The European Commission has published a new call to develop a suitable structure for a fellowship scheme for researchers at risk that would address the currently fragmented and limited support at EU level.
The new scheme will establish, test and validate procedures to
- assess the risks faced by applying researchers and the excellence of the proposal
- select and award researchers a fellowship
- match researchers with host institutions in the EU, when needed
- award around 30 fellowships for researchers at risk to continue their work in a safe environment, whether academic or non-academic
Researchers may come from all domains of research and innovation. They can be either doctoral candidates (enrolled in a doctoral programme leading to the award of a doctoral degree) or postdoctoral researchers (in possession of a doctoral degree).
The action is expected to contribute to the skills development and career enhancement of the supported individual researchers such as
- new transferable skills and competences
- new knowledge
- enhanced networking and communication capacities
- long-lasting collaborative links with EU counterparts
The call will be open for submissions on 28 June 2023, with the deadline to apply on 7 September 2023.
This action is part of the 2023 Annual Work Programme for the Pilot Projects and Preparatory Actions in the area of Sport, Culture, Research and Innovation. It will contribute to the EU priorities under the European Research Area (ERA) on fundamental values and academic freedom, notably but not restricted to the work under the ERA Policy Agenda Action 6 on academic freedom.
Implementation and funding
This preparatory action will be based on cascade funding. The beneficiary will provide financial support to third parties (host organisations) in the form of unit contributions to fund individual fellowships.
Eligible beneficiaries comprise consortia of a minimum of three organisations from three different EU Member States, such as
- higher education institutions
- research organisations
- civil society and non-governmental organisations
Eligible host organisations for researchers at risk include any academic or non-academic research organisations established in an EU Member State. Organisations established in non-EU countries can host researchers for short-term secondments.
Consortia applying should demonstrate competences and experience in managing international projects, and specifically international fellowship programmes within the fields relevant to this preparatory action, such as
- support for researchers at risk
- human rights
- academic freedom (at national, EU or international level)
- higher education/research
- international cooperation