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President Astrid Söderbergh Widding: SU welcomes our first SAR researcher

Stockholm University has just received its first SAR researcher. SAR – Scholars at Risk – is an international network that works to protect academic freedom and shield threatened scholars who have, until now, mainly worked in the humanities and social sciences.

SAR Sweden has 21 member universities along with the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, and is coordinated by Gothenburg University. During 2018–2020, SAR has used funds from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ) to finance 50 per cent of the salaries of imperilled scholars.

Now the funding window is closing while the need is greater than ever. SAR needs to expand its network to all academic subjects and find a longer term financing model. SAR Germany, for example, finances their activities through the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and France through the Collège de France. Today, SAR Sweden through Gothenburg University is part a Horizon 2020 project, Inspireeurope, with the purpose to create a collaboration platform that supports at-risk scholars as well as policy work.

The university presidents and the network of administrators engaged in SAR will continue to discuss these important issues. During this time we at SU are happy that, thanks to RJ’s generosity, we can make it possible for an at-risk international scholar to continue their work in Stockholm.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding


September 9, 2020

Astrid Söderbergh Widding
Photo: Eva Dalin