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.
Frequently asked questions by scholars
Who can SAR help?
SAR can assist threatened scholars who are seeking short-term positions of refuge or assistance in resuming their academic careers. We are most successful in finding temporary research-based and teaching positions for threatened scholars with Ph.D. degrees and significant teaching and/or research experience at a higher education institution. A Ph.D. is not required to be considered by SAR, however, and we have worked with a wide variety of scholars including those who may not have a Ph.D. but have advanced academic knowledge of their specialty and research/teaching experience. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.
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. For other at-risk scholars, SAR can provide career support assistance, which may include sharing job announcements, resume/CV review and advice, referral letters, and other support related to the academic job search.
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 (generally professors or academic researchers), SAR is not able to offer scholarship support or arrange study opportunities for students. We do have a list of organizations that offer assistance and educational opportunities to students. You can download that list by clicking 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 positions, but SAR is not a grant-making organization and we do not offer a fellowship or research funding program.
How quickly can I expect to hear from SAR and how soon can I receive assistance?
After submitting your application to SAR, you should receive a confirmation of receipt within one business week. We carefully review every application we receive. Our review includes follow-up questions and requests for documentation in order to understand each applicant’s situation and needs, and our assessment process generally takes several weeks to months. SAR is not an emergency assistance organization, and we are also not able to offer immediate placement or relocation assistance. 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?
Due to mandate and resource constraints, SAR is not able to accept every application. 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the SAR office by phone at +1 212-998-2179.