Statement of the council of the German Zoological Society  

As members of the council of the German Zoological Society, we would like to express our sympathy and solidarity with all citizens of Ukraine. We regard the Russian aggressive invasion as a violation of international law and an attack on the fundamental values of freedom and democracy.  Some of the DZG members have close personal ties to Ukraine and need to find a way to bring their family and friends in safety. Some of you have planned or are currently conducting research projects in collaboration with colleagues from Ukraine or Russia and these plans are massively affected by the current war situation. Universities and funding agencies are setting up wide-range assistance programs to help students and academics who have to leave their country. Let us know how the DZG can help. In this light, we like to alert you to some of the current platforms and funding schemes

  • The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has created the Philipp Schwartz Initiative for endangered researchers
  • The Scholar Rescue Fund grants fellowships to established researchers whose lives and work are threatened in their own countries; it also helps universities to host them.
  • The Council for At-Risk Academics (Cara) finds positions for at-risk academics in the United Kingdom but is increasingly working together with universities in other countries, as well.
  • “Scholars at Risk” is a global network of universities that are willing to accept endangered researchers. The organisation also seeks to draw attention to threats to academic freedom. https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/
  • chance-for-science.de is a platform operated by the University of Leipzig which connects displaced academics and students with German universities and research institutions.
  • The European Union’s online portal science4refugees finds job offers for endangered researchers across Europe.

Our solidarity also goes out to those citizens of Russia who are horrified at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We also like to encourage everyone to protect the Russian colleagues and students that are currently working in Germany from discrimination that might occur due to the political situation. Russian scientists published an open letter on the internet in which they condemn the war (https://t-invariant.org/en/2022/02/we-are-against-war-en/). We received notice from several Russian scientists that there are many such petitions that are directly sent to the Kremlin. This is a glimpse of hope.

Gabriele Uhl on behalf of the DZG council