SNSF supports Ukrainian researchers
The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) strongly condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine and will support researchers affected by the war.
The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) strongly condemns the invasion, which has had a devastating impact on the people and infrastructure of Ukraine. The aggression against Ukraine is also an attack on freedom, democracy and self-determination, on which scientific independence and opportunities for scientific cooperation are based. The SNSF is particularly concerned about researchers in Ukraine and is looking at all possible ways of helping them. Ukraine is a democratic and highly respected member of the European research community, and there have been numerous fruitful collaborations between researchers in Switzerland and Ukraine.
“The present situation is simply intolerable and we will do whatever is possible to help our colleagues in Ukraine,” said Matthias Egger, president of the National Research Council. The SNSF is currently exploring ways of supporting Ukrainian researchers at home and abroad, including specific measures in support of SNSF-funded Ukrainian nationals.
In its latest statement, the National Research Foundation of Ukraine (NRFU) writes: “Currently, after Russia's attack on our country, Ukrainian researchers cannot do science. Some are fighting at the front, defending every piece of their homeland from Putin's onslaught, some are hiding from Russian missile bombings in bomb shelters, some are forced to flee their homes and become refugees, some found themselves in temporarily occupied territories. There is an ongoing deliberate destruction of civil infrastructure, including scientific and research objects.”
Support also via Scholars at Risk (SAR)
As a longstanding promoter of academic freedom, peaceful cooperation and tolerance across borders, the SNSF also supports Scholars at Risk (SAR), a global organisation committed to helping and funding scientists and researchers who are in danger in their own country.
Scholars at Risk has an international network of almost 500 universities which promote the principles of academic freedom. Researchers can apply for temporary placements in countries where they and their families are safe. The stays allow them to pursue their own academic work or become involved in research at the host institution. The SNSF and the Swiss universities support SAR’s activities in Switzerland. If a Swiss institution is ready to provide sanctuary to a researcher, it can apply for financial support from the SNSF. Needless to say, researchers in Ukraine, in particular, are currently considered candidates for support through Scholars at Risk.
The SNSF is calling for a concerted international effort to ensure the safety of Ukrainian researchers. The science system is threatened whenever scientists find their own and their families' wellbeing at risk.