Support for researchers from Ukraine topped up to nine million francs

The SNSF is expanding its support for researchers affected by the war in Ukraine. This enables them to continue their work in Switzerland.

Two weeks ago the SNSF decided on several measures to provide rapid support for researchers from Ukraine. It has allocated one million Swiss francs to enable universities, in collaboration with the Swiss branch of Scholars at Risk, to host affected researchers and enable them to continue their work at a Swiss institution.

It has also decided that research projects and doctorates that are delayed because of the war in Ukraine can be extended by one year. Those who hire new researchers from Ukraine in an SNSF-funded project can also apply for additional funding.

Fifteen researchers have now joined Swiss institutions thanks to the collaboration with Scholars at Risk Switzerland, meaning that the money provided by the SNSF for this purpose has already been distributed. In addition, the SNSF has received several supplementary grant applications. The SNSF has now decided to allocate a total of nine million Swiss francs to support researchers affected by the war in Ukraine. This amount will be used for the researchers’ stays in collaboration with Scholars at Risk Switzerland as well as for project extensions and supplementary grants. This will make it possible to support several dozen more researchers and projects.

Situation in Russia not comparable

Due to the war in Ukraine, Swiss research projects related to Russia or Belarus are increasingly experiencing delays. For example, researchers who would have to conduct on-site research for their work in Russia can no longer enter the country, or can only do so with difficulty. The SNSF has therefore decided that an extension of up to 12 months may also be requested by researchers facing this problem or difficulties of a similar nature.

The situation of researchers in Russia and Belarus cannot be compared with the situation in Ukraine. However, many Russian academics are now leaving their home country because they are suffering hardships under the economic sanctions, disagree with their country's policies, or are being persecuted for their stance. The latter are already able to apply for support via the Scholars at Risk network. The SNSF is continuously reviewing whether further support measures should be made available for researchers from Russia and Belarus.

Researchers from Afghanistan

The SNSF supports a free, diverse and internationally open science system. For this reason, it has been working together with the Scholars at Risk network since October 2020. This has included support for the hosting of researchers from Turkey and Syria, as well as from Afghanistan since the Taliban took over power. For researchers from Afghanistan, the SNSF has so far approved seven applications.