12. May 2022 | Magazine:

An international network for scientists at risk TU Braunschweig joins "Scholars at Risk“

“Protecting Scholars and the freedom to think, question and share ideas” is the motto of the New York-based organisation Scholars at Risk (SAR). More than 600 research institutions from all over the world have joined forces in the organisation to offer safe residence and research opportunities to scientists who are at risk in their home countries due to political persecution, violence or oppression. Since March 2022, TU Braunschweig has also become a member of Scholars at Risk.

By joining Scholars at Risk, TU Braunschweig is now part of a strong network. Photo credits: Scholars at risk

Since the founding of Scholars at Risk in 2000, more than 1,200 scholars have found new and safe jobs with the support of the network. The globally organised network helps, for example, with the placement of researchers at risk at host institutions, with the risk assessment for the Philipp Schwartz Initiative and supports the exchange of information between the member institutions. In addition to its headquarters in New York, SAR has a European office in Ireland and also works in regional chapters.

The German section was founded in 2016 under the leadership of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) in Bonn, which is still the organisation responsible for SAR’s German network. With the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, which the AvH Foundation launched together with the Federal Foreign Office, three scientists at risk have already been accepted at TU Braunschweig and have been able to successfully continue their research.

Professor Angela Ittel, President of TU Braunschweig, is proud that the Carolo-Wilhelmina recently joined Scholars at Risk: “We have always considered it an essential task to protect scientists at risk from persecution, violence and oppression. As a member of Scholars at Risk, we are now even better globally connected, benefit from the best practices of other universities, can contribute our own experiences and can fight against injustice within a strong community.

The membership in Scholars at Risk is a good addition to the university’s extensive support services for refugees, which have been established for years, adds Dr. Astrid Sebastian, Head of the Mobile Researchers’ Services and Refugee Officer at TU Braunschweig. “We now benefit from the wealth of experience of other SAR members and can also use the SAR database to search for suitable candidates for available positions.

In order to further improve cooperation at regional level, TU Braunschweig is currently in close exchange with other universities from northern Germany. The aim is to set up a North German SAR regional group in which joint exchange should create new synergies.