Inspireurope+ coordinates and strengthens support in Europe for researchers at risk.
Building on the work undertaken by Inspireurope (2019-2022), Inspireurope+ proceeds from the view that excellence in research depends upon free and open scientific debate and requires a diversity of perspectives and methodologies to flourish. Challenges to academic freedom and related pressures on individual researchers remain significant globally. In many countries and regions researchers face risks to their life, liberty, and research careers. When researchers are at risk, and excluded from participating in the global research circuit, whether due to discrimination, persecution, disaster, or violence, not only are individual lives and careers at risk; the very future of research is also at stake.
The skills and attributes of researchers at risk carry significant research potential for hosting countries in Europe. The coordination of efforts between researchers at risk and actors experienced in the work of support and solidarity is required for this research potential to be more fully realized on a Europe-wide scale. In recognition of a shared commitment to excellence in research and to the principles of freedom of inquiry and academic freedom that are essential for world-class research, the Inspireurope+ partners coordinate activities across Europe to support researchers at risk.
Project Title: Initiative to Support, Promote and Integrate Researchers at Risk in Europe PLUS
Dates: September 2022 to August 2025
Partners: 7 project partners, 3 associated partners, 9 advisory board members
Funded by: European Union, under Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), Horizon Europe
Coordinating European support :The Inspireurope+ Coordinating Committee serves as a vehicle for cooperation and coordination of European support for researchers at risk.
Guidance and support for researchers at risk: Together with researchers at risk, Inspireurope+ partners work together to design, develop, and implement a series of career development webinars and interactive training opportunities. Through guidance, training and consultations with over 300 researchers at risk, Inspireurope+ helps to build up the skills and knowledge needed to facilitate access to European, national and institutional funding and support.
Building institutional capacity and preparedness: Inspireurope+ helps to prepare academic and non-academic institutions across Europe to support researchers at risk in sustainable and ethical ways. This includes educating on issues facing researchers at risk, as well as raising awareness of the potential at-risk researchers bring to the labour market in Europe. Through guidance and advice for over 400 employers in the academic and non-academic sectors, Inspireurope+ aims to increase institutional capacity and preparedness across Europe to support researchers at risk.
Advising national-level initiatives: Inspireurope+ encourages and assists the development of new national support programmes in Europe for researchers at risk. This occurs through annual platforms, leadership roundtables, policy briefings, and regional outreach activities. Inspireurope+ brings policymakers, researchers at risk, universities, businesses, funders, and NGOs from all corners of Europe together to devise and improve concrete measures to integrate the talents of researchers at risk.
Informing European policy: Inspireurope+ informs policymaking in Europe on matters relating to researchers at risk, advising and assisting with the implementation of the Inspireurope policy recommendations (Spring 2022 report). Through briefings and advice to national and European policymaking processes with respect to a range of issues from migration and integration to research and innovation, Inspireurope+ facilitates and encourages the development of new support programmes and improves the policy environment in Europe for researchers at risk.
Awareness-raising & diversification of support: Inspireurope+ raises awareness of why researchers are at risk and ways to support them. The project aims to diversify support for researchers at risk through increased engagement with institutions and organisations in Central, Southern & Eastern Europe and through outreach beyond the academic sector. Over the course of the project, the partner organisations will leverage their networks to reach an estimated 30,000 people in more than 100 countries, consolidating, diversifying and multiplying efforts to improve lives and career opportunities, together with researchers at risk.
Inspireurope (2019 to 2022)
Inspireurope received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857742.
Ten European partner organisations joined forces in September 2019 in an ambitious initiative to support researchers at risk. Researchers at risk include researchers, scholars, scientists at all stages of their research careers, who are experiencing threats to their life, liberty, or research career, and those who are displaced because of such threats.
Inspireurope begins from the view that excellence in research depends upon open scientific debate, and is driven by a multiplicity of ideas, people and perspectives.
When researchers are at risk, and excluded from participating in the global research circuit, whether due to discrimination, persecution, suffering or violence, not only are individual lives and careers at risk; the quality, the very future of research is also at stake. With record numbers of researchers at risk reaching out to Europe, there is no one country, government, NGO, or enterprise that can meet the scope of the challenge alone; an ambitious and concerted approach is required. The skills and attributes of researchers at risk represent significant economic and human capital potential for the receiving countries in Europe. However, for such potential to be fully realized on a Europe-wide scale, well-coordinated efforts by a diverse set of experienced actors is required. Toward this goal, and in recognition of a shared commitment to excellence in research and to the principles of freedom of inquiry and academic freedom that are essential pre-conditions for world-class research, the Inspireurope project facilitated trans-national cooperation between European and national initiatives and programmes in support of researchers at risk.
The project anchored the excellent work already underway across Europe in support of researchers at risk, and laid the groundwork for a durable support structure in Europe. The Inspireurope Coordinating Committee promoted the good support measures already in place at the national and European level, encouraged their replication and expansion, facilitated greater coordination and peer-learning between national-level and European-level research and innovation initiatives, and provided concrete recommendations on sustaining such support over the long-term. Through stakeholder fora and mutual learning opportunities, the project broke down barriers between the academic and non-academic sector towards the common goal of integrating the research talent of researchers at risk. Through outreach, the project encouraged the development of new support initiatives in particular in Central, Southern and Eastern Europe. Through guidance, coaching, and training, researchers were offered a better chance of accessing existing EU and national funding and support; while future employers gained new insights into existing frameworks in Europe for the integration of research talent.
Project partners and associate partners include leading organisations in the provision of support to researchers at risk.
The Inspireurope project maps and assesses existing support measures in Europe for researchers at risk, and provides recommendations to policymakers on improving the work environment in Europe for researchers at risk.