Threatened Researchers

KIT is a member of the Scholars at Risk Global Network (SAR) and the SAR Germany Section. Since 2016 KIT is hosting fellows in the Philipp Schwartz-Initiative launched by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Philipp Schwartz-Initiative

KIT receives Funding for Philipp Schwartz Fellowship for Displaced Foreign Researchers

Logo: ©Philipp Schwartz-Initiative

KIT’s concept to support threatened scholars, primarily developed by the International Scholars and Welcome Office (IScO), has as its key objective the profound integration of displaced researchers into the scientific community and their new surroundings and will be implemented through a comprehensive assistance adapted to the special needs of threatened scientists by the hosting institute, IScO, and other departments and service providers at KIT. Apart from raising awareness of the special situation of fled researchers, the main focus lies on the scientific potentials of refugees.

In the context of the successful concept, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology since 2016 has been able to confer Philipp Schwartz Fellowships of KIT to threatened scientists that enables them to resume research at KIT for the duration of two years and to develop new perspectives in science with the support of their hosting institutes

Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation:

14th Call (KIT internal Deadline: February 07, 2024)

Applications - by universities and research institutions which are entitled to nominate candidates only.  No direct applications possible. Before submitting application documents, please take note of the information on data protection and send us your consent (from both mentors and researchers at risk) informally by e-mail (German version / English version).

Selection results are expected to be available by the end of May 2024. Grants can be started as of 1st of July 2024.

For more information please see here: External Link

Contact and consultation at KIT: Oliver Kaas.


Scholars at Risk Network (SAR)

“Scholars at Risk is an international network of institutions and individuals whose mission it is to protect scholars and promote academic freedom. “

Since long and even more in our days around the world, scholars are threatened because of their research, their ideas, and their place in society. SAR takes action whenever scholars are being restricted in their academic freedom while doing research, teaching, and learning.

+++ Save-the-Date and Call for Papers: Scholars at Risk Summit "Freedom to Think", November 20 – 21, 2023 in downtown Ottawa +++

Attacks on academic freedom and higher education are frequent and pervasive – with wide-ranging—at times deadly—consequences for scholars and students. No country is immune. This summit will examine the full scope of global threats to academic freedom and their consequences, especially in terms of forced scholar migration, and will explore how best to defend academic freedom and to support scholars forced to flee their homelands.

 Please join the organizers for a series of events including a culture show, keynotes, and panels discussing the critical issues facing scholars at risk worldwide and the importance of academic freedom. Scholars from a variety of disciplines, as well as other contributors from universities, governments, non-governmental organizations, and the wider community, are encouraged to join.

The conference is organized by the Scholars At Risk initiative at Carleton University, Ottawa (SAR Carleton), in cooperation with the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR Network), SAR Canada, the Institute of International Education Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE- SRF), and the Middle East Studies Association Global Academy (MESA). Proposals for papers and panels can be submitted through the following website by September 1, 2023:

Please address any questions or requests for further information to the Summit Administrator, Rachel Jobson, at: SAREvent∂

Regional Network PSI Plus

The Regional Network PSI Plus is a network of partners from Baden-Württemberg; Germany, and Alsace, France, who strive to provide better support to threatened researchers in the region. Within this cross-border cooperation, the partners aim especially at strengthening the development of long-term perspectives for at-risk researchers (e.g. after expiration of funding programs such as Philipp Schwartz scholarships). The partners of the PSI Plus Network offer support to researchers at risk. 

More Information here.

External Initiatives


The #ResearchersAtRisk campaign was initiated by the German career platform and is supported by the Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Its goal is to encourage employers to acknowledge the special circumstances of researchers at risk in recruitment procedures and to support scholars in finding suitable position.

For more information, please visit the website: #ResearchersAtRisk (

The Volkswagen Foundation: Infos regarding the Ukraine War

At short notice, the VolkswagenStiftung (VolkswagenFoundation) has launched a visiting research program for Ukrainian refugee scientists, which offers Ukrainian refugee researchers from all disciplines the opportunity to continue their research activities in a working group in Germany for a period of 6-12 months. The application is made jointly by the university management and the host. The contact person at KIT is Ms. Elena Pfeifer.

