- Samira Rosenbaum

A Safe Place to Conduct Research

Philipp Schwartz Initiative for threatened researchers provides funding at the University of Bamberg

Arabic-language advisory services for prospective students who are also refugees, special language courses, and a newly established coordinating office – these are just a few of the various measures that the University of Bamberg has taken in order to help refugees begin their studies. However, it’s not only prospective students who are under threat in their troubled home countries, political persecution of researchers and other established scholars is also a problem in many regions. The Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation provides Universities with the means to fund lengthy research stays for persecuted foreign scholars. Effective immediately, the University of Bamberg is among the institutions that will receive funding for a Philipp Schwartz fellowship: the foundation will provide a total of €96,000 in funding for a Turkish scholar who, beginning in January 2017, will spend 24 months conducting research in the World Heritage city.

Host universities are selected based on various criteria, including the strength of the institution’s conception for association with the proposed fellowship candidate. Additionally, the foundation considers factors like how well-suited the candidate is to the host institution’s overall academic profile, the level of cooperative partners’ involvement and the potential for the successful personal and professional integration of the fellowship recipient. A candidate’s specific subject area, origin and degree of individual danger have no bearing on selection decisions. 

The Philipp Schwartz Initiative was created by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in collaboration with the German Federal Foreign Office and provides German institutions of higher education and non-university research institutes with the funding necessary to award research fellowships to threatened researchers. Funding for the initiative is provided by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, die Klaus Tschira Stiftung, the Robert Bosch Stiftung and Stiftung Mercator.