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Academy in Exile invites scholars at risk to apply for 24-month fellowships at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (KWI) in Essen. Eligible are scholars from any country, who have a PhD in the humanities, social sciences, or law, and who are at risk because of their academic work and/or civic engagement in human rights, democracy, and the pursuit of academic freedom. Academy in Exile fellowships provide scholars with the opportunity to reestablish their scholarship in Germany and to work on their own research project in a multidisciplinary environment. Fellows contribute to the research agenda and intellectual profile of Academy in Exile and participate in affiliated research projects.


Created in 2017, Academy in Exile preserves and cultivates critical scholarship that is threat-ened or de-legitimized in countries across the globe.Academy in Exile is a consortium of the Turkish Studies Department at the University Duisburg-Essen, the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities / KWI) in Essen, the Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien, and the Freie Universität Berlin. To date, Academy in Exilehas supported 47 scholars at risk with long-term fellowships, emergency stipends, and guest professorships.


The eight new fellows, funded by a grant from the Volkswagen Foundation, will be affiliated either with the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin or KWI in Essen. Applications will be evaluated according to academic merit, risk assessment, and suitability for the research programs at the Forum and the KWI, as well as the programs of the Academy in Exile.


Barring delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, fellowships may start as early as July 2021.The monthly stipend amounts to 2,500 EUR. In addition, Academy in Exile covers the cost of health insurance.


Please submit your application by 15 March 2021 in the following order:


—completed applicant information form (Available for download here)

—a letter that explains your motivation for applying to AiE, including the current circumstances of your risk and/or exile status. Please include a short rationale if you prefer to be affiliated with the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut in Essen or the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin. No proof or letter from a third party is required. However, if you are registered with Scholars at Risk Network, IIE-Scholar Rescue Fund or CARA, please indicate so in your letter;

—a three-page research proposal;

—an updated curriculum vitae with a list of publications;

—a published journal article or chapter.


Please submit your application to info@academy-in-exile.euas one PDF and name the file as follows: surname_first name. All applications will be dealt with in strict confidentiality. Encrypted communication will be used at the applicant’s request.


For more information visit:


Academy in Exile is a consortium of


The Turkish Studies Departmentat the Universität Duisburg-Essen. Its multiple disciplines and research areas reflect the multilingualism and ethnic and religious plurality of Turkey and Germany. The Turkish Studies Department constitutes the largest department of its kind outside of Turkey and offers a degree program that is unique in Germany. The department initiated the Academy in Exilein order to foster internationalization and protect knowledge at risk.


The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. It provides scope for exchange, debate, and communication across national, regional or cultural borderlines. In cooperation with universities and research institutes in and outside of Berlin, the Forum appoints Fellows from all over the world, develops formats of transregional communication, and engages in research programs and initiatives that examine contemporary questions in a comparative and inclusive manner. The Forum currently engages in the research programs: Europe in the Middle East—the Middle East in Europe (EUME), Prisma Ukraïna: Research Network Eastern Europe, and re:constitution -Exchange and Analysis on Democracy and the Rule of Law in Europe. It is part of the consortium of EUTIM: Europäische Zeiten / European Times –A Transregional Approach to the Societies of Central and Eastern Europe, MECAM: Merian Centre for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb, and a founding member of the Academy in Exile.


The KWI (Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut / Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities) is an interdisciplinary research center following the tradition of international Institutes for Advanced Study. In its role as an inter-university institution connecting the Ruhr University Bochum, the TU Dortmund University, and the University of Duisburg-Essen, the institute cooperates with researchers and scientists from its neighboring universities as well as other partners from the federal state NRW and places in and outside of Germany. Within the Ruhr area, the KWI is a place to share and discuss the questions and findings of ambitious research with interested parties from the city and the greater region.


The Freie Universität Berlin is among the leading universities in Germany and joined the Academy in Exile consortium as part of its efforts to support scholars at risk. It hosts Academy in Exile’s Critical Thinking Residency Program. While pursuing independent research, AiE fellows at the Freie Universität also participate in public lectures and workshops to evaluate the history of critical thinking, its relationship to policies of higher education, and its renewed relevance today. As a distinctive feature of this program, fellows contribute to a teaching-across-borders initiative and are encouraged to join existing affiliated research projects. Freie Universität Berlin was the first German university to join the Scholars at Risk program and also hosts the transnational mentoring program, Academics in Solidarity.


22 February 2021


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