The Vector Foundation: Emergency aid for Ukrainian refugee scientists

The Vector Foundation provides funding to universities and research institutions in Baden-Württemberg to employ refugees with Ukrainian citizenship and completed studies in existing working groups and projects for a limited period of time (6-12 months). Hosts at universities and research institutions in Baden-Württemberg can apply for the call together with the visiting scientist to be hosted. Upon submission of all required documents, a decision can be expected within 14 days. The Vector Foundation is interested in a fast and unbureaucratic process.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Kristine Bentz | +49 711 80670 1181 | kristine bentz does-not-exist.vector-stiftung de directly.

Contact person at KIT (among others regarding the verification of the academic qualification of the visiting scientist) is Ms. Elena Pfeifer.

More Information: Link to the website (in German only) | Description of the call (PDF, in German only)

German Jordanian Applied University Teaching (AUT)

The “Applied University Teaching International Conference” will take place on June 13, 2022, at German Jordanian University in Amman. The conference aims to bring together academics, university teachers und didactics experts from Germany, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria to explore and discuss opportunities and strengths of applied university teaching in these countries. Keynotes, a panel discussion and several workshops will allow for interactive collaboration and exchange on applied university teaching. The conference will be held in a hybrid format so that participation will be possible both in presence in Amman and online. Participation is free of charge.

Information about the conference program and registration can be found on this website.

The “Applied University Teaching International Conference” is part of the project “German Jordanian Applied University Teaching” (AUT), realized in cooperation between the German Jordanian University and Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences and funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) from resources provided by the German Federal Foreign Office. The project offers online trainings on teaching and learning in higher education to support academics and university teachers from Syria, Lebanon and Jordan to improve their teaching skills and focus on their professional development. It also aims to build effective transnational teaching collaborations and encourage joint research on higher education issues.

Currently the application period for the “AUT Advanced Course” is open (until May 26). This online course is addressed to academics from Jordan, Lebanon and Syria who already have some experience in university teaching and who also have some didactic knowledge and skills in the field of higher education. Additionally, German university teachers will be asked to participate in discipline-related working groups. The course starts on July 4, 2022.

General information about the AUT project and the “Advanced Course” can be found on this website.


Information and offers for refugees and migrants.
More information can be found here.

New KIT Information Portal: Effects of the Ukraine War and Offers of Assistance
With a new information portal, the KIT Service for International Affairs Unit (DE INTL) would like to centralize information regarding support offers for people from Ukraine and the effects of the war on studying and working at KIT. The offer will be continuously updated and extended.

Other useful links:
- DAAD: Important information on the impact of Russia's attack on Ukraine:
- DAAD offers:

Current statements on the war against Ukraine
- The consortium partners of the Inspireurope project have appealed to EU governments and institutions and published a list of demands.
- The global Scholars at Risk network has circulated a statement of solidarity, co-sponsored by SAR chapters worldwide.
- The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has published a statement and adopted a package of measures: (German only)

SAR and SAR Europe issue urgent appeals regarding Afghanistan
Together with 56 organizations and networks, SAR Europe issued an additional appeal to European Governments and the European Union to take similar actions. Read more.

Support for at-risk academics at postdoctoral level

The International Scholars and Welcomce Office offers guidance and support for at-risk academics at postdoctoral level as well as institutes and academic mentors with regard to application in funding programs as well as in hosting of at-risk academics.

We support in administrative issues ranging from residence permit, finding accomodation, insurances to child care. Further, we offer guidance in re-settling in a new academic and living environment and, in co-operation with the at-risk scholar, her or his academic mentor or host and partners in KIT and outside to develop new career perspectives inside and outside academia.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has developed various actions and offerings to support the integration of refugees.

For information on initiatives, platforms and network support of refugees and threatened researchers please see here.


World Science Café ZAK
World Science Café

In the event series fled and threatened scientists offer insights into their research

Workshop Felix Grünschloss
Initiatives, platforms and network support
SAR_FreetoThink2020 SAR-Free to Think
Free to Think 2020
Feuersteine ISco
Research without Borders

Event of the "Regional Network PSI+" which brings together threatened researchers with their colleagues from KIT and other universities in Baden-Württemberg and partner universities from France for personal exchange

Archive Photo

Archive of the past initiatives and events