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Safe Haven Fellowship extended to all scholars and cultural actors at risk 1

Safe Haven Fellowship extended to all scholars and cultural actors at risk

On academic freedoms in Palestine and Israel

This Call for Applications in the extended Safe Haven Fellowship particularly invites reactions from scholars, journalists, writers and artists affected by the war in Gaza.

The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW) seeks to protect and foster academic freedoms. The freedom of scholars to design and conduct their own research, and to safely communicate the insights and results gained, is a precondition for fruitful academic and public debate, and a cornerstone of democracy. As a research institute we choose not to issue general political statements, even though we obviously condemn all violence against civilians. We are specifically concerned with situations in which academic freedoms are under threat.

Two years ago, NIAS established Safe Haven Fellowships for Ukrainian and dissident Russian and Belarusian researchers. Up until now twelve scholars, authors, artists and journalists have been welcomed at NIAS for one semester. This gives them a breather, a visit to normalcy, and the opportunity to continue their work. With these experiences in mind, NIAS now extends the Safe Haven Fellowships to all scholars at risk.

This extension and the accompanying additional Call for Applications for our Safe Haven Fellowship is intended, at this stage, to provide assistance to scholars and cultural actors affected by the war in Gaza. In recent months, all twelve universities in the Gaza Strip have been targeted by Israeli forces and numerous universities in the West Bank were raided by the IDF. All higher education establishments in Gaza have endured damage or complete destruction of their physical infrastructures, which will affect the academic ecosystem for generations to come. Human casualties further add to the demise of the Palestinian academic system, as three presidents and nearly a hundred deans and professors have been killed in the bombardments so far.

It is with great concern that we observe the growing trend of infringements on academic freedoms. Scholars worldwide, who address the dire consequences of the Israel-Palestine conflict, face censorship and dismissal. In this context, we emphasize the importance of an equitable application of the fundamental principle of academic freedoms.

With this additional Call for Applications for our extended Safe Haven Fellowship we particularly invite reactions from scholars, journalists, writers and artists affected by the war in Gaza. A fellowship covers travel to and from Amsterdam, an office, lunch on workdays, subsidized housing and a stipend. Find out more about the Safe Haven Fellowship here.

We are aware that the threats to academic freedoms exceed by far the modest capacity of the NIAS Safe Haven Fellowships. We therefore not only seek your help in raising awareness about this fellowship, but also in making more safe havens possible with your financial contribution, and other forms of assistance. Please inform us of your interest or dedication via communication@nias.knaw.nl.