Support for Ukraine: Preparing for peacetime

Eine Person zeigt ein brennendes Haus auf ihrem Handy

Image of destruction: This faculty building of Kharkiv University was hit by a Russian missile in early March 2022. 

Following its initial emergency assistance for Ukrainian researchers who have sought refuge in Germany, the Volkswagen Foundation is now offering support to those who remained in their home country – or want to return there – with two new projects.

Just one week after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Foundation initiated a guest researcher program for Ukrainian scholars and scientists who fled to Germany. In 2022, approximately nine million euros in scholarship funding was approved for 275 refugees at German universities and research institutes.  

Tragically, the war in Ukraine continues. To counteract the inevitable brain drain, the Foundation now wants to support researchers who are still working in Ukraine or who want to return there. Two projects have been approved with this in mind: a virtual Institute for Advanced Studies, which the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin is establishing with the help of Ukrainian and international partner organizations. And a three-year fellowship program at New Europe College (NEC) with branches in Bucharest and Sofia. Both projects are intended to build a bridge to the post-war period: The virtual Institute for Advanced Studies founded by the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin will one day be transformed into a physical one in Kiev.  And NEC will network its fellows with other members of the scientific community in order to involve them in discourse and pave the way for them to return to their home institutes.

The new grants are part of the Foundation's internationality strategy (PDF, 361.4 KB), which includes support for academics facing acute emergency situations. In connection with the war in Syria and the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, the Foundation has also approved millions of euros for short-term scholarship programs that enable researchers who have fled their country to work at German universities and research institutions. 

Funded projects

"Virtual Ukraine Institute for Advanced Study (VUIAS)", Prof. Dr. Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin 

"Sustaining Ukrainian Scholarship – Fellowship program for 3 years, 2023-2026", Prof. Dr. Valentina Sandu-Dediu (Az. 9C853) New Europe College, Bukarest/Rumänien

Woman leafing through a book

At the University of Jena, a Ukrainian researcher who fled the war in her country is able to continue her work

Scholar of administration Tetiana Kovalova had to give up her home in Kharkiv – but not her research. She is now in Jena, working on a project to do with post-war reconciliation and conflict transformation. Her work is supported by the Volkswagen Foundation.

Funding offer

Funding for Refugee Scholars and Scientists from Ukraine (completed)