Published August 30, 2022
As a diverse and inclusive scholarly community committed to academic freedom, UB has established the Scholars at Risk Fellowship Program to afford highly qualified academics around the world who are threatened in their own countries the opportunity to continue their research and teaching in a safe and supportive environment at UB.
“As a globally engaged research university, UB has long attracted talented individuals from around the world to our scholarly community. Our Scholars at Risk Program will bring first-rate academics to the university to meet critical faculty needs while raising awareness of the stark challenges facing many scholars in countries that restrict or deny their academic freedom,” says A. Scott Weber, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.
A sustaining member of the international Scholars at Risk (SAR) network and a partner of the Scholar Rescue Fund of the Institute of International Education (IIE-SRF), UB will annually offer a 12-month, residential fellowship to scholars experiencing risk in their home countries due to persecution, government sanction or physical threats.
Remote fellowships of variable length are also available for scholars at risk. The fellowship program is administered by the Office of International Education (OIE).
“Our Scholars at Risk Program is truly a win-win proposition,” says Nojin Kwak, vice provost for international education. “While addressing key faculty needs identified by the deans, we will at the same time demonstrate our solidarity with threatened scholars overseas through this humanitarian initiative and foster greater awareness on campus of the risks many academics face around the world.”
Nominations for the fellowship may originate from any member of the UB community, but must be endorsed and submitted by the dean whose school would host the scholar. Alternatively, deans may submit a Scholar Search request to OIE identifying faculty needs that might be filled by a scholar at risk already vetted by SAR or IIE-SRF.
Nominations are considered by an inter-decanal faculty selection committee, taking into account the nominee’s qualifications, “fit” for UB, and threatened condition. Information about the UB SAR Fellowship and the nomination process may be found on the OIE website.
Any scholar of any country and any discipline with a terminal degree who has a documented record of scholarship that meets an appropriate standard in a field represented at UB, and who faces the risk of persecution in his/her own country is eligible for nomination. U.S. citizens and permanent residents, scholars with permanent residency in a third country, and scholars wishing to continue their studies at a U.S. institution are not eligible.
Residential fellowship appointments are for 12 months and may be renewed at the discretion of the dean based on an annual review. Residential fellows will normally have faculty appointments that entail research, teaching and service duties. As valued members of the UB community, fellowship recipients will contribute to the intellectual and cultural life of the campus and benefit from mentoring and collegial support from their host faculty.
Remote Scholars at Risk Fellowships are available for scholars who are unable to leave their home country and whose scholarly activities are curtailed due to persecution or other threat that puts them at risk. A remote fellowship enables recipients to access UB scholarly resources and to engage in remote teaching and collaboration in partnership with UB host faculty.