Researchers at Risk Fellowships

Next deadline: TBC (CARA); TBC+2 weeks (submission)

The British Academy with Cara (the Council for At-Risk Academics) is establishing a Researchers at Risk Fellowships Programme with the support of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society. 

Aims - The first priority of the Programme will be as a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has exposed Ukrainian-based researchers to direct threat. We wish to open the scheme more widely when possible. 

Eligibility Requirements - For the purposes of this Programme, a ‘researcher’ is considered to mean a person who has been engaged in teaching or research at a university, research institute or equivalent institution. An individual is defined as being at risk if they are subject to discrimination, persecution, suffering or violence on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. 

Researchers in any field may be considered for funding if they:

  • hold a doctoral degree (or have equivalent experience);
  • are confirmed by Cara to be at risk;
  • are either still in Ukraine or have not yet spent more than five years away from Ukraine;
  • possess the language skills required for the successful completion of their academic project;
  • possess academic qualifications and can show other evidence of an active academic career (e.g. publications);
  • have not yet been supported through an equivalent scheme/opportunity.

The UK host institution will lead on completing an application. The UK National Academies will not determine whether a risk exists; this will be done via a threat assessment conducted by Cara, on the basis of information provided with the application. Only UK host institutions may contact Cara to conduct a threat assessment at; for the purposes of the assessment, Cara will require a copy of the ID pages of the researcher’s passport, a fully up-to-date CV, and a short note explaining the specific threat faced by the researcher. 

Visas will be required. Currently, in order for the researcher at risk to be able to utilise the Ukrainian Sponsorship Scheme – if this route is chosen – the UK host institution will need to name an individual who will act as the sponsor for the researcher’s visa and meet the requirements of the government’s scheme, including having identified at least six months’ duration of appropriate accommodation.

Value and Duration - The awards are expected to run for up to two years each from a starting date to be agreed with the British Academy. The total amount available is expected to be £37,000 per year (£74,000 over two years), to include any accompanying family members.

Eligible costs will include the covering of a bursary or stipend to support the researcher, living costs, and research expenses. UK host institutions' costs will not be eligible. 

Application Process - All eligible proposals submitted in response to the call will be considered by a Selection Panel convened by the British Academy and including representatives of the UK National Academies and Cara. Requests for risk assessment must be sent to CARA at least two weeks before the deadline (TBC for the next round).

The call will remain open on a rolling basis with deadlines for applications until all funding has been utilised. The most recent deadlines for applications were 5:00pm BST on Wednesday 12 October 2022 followed by the same time on Wednesday 23 November 2022. Please see the British Academy webpage for this opportunity for more details.