SAR Switzerland

The SAR Swiss Section (SAR Switzerland) is committed to promoting the values, mission and activities of Scholars at Risk. It further seeks to share information and best practice as well as to launch common activities with all section members. Launched in May 2017, SAR Switzerland currently comprises 15 Swiss higher education institutions as well as swissuniversities (rector’s conference of the Swiss higher education institutions) and the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences as associate members.

For more information, please consult the Flyer and Terms of Reference of SAR Switzerland.

To contact the SAR Swiss Section, please write to Roger Pfister, Chair of SAR Switzerland and Head of International Cooperation at the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.


Release of graduate student Xiyue Wang from prison in Iran through Switzerland's facilitation

Release of graduate student Xiyue Wang from prison in Iran through Switzerland's facilitation

December 7, 2019

Chinese-born Princeton student Xiyue Wang, sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2016, exchanged for Iranian scientist Masoud Soleimani who was arrested in the USA

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Launch of project

Launch of project "InSPIREurope: Initiative to Support, Promote and Integrate Researchers at Risk in Europe"

November 29, 2019

Ten European partner organisations have launched an ambitious new initiative to support researchers at risk. The SAR Swiss Section supports the initiative as an Associate Partner. The initiative is funded under the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and coordinated by Scholars at Risk Europe at Maynooth University, Ireland. InSPIREurope forges a coordinated, cross-sectoral, Europe-wide alliance for researchers at risk.

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"Free to Think 2019": Scholars at Risk Annual Report

November 19, 2019

Free to Think 2019 is the fifth installment of an annual report by SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project, analysing 324 attacks on higher education communities in 56 countries between September 2018 and August 2019.

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Sakharov Prize 2019 for Ilham Tohti

Sakharov Prize 2019 for Ilham Tohti

October 25, 2019

The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, commonly known as the Sakharov Prize, honours individuals and groups of people who have dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights and freedom of thought. The Prize is awarded by the European Parliament, this year to Ilham Tohti from China.

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Course "Train the trainer for academic mentors"

February 3, 2020

Bielefeld, Germany

Pilot training course for academic mentors on how to guide refugee researchers in academic area

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Conference "Policy advice for the integration of researchers in danger into the EU job market"

February 11, 2020

Athens, Greece

The two-day conference (11-12 February) aims to give an overview of the most important results of the project and bring together relevant stakeholders with refugee researchers and mentors in order to formulate appropriate policy advice facilitating the inclusion of researchers in danger into the European societies based on the experience gained during the implementation of the Bridge Project.

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Scholars at Risk Global Congress 2020

Scholars at Risk Global Congress 2020

March 25, 2020

Washington, DC & Baltimore, MD, USA

Scholars at Risk invites you to its Global Congress on 25-28 March 2020, convened in partnership with Johns Hopkins University and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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Steering Committee

The Steering Committee of SAR Switzerland is composed as follows during 2019-2021:

• Annie Cottier, University of Bern
• Sara Elmer, University of Zurich
• Marisa Ernst, University of Lucerne (until March 2020)
• Luna Iacopini, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland HES-SO
• Catrin Scheiber, University of Lucerne (from April 2020)