Information for refugee and persecuted researchers and doctoral students

Important questions and answers for refugee and persecuted researchers and doctoral candidates

I fled Ukraine, how can I continue my doctorate at HU?

If you had already started your doctorate in Ukraine, you can come to Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin as a visiting researcher. For you to be able to do so, one of our researchers needs to host you. The Humboldt Graduate School (HGS) assists you in finding a host. Contact:

Who can advise me on doing a doctorate in Germany?

The Humboldt Graduate School (HGS) offers general advice on doctoral studies. Topics cover doctoral studies in Germany, application and enrolment, supervision and how to find supervisors, funding as well as different forms of doctoral studies. When it comes to the actual processing of applications, admissions and enrolment, the HGS will gladly refer you to the appropriate offices at the relevant faculties or the general enrolment office. Contact:

What options do I have after my doctorate?

Our career counselling focuses on your career prospects within and outside of academia: What are the prospects within your field? How can you actively shape your career? How does the application process work? The Humboldt Graduate School (HGS) offers guidance and counselling regarding these questions. Contact:

Does Humboldt-Universität offer accommodation for refugee researchers?

The university has very few accommodation options. The university awards these to refugee researchers who have been accepted at HU. If you need assistance, please feel free to contact At Freie Universität Berlin there is an appeal for private accommodation for refugees.

Individuals in need of accommodation find assistance at the Berlin Arrival center, Saatwinkler Damm in 13405 Berlin, open 24/7. All official information can be found on The platform arranges accommodation.

Is there a mentoring programme for refugee scholars at HU?

Refugee scholars can find mentors through the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

There's also Academics in Solidarity, a peer mentoring programme that connects exiled researchers and established scholars in Germany.

What is the HU scholarship programme and how can I participate?

If you are a researcher and have applied for third party funding (or are going to do so) with partners at HU, you are eligible for a monthly scholarship of 1500 euros plus additional funding for material resources for your academic work at HU (if needed). Our faculties are in charge of nominating candidates; you cannot actively apply for the programme.


What funding opportunities are there specifically for refugee and persecuted researchers?

Various German foundations offer fellowships, e.g. the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation with the Philipp Schwartz Initiative or the VW Foundation with the guest research programme for refugee Ukrainian academics. Please address your enquiries about third party funding and emergency aid to Neda Soltani at the International Department. 


Can Ukrainian scientists* be financially supported from (non-)project funds?
Please note that most short-term support can only be realized as grants/scholarships - if the selection is made by the funders, the grant notification is not mandatory. In case of doubt, please ask the  Research Service Centre how to properly apply for a scholarship.
In case of hiring, please be sure to cancel your application for a scholarship. For more information, please contact the Human Resources Department or the Research Service Centre (especially if you are a researcher from the Humboldt University and want to hire a Ukrainian refugee researcher).

What other funding opportunities are there for refugee researchers?

The following list was compiled by the Research Service Centre. If you are interested, please contact the university’s Research Service Centre for advice.

Participating in DFG projects

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) offers refugee researchers at various levels of academic qualification the opportunity to participate in on-going DFG projects: Claims for additional staff may be made for research projects already funded by DFG, thus allowing for the involvement of refugee researchers.

Supplemental proposals/integration in current funding programmes

All project leaders and also higher education institutions can submit supplemental proposals to integrate qualified refugees – prospective or doctoral researchers – in DFG projects that already receive funding. These proposals can be justified based on the fact that individuals are now available for the further development of a project whose involvement can be expected to provide additional stimuli for the research programme in question.


Walter Benjamin-Programm (DFG)

Walter Benjamin posts

Refugee researchers can submit a proposal for their own project to be carried out in Germany under the Walter Benjamin Programme (Walter Benjamin post). The restriction of the target group to the early postdoc phase that otherwise exists under this programme does not apply to refugees. Funding for up to two years under this programme offers the opportunity to acquire qualifications for independent project supervision: this is a requirement for taking the next steps towards further establishment in the academic system. At the same time, applicants benefit from career support measures by the host institution, since these measures form part of the Walter Benjamin Programme funding concept.


Volkswagen-Stiftung: Funding for Refugee Scholars and Scientists from Ukraine

Aim: Possibility to continue the research work in a working group at a university or research institute in Germany.
Target group: Ukrainian academics (both doctoral and post-doctoral students and established academics from all disciplines) who have already fled to Germany following the Russian invasion of their country or who will be arriving in Germany in the coming weeks
Duration: 6 to 12 months
Funding: monthly stipend of 1,500 € (for doctoral candidates) or 2,100 € (for doctoral candidates), if applicable a monthly family allowance of up to 500 €, small amount of running costs for research, one-time grant of up to 3,000 € to set up a household in Germany
Deadline: at any time


Einstein Guest Professorships and Einstein Junior Scholarships

The Einstein Foundation is committed to fostering academic freedom and international collaboration. Two special programmes (Einstein Guest Professorships and Einstein Junior Scholarships) are offered temporary in order to reach this objective and to enable researchers who are experiencing constraints in their work around the world to come to Berlin for two years to pursue their research without undue restrictions or threats.


Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU)

MOE Fellowship Special Programme Ukraine

Aim: The Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Federal Foundation for the Environment) has launched a special programme to support fellowships for Ukrainian university graduates on topics related to environmental protection and nature conservation. The fellowship enables a research and training stay in German research institutions, environmental authorities, NGOs or companies to gain experience in various fields of environmental protection and nature conservation.
Target Group: university graduates and doctoral candidates living in Ukraine or refugees, Ukrainian citizenship, good to very good university degree (Master), good knowledge of English and/or German.
Duration: 6 to 12 months
Funding: monthly € 1.250, health, accident and liability insurance, travel expenses to Germany, German courses, participation in seminars and events
Deadline: continuously open

Gerda Henkel Foundation

"The Gerda Henkel Foundation is making grants totalling 2 million euros available for Ukrainian scholars. The funding will be spread across three pillars: Up to one million euros will go to the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation programme for researchers threatened by war or persecution in their home countries. Up to 500,000 euros will be allocated to the non-profit organization MitOst e.V., which is busy coordinating humanitarian assistance measures in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries. A similar sum of 500,000 euros will be made available for an in-house scholarship programme with which the Gerda Henkel Foundation is initially reaching out to persons who have in the past received or are at present receiving grants, with the intention being to make it possible for them to stay at research institutes and universities in Germany and Europe."


Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (DAI)  

Research Fellowship "Global Archaeology, Sustainable Archaeology and the Archaeology of Sustainability”

Aim: “Under this topic the German Archaeological Institute offers several short-term fellowships for young scholars. With these fellowships, we also want to specifically support at-risk colleagues from Ukraine to conduct research at one of the DAI sites in Germany or abroad, and we expressly welcome their applications.“
Target Group: German and foreign researchers holding a degree in the field of archaeology or a closely related discipline; preference for young researchers, i.e. PhD candidates and PostDocs within 4 years after obtaining their PhD, at-risk colleagues from Ukraine
Duration: up to 3 months
Funding: € 2.050 for PostDocs and € 1.500 for PreDocs
Deadline: 29 April 2022

IIE Scholar rescue Fund

Aim: “The Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund (IIE-SRF) is the only global program that arranges, funds, and supports fellowships for threatened and displaced scholars at partnering higher education institutions worldwide.“
Target Group: professors, researchers, and public intellectuals who face threats and cannot continue their work in their home countries
Duration: 9 to 12 months; in most cases, IIE-SRF fellows are eligible to apply for a second and final year of fellowship support
Funding: $ 25,000, $ 2,000 to 5,000 relocation allowance
Deadline: continuously open