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European Commission has published a set of guidelines for inclusion of researchers at risk recommending ways to improve their recruitment in European HEIs. These guidelines provide recommended practices to Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) applicants and beneficiaries. The proposed measures relate to the dissemination, recruitment and selection of researchers, and career guidance and training of recruited researchers.
These guidelines, developed in collaboration with the Inspireurope project, build on EU’s core principles of academic freedom and freedom of scientific research and are in line with Commission’s key political priorities. They are also included in the latest Communications on the European Research Area and European Education Area, as well as in the Bonn Declaration on Freedom of Scientific Research and Rome Ministerial Communique. The definition of researchers at risk includes “researchers, scholars and scientists at all stages of their careers who are experiencing threats to their life, liberty or research career, and those who had to flee or have been displaced”.
The guidance includes advice such as communicating open calls to scholars at risk who have access to such researchers and explicitly mentioning “Researchers at risk are encouraged to apply” with the accompanying definition of a researcher at risk. The institutions are advised to have a dedicated webpage with information, and to provide tailored advice and detailed guidance to those interested in applying, including networking and academic supervision possibilities. In selection, it is advised to take into consideration their specific situation by inviting independent experts to participate in selection committees, primarily for explaining gaps in one’s career related to risk. Sensitivity to security concern is a major concern for researchers at risk - protecting their confidentiality during the evaluation and selection process is paramount.
If you are interested in the resources available to students and researchers at risk in a number of European countries, make sure to have a look at results of two of ACA’s recent projects: Career Advancement for Refugee Researchers in Europe (CARE) and Guiding Refugees via European Exchange and Training (GREET).