FAQs


Below are some of the most frequently asked questions Scholars at Risk receives from threatened scholars, potential member institutions and the media.

Please contact us if you have a question that is not listed below.

Q: What is the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR)?

Q: How does SAR assist threatened scholars?

Q: Who is considered a “scholar at risk?”

Q: Where do scholars report being at risk?

Q: How can scholars apply for assistance?

Q: How can higher education institutions get involved?

Q: How can individuals get involved?

Q: Does SAR offer volunteer opportunities?

Q: To whom may I address press inquiries?


Q: What is the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR)?

A: Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of higher education institutions and individuals dedicated to protecting threatened scholars, preventing attacks on higher education, and promoting academic freedom and related values worldwide.

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Q: How does SAR assist threatened scholars?

A: SAR works with its global network of higher education institutions around the world to arrange temporary research and teaching positions for threatened scholars. These visits are intended as short-term positions of academic refuge, and generally range from 3 months to 2 years, with the average visit lasting for one academic year (9-12 months). During the visits, scholars may teach, research, lecture or study, depending on the needs of the host institution, the scholar’s interests, and the terms established for the visit. We also provide advisory, referral, and career support services. For scholars whose applications we are not able to accept, we aim to suggest other resources, organizations, and opportunities that may be useful.

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Q: Who is considered a “scholar at risk?”

A: Scholars at risk include professors, researchers, doctoral students, institutional leaders and other members of higher education communities who are threatened and/or attacked as a result of the content of their work, their status as academics or as a result of their peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression or freedom of association. Scholars who apply for SAR’s assistance often report a number of threats including harassment, surveillance, denial of accesses or permissions, confiscation of notes and computers files, professional or personal slander or defamation, physical or sexual intimidation, arbitrary dismissal, internal exile, external exile, arrest on false charges, detention without trial, trial and imprisonment, torture, disappearance and extra-judicial killing.

SAR has also received requests for assistance from university communities facing ideological pressure and censorship, imposition of approved national ideology, book burning and ideological revisionism, closing of schools and universities, suppression of strikes/protests, restrictions on travel, restrictions on information exchange, discriminatory restrictions on academic resources. To learn more about threats facing higher education communities around the world, read Free to Think: Report of the Scholars at Risk Academic Freedom Monitoring Project.

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Q: Where do SAR scholars come from?

A: SAR has received over 2000 requests for assistance from over 120 countries over the past 16 years. In total, SAR has assisted over 700 scholars directly through temporary research and teaching visits. The largest percentage of scholars requesting assistance comes from the Middle East and North Africa, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

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Q: How can scholars apply for assistance?

A: Scholar experiencing threats to their life, liberty, or academic career, or who have been forced to leave their country because of such threats, and would like help from SAR are invited to submit an application for assistance.

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Q: How can higher education institutions get involved?

A: Universities, colleges and other higher education institutions are invited to join the SAR Network. Members enjoy a variety of opportunities for engagement in SAR’s work, including hosting threatened scholars, inviting SAR scholars to speak on campus, holding student advocacy seminars, collaborating on research initiatives, and more. Visit SAR’s Get Involved page to learn more about these opportunities.

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Q: How can individuals get involved?

A: Scholars, students, human rights professionals, activists and other interested individuals can get involved through SAR’s advocacy campaigns, research and monitoring work, events, workshops and conferences. Individuals are also invited to join the network as individual members as a way of expressing solidarity with threatened colleagues around the world. Visit our Individual Membership page to learn more about the joining the Network and our Get Involved page to learn more about SAR’s activities.

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Q: Does SAR offer volunteer opportunities?

A: SAR will post volunteer and internship opportunities as they are made available on the Career Opportunities page. Those interested in specific research projects or scholar-mentorship opportunities are encouraged to contact SAR directly.

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Q: To whom may I address press inquiries?

A: SAR welcomes media and press inquiries. If you would like further information about SAR or wish to arrange an interview please contact SAR’s Advocacy and Communications Officer Daniel Munier at dpm314@nyu.edu or +1 212-992-9933.

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