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Scholars at Risk works with its global network of higher education institutions around the world to arrange short-term, temporary research and teaching positions for threatened scholars. We also provide advisory, referral, and career support services for scholars.

A list of frequently asked questions by applicants can be found below. For scholar resources, including academic career opportunities and a list of other organizations who offer assistance, please visit our Scholar Resources page.

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Frequently asked questions by applicants

Who can SAR help?

SAR can assist eligible threatened scholars who are seeking short-term positions of refuge or assistance in resuming their academic careers. Scholars may be academic professors/ researchers/ lecturers with a substantial and recent history of employment at an academic institution of higher education and who have authored academic publications. Most scholars we support have a PhD; on an exceptional case-by-case basis we are able to work with scholars at the MA/MS level.

Given an increasingly high volume of requests for assistance, SAR placement assistance is generally limited to scholars facing the most immediate and severe threats, including threats of violence, torture, wrongful imprisonment or prosecution.

I am a student. Can SAR provide me with a scholarship or help me continue my studies?

Due to our focus on offering assistance to threatened scholars, SAR is not able to offer scholarship support or arrange study opportunities for students. A list of external assistance and educational opportunities for students can be found here.

Can SAR provide me with fellowship funds?

Our focus is on creating and arranging positions for threatened scholars within the SAR network of universities. The positions within our Network are funded by the hosting university in most cases. SAR typically does not offer fellowship or research funding.

How quickly can I expect to hear from SAR and how soon can I receive assistance?

We are only able to respond to applications from those who appear to meet our initial eligibility criteria as scholars (professors or university-based researchers) facing high levels of direct risk. These candidates will be reviewed for the support that SAR can provide to scholars who qualify, including short-term, temporary placement at a SAR network institution. Please note that we do not offer emergency evacuation assistance.  If your application appears to meet SAR’s eligibility criteria, we will be in touch as soon as possible in the coming weeks. Due to a high volume of applications, we are unable to respond to applications or email queries from applicants seeking our help who fall outside our mandate.

Our full application process includes follow-up questions and requests for documentation in order to understand each eligible applicant’s situation and needs, and our application and review process generally takes several weeks to months. SAR is not an emergency assistance organization, and we are not able to offer immediate solutions for those in an emergency situation. For applications that we accept for placement assistance, it can take many months, if not longer, to locate a SAR placement within the Network. While we generally are quite successful in finding suitable positions for scholars whose applications we accept for placement, placements are unfortunately never guaranteed.

What if SAR does not accept my application?

SAR is not able to accept every application. We receive many more applications every year from qualified individuals than we are able to support, and we are able to assist only a limited number of these scholars each year. For those whose applications we are not able to accept, we aim to suggest other resources, organizations, and opportunities that may be useful.

My family is also at risk. Can SAR help them too?

The ability of a scholar’s family to travel together with a scholar to a SAR-arranged position depends on many factors, including financial concerns and immigration restrictions. Some scholars are able to travel with their families, and others opt to travel alone, with their families remaining behind or independently relocating elsewhere. Every situation is unique. If you have concerns about your family, please indicate this in your application to SAR.

What happens to SAR scholars after their first placement?

If a scholar is unable to safely return home after the first temporary placement, our staff and the scholar work together to seek additional opportunities through the Network and through the scholar’s independent efforts. SAR is unable to arrange permanent posts.

Why does the application ask for my CV? What if my CV is not in English?

We ask for a CV in order to get a preliminary understanding of an applicant’s academic background. If a CV is not in English and translation is not possible, please submit it in the current language. Depending on the language, it may take more time for us to review the application.

I am nervous about submitting the online application. How else can I contact SAR for help?

If you are not comfortable submitting the online application, feel free to email