Scholars at Risk



Cathrin Urbanke

Interim Head of Division/Welcome Center


+49 241 80-95264


Logo Scholars at Risk - Network Germany Section Humboldt Foundation logo  

Supporting Threatened and Displaced Scholars

RWTH Aachen University is deeply committed to promoting academic freedom. As a member of the worldwide Scholars at Risk network, we are actively involved in helping threatened scholars who are no longer able to work in their home countries due to violence, persecution, or severe restrictions to their research activities.

The Welcome Center for International Researchers assists institutes and departments wishing to host scholars at risk by helping them select suitable funding programs and apply for them. Researchers who come to RWTH Aachen University to continue their scientific work are supported in all practical matters concerning their stay and integration into life in Germany to help them thrive in Aachen personally and professionally.

Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

The Philipp Schwartz Initiative gives universities and research institutions in Germany the opportunity to employ at-risk researchers on a full scholarship for 24 months. If you are interested in being nominated by RWTH Aachen University, you are welcome to contact the Welcome Center for International Researchers at any time of the year. As a rule, there are two rounds of applications per year.

Scholars at Risk - Germany Section

The German Section of the global Scholars at Risk Network is composed of German universities, research institutions and science organisations that campaign to support and offer sanctuary to researchers under threat as well as to protect academic freedom. On the Germany section’s web pages you will find helpful information on the numerous funding opportunities for researchers at risk.


Support Program of the Scholars at Risk Germany Section – NRW Verbund

Some of the member institutions of the Scholars at Risk Germany Section in North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW, offer a joint support program for researchers at risk. It is primarily aimed at Philipp Schwartz scholarship holders of the participating institutions, but other interested researchers can also apply to participate. With seminars and workshops on various research and career-related topics, the program aims to facilitate professional integration and a new start to their lives in Germany.

Universities interested in an exchange are welcome to contact .


2023 Support Program for Scholars at Risk

Seminars and workshops for Scholars at Risk

In 2023, five of the Scholars at Risk member institutions in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) again offer a collaborative support program for at-risk scholars. The Philipp Schwartz fellows of the participating institutions are the target group of this program, but other interested at-risk scholars may also apply to participate. The workshops and seminars discuss various research- and career-related issues and are intended to help at-risk scholars to start their professional life in Germany.

Please speak to the relevant contact person if you would like to participate in one of the seminars. If the contact person does not know you, you might be required to submit your CV and a cover letter. The respective institutions will then decide on your application. Interested participants may join the program at any time.

Please note that the program is meant for postdocs.


Funding Opportunities

A comprehensive list of sponsorship opportunities for researchers at risk can be found on the pages of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative.

Regular funding opportunities for international researchers: