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Freie Universität Provides Research Grant for Scholar at Risk

Successful Nomination through Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

№ 249/2018 from Sep 26, 2018

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has again selected Freie Universität Berlin as host institution in the Philipp Schwartz Initiative for threatened researchers. This funding will make it possible for an expert in medieval Arabic manuscripts from Syria to spend two years as a Philipp Schwartz fellowship holder at Freie Universität. As the Humboldt Foundation stated further, funding for a total of 35 researchers at 31 institutions was approved in the fourth round of fellowships. Nominations had been submitted for 91 individuals.

The researchers are seeking refuge in Germany because they are threatened with war or persecution in their home countries. According to the Humboldt Foundation, the funding decisions were based on the universities’ concepts for integrating the researchers, both professionally and personally, as well as the academic match between the researcher and the university, the researchers’ qualifications, and the prospects for a successful new start in the researchers’ careers. This is the fourth such fellowship for a researcher nominated by Freie Universität.

The Philipp Schwartz Initiative was established by the Humboldt Foundation and Germany’s Federal Foreign Office. It has also received financial support from various foundations at home and abroad. Having so far been extended from one round to the next, it is now going to be placed on a permanent financial footing by the Federal Foreign Office. In the future, up to 50 Philipp Schwartz Fellowships are scheduled to be funded under the program annually.

The initiative is named after the Jewish pathologist Philipp Schwartz who had to flee Nazi Germany in 1933 and later established the “Notgemeinschaft deutscher Wissenschaftler im Ausland” (Emergency Society of German Scientists and Scholars Abroad). Besides fellowships, the initiative also provides funding for establishing necessary structures at the host institutions, conducting conferences for sharing information, and for networking host institutions with one another. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation cooperates closely with international partners such as the Scholars at Risk Network, the Scholar Rescue Fund, and the Council for At-Risk Academics.