UA Ruhr News Center

05. 04. 2024

Call for applications from Academy in Exile: Support for researchers under threat

For 2024, Academy in Exile has announced twelve new fellowships, enabling scholars at risk to spend two years conducting research at TU Dortmund University or the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen (KWI).

Academy in Exile (AiE), which has been based at TU Dortmund University since 2023, provides support for scholars at risk – researchers who are under threat due to their research and/or their civic engagement. “For more than six years, Academy in Exile has been committed to protecting and promoting critical scholarship,” says Prof. Kader Konuk. She is Professor of Modern German Literature with a focus on heterogeneity research at TU Dortmund University and is Director of AiE. “With our fellowships and guest positions, we enable scholars, journalists and artists to continue their careers in Germany and to work on their own research projects in a multidisciplinary environment.”

Researchers from any country can apply for the twelve new fellowships if they have a PhD in the humanities, social sciences or law and are at risk – because their research is being delegitimized and/or because they are actively engaged in promoting human rights, democracy and academic freedom. The Mellon Foundation and the Volkswagen Foundation are funding the new fellowship program. The application deadline is 15 April 2024.

The Academy in Exile has already facilitated 76 placements since it was founded.
The Academy in Exile has already facilitated 76 placements since it was founded.
© Academy in Exile

Collaborative Research Agenda and Profile

In 2017, the Institute for Turkish Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen, the KWI and the Forum Transregionale Studien Berlin founded Academy in Exile with the support of the Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study) as a joint initiative to support scholars in Turkey who were facing professional bans or lawsuits. Today, the program is open to applicants from all over the world. AiE has moved to TU Dortmund University in August 2023 and continues to cooperate closely with the KWI in Essen. Since its founding, Academy in Exile has facilitated 76 placements in the form of long-term fellowships, emergency fellowships, artist-in-residence fellowships and visiting professorships.

During their two-year stay at TU Dortmund University or the KWI, new fellows will be able to conduct their own research project and actively contribute to Academy in Exile‘s research agenda and profile. “Our fellowship programs create multidisciplinary cohorts of scholars who work on a common topic and can collaborate with each other,” explains Prof. Konuk who directs AiE together with Prof. Vanessa Agnew at the Department of Cultural Studies. In addition, Academy in Exile organizes academic events and online courses in collaboration with scholars who are banned from working in academia and teaching in their home countries. “Thus, we also provide a forum in which we can reflect on current challenges to academic freedom as well as critical thinking, social justice and diversity,” says Prof. Konuk.

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