Latvia-based NGO publishes survey of displaced Ukrainian scientists

A Latvia-based NGO that aims to help scientists from Ukraine has released a survey which it says uncovers important findings about the support offered to Ukrainian scientists displaced by Russia's war. The research, focusing on the global scientific community's response and conducted by #ScienceForUkraine reveals that:

Scholarships are the most sought-after form of assistance compared to ordinary positions, that offers associated with the social sciences and/or the humanities were more in demand than other disciplines, and that there are no signs of preferences for specific host countries.

The study is available as a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed yet, #ScienceForUkraine notes.

Michael E. Rose, Senior Research Fellow at the German Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and a member of #ScienceForUkraine, commented:

"Our findings underscore the need for flexible support mechanisms to stabilise the Ukrainian science system, especially in fields like social sciences and humanities, where demand so far was highest among displaced Ukrainian scientists. The high demand in these fields is likely due to a combination of things: one third of female Ukrainian scientists are active in these fields, which at the same time are struck hardest by funding cuts."

The survey, conducted during the summer of 2023, analyzed 2,434 support offers listed in the #ScienceForUkraine database, which primarily targeted Ukrainian scientists. 21.88% of invited hosts participated. The results suggest that more than 3,000 Ukrainian scientists directly benefited from the support offers in the #ScienceForUkraine database, be it a joint application to a funding scheme, access to labs and facilities or similar, or a scholarship.

"The implications of our research are significant for policymakers and academic institutions in designing effective support programs for scientists in crisis situations. The findings highlight the importance of flexible financial aid and a nuanced understanding of the varied needs within the scientific community. This study contributes to the academic discourse on the dynamics of academic support in geopolitical crises and underscores the necessity for a comprehensive, empathetic approach to aiding displaced scientists," says the abstract of the study.

The draft study is available to view online at:

#ScienceForUkraine started as a grass-root initiative run by an international community of volunteer scholars and students since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Since 2 August 2023 it is an NGO registered in Latvia with a mission is to support the Ukrainian academic community in surviving the war and to help ensure the continuity of Ukraine's science and to strengthen its presence in the international science arena.

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