Academics in Solidarity

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German Federal Ministry of Education and Research supports nationwide mentoring program based at Freie Universität Berlin for researchers in exile

No 094/2019 from Apr 11, 2019

Reintegrating exiled researchers into the international academic community is at the heart of the mentoring program set up at Freie Universität Berlin and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The "Academics in Solidarity" program has received 600,000 euros funding for the next three years. Based at the university’s Center for International Cooperation, the program seeks to establish a solidarity network for researchers in exile across Germany. The project also plans to extend the network to include partners in Lebanon and Jordan.

"Academics in Solidarity" is open to young postdocs forced to leave their home countries due to war or persecution and who wish to resume their academic work in Germany or another host country. They can come from any field and any country. The program connects refugee researchers with colleagues who are already established in their fields. The exchange between mentor and mentee involves both a chance to share ideas about common research interests regularly as well as an opportunity for mentees to get personalized advice about pursuing an academic career. Mentors can help find funding for long-term research projects, ideally together with a mentee. The program also provides additional training opportunities for mentees and mentors as well as small grants for research trips, conferences, or workshops.

Dr. Florian Kohstall worked together with the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) and Freie Universität Berlin to launch "Academics in Solidarity." In its early stages, the program was called "Adopt an Academic." It is now a vital part of Freie Universität’s long-term efforts to support endangered or exiled scholars, in addition to the university’s active role in the international network "Scholars at Risk" and the Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Researchers and scholars from all over Germany are welcome to apply as mentees or mentors. A workshop for program participants, entitled "Opening Doors: Peer-Mentoring and Collaborative Research," will be held from July 4 to 6 at Freie Universität with the support of the Stifterverband organization. More detailed information about "Academics in Solidarity," including registration and application details can be found at www.fu-berlin.de/int­ernational/profile/ais.