UK Government supports Ukraine’s researchers

28 March 2022 | Muriel Cozier

‘Our universities are already opening their doors to Ukrainian students…’

The UK Government has set out a £3 million programme to assist Ukrainian researchers involved in science and innovation, aimed at supporting and preserving Ukraine’s ‘research ecosystem.’ At the same time the Government has announced measures which it says will ‘negatively impact the Russian state, and individuals and organisations with strong links to the Kremlin, but not to sanction individual Russian scientists or innovators with benign research interests.’

The new Researchers at Risk Fellowship Programme will support Ukrainian researchers fleeing the conflict, as well as those already in the UK who are unable to return home. The Fellowships will provide a salary, research and living costs for up to two years and will be available across all disciplines for postdoctoral researchers or those with equivalent experience.

Minister for Science, Research & Innovation, George Freeman said; ‘Our universities are already opening their doors to Ukrainian students, and we are exploring ways to enable universities in the UK to partner with Ukrainian Universities in order to teach Ukrainian students remotely who are close to graduating, supporting them to complete their studies when they need it most.’

At the same time sanctions on Russia include a decision not to fund any new collaborative projects with Russia through research and innovation organisations; a suspension of existing government to government dialogue through the UK science and innovation network team in Russia; and pausing of all payments for projects delivered through UK public research funds with a Russian dimension. The Government added that it has commissioned an assessment to ‘isolate and freeze activities which benefit the Russian regime.’

Freeman added; ‘This action is directed towards Putin’s regime, not at individual Russian researchers and students, whom in many cases may oppose the actions of the Kremlin.’

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