Foundation Supports Training for Vulnerable Scholars and Host Institutions

Date: September 22, 2017

A 2017 AAUP Foundation grant has helped to fund the Scholars at Risk Network’s Scholar Transition Project, which provides training to scholars whose careers have been disrupted by political upheaval and to institutions interested in hosting them. Scholars at Risk (SAR) organized a series of workshops in the United States, Norway, and Germany, and developed handbooks for scholars and host institutions.

Workshops for scholars included practical advice about building networking skills and adjusting to US academic and professional norms. Workshops for institutions provided information about best practices for hosting refugee scholars and promoting core values of higher education. Hosts had the opportunity to hear from scholars about their experiences and their professional development and placement needs.

One scholar participant commented, “This was a great workshop that successfully managed to bring together people from different backgrounds and created a sense of community. The workshop managed to address something that is relevant for everyone.”

The AAUP Foundation grant of $10,000 was provided by the Academic Freedom Fund, which supports projects that safeguard academic freedom to encourage free inquiry, promote the expansion of knowledge, and create an environment in which learning and research can flourish. The Scholar Transition Project, a part of SAR's transition training program, is an excellent example of how relatively modest sums of money can make a tremendous difference in the lives of vulnerable faculty while also contributing to a broader global understanding of academic freedom.

SAR executive director Robert Quinn said, “We are grateful for the AAUP Foundation, whose support helps our program. So far, this project has enabled nearly 50 scholars and academic leaders from 55 universities to participate in training workshops—helping scholars adjust to and engage in new academic communities and environments, and guiding academic leaders to become excellent host universities.”

Learn more about AAUP Foundation grant programs.

Photo: Bernadette So from New York University provides career training at the May 2017 transition training workshop for SAR Scholars.