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Support for “Berliner Wissenschaftsbrücke”

Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script (SCRIPTS)” based at Freie Universität Berlin increases support for scholars at risk from Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia

№ 059/2022 from Apr 29, 2022

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is causing great suffering for the Ukrainian civilian population. In addition, human rights and academic freedom in Belarus and Russia are being curtailed more and more. To provide some relief for scholars, the Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script (SCRIPTS)” and its partners are planning to expand their previous emergency measures by initiating the “Berliner Wissenschaftsbrücke” (the Berlin Academic Bridge). SCRIPTS is soliciting public and private donations from politics, culture, and society to finance the Berliner Wissenschaftsbrücke. These donations can be used to provide threatened researchers with fellowships for a period of up to one year.

The existing emergency fund set up by SCRIPTS is already supporting two scholars at risk from Ukraine for a three-month period, and a third scholar is in the admission phase. The call for applications is still open. However, this is a short-term measure.

Together with its partners the Hertie School, the Institute for Eastern European Studies of Freie Universität Berlin (OEI), the WZB Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), and the Centre for Eastern European and International Studies (ZOiS), SCRIPTS wants to establish the Berliner Wissenschaftsbrücke in order to provide longer fellowships for refugee and at-risk scholars from Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia and embed them in a sustainable framework. This will enable the scholars at risk to continue their research in exile in Berlin until they return to their home countries, or it will help to integrate them into German or European academic institutions in the longer term by facilitating their submission of additional research proposals. SCRIPTS’ experience with international visiting researchers shows that it takes up to one year for funding proposals to be written and evaluated.

Thanks to their local and international networks, SCRIPTS and their partners are in an excellent position to establish the Berliner Wissenschaftsbrücke. In addition, SCRIPTS can count on support from Freie Universität Berlin for providing work space and assistance in finding accommodation.

Please contact Brinthanan Puvaneswaran (irc@scripts-berlin.eu) for information on how you can support the Berliner Wissenschaftsbrücke.


The Cluster of Excellence “Contestations of the Liberal Script (SCRIPTS)” is a research consortium that analyses the contemporary controversies about the model of liberal democracy and the market economy. The term “liberal script” relates to a set of ideas and institutional prescriptions about how society is organized based on the core principle of individual self-determination. The main purpose of SCRIPTS is to understand why the liberal model of order has fallen into crisis despite its political, economic, and social achievements.

SCRIPTS has been operating since 2019 and is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) until the end of 2025. The cluster is hosted by Freie Universität Berlin and unites eight major Berlin-based research institutions: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Hertie School, the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, the German Insti­tute for Economic Research (DIW), the Berlin branch of the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), the Centre for East European and International Stud­ies (ZOiS), and the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO). Cluster research teams are made up of doctoral researchers, postdoctoral researchers, and professors from social and area studies. SCRIPTS is well connected with research institutes and knowledge exchange partners throughout the world. SCRIPTS brings renowned visiting scholars from all over the world to Berlin.

For more information about SCRIPTS activities on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, visit the information page https://www.scripts-berlin.eu/Ukraine/index.html.

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