The UK Government is providing a £3m support package for Ukrainian research community involved in academic research in Britain, in order to facilitate the continuation of their important work.
On 27 March 2022, the Government announced that the Ukrainian research community will benefit from a £3m package of support to ensure that significant scientific endeavours being undertaken in the UK and beyond can be maintained in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Researchers at Risk Fellowship Programme
The novel ‘Researchers at Risk Fellowship Programme’ is intended to assist both Ukrainian researchers escaping the conflict, and the Ukrainian researchers already based in the UK who are unable to return home.
The Fellowships will offer a package for researchers including a salary, along with research and living costs for up to two years. This will be accessible across all disciplines for postdoctoral researchers, or those with comparable experience, with the objective of helping Ukraine in maintaining its research ecosystem.
As the UK steps up its efforts to further isolate Putin’s Russia, the Government has also revealed that it is terminating financial support to all research programmes that are discovered to have links with the Russian state and institutional collaborators. Additionally, it will end all ongoing projects that deliver a direct benefit to the Russian regime. The UK will also not finance any new collaborative projects with Russia through its research and innovation organisations.
Science as a global force for good
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 yet another way we are standing united with Ukraine, its democratically elected government, and its brave people at this awful 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 the UK.
“We will always support science where it is working to further international knowledge and discovery and to find solutions with global benefit, but it is only right that we take a stand against the Kremlin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the deplorable Putin regime.”
These actions are being taken to target the Russian state, as well as individuals and organisations with strong connection to the Kremlin. A modest number of other existing collaborations are still under review, in order to further evaluate and guarantee no future payments to institutions or individuals who have any way of profiting the Russian regime.
Support from UK universities
British universities have already opened their doors to Ukrainian students and the Government is looking for ways to empower universities in the UK to partner with Ukrainian Universities in order to remotely teach Ukrainian students who are close to graduating.
Minister for Higher and Further Education Michelle Donelan added: “Our world leading universities have always been underpinned by the core values of freedom and liberty, which is why I know they will support us now in taking action against the Russian regime and their illegal invasion of Ukraine.
“We are asking universities that have not yet done so to review any financial or academic research ties with Russia given the horrors the Kremlin is inflicting on the Ukrainian people.
“All universities should always carefully consider awarding honorary degrees and we specially expect those awarded to sanctioned Russian individuals to be quickly revoked to demonstrate that we stand united with Ukraine.”
The British Academy will provide further information on the Ukrainian Researchers at Risk Fellowship scheme in the near future.