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Global Student Experience

Scholars at Risk

Scholars at Risk

The University of Zurich is a member of the Scholars at Risk organization as well as Scholars at Risk Switzerland Section, founded in 2017. Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of universities working to safeguard academic freedom and protect threatened researchers. Scholars at Risk works with its global network of higher education institutions around the world to arrange short-term, temporary research and teaching positions for threatened scholars. UZH can only host threatened researchers if funding is secured and if a hosting arrangement at an UZH chair is ensured. Responsibility for supervising and supporting the researchers (including administrative support) lies with the chairs.

SNSF SAR grant

The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) offers financial support for placements of scholars under threat at Swiss universities in the form of SAR grants.


  • The SNSF only funds scholars who have a PhD. Scholars without a PhD can only be supported if the completion of the doctorate is to be expected shortly after the start of the placement or if the scholar has been actively engaged in research as their main professional activity for at least three years.
  • The SNSF only funds scholars who have passed the evaluation process of Scholars at Risk.
  • The SNSF only funds scholars who are ensured a hosting arrangement with a Swiss higher education institution.
  • Scholars who have already had an SNSF-funded placement in Switzerland, cannot apply for the SAR grant.


  • Funding is limited annually and is awarded on a rolling basis. The application window opens in November of the previous year.
  • A grant amounts to 75'000 CHF for a duration of 12 months and can be extended by 25'000 CHF for up to 12 additional months. Additional funding must be provided by the chair or obtained through third-party funding. Employment in an SNSF project is not possible.
  • The grants are intended to be used by the host institutions to fund either salaries or scholarships. A scholar's initial travel costs to Switzerland can also be covered by the grant.


  • Check on the Scholars at Risk website to see if you meet the Scholars at Risk criteria and submit an application for recognition as a threatened scholar.
  • Get in touch with suitable chairs at UZH and enquire about hosting options. You can find an overview of the faculties and institutes at UZH on the UZH website.

  • The UZH chair contacts the Scholars at Risk coordinator at UZH to discuss the application process for the SNSF SAR grant. Applications for the SNSF SAR Grant can only be submitted in consultation with the Scholars at Risk coordinator.

Further information on the SNSF SAR Grant can be found on the SNSF website.

Weiterführende Informationen


Chantal Marquart

Scholars at Risk Coordinator UZH


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Solidarity with Ukraine

The University of Zurich condemns Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the grave violation of international law. UZH will do everything in its power to help and support Ukrainian educators, researchers and students. Please find more information about the support measures using this link.

Scholars at Risk on the radio

Listen in to Radio SRF 1 (Rendez-vous) and SRF 2 (Wissenschaftsmagazin) featuring Scholars at Risk Switzerland and the network's efforts to host Afghan researchers.