Type of Funding
The Institute of International Education (IIE) provides Fellowships for threatened scholars around the world under the IIE Scholar Rescue Fund® (IIE-SRF), to enable them to continue their work in safety at partnering academic institutions worldwide. Qualified scholars facing threats to their lives or careers can now send in their applications for consideration by the IIE-SRF Selection Committee in September 2019. Fellowships support temporary academic positions at colleges, universities, and other research institutions and institutions of higher learning anywhere in the world where the scholars can continue their academic work in safety.
The IIE-SRF fellowship term typically ranges from 9 to 12 months, and fellows can apply for a renewal of the fellowship for up to 1 more year of financial support.
Host institutions would be institutions of higher learning and research, such as universities, colleges, research centers, think tanks, or museums that can join in partnership with IIE-SRF to support a visiting fellow’s academic work. Host partners may be identified by IIE-SRF, or the IIE-SRF fellow before or after a fellowship is approved, or by the institutions themselves when they refer a scholar or communicate their interest in becoming an IIE-SRF host partner.
Threatened scholars may also choose to apply for the Baden-Württenberg Fund for Persecuted Scholars (of which the Scholar Rescue Fund is a contributing partner), which supports visiting research appointments at universities and other higher education institutions within the German state of Baden-Württemberg, where scholars can continue their work in freedom and safety. Baden-Württemberg fellowships are for 1 year, with the possibility of a 1-year renewal. This program will be coordinated with the IIE Scholar Rescue Fund’s global programming.
The IIE-SRF fellowship provides financial support, professional development assistance, and resources to help fellows transition (often with their families) to their host institution environments. The fellowship award includes a grant of up to US$25,000 and health insurance coverage, to support a visiting academic appointment of up to 1 year (renewable for a second year). The final fellowship amount is dependent upon several factors, including the location of the host institution, the cost of living, and the value of any additional contributions from the host institution of other source(s).
IIE-SRF works with fellows to identify suitable host institutions in safe locations, emphasizing, when possible, that they join institutions in their home regions either in the immediate or long-term. IIE-SRF also assists with the scholar’s relocation to the host country, including assisting with visa issues, travel, and arrival. Additional support services provided, often in coordination with the host campus and/or volunteer agencies may include: emergency funds; health insurance; free English language courses; funding for conference and lecture attendance; academic mentoring; and resource guides. To the extent possible, IIE-SRF also works with fellows to help them continue their academic pursuits after the fellowship period.
IIE-SRF typically requires that the hosting institution provide financial support that is equal to or greater than the IIE-SRF fellowship award. This support generally takes the form of a stipend or other direct funding for the visiting fellow such as housing, airfare, and meal programs. In-kind contributions such as office space, computers, language, or other training fees, etc. are encouraged for a complete fellow support package but do not qualify as part of the matching contribution. In host countries where the cost of living is lower and the funding requirement is prohibitive, IIE-SRF may consider on a case-by-case basis a waiver of the full host funding requirement.
Professors, senior researchers, and public intellectuals from any country, academic field, or discipline may apply, whose lives or careers are threatened. Persecutions or violence could be due to the scholar’s scholarship, identity, or beliefs. This may include intimidation, harassment, repression, censorship, unjust punishment or violence arising out of a scholar’s work, and/or exercise of his/her fundamental human rights. IIE-SRF may also make a limited number of awards to scholars facing general insecurity, instability, or civil conflict that affects the whole population of a country or region.
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;
- hold a Ph.D. or 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; and
- will benefit their home and/or host academic communities.
Applications from women and members of ethnic, racial, cultural, or religious minority groups, or those otherwise underrepresented in their fields, are especially encouraged. Priority is given to applicants who face immediate security threats and to those who have been displaced or in exile for less than 2 years.
The academic qualifications, the quality/potential of the applicant’s work, and the severity of the threats that the applicant faces will be used to assess qualification for the fund.
Applicants are not required to speak English; however, a scholar’s language abilities will influence the possibilities for fellowship placement, as preference is given to applicants with advanced ability in the language of the host country or institution. English language training may be available to scholars prior to or during the fellowship year, if needed.
Students seeking financial support to continue their studies, including Ph.D. study and scholars whose primary purpose is to continue their graduate or post-graduate training, are not eligible.
Applicants who lack valid travel documents may still apply for the IIE-SRF fellowship, although IIE-SRF is unable to assist these individuals in leaving their home countries.
Applications are accepted at any time throughout the year, as the applications will be reviewed by the IIE-SRF Selection Committee on a quarterly basis. For consideration in September 2019, application materials must be submitted via email, fax or post, by 1 July 2019.