177 Ukrainian academics awarded Researchers at Risk Fellowships in one year

14 Apr 2023

Today marks one year since the launch of the Researchers at Risk Fellowships scheme which brings Ukrainian academics to the UK to safely continue their research through a host institution.

The scheme is delivered by the British Academy and Cara (the Council for At-Risk Academics), with support from the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society. The programme has previously received funding from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Nuffield Foundation and SAGE.

In its first year, the Researchers at Risk scheme has:

  • Supported 177 Ukrainian academics and 200 dependents to relocate to the UK
  • Partnered with over 70 different institutions to host awardees. These include the British Museum, the Courtauld Institute of Art, the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Queen's University Belfast, the University of Strathclyde, Cardiff University, the Central School of Speech and Drama, Glasgow Caledonian University and many more across the UK
  • Supported research across a broad range of disciplines and subjects, from Egyptology and Elizabethan England to diaspora engagement policy in Europe, postquantum cybersecurity, coastal erosion and biotechnology.

If you are interested in further supporting this scheme, please get in touch with [email protected].

See the British Academy’s website to read more about the researchers’ experiences.

Minister of State at the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, George Freeman, said:

“More than a year on since the devastating invasion of Ukraine by Russia we remain steadfast in our support for Ukraine and its people, and we are grateful for the vital contributions Ukrainian academics have made to the UK’s scientific research community.

"On its first anniversary, the Researchers at Risk Fellowships scheme has successfully helped relocate not just 177 Ukrainian academics but their dependants also, allowing them to carry out their research in safety while sending a powerful message that war will not stop international science collaboration.”  

Professor Simon Goldhill, Foreign Secretary of the British Academy, said:

“On behalf of the British Academy, I would like to thank all of those organisations and individuals who have worked so hard to make the Researchers at Risk scheme possible. In just one year the scheme has helped bring a great many Ukrainian researchers, and their dependents, to the safety of the UK. It has been a privilege getting to know them and we are grateful for the invaluable contributions they are making to the UK’s higher education and research community.”

Dr Aisel Omarova, Associate Professor at Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University and Visiting Researcher at the University of Warwick, said:

“The Researchers at Risk Fellowships scheme has provided vital support to those researchers who, like me, are vulnerable due to Russia’s war on Ukraine. The scheme offers stability during these hard times and allows us to continue our research without worrying about how to survive. It has opened a new world, allowed me to meet other scientists in my sphere, make new links and participate in and organise fascinating scientific events. Most importantly, it has fostered a feeling of safety.”

Stephen Wordsworth, Executive Director, Cara, said:

“As an organisation dedicated to assisting academics in immediate danger, we were delighted to be asked by the British Academy also to work with them and the other UK national academies on the proposed ‘Researchers at Risk’ Programme for Ukraine-based researchers and, after its launch, to take on the task of managing all the payments to the grantees. Cara’s roots go back 90 years, to the dark days of 1933. Our founders at that time, who included the then Presidents of the British Academy and the Royal Society as well as many of their Fellows, defined our mission as ‘the relief of suffering and the defence of learning and science’.  90 years on, we are honoured to be working again with such distinguished colleagues to help realise that goal.”

Tim Gardam, CEO of the Nuffield Foundation, said:

“We are proud to have been at the forefront of supporting so many talented young academics whose commitment to research has defied the desperately difficult situations in which they have found themselves. Their range of disciplines and research topics reflects Nuffield’s core purposes, and we look forward to working with them as they progress their careers.”

Clive Parry, Global Vice President, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs of SAGE, said:

“The Researchers at Risk Fellowships scheme is both an important initiative to enable Ukrainian scholars to continue their work despite Russia’s war on Ukraine, and also an impressive demonstration of rapid collaboration between a large number of academic, governmental, and not for profit organisations. Sage is honoured to have played a part in supporting this critical work.”

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