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Another success for the Philipp Schwartz Initiative

Two more academics are joining the HU

Thanks to their successful applications in the fourth round of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative this year, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) will once again be able to award two 24-month scholarships to at-risk researchers from abroad. In total, the HU has now raised funding for six scholarships as part of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, established in 2016.

This year’s scholarship will be awarded to the Syrian biologist Dr Waeil Al Youssef, who will study the mutation of green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and its effects on chlorophyll synthesis and photosynthesis in the plant physiology workgroup led by Prof. Dr Bernhard Grimm (Institute of Biology), starting in October 2018.

The other recipient of the scholarship will be working as a visiting scholar at the Institute of Philosophy.

HU President Sabine Kunst. “We are delighted to welcome another two scientists this year to join the ranks of the Phillip Schwartz scholars from previous years.”

As well as mentoring from hosting academics at their research institutes, the recipients of the scholarship can take advantage of central services offered by the HU, such as the International Scholar Services and a central point of contact for refugees and vulnerable researchers.

The HU and “Scholars at Risk”

Since June 2017, the HU is also a member of the “Scholars at Risk” (SAR) network, which unites over 500 academic institutions from 39 countries to provide support to vulnerable scientists worldwide. The key objectives of the network include improving the visibility of the needs of at-risk researchers from around the globe and strengthening academic freedom.

As members of this network, HU researchers and students can participate in any of the following activities: organization of joint events with other academics from the SAR network as part of the SAR Speaker Series; support for incarcerated researchers by means of student advocacy seminars and campaigns; participation in the Academic Freedom Monitoring Project; attendance at SAR conferences and workshops.

About the Philipp Schwartz Initiative

For the fourth round of the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, 35 scholarships were awarded as part of a nationwide competition. The Philipp Schwartz Initiative was launched by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in collaboration with the Federal Foreign Office. It allows universities, technical colleges, and non-university research institutions in Germany to grant research scholarships to at-risk academics. The initiative is funded by the Federal Foreign Office, the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Gerda Henkel Foundation, the Klaus Tschira Foundation, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Stifterverband (Donors’ Association), and Stiftung Mercator.

More information

Press release from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation:

Information about the Philipp Schwartz Initiative:

Advice and services for refugees and at-risk researchers at the HU:


Sarah Hartmann
Central contact person for at-risk researchers and the HU initiative “Refugees Welcome”
International Affairs Department
Tel: 030 2093-20092

Hans-Christoph Keller
Press officer
Humboldt University of Berlin
Tel.: 030 2093-2946