The Academy in Exile (AiE) was founded in 2017 as a joint initiative of the Forum, the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities Essen (KWI), with the support of the Volkswagen Foundation. Since 2018, the Freie Universität Berlin has been a member of AiE. The Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin has supported the Academy in Exile by providing human resources during the first three years. In 2017 the Academy started its work to support researchers of the humanities and social sciences active in the initiative “Academics for Peace” in Turkey. They are offered a platform to continue their research in exile and to help shape a program of critical studies of Turkey.

In 2019 the Academy opened up opportunities for scholars from other countries affected by restrictions to civil and academic freedom. It offers the researchers involved scope for academic debate and research on questions of the foundations of plural and open societies, authoritarian ideologies and political practice. It strives to support the intellectual potential of threatened researchers towards research and teaching in Germany and to encourage the internationalization of our universities.

The Academy in Exile is located in two cities, Berlin and Essen. An expansion was made possible in 2018 with the support of other foundations, in particular the Mellon Foundation, and through partnerships with the Freie Universität Berlin and also the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Since its inception, the Academy has supported more than 40 scholars at risk from Turkey and other countries through long-term or short-term fellowships. The academics are appointed as Fellows to the KWI or the Forum, or work at the residency program built up at Freie Universität Berlin.

In Essen and Berlin, the Fellows are involved in relevant faculties of universities or in research programs of the Forum. For reasons of personal safety, CV’s and biographies of the Fellows of Academy in Exile are not publicised. Information on some of their research projects is available on the AiE website.
The Academy in Exile complements existing programs like the Philipp-Schwartz-Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and other fellowship programs for scholars at risk. It establishes a forum for the transfer and the integration of research in exile. The Forum has been engaged in supporting academics from countries with limited academic and civil freedom for many years within the framework of its research programs.

The Academy in Exile is steered by a council of five members: Kader Konuk (UDE, chairperson), Volker Heins (KWI), Claus Leggewie (University of Gießen), Georges Khalil (Forum), Florian Kohstall (Freie Universität Berlin), and Friederike Pannewick (Forum/University of Marburg).

Contact at the KWI: egemen.oezbek(at)

Contact at the Forum: academy-in-exile(at)

Contact at the Residency Academy at FU Berlin: academy-in-exile(at)