2021-22 Mellon/SAR Academic Freedom Workshop & Fellowships

Posted June 7, 2021


Scholars at Risk (SAR) is pleased to announce a call for applications for remote research fellowships for early career researchers studying, writing and/or teaching on academic freedom and/or related higher education values, made possible by the generous support and partnership of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The program is intended to provide a research stipend and supportive professional community for researchers to develop and share related work leading to a publishable article; new course offering; workshop, webinar, or conference presentation; or other identified end product. Over the course of the eight-month program, from November 2021 to June 2022, fellows will complete their proposed project and participate in monthly remote, online workshop sessions during which they will be asked to present the progress of their work and to offer feedback on the work of other fellows. In the second half of the program, fellows will be expected to prepare and deliver an online talk or webinar presentation of their work for SAR staff, network members, and guests (with appropriate security accommodations, as necessary). Fellows will receive a stipend of USD $8000 intended to cover research expenses, publication, or other costs, as the fellow may decide. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to gain exposure to SAR’s programming and to network with SAR partner-experts on academic freedom issues.


  • Masters or PhD degree received less than 8 years ago
  • Current research or teaching affiliation with a higher education institution
  • Demonstrated interest in teaching, researching, or publishing on issues of academic freedom
  • Preference for projects involving comparative, international, or collaborative work, especially by or including as equal partners researchers from the global south
  • Personal experiences with risk or threat are not a consideration for selection, but current or formerly at-risk researchers working on academic freedom are encouraged to apply
  • Commitment to participate in 8-10 remote, online workshops and/or public webinars with co-recipients, SAR staff, network members, and guests (with proper security accommodations)
  • Able to receive lawfully stipend funds and complete program requirements in the country of current location, assuming responsibility for tax or reporting requirements, if any
  • Candidates in or from the global south and from minority or otherwise marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to apply.


  • Abstract of 500-1000 words detailing the research topic, its importance, and how it fits in long-term teaching, research, or advocacy goals
  • Proposed research plan/timeline for the eight-month program (November 2021-June 2022)
  • CV, including publication history and names of professional references
  • Deadline for submission: August 15, 2021. Decisions will be announced in October 2021.

Submit your application online here