About SCIENCE AT RISK

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.

Screenshot of the downlodable bruchure

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 scholars 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.

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

Additionally, we publish annually studies about the situation of academic freedom in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine which we conduct together with scholars in these countries. You can find the studies here.

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 or a residence permit of Ukraine, Belarus or Russia 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 start of the full-scale invasion:
    • 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 of 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 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.

Language courses

SCIENCE AT RISK Emergency Office offers intensive, online English language courses designed to enhance participants’ skills in both informal, day-to-day communication and for work in academic environments. The courses aim 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.