Who we are

SCIENCE AT RISK Emergency Office is a project founded by the Academic Network Eastern Europe, akno e.V., that provides support to academics and students that have been affected by the war in Ukraine or by political repression in Belarus and Russia. We are one of the few organizations that act as a point of contact for those affected, providing verification, counseling, and emergency assistance for at-risk scholars and students from that region.

The project emerged following the falsified 2020 presidential elections in Belarus and the ensuing protest movement. Together with partners, we managed to support hundreds of at-risk academics who were dismissed, expelled, penalized, or even detained for political reasons.

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A detailed information brochure about our work can be downloaded as a PDF.

What we do

Since August 2020, our project has grown significantly, allowing us to create an extensive academic network and broaden the services and events we offer. From September to December 2022, funding from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs enabled our team to organize more than 140 academic presentations in various formats, including multiple lecture series and roundtable discussions held in partnership with German universities and academic institutions.

At-risk academics from the target countries not only had the opportunity to share their topical knowledge and experiences with foreign and domestic audiences but also received financial support for their contribution. Furthermore, hundreds of other at-risk academics and students were provided consultation or received additional assistance from our joint mentoring program with the University of New Europe.

The war in Ukraine and the increasing repression against dissent in Belarus and Russia have highlighted the importance of supporting at-risk scholars in the region.

Who we help

You may apply for support from the SCIENCE AT RISK Emergency Office program if you meet the following criteria:

  • you hold Ukrainian, Belarusian or Russian citizenship at the moment of application;
  • you are or were teaching or conducting research at one of the following institutions in Ukraine, Belarus or Russia at the moment of repression or the outbreak of war:
    • academy of science;
    • university;
    • historical archive and museum (research fellow);
    • think tank;
    • civic society institution.
  • you are a MA student or a recent graduate who intends to enroll in a PhD program;
  • you are a BA student or recent graduate who intends to enroll in a master´s program.

How we help

Public events

In order to support the scholars from our program, SCIENCE AT RISK Emergency Office organizes public events to showcase their expertise and research. These events include roundtable discussions, lectures, workshops, and research presentations, which help to highlight the importance and value of the region´s experts. Particular emphasis and support is given to those who have been deprived of the opportunity to work and conduct research in their home countries. In addition, SCIENCE AT RISK Emergency Office provides a one-time honorarium for the featured scholars, which serves as one of the few earning opportunities for at-risk academics.

We can also organize non-public events for scholars who are unable to appear publicly due to security concerns.


In cooperation with The University of New Europe (UNE), SCIENCE AT RISK Emergency Office runs the SCIENCE AT RISK/UNE mentoring program. The program´s aim is to support scholars and students affected by the war in Ukraine and political repression in Belarus and Russia. The program supports scholars who have remained in their home countries or have relocated to elsewhere in Europe. Our goal is to connect scholars and students with experienced academics to guide them in their new circumstances, providing personal, professional and academic support/networking.

Language courses

SCIENCE AT RISK Emergency Office offers an intensive, online English language course designed to enhance participants’ skills in both informal, day-to-day communication and for work in academic environments. The course aims to strengthen speaking and comprehension skills while also introducing concepts specific to academic English. Our experienced teachers will provide participants with the tools necessary to become more proficient readers and writers, thereby fostering scholarly work in English.


In 2023, SCIENCE AT RISK Emergency Office will finance several scientific publications from at-risk scholars. Further details regarding the process of publication and financing will be provided to the applicant during the interview process.