About the Fellowship

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The Scholars at Risk fellowship is intended to provide a safe environment for a scholar to pursue research and scholarly or artistic interests; it is not envisaged as an opportunity to mobilize political support on the issues giving rise to the scholar's predicament (though such activity is not excluded). At present, Harvard’s Scholars at Risk fellowship, which lasts for a maximum of ten months or one year, provides stipend, insurance coverage, and travel (depending on the location of the scholar and the number of dependents). At the end of the fellowship period, fellows will have to return to the home country or seek placement elsewhere. From the time of arrival, Harvard SAR engages with fellows to explore possibilities for next steps and to work towards securing accommodation for the post-fellowship year.



U.S. Citizens and permanent residents of the U.S. are ineligible. Persons may apply on their own behalf of by nominated. Some persons with permanent residency outside of the home country will be ineligible, depending on circumstances. 


Selection Criteria

Any scholar who faces a risk of persecution on account of belief, scholarship, or identity is eligible. SAR fellows need not be refugee scholars. Only scholars that meet appropriate academic standards in their own fields are considered. Writers, artists, thinkers, and independent intellectuals who pursue scholarly work may count as "scholars," even if they are not employed at an academic institution. "Risk" includes the threat of repression and/or punishment arising out of the scholar's work, their prominence, and/or their exercise of fundamental human rights. The decision about what counts as sufficient risk, and who meets the criteria for being considered a "scholar" in practice, will be made by the Scholars at Risk Committee, whose members will determine each year's selection/s from among the nominations received. The committee reserves the right to check credentials and accounts of the risks faced. Fellowships are usually awarded for the following academic year, but the program does consider emergency applications whenever possible. Fellowships will not be deferred or reserved for persons who decline the fellowship, elect not to come, or are unable to come; such persons, if interested in applying again, may do so.


For more information, see Frequently Asked Questions