SAR's May 2022 Newsletter

Social Media
Posted: 11-05-2022 00:42 | Views: 293

Inspireurope Policy Recommendations

The Inspireurope project, coordinated by SAR Europe at Maynooth University, Ireland, announces the publication of Inspireurope Recommendations: Expanding Opportunities in Europe for Researchers at Risk. The recommendations draw on extensive consultation with researchers at risk, higher education institutions, NGOs, industry representatives, policymakers and other stakeholders over the course of the Inspireurope project, as well as the longstanding experience of Inspireurope partners working directly with researchers at risk. An earlier Inspireurope report, Researchers at Risk: Mapping Europe’s Response, documents the excellent work underway in Europe in support of researchers at risk. However, the mapping report also shows serious shortfalls in support in several areas. Inspireurope’s policy recommendations provide concrete suggestions for systemic improvements across Europe which would benefit international talent with an at-risk background, while at the same time strengthening academic freedom, global research development, and diversity of thought. We invite you to read the report and share it widely with your networks.

Register here »


Expanding SAR Switzerland

The number of at-risk scholars hosted in Switzerland multiplied over the last few years and now stands at close to 120. These scholars have come from Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Serbia, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, and Yemen, and have found a temporary home in Switzerland. SAR Switzerland comprises of 36 members—nearly all of the country’s higher education institutions. [...]

“It is rewarding to support some of the developments described above as Chair of SAR Switzerland, and heartening to experience solidarity among the scientific community, especially in times of crisis. This is crucial because pressure on academic freedom in many parts of the world appears on the rise, including in Europe’s vicinity as we have seen with the crackdown on scientific communities in Turkey and Hungary. This highlights the need to continuously uphold and strengthen the values of academic freedom as well as to stand by scholars and scientific communities throughout the world.”
 – Dr. Roger Pfister, SAR Switzerland Chair & Head of International Cooperation at the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

Read the full piece »


Scholars seeking hosts

SAR scholars are at-risk higher education professionals who exemplify the pursuit of academic freedom, freedom of expression, and university values. If your institution is interested in hosting a SAR scholar, please email

A Scholar of Education from Afghanistan

This scholar of economics specializes in international political economy, international development, and statistics. He is a dedicated educator, with over ten years of lecturing experience and multiple national and international teaching awards. His recent work on Afghanistan’s economic policies is complemented by several research consultancies for international organizations. He reports risk of violence and threats to his life in Afghanistan and seeks teaching and/or research opportunities in Germany beginning immediately. (Afghanistan 784)

A Human Rights Researcher from Egypt

This scholar of political science (MA) and human rights defender specializes in academic freedom, capital punishment, criminal justice, and migration, and has several years of experience working with human rights organizations and universities in the MENA region. In relation to this work, he reports facing arrest and judicial charges. He is seeking research opportunities in a safe location beginning immediately and is eligible for co-funding through SAR’s Practitioner-at-Risk program. (Egypt 608)


A Scholar of Education from Yemen

This scholar specializes in microbiology and environmental sciences. She has nearly 15 years of academic experience and is an active researcher focusing on extracellular vesicles isolation, protein engineering, biotransformation, and cell lines culturing and maintaining, among others. She reports general, situational risk due to the ongoing civil war in Yemen and the occupation of her hometown. She seeks teaching and/or research positions in a safe place beginning immediately. (Yemen 674)


All Scholars Seeking Assistance »

Brazil: Decline in academic freedom

SAR made a submission to the United Nations ahead of the UN Universal Periodic Review of Brazil, raising concern over an increase in threats to academic freedom and institutional autonomy since the 2018 presidential campaign and election of President Jair Bolsonaro. These threats include several actions taken by Bolsonaro, such as provisional measures intended to expand his authority over the university rector appointment process and criminal investigations against academics who publicly criticized him. 
“Universities are seen as a threat to those in power, who then do what they can to remake universities in their own image,” says Jesse Levine, SAR’s senior advocacy officer.
SAR urges UN member states to call on Brazil to reverse its present course, which has proven deeply harmful to the university space. This includes by: (1) establishing clear, transparent, and uniform standards that ensure that academic communities retain the power to appoint and oversee university leadership; (2) refraining from attacks on academic expression or other nonviolent expressive activity by scholars and students; (3) ensuring the safety and security of higher education communities; and (4) drafting legislation to ensure that protections for academic freedom under the Brazilian Constitution—particularly Articles 206 and 207—are consistent with relevant international standards.

Read More»

Free to Think podcast on student advocacy

Free to Think talks with Brian Mello, a professor of political science at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, where he leads a Scholars at Risk Student Advocacy Seminar. He is joined by his student, Bhavna Prakash, a biology major and political science minor at the university. 

“You’re 19,” said Prakash’s friend. “There’s no way you got a meeting at the Senate’s building.” But she did, joining 30 other students and faculty at SAR’s Student Advocacy Days in Washington DC this April. Prakash and Mello describe speaking with members of Congress to advocate on behalf of wrongfully imprisoned Egyptian scholars, the value of non-traditional classrooms, and their advice for students and faculty interested in getting involved on their own campuses.Listen to the podcast »

Monash Scholars at Risk Speaker Series

The Monash Scholars at Risk Speaker series launches with a lecture and panel discussion on the role of sexual violence in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Join the event on Thursday, May 26th from 5:30 PM - 7 PM AEST | 9:30 AM - 11 AM CEST. 


The Monash Scholars at Risk Speaker Series is a landmark interdisciplinary program to promote academic freedom and to raise awareness on behalf of scholars who are unjustly threatened or persecuted for their work. The series provides international scholars who have suffered threats to their security, liberty and well-being the opportunity to visit the university to speak about their work. Monash joined Scholars at Risk in 2018 and is one of eighteen founding members in Australia.

If your institution is interested in learning more about setting up a Speaker Series on campus, please be in touch at here»

WHEC Event: Beyond Words

Scholars at Risk and Education International invite you to a side event at the UNESCO World Higher Education Conference titled "Beyond Words: A call for global guidance on implementing academic freedom, autonomy and related values."Register here»

News & Events

Inspireurope Philipp Schwartz Initiative Forum, Berlin, May 10-11, 2022

Inspireurope Philipp Schwartz Initiative Forum, Berlin I May 10-11, 2022

The Philipp Schwartz and Inspireurope Stakeholder Forum 2022 is convened jointly by the Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Inspireurope project, a consortium of ten partner organisations across Europe committed to the protection and support of researchers at risk. The 2022 Stakeholder Forum will reflect on the situation and the work of displaced scholars who have found positions in other countries. 

Register here »

SAR Hosting Consultation Drop-In Hour

SAR Hosting Consultation Drop-In Hour | May 19, 2022 

SAR offers a monthly consultative hour for SAR members to drop-in and ask any questions related to their hosting activities.SAR encourages members to share updates about their ongoing activities and connect with other SAR members who are interested in hosting at-risk scholars. While members are encouraged to “drop-in” at any time during the hour, registration is required. 

Register here »


LIBERTAS. Spaces and practices of academic freedom | June 22-24, 2022

To celebrate and revive eight centuries of commitment to the protection and promotion of academic freedom, the University of Padova, in collaboration with Scholars at Risk Italy and Scholars at Risk Europe, is organising this international conference. The aim is to promote the knowledge and understanding of the factors that – across the centuries and still today – have put academic freedom as a specific form of freedom of expression at stake, and to expand the debate on themes related to academic freedom and its violations.Learn more »

Text To SpeechText To Speech Text ReadabilityText Readability Color ContrastColor Contrast
Accessibility Options