Leverhulme, British Academy and the Council for At Risk Academics announce new partnership to support academics fleeing conflict

17 Oct 2022

One million pounds has been put forward by the Leverhulme Trust to support researchers at risk across the globe, in a new initiative to be delivered by the British Academy in partnership with the Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara).

The British Academy / Cara / Leverhulme Research Support Grants will be made available to academics currently supported through the Academy’s existing Researchers at Risk programme and those supported by Cara. Academics will receive up to £10,000 for projects to take place over the period of their existing award with either of the organisations, and the initiative will run for five years.

The announcement comes as the British Academy opens a new call for the national Academies' Researchers at Risk Fellowships, the sixth round since the scheme was announced earlier this year in response to the Russo-Ukraine conflict. The scheme has received funding and support from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office; SAGE Publishing; and the Nuffield Foundation.

Historians, cybersecurity engineers, medical geneticists, musicologists and food scientists are among 87 scholars so far to receive the Researchers at Risk Fellowships from the British Academy and Cara. The Fellowships are also supported by the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.

Hetan Shah, Chief Executive of the British Academy, said:

“Since launching in Spring 2022, our Researchers at Risk Fellowships scheme has gone from strength to strength with 87 Ukrainian researchers so far in post, or soon to take positions, at universities across the UK. It is vital that we support these individuals to explore their research areas as thoroughly as possible, so we are pleased to bring onboard the Leverhulme Trust whose generous financial support will allow the academics to do just that.

“Having worked closely with Leverhulme for many years, not least on our joint Small Research Grants and Senior Research Fellowships schemes, we are delighted to extend our collaborations and exceptionally grateful to them for helping us to strengthen and build the profile of this essential scheme.”

Professor Anna Vignoles, Director of the Leverhulme Trust, said:

“We are delighted to be working with the British Academy and Cara to provide small grants to researchers at risk. We hope these grants will enable academics from a range of different countries to really pursue their work more fully and effectively once they are here in the UK.”

Stephen Wordsworth, Executive Director, Cara, said:

“In recent years many highly qualified academics around the world have needed help to escape from persecution and conflict, in particular in Afghanistan and Ukraine. We are working today with hundreds of such researchers, helping them to find a place where they and their families will be safe, and where, after their arrival, they can share and further develop their skills until they can one day return home. UK universities and research institutes are already providing generous support, but these new grants from the Leverhulme Trust will provide an invaluable opportunity for many of our ‘Cara Fellows’ to take another big step forward in their work, to the benefit of us all.”

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