Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the UB Scholars at Risk Fellowship?

The fellowship serves several purposes. It provides humanitarian assistance to scholars who are at risk in their own countries due to their work as academics, while it raises awareness at UB about threats to academic freedom around the world. At the same time, the fellowship brings highly qualified scholars to UB to address faculty needs and advance the university’s research, teaching and service missions.

Who is eligible to be nominated for the UB SAR Fellowship? What qualifications are required?

Suitably qualified academics from any country with terminal degrees and a strong record of scholarship and teaching who are threatened in their home countries and thus unable to continue their academic careers.

Who is eligible for a Remote SAR Fellowship? Are the qualifications different?

The qualifications are generally the same for a remote SAR fellowship; the difference is that the scholar is unable to relocate to the US and will thus collaborate with UB counterparts through some remote modality.

Can anyone at UB nominate a scholar at risk for the UB SAR fellowship?

The deans formally nominate scholars for the fellowship and thus consideration by the Selection Committee; however, anyone in the UB community—faculty, staff or students—may nominate a scholar to the appropriate host school for consideration by the dean.

How does the Scholar Search process work? What is its purpose?

The Scholar Search process is an alternative to nominating a specific scholar for the fellowship; it involves identifying faculty needs that might be addressed by an SAR Fellow. Once the deans submit a Scholar Search request, OIE coordinates with UB’s international partners, SAR and IIE-SRF, to identify potential candidates that fit the dean’s criteria—typically from the portfolios of scholars already vetted by these organizations.

Can scholars at risk with spouses and/or families be nominated/selected?

Yes, though provision for a scholar’s family will impact a number of considerations—the immigration process, funding package, and housing arrangements, among others

What is the role of the Scholars at Risk network and IIE Scholar Rescue Fund?

These well-established partner organizations play three key roles—they help identify suitably qualified scholars that fit UB’s faculty needs; (2) educate the UB community about threats to scholars and to academic freedom around the world; and (3), in the case of IIE-SRF, provide funding support to the scholar on top of what UB provides.

How will the travel and immigration arrangements for UB SAR fellows be handled?

Once a scholar has been selected for the residential fellowship, the host department and OIE will work with that person on travel arrangements to the US, typically from either the home country or a third country. UB Immigration Services, a unit of OIE, will normally administer J-1 visa applications for SAR Residential Fellows. UBIS may consult UB’s partner organizations in this process.

Where will the SAR residential fellows live?

With one-year appointments, SAR residential fellows are likely to seek rental housing convenient to campus. In some cases, campus housing may be available.

What are SAR fellows expected to do at UB?

SAR Residential Fellows will be expected to do what their UB faculty colleagues typically do—conduct research, teach courses and contribute to the work of their host departments and schools. They will also help educate the campus community about threats to academic freedom as they have experienced them directly.

Beyond their scholarly activities, what will SAR Fellows contribute to UB?

SAR fellows will raise awareness of the threats to academic freedom experienced by scholars in many countries today.

What costs are covered by the SAR Fellowship stipend? Can fellows earn additional income outside of UB?

The cost-shared SAR fellowship stipend/salary is expected to be sufficient to cover travel, insurance, living and incidental costs during the scholar’s 12-month appointment at UB.

Can the fellowship be renewed or extended? How will that decision be made?

Yes. Renewal or extension of the SAR residential fellowship is at the discretion of the dean of the host school and depends on a review of the scholar’s work at UB.