international partners such as the Scholars at Risk Network, the Scholar Rescue Fund and the Council for At-Risk Academics.

More Information

Stefan Rummel, Division IV: International Affairs, Tel.: +49 30 838-73402, Email: stefan.rummel@fu-berlin.de