Scholar Rescue Fund

rescue

Around the world, scholars have long suffered harassment, torture and persecution as a result of their work. In the worst cases, scholars pay with their lives for their dedication to scholarship and freedom of thought. The Institute of International Education (IIE), an independent nonprofit, has participated in the rescue of persecuted scholars since its founding in 1919. In 2002, IIE launched the Scholar Rescue Fund (SRF) as a formalized response to this ongoing international dilemma.

The Scholar Rescue Fund provides fellowships for established scholars whose lives and work are threatened in their home countries. These fellowships permit professors, researchers and public intellectuals to find temporary refuge at universities, colleges and research centers anywhere in the world, enabling them to pursue their academic work in safety and to continue to share their knowledge with students, colleagues and the community. During the fellowship, conditions in a scholar’s home country may improve, permitting safe return to help rebuild universities and societies afflicted by fear, conflict and repression. If safe return is not possible, the scholar may use the fellowship period to identify a longer-term opportunity.

Eligibility Criteria

Professors, researchers, and public intellectuals from any country, academic field, or discipline may qualify. Applications are reviewed for academic qualifications, the quality/potential of the applicant’s work, and the severity of the threats that the applicant faces. Preference is given to scholars who:

  • are facing or have recently fled from immediate, severe, and targeted threats to their lives and/or careers in their home countries or countries of residence;
  • have a Ph.D. or other highest degree in their field and/or who have extensive teaching or research experience at a university, college, or other institution of higher learning;
  • demonstrate superior academic accomplishment and promise;
  • will benefit their home and/or host academic communities.

We encourage applications from women and members of ethnic, racial, cultural, or religious minority groups, or those otherwise underrepresented in their fields.

Please note that IIE-SRF does not grant fellowships to students seeking to continue their studies, including Ph.D. study, or to complete an academic training program. In addition, IIE-SRF typically does not consider applications from individuals who have been displaced or in exile for more than two years, or who hold citizenship or other permanent status in a second country.

Please direct any inquiries regarding eligibility to srf@iie.org