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Global inequalities in the academic world: Researchers under threat

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Release date: 2018-10

BICC partnered with Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle and hosted a session at the Global Media Forum 2018 “Global Inequalities” in Bonn, Germany. BICC’s session “Global inequalities in the academic world: Researchers under threat” took place on 12 June 2018.

The session first drew attention to the challenges faced by academics in some extremely disabling and threatening environments. Hafiz Boboyorov (Tajikistan) and Cuneyt Gurer (Turkey) shared their experiences after deciding to leave for Germany, knowing they might not be able to return. Then, Marc von Boemcken (Germany) described the challenges of the field research project “Forms of local security in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan—The emergence of securityscapes” where he, together with Hafiz Boboyorov, had to learn how to “work under the radar” but not compromising research.

Last but not least, the session explored ways and means of how to help researchers at risk to continue pursuing their scientific careers. Barbara Sheldon of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation underlined that the experiences of von Boemcken and Boboyorov as part of the research team on the ground were an ideal prerequisite for successfully applying for a Philip Schwartz fellowship. The role of Philip Schwartz Initiative is to enable German institutions—be it universities, universities of applied science, and independent research institutions—to support researchers under threat not only immediately after having fled from their home countries. The biggest challenge is to support these researchers so that they can take the next steps in the transition process of becoming part of the German research community.