UK boosts support for Ukrainian research community
- £3m package to support at-risk Ukrainian researchers
- Government confirms it will not fund any new collaborative projects with Russia through UK research and innovation organizations
- The measures are designed to negatively impact the Russian state without disrupting benign innovators or projects with global benefits
Ukrainian nationals involved in academic research will benefit from a £3million support package to continue their vital work in the UK, the UK government announced today [Sunday 27 March 2022].
The new Researchers at Risk Fellowship scheme will support Ukrainian researchers fleeing the conflict, as well as those already in the UK who cannot return home.
The fellowships will provide salary, research and living expenses for up to two years for these researchers, and will be available in all disciplines for postdoctoral researchers or those with equivalent experience, with the aim of helping Ukraine preserve its research ecosystem.
As the UK continues to further isolate Russia from Putin in light of its illegal invasion of Ukraine, the government has also announced it is suspending funding for all research programs with links to collaborators. Russian state and institutional authorities, and that he would stop all current projects where they directly benefit the Russian regime. The UK will also not fund new collaborative projects with Russia through its research and innovation organisations.
Science Minister George Freeman said:
Science is a global force for good and for peaceful cooperation in the face of the world’s most pressing challenges. These measures are another way for us to unite with Ukraine, its democratically elected government and its brave people at this terrible time.
The UK has a proud history of world-class science, underpinned by a commitment to freedom and sanctuary for those fleeing tyranny. Today we are taking a stand for science as a force for good and supporting Ukrainian researchers to come to the UK.
We will always support science where it strives to advance international knowledge and discovery and find globally beneficial solutions, but it is right that we take a stand against the illegal invasion of Ukraine by the Kremlin and the deplorable Putin regime.
These measures target the Russian state, as well as individuals and organizations closely linked to the Kremlin. A small number of other existing collaborations remain under review to further assess and ensure that any future payments to institutions or individuals do not in any way benefit the Russian regime.
This action is directed against Putin’s regime, not individual Russian scholars and students, who in many cases may oppose the Kremlin’s actions.
Our universities are already opening their doors to Ukrainian students and we are exploring ways to allow universities in the UK to partner with Ukrainian universities to teach distance learning to Ukrainian students who are about to graduate, helping them complete their education when they need it most. .
Higher and Further Education Minister Michelle Donelan said:
Our world-class universities have always been upheld by the core values of freedom and liberty, which is why I know they will now support us in our actions against the Russian regime and its illegal invasion of Ukraine.
We ask universities that have not yet done so to review any financial or academic research ties with Russia in light of the horrors the Kremlin is inflicting on the Ukrainian people.
All universities should always carefully consider granting honorary degrees and we especially expect those awarded to sanctioned Russians to be promptly revoked to demonstrate that we are united with Ukraine.
Further information on the Ukrainian Fellowship Scheme for Researchers at Risk will soon be available through the British Academy.
The UK government is taking the following action:
- All payments for projects carried out through UK public research funds with a Russian dimension have been temporarily suspended. The Secretary of State has commissioned an assessment, in addition to the existing and robust due diligence processes of UK public funders to isolate and freeze activities that benefit the regime.
- We will not fund any new collaborative projects with Russia through our research and innovation organizations.
- We suspended existing government-to-government dialogue through our science and innovation network team in Russia, including their collaborative science projects.
- here the UK is a member of multilateral organisations, we are working at partner pace to respond appropriately – holding Russia accountable for its actions while diminishing and isolating its influence.
- We are offering a £3 million support package for Ukrainian researchers at risk. This will be provided through a fellowship program which will support researchers and their families at UK research institutes. Further information will be made available by the British Academy over the next week, and inquiries can be directed to [email protected]
A statement from the Minister of Science on the measures taken is available here.
Additional UK visa advice for Ukrainian citizens who are not researchers can be found here.