Wed 08 Apr 2020

Call for Applications: Eight ACADEMY IN EXILE Fellowships 2020-2022

Call for Applications (PDF)

Academy in Exile invites scholars at risk to apply for 24-month fellowships at the Free University in Berlin. Eligible are scholars from any country, with a PhD in the humanities, social sciences, or law, 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 a research project of their own choosing in a multidisciplinary environment. Fellows will contribute to the research agenda and intellectual profile of the academy and participate in affiliated research projects.


Created in 2017, Academy in Exile preserves and promotes critical scholarship that is threatened or de-legitimized in an increasing number of countries across the globe. Academy in Exile is a joint initiative of the Turkish Studies Department at the University of 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 Exile has supported 37 scholars at risk with long-term fellowships, emergency stipends, and a guest professorship.

The eight new fellows will be affiliated with Academy in Exile’s Critical Thinking Residency Program at Freie Universität Berlin. The fellowships are funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Freie Universität. Applications will be evaluated based on academic merit, risk assessment, and suitability for the Academy’s program.

Barring delays in processing applications and in preparing for the arrival of new fellows due to the coronavirus pandemic, fellowships may start as early as September 2020. The monthly stipend amounts to 2,500 EUR. In addition, Academy in Exile covers the cost of health insurance.

Please submit your application in the following order by 15 May 2020:

  • a letter that explains your motivation for applying to AiE, including the current circumstances of your risk and/or exile status. No proof or letter from a third party is required. However, if you are registered with IIE-Scholars at Risk Network, Scholar Rescue Fund or CARA, please indicate so in your letter. Please also indicate in your letter the department, research group, and/or professor at Freie Universität with whom you would be interested in working (no host agreement is required; if selected we may match you according to availability).
  • 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 academy-in-exile(at) as 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:

For regulations of Freie Universität regarding the corona virus, please check the updates on:

Academy in Exile is an initiative of

The Turkish Studies Department at the Universität Duisburg-Essen: Its multiple disciplines and diverse research areas reflect the multilingualism and ethnic and religious plurality of Turkey and Germany. Since its inception, the department has developed a degree program that is unique in Germany and constitutes the largest department of its kind outside of Turkey. The teaching and research of the Turkish Studies Department focusses on the Turkish Republic. The department initiated the Academy in Exile in order to foster internationalization and to protect knowledge at risk.

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien is a research organization that promotes the internationalization of research in the humanities and social sciences. The Forum provides scope for collaboration among researchers with different regional and disciplinary perspectives and appoints researchers from all over the world as fellows. In cooperation with universities and research institutions in Berlin and elsewhere, it carries out research programs like Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe (EUME), Prisma Ukraïna – Research Network Eastern Europe, or re:constitution – Exchange and Analysis on Democracy and the Rule of Law in Europe.

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 Technological University Dortmund, 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 results 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 has 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 their own independent research, residency fellows at the Freie Universität also devise a program of public lectures and closed workshops to evaluate the history of critical thinking, its relationship to policies of higher education, and its renewed relevance for today. As a distinctive feature of this new program, fellows are piloting a teaching-across-borders initiative and are strongly encouraged to join ongoing affiliated research projects. Freie Universität Berlin was the first German university to join the Scholars at Risk program and is also host of the transnational mentoring-program Academics in Solidarity

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