At-Risk and Refugee Scientists and Scholars

information and offers
Image: Mareike Rind

The University of Jena supports scientists and scholars who have been displaced or who are subject to persecution or repression in their home countries. There are numerous support options for refugee scientists at the University of Jena.Scientists and scholars at risk have the opportunity to be nominated for a fellowship of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative.

So far, we have been able to host four at-risk scientists and scholars at our University thanks to the initiative.

New funding options of the Volkswagenstiftung for Refugee Scholars and Scientists from Afghanistan you will find here.

Programme of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Information for scientists at risk Show content

In cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation created the Philipp Schwartz Initiative in 2015. The programme is aimed at scientists and scholars who are at risk and threatened and who are subject to persecution and repressions in their home countries. It allows them to continue their academic work in Germany.

Applications are by nomination by professors of the University of Jena only. Researchers cannot directly apply for this programme. 


  • supervisory commitment of a scientific mentor at the University of Jena to the nominated person;
  • completed doctorate or comparable academic degree (PhD, CSc or equivalent);
  • nominated persons must not be or have been resident outside their own country for more than five years at the time of application;
  • sufficient language skills to successfully conduct their research project;
  • scientific qualifications (e.g. publications);
  • potential to be integrated in the (academic) job market;
  • proof of at-risk status through a) residence status in the context of an asylum procedure within the EU or b) credible threat assessment issued by a third party no more than 12 months before the application deadline (for example, documentation through the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR) or the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA)).
Information for hosts Show content

In the framework of this programme, higher education and research institutions can apply for funding to host researchers at risk. Scientists and scholars who have been nominated successfully can be awarded fellowship funds or contracts of employment for research stays that last up to 24 months. In the framework of a co-funding model, an extension of up to 12 additional months is possible. 

Applications are submitted centrally by the International Office. Please contact us if you would like to become a host in the Philipp Schwartz Initiative or have questions about the programme.

For more information about the programme and current programme documents, please see here.

Application and support Show content

The International Office / Welcome Point will take care of...

  • the application,
  • the coordination with the host institute and the academic mentor,
  • the processing of the grants and reporting.

The International Office / Welcome Point supports...

    • with needs-oriented mentoring,
    • with individual tutoring/mentoring services or dealing with public administrative authorities, opening a bank account, health insurance, looking for a place of residence, individual language courses, intercultural offers, workshops, welcome packages, status (contract management);
    • with extensive support offers (support with applications formats, funding options, getting into contact with and placement of potential candidates, tutoring services, looking for an apartment, information events for host institutes and faculties).

Further programmes and supporting networks

Global Scholars at Risk Network Show content
  • University of Jena: member since 2021
  • an international network consisting of more than 500 institutions of higher education from 38 countries
  • placement of at-risk scientists/scholars at host institutes as well as risk assessment for nominations in the context of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative
  • workshops and events
SAR Germany Section Show content
  • University of Jena: member since 2021
  • network of German institutions of higher education, research institutions, and scientific organizations
The New School (The New University in Exile Konsortium) Show content
  • University of Jena: member since 2021
  • strengthening the community of refugee researchers
  • seminars, workshops, and joint projects
Institute of International Education's Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE-SRF) Show content
  • one-year partial scholarship for international stays at universities and research institutions
  • help with establishing contact between researchers and research institutes http://www.scholarrescuefund.org/scholars
  • co-funding of two threatened scholars at the University of Jena 2019–2020
Internationales Büro/Welcome Point
Am Planetarium 8
07743 Jena
+49 3641 9-401551
Office hours:
To make an appointment, please contact us via e-mail.
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