Protecting Academics at Risk: A Survey of European and EU Practice – PROAC

Protecting Academics at Risk: A Survey of European and EU Practice (PROAC)

Bugetul: 24.209 Euro

Finanțator: CIVICA

Durata proiectului: Martie-Septmebrie 2022

The aim of this project is to map from a critical and comparative perspective how scholars in exile are currently being integrated into the existing European research infrastructure. The research team will cover three pilot countries ranging from older to newer EU members to a non-EU member state (HUNG, ROM, UK), as well as EU-level organisations. Through a combination of desk research and in-depth interviews with key position holders, we hope to gain a granular and multi-perspectival understanding of the challenges involved, creative solutions found, and dilemmas encountered by many actors involved. The first objective is to develop a questionnaire approved by the ethics teams of CIVICA, and to identify three interviewees per country as well as three for the EU to trial this questionnaire in qualitative interviews. The second objective is to conduct these pilot interviews with people ranging from university administrators, NGOs and managers of risk programmes, to the exiled scholars themselves. At EU level, we will be looking at DG Education, EUA, ENQA European infrastructure, with the aim to draw conclusions about the way existing European infrastructure is tested by recent scholarly (and wider) migration crises following the conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan, academic repression and rising authoritarianism in Turkey, Russia, Belorussia, as well as democratic erosion within EU states such as Hungary and Poland. In the interviews themselves, we shall be interested in different levels of integration experience, from individual careers and family fortunes to the self-organisation of expelled scholars in the form of ad hoc institutions such as exile universities. We will be looking both at the content of academic work in the period of integration, such as the question of changing patterns of productivity, joint teaching programmes and syllabi represented in existing tandem teaching and individual research agendas, and at the administrative aspects of the transition of at-risk academics in new environments. At the end of the project, our third objective is to evaluate the pilot interviews and contextual data. Our long-term goal is to use the insights gained to prepare a larger grant application and an academic analysis to be submitted to peer reviewed interdisciplinary journals. Deliverables will include the questionnaire itself, an archive of in-depth qualitative interviews with administrative agents and at risk academics in exile, with a focus on those coming from within the continent, especially of Hungarian, Rumanian, Russian, Belorussian, Georgian, Chechen, Azerbaijani and Ukrainian nationalities, a policy paper and a peer-reviewed academic publication.

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