News and Events

The Scientists Who Had to Start Over: 'Five Years of my Career Have Been Wiped Out'

By Giovanni Ortolani

Many displaced academics and scientists aren't able to reach their full potential in their fields due to a lack of resources for threatened scholars. The Guardian explores the reasons why, with two IIE-SRF scholars offering their perspective. 

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The Role of Science Diplomacy in International Crises: Syria as a Case Study

By Teresa M. Stoepler, Joel E. Creswell, Nicholas J. Anthis, Florence Chaverneff and Rebecca R. Parkhurst

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) organized a symposium titled “The Role of Science Diplomacy in International Crises: Syria as a Case Study” to discuss ways for the international science and technology communities to respond to crises and published their findings in Science & Diplomacy

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Academic Solutions for the Syria Crisis

By Dr. Arash Alaei and Dr. Kamiar Alaei

New Research Voices (NRV) is a community platform for researchers to share their work, opinions, and ideas with other researchers from around the globe. In this issue, IIE-SRF alumni of Iran Dr. Arash Alaei and Dr. Kamiar Alaei discuss the online medical education course program they created for displaced Syrian scholars. Their story, titled "Medical Education for Vulnerable Students Worldwide. Hope from Albany to Aleppo" discusses how they collaborated with their host institution, the University of Albany, State University of New York (SUNY Albany), to develop a program that promotes access to higher education.

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Philipp Schwartz Initiative Call for Applications

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has announced a third round of funding for its Philipp Schwartz Initiative (PSI). German universities and research institutions are invited to apply for PSI support to host threatened scholars who are under threat from political persecution and war. Up to 30 fellowships will be available for scholars to continue their research for two to three years at German institutions under the initiative. Applications must be submitted by April 21, 2017. IIE-SRF continues to be a proud partner to PSI, providing German institutions with assistance in identifying and evaluating candidates, pre- and post-arrival advice, and transition support for PSI fellows completing the fellowship. For more information, visit the Philipp Schwartz Initiative website.

Can American Universities Protect Democracy?

By Fernando Reimers

This article from the Huffington Post offers the opinion of Ford Foundation Professor Frenando Reimers, as he explores how higher education is crucial to American democracy. 

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Protecting Academic Freedom and Higher Education Academies in Crisis

By Danielle Alperin and Victoria Sanford

The Latin American Studies Association (LASA) quarterly newsletter Forum featured an article on IIE-SRF, discussing the program's history and its global impact. IIE-SRF has supported scholars from Latin American countries such as Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela. The article offers the perspective of various stakeholders within IIE-SRF, offering a view of the threats many scholars face, and the value added to host institutions through scholars sharing their knowledge.

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Syrian U of S Professor Finds Safety for Family in Saskatoon

By CBC News

After an arduous two years of violence and uncertainty, Dr. Rana Mustafa, a Syrian specialist in food science and IIE-SRF fellow, has found safety and an academic home in Saskatoon, Canada. CBC News highlighted the journey of Dr. Mustafa and her family that led them to the city that she now calls her second home. 

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Lifeline for refugee scholars

By Allan Goodman

The global refugee crisis now stands at 65 million forcibly displaced people, according to the United Nations. Could the world ever have imagined a number exceeding that produced by the Nazis and World War II? The conflict over Syria alone, raging since 2011, has so far resulted in more than 11 million refugees and internally displaced persons. Over the past year, international summits have convened to address this global crisis, including the United Nations Summit in September. There is a growing view that the world must recognize these individuals not as part of a temporary emergency, but as a long-term challenge, and one where higher education can play a major role.

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Escaping Islamic State group: How a Ball State professor and his family survived

By Patrick Calvert

The harrowing tale of an IIE-SRF fellow's escape from Mosul in 2014 as it was under the control of the Islamic State.

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In Memory of Ruth Gruber

Ruth Gruber's 1944 mission to bring 1,000 refugees to the U.S. from war-torn Europe helped to inspire IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund. She earned a doctorate in Germany in 1932 at age 20 with a grant from IIE. The multilingual Gruber became a foreign correspondent and photojournalist and traveled around the world covering stories of rescue and survival. She was the first foreign journalist to report from the Soviet Arctic, interviewing prisoners in Stalin's Gulag. In 1944, while Holocaust raged, DR. Gruber was sent to Europe at President Roosevelt's request, to bring 1,000 refugees from war-torn Italy to haven in Oswego, New York as part of a top-secret U.S. government rescue. With her knowledge of Europe and its languages, Gruber was well equipped for the daring journey, and successfully lobbied Congress and President Truman on the refugees' behalf for their right to remain in America after the war. We are proud to have known Dr. Gruber and extend our sympathy to her family and all whose lives she touched.  In her honor, Dr. Gruber's family has requested that contributions be made to the Ruth Gruber Chair of the Scholar Rescue Fund. Donations may be made payable to IIE and sent to the philanthropy office, 809 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017 or by contacting the IIE Philanthropy office at 646-572-8741 for further information. Funds will be used to support scholars who are facing violence or persecution